What is a pledge?
A pledge tells the church how much financial support you plan to give toward the ministries of the church, and at what intervals.
How does a pledge differ from a pledge payment or donation?
A pledge specifies the amount of financial support to be given over time. A pledge payment is the actual payment that fulfills the pledge. A donation is typically an unpledged and perhaps one-time gift.
For what time period am I pledging?
We generally think of a pledge being annual, and covering a budget year, which is July through June. Your annual pledge will renew each year until you change it.
Am I required to pledge?
The TJMC covenant affirms that we will “generously support the ministries of the church with time, money, and enthusiasm.” The TJMC Bylaws define a member with these words: “Any person who supports the purposes of the Church and recognizes and understands the need of the Church for support through financial contributions and active participation.”
Our pledge of financial support is part of our shared covenant, for those who are part of this community through membership or friendship. We ask everyone to pledge, regardless of the amount; all gifts are precious and valued.
When do I pledge?
Your first pledge is likely to be made when you join this church community. After that, pledge or adjust your pledge anytime. Your board will propose a new budget each spring, and that’s a good time to review your pledge. The church’s work in the world requires that many of us increase our pledges annually.
How do I pledge?
It’s easy, and you have choices.
Make, review or change your pledge at any time
- pledge online
- with a phone call to the church office: 434-293-8179
- by dropping off a pledge card in the church office
Why should I pledge? Can’t I just put money in the offering plate?
Our pledge is our promise to each other of financial stewardship. The amount pledged is an important factor in determining the annual budget. Your pledge helps us plan. Now, putting money in the offertory plate is special kind of worship and generosity; those funds help us, too, and are gratefully received.
May I volunteer instead of pledging?
Our volunteer gifts and financial gifts both make this church powerful and sustainable. We depend upon both.
What if I need to change, or cannot fulfill my pledge?
Lives aren’t static. You may change your pledge any time during the year, using the same three options listed above—online, phone or pledge card. If you find your life is taking an unexpected turn, a call to the ministerial staff might be a good step, too. Whether you’re adjusting your pledge up or down, know that we will be grateful for the information, which helps us budget and manage the budget. Know that every gift is valued.
How much should I pledge?
Your pledge is a personal decision. It is informed by your financial means, your connection to the mission and work of the church, and the needs of the church. UUA Fair Share Guidelines suggest that a new member pledge 2% of adjusted gross income, and increase it over time to 5%. Here are the UUA Fair Share Recommendations (PDF).
How is our pledge income used?
We use our financial resources to provide spiritual development, promote UU values in the wider community, be good employers, care for our facilities, and grow adults and children with open minds, helping hands, and loving hearts living the principles of our liberal religious faith.
- One Sunday worship service costs about $1,400
- Religious education for one child for a year costs about $500
- Opening the church building and office for one day costs roughly $130
- 80% of the church funding comes from our pledges
- Our church cannot survive without your support!
How can I talk to the pledge team?
Each of us has a different way of thinking about money and the work of the church, and it is important that our pledges feel meaningful, sacred and just right. If you’d like to talk to someone about the vision you want to make manifest, the church budget, or your pledge, email us at [email protected]