The Fellowship, as you may know, is currently in the midst of preparing the 2018-2019 budget. One aspect of this challenging process is to forecast income for the coming fiscal year. Since this has been on my mind, I thought that in this month’s post, I would share with you some information about the sources of our income.
The biggest source of income for our Fellowship is income from the pledges made and paid by our members and friends. Pledge income constitutes nearly 85% of our income. Forecasting the future is difficult (understatement!) so we try to allow some “wiggle room” in order to withstand changes in pledges based on people moving away or needing to alter their pledge midyear. With pledges being such a major portion of our income, however, the importance of everyone meeting their pledge, if possible, cannot be understated.
The next biggest source of income is the Sunday half-plate collection. The 2017-2018 expectation is that this year, this source will be about 7% of our income. We do give ½ of this amount away so the net financial benefit to the Fellowship is approximately 3.5% while the benefits of extending our values and resources out into the larger community are probably incalculable. We are a generous community.
The third biggest source of income is our annual auction. For the current year the forecast was that the auction would be approximately 3% of our income. Thanks to the excellent work of Lisa Ogle and Juli MacKenzie, our auction co-chairs, as well as the generosity and enthusiasm of all who attended or bid online, our auction exceeded our estimates by several thousand dollars this year AND a fun time was had by all!
There are numerous smaller sources of income but the one I’d like to single out for attention is Unity Plaza and, in particular, the reloadable grocery cards for use at King Soopers and Safeway. This is a non-trivial amount of income for us (almost $7,500 in the 2016-2017 fiscal year) and it comes to us at no cost to our members and friends beyond carrying and using an additional charge card. By using the cards, a percentage of the purchase you make is donated to the Fellowship without increasing the cost to you of the goods you purchase. The cards can be used for gasoline at the store’s stations and for items purchased at the store. Checking the remaining balance on the card and reloading it when low is an easy transaction at the checkout counter. If you have one of these cards and you use it regularly – thank you! If you shop at King Soopers or Safeway and you don’t have a card, please consider obtaining a card between services on Sunday and making it a habit to use the card whenever you can. Next year, especially, when we are out of the building and unable to have some of our other Unity Plaza fundraisers active, the grocery cards will be especially important.
If you have any questions about the above material, please do not hesitate to contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. And, as always, thank you for your generosity!