Joining in community. Our Pledge Drive for 2024 has started!
UUCPA is a free church. We fund ourselves.
About 75% of the church’s income is from generous pledges of financial support by our Members and Friends. UUCPA also receives funds from Sunday offerings, fundraising activities (e.g., book sales) and events (e.g., our annual Auction), special gifts, and facility rentals.
It costs more than $776,000 to operate UUCPA each year. That includes everything the congregation holds dear, like our religious education programs across the lifespan, Sunday services and music, and community actions and outreach.
Find out all about pledge via our helpful Q&A below:
- Why Pledge?
- What is a pledge?
- How much should I pledge?
- Why are church pledges typically higher than gifts to other groups?
- How do I make my pledge?
- How do I pay my pledge?
- Can I pay my pledge with a stock donation?
- When do I pay my pledge?
- What if I have more questions?
- Because a promise of steady funding allows us to plan and make dreams come true.
- Because UUCPA welcomes our children of all ages and helps us tend to their spiritual growth.
- Because our community offers a place to sing, weep, be still, debate, learn, come as we are, and work for a better world.
- Because our community helps sustain us when we feel lonely, can’t find a job, need support, or lose a loved person in our lives.
What is a pledge?
Your pledge is your financial commitment to UUCPA during the fiscal year, which begins May 1st.
Our community thrives because members and friends commit their time, talents, and financial support.
Pledges by Members and Friends enable UUCPA to plan for the year and adopt a balanced budget. And payment of these pledges during the year provides the major ongoing source of income to hire staff and offer programs.
How much should I pledge?
An amount that you will feel good about giving, that you can and want to give.
Find a quiet time and space, look at the guidelines and your household, reflect on how UUCPA has helped you grow, then let the decision on what to pledge emerge.
You will find an amount that is right for you and for UUCPA, and all of us will be grateful.
Guideline for determining your pledge
Giving deepens our commitment to each other and strengthens us as individuals. But how much should you pledge to support UUCPA financially? Below are three ways of thinking about your pledge.
How do matching funds work?
UUCPA has a matching funds program which makes each pledge dollar go further.
Here’s how it works. If you pledged less than $2,500 last year, and you increase your pledge by at least $250, our generous matching fund donors will contribute an additional $250. Additionally, if you go big and double your pledge, the matching fund will contribute the same amount, effectively tripling your pledge!
The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) of which UUCPA is a part supports the “liberal tithe.” This means giving 10% of your income to charitable causes, with half of that given to UUCPA. (If you are retired, these percentages are based on your spending, not your income.)
Also, take a look at the UUA’s Suggested Fair Share Giving guide, which suggests donation levels based on your income and involvement in the church. The guide has suggestions for how to calculate your available income, too.
Increasing your pledge
Consider increasing your pledge from last year, if you are able.
- If your pledge is lower than the average gift—about $2,700—try to move toward that number. A broad base of significant givers makes UUCPA stronger.
- If your pledge has been above average—some are $10,000 or more—try to increase it by 10%.
Increasing your pledge helps UUCPA keep up with costs that are beyond our control, such as insurance. And we want to be sure our employees keep up with inflation, at a minimum, and do better than that as they grow in experience and accomplishment. And there are good programs we would like to start or expand.
Sharing the wealth
You can donate stock to fund your pledge. UUCPA will sell the stock upon receipt and reinvest the proceeds, using the Carbon Tracking Initiative to reduce our investment in fossil fuel companies. Read the special instructions here.
Why are church pledges typically higher than gifts to other groups?
We are a free church. We fund ourselves. We benefit from those who came before us, bought the land and built the church. Now it’s our turn.
Our church community touches our lives in so many ways: from religious education, services and music, social and spiritual gatherings to outreach programs, social justice and a caring network. Yet, we have fewer donors than do many public radio stations, advocacy groups, and relief organizations. That means our gifts must be bigger. About 200 households pledge each year, an average of about $2400 per household.
How do I make my pledge?
To make your financial commitment to UUCPA, fill out and return a pledge form.You can get a pledge form at any time during the year from the church office. During UUCPA’s annual Canvass (or pledge drive), a pledge form is included in your packet, along with your canvass letter and other helpful information.Please return your pledge form to the church office, or mail it to:
Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto
505 East Charleston Road
Palo Alto, CA 94306
You can also email your commitment to: email@example.com
How do I pay my pledge?
You should fulfill your annual pledge to UUCPA by the end of the fiscal year, April 30. You can choose your schedule for doing so, but keep in mind that early and steady payments keep UUCPA’s operating fund healthy.
To fulfill your pledge to UUCPA, you can make weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual payments, donate securities; or do both.
You can make payments:
- Via paypal or through your bank’s bill-pay system
- Via check marked “pledge” (either drop it off, mail to the UUCPA office, or drop it in the offering basket on Sunday)
Can I pay my pledge with a stock donation?
Absolutely. Check out this page.
If your stock has appreciated, you may get a double benefit of no capital gains tax charitable deduction of the full value.
When do I pay my pledge?
Any time before the end of the fiscal year that ends April 30, 2023. Some contribute monthly, some all at once. You can choose your schedule.
However, early and steady payments keep our operating fund healthy.
What if I have more questions?
You can call Jeff at 650-494-0541 or email firstname.lastname@example.org