Stewardship and Pledging
Critical Need for Outstanding Member Pledges
Sustenance and Sanctuary in Challenging Times
(updated April 7, 2022)
Much appreciation for members who have submitted their pledges. Your valued contributions, especially in these challenging times, are very important in the church’s budget next year and its capacity to be the church we want in our lives.
If you have not yet submitted your pledge, to the best of your financial ability, for the church and its value in your life, please do so as soon as possible. The Board of Trustees needs to finalize the budget for next year for presentation at our May congregational meeting. As our pledges represent around 40% of the budget, the significant number of outstanding pledges represent almost $200,000 previously committed to the financial health of UUCB. That number is close to how short we currently are in reaching our campaign goal of $575,000.
Submitting a pledge is very easy. You can do it online at Stewardship and Pledging – Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley (uucb.org) or ask a committee member for a pledge form or talk with a committee member about your value for UUCB and the pledge that is possible for you this year.
We hope all will participate in financially supporting our spiritual community to the best of their ability reflecting their sustenance and sanctuary value for UUCB so we can move forward in these challenging times to sustain and enhance our resilient church community.
Your Stewardship Committee: Patrick Cullinane (Chair), Lynne Cahoon, Selene Fabiano, Ariel Smith-Iyer, David Roberts (Board Liaison), Rev. Michelle Collins, Tess Snook O’Riva (Executive Director)
If you are a new member or you’ve lost or simply not received a pledge packet, have no fear! You can make your pledge for the 2022-2023 church year below or ON THIS LINK.
In an effort to make things as easy as possible, there are lots of ways you can pay your pledge, including some new options:
- Breeze: we also have a secure online payment system through our church database system called Breeze.
- Click here to give directly through Breeze without having to log in or create a profile.
- If you have registered with Breeze, you can log in to your profile to give online.
- If you are not sure if you have a profile, select here to check if you have a profile.
- If you get an error message, or need additional support, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Check the box for “Make this a monthly donation.”
- Cash: Mail to the church office or drop into either the offering plate or through the office door slot in an envelope. Indicate on the envelope your name and that it is for your pledge.
- Check: Mail to the church office or drop into either the offering plate or through the office door slot in an envelope. Don’t forget to write “pledge” in the subject line.
- Stock Transfer or RMD (Required Minimum Distribution) Contact Tess O’Riva, Executive Director for more information.
Every pledge matters; no amount is too small or too large. Only you know how much you or your family can give. And if everyone gives what they can from deep within, UUCB will have more than enough to do the work we are called to do with one another and for our world. Thank you for your generous pledge!
What is a Pledge?
A pledge is a promise to contribute a specific amount of money to UUCB over a specific period of time (typically a church year, which runs from July 1 to June 30). Collectively, pledges paid by the UUCB church community constitute a little over 50% of the income received by the church to fund all church operations.
What is a Pledge Unit?
An individual or family who makes a pledge is referred to as a pledge unit.
Why and when are Pledges solicited?
UUCB operates under an annual operating budget prepared by church leadership and presented to and approved by the congregation at an annual meeting each May. A pledge drive is held in the spring to canvass the UUCB community to pledge their financial support for the upcoming church year. The results of the pledge drive enable church leadership to project the pledge income for the upcoming church year and to set the budget accordingly.
Are church members expected to make pledges?
UUCB Bylaws state that a requirement of membership is an annual “contribution of record.” This can be done by pledging and paying off the pledge over time. Contributions can also be made, when possible, at any point in the church year. Be sure to mark the contribution with your name and as a contribution to UUCB. If financial constraints preclude doing either of these things, please reach out to one of the ministers so that you may be excused from pledging.
Do I need to be a member of the church to make a pledge?
No; we hope everyone who calls the church their own will want to financially support the church and make a pledge.
What about changes to or questions about my pledge?
Yes; you can make a change to your pledge at any time. Just let Anne Greenwood know (email@example.com or 510-215-6620).
Does all of the money I give to the church count towards my pledge commitment?
All money specifically marked as a pledge payment will be applied towards your pledge commitment. Cash and unspecified checks placed into the offering plate and other contributions made that are not labeled as a pledge are considered general gifts. Please be sure to note “pledge payment” on the memo line of your check, or choose “pledge payment” when paying by credit card. If you pay in cash, please be sure to fill out a pew envelope (also available in the office to the left of the Office Administrator’s door) so it will be applied as a pledge payment to your account.
What happens to unpaid pledge commitments at the end of the church year?
Each church year ends on June 30. In early to mid-June, the church sends out a pledge status to each pledge unit, and adjusts pledges per the feedback received. If someone states that some/all of the amount owed will not be paid, that pledge is adjusted accordingly. If no feedback is received, future payments are applied to the unpaid pledge commitment until it is fully paid off.
2018 Tax law and Charitable Deductions
The new standard deduction may not enable itemized deductions for charitable contributions. Individuals age 70 1/2, who are doing required minimum distributions (RMD) from their IRAs, may be able to make a direct transfer charitable contribution (pledge) to the church from their RMD and lower their taxable adjusted gross income. For individuals not doing an RMD, a charitable donor advised trust or other options may be appropriate. Interested individuals should check with their tax preparer and/or legal counsel.