How UUCB Works Financially
UUCB – like all UU congregations – is an autonomous member congregation within our Association of Congregations (UUA = Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations).
We do not receive any money from the denomination. This means that ALL the money that it costs us to operate, we raise ourselves.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO OPERATE?
Our operating budget for 2016-17 is $1,153,525. This pays for our staff (Senior Co-Ministers, Director of Administration, Director of Family Ministry, Office Administrator, Music Director, Organist, Section Leaders, Youth Choir Director, Scheduling Coordinator, Family Ministry Assistant, Facilities staff, Childcare providers), our building costs, equipment (copier, computers, sound systems, etc.), utilities (lights, gas, sewage, phones, internet, water, etc.), supplies and other costs for running programs (music, worship, religious education, etc.), and our support of denominational services (to help the UUA offer programs and guidance, provide curriculum, and spread a wider voice in the religious landscape).
HOW DO WE GET MONEY?
UUCB – like all other UU congregations – raises money in one of five ways:
UUCB usually raises approximately 33% of its income by renting out its space to other groups (community groups, weddings, memorials, etc.). During fiscal 15-16 we experienced a five-month vacancy for the school, and about 90 days in community rental reduction due to capital projects, so overall rental income was reduced to 23% of income. Rental income usually covers day-to-day expenses of operating the building, but not big expenses like the mold removal and renovation of the Safir Room or the ongoing tree removal project! That means members are getting a “free” building, since we also do not have a mortgage, and are only paying for ministry, music, religious education, and administrative costs.
Fundraisers and Program Activities
UUCB raises approximately 10% of its income by holding fundraisers (auctions, holiday fairs, concerts, jewelry table, etc.) and offering programs, such as Wisdom Workshops and the Book Table.
UUCB relies on pledging from Members and Friends to account for nearly half of operating income. Unpledged donations will usually supply another 5% of income. This year members’ pledges and donations were about $600K. This is really the core of our income, and has increased in recent years because of the generosity of our pledgers and the work of our stewardship team in showing the importance of this.
UUCB raises less than 2% of its revenue from Sunday collections (after giving away half of the plate to other local agencies in the social justice field).
We also draw about 6% of our revenue from our endowment ($65,000). In an ongoing effort to increase our sustainability in our current facility, the board has continued to earmark a portion of endowment revenues toward providing a fund to support maintenance and upkeep of our nine-acre campus and buildings.
Last year we had approximately 375 members (as of Feb 1, 2016) and received 205+ pledges from member and friend families. Our challenge goal last year raised overall pledging significantly, and we need to sustain those levels. This works out to about a $2,534/year ($203/month) as the average, or $1600/year ($133/month) as the median. The highest pledge we received was $23,000 (doubling last year’s pledge). The lowest was under $20. To meet our budget we need to sustain these averages and raise them if possible. Our membership is still under 400 as of Feb 1, 2017. Additionally, if we consider adding in the unfunded maintenance reserve it comes out to $2250 per member ($4,350 per pledging household). Sobering numbers, but this is our reality, and knowing it is the first step to changing it! Let’s do it!
We ask people to pledge or donate from 2 to 10% or more of their adjusted gross income. As one friend put it – we are asking for a gift from you that is SIGNIFICANT to you; a gift that is an expression of the value you place on what this church offers in the world, in the community, in your spiritual and family life.