Our 2020-2021 Pledge Goal: 7%
This year’s goal of a 7% increase in annual pledge income represents a stretch for us compared to previous pledge drives. Here is the reasoning for setting this goal as we did.
Our Commitment to Live By Our Values
The most important reason for the increase is our congregation’s long-standing commitment to pay our staff wages that are consistent with UUA guidelines for staff salaries and benefits. While we currently have all our employees within the UUA guidelines for their position, this year, the guidelines for each position have been raised from 2% to 6% depending upon the position requiring increased income. Further, we are lagging in the benefits we provide to our staff, specifically in regards to health care as defined by the UUA. At the Visioning Retreat held this last January, council and committee chairs, and elected leaders, identified the following as one of our 2020-21 Congregational Goals: Further align our personnel compensation structures with UUA Compensation Recommendations and our values of fairness, equity, and inclusivity.
Our Commitment to Build a Just and Compassionate World
Each year the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), our parent organization, “assesses” each congregation an amount that is used to fund many outreach programs of the UUA, such as
● Supporting the “Side With Love” campaign,
● Bringing the “Our Whole Lives” sexuality curriculum to tens of thousands of people ranging from kindergartners to elders,
● Allowing Unitarian Universalism to have a voice at the United Nations,
● Distributing the UU World to all UU members.
Those congregations that contribute the amount of their assessment to the UUA are recognized by the UUA as “Honor Congregations” each year. In the church year ending in 2019, 53% of UUA congregations were recognized as such and the Fellowship is in that group. More importantly, the Fellowship is recognized as a “25+ Honor Congregation” in that we have met our assessment for over 25 consecutive years! In the church year ending in 2019, only 13% of UU congregations are in the “25+ Honor Congregation List.” Many years ago our congregation committed to the support of Unitarian Universalism beyond our doors by meeting our Annual Program Fund assessment, and as you can see, we have met that commitment year after year. The assessment which is based on our annual expenses increases as our budget increases contributing to our need for increases in income.
Our New Building
This will be our first full year in our enlarged and remodeled building. While this will be a joyous time that we have all anticipated and worked hard for, our new building will create several monetary challenges:
● Our floor space has more than doubled, requiring a significant increase for cleaning services. Utilizing “green” cleaning supplies will also cost us more.
● Our parking lot will be larger, with more driveway space and sidewalks to keep clear of snow, requiring an increase in snow removal.
● Our new landscaping has been chosen to be water-wise and ideally suited to the Colorado climate. For the first two years though, we expect to water frequently until the plants and grasses are established, and to discourage prairie dogs. Our water bill for this period is estimated to be anywhere from 2 to 3 times what it’s been in the past.
● Property insurance is expected to increase 2 to 3 times our current premium, based on the increase in square footage. We will learn the amount of our annual premium when our building is complete.
For all of the above important reasons, the Finance Committee and the Board recommended the adoption of a 7% increase in pledge income.
~ Joan Mulcahy, Treasurer of the Board