Beacon is a self-sustaining congregation. Our operational budget relies mostly on our annual yard sale, auction fundraising event, and the generous pledges from members and friends of Beacon. We do not receive funding from the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA).
A pledge represents a commitment to support the congregation and the financial health of Beacon. It is not a legal commitment, but more of a moral obligation to fulfill one’s pledge. Beacon relies on having the funds to meet the budgeted expenditures to achieve the goals set by the congregation. The annual budget supports goals in four areas.
- We are fortunate to own our building here in historic Flagstaff, rent free and without a mortgage. However, like any other home, ours requires utilities, insurance, upgrades, and ongoing maintenance to meet our needs.
- In addition to our facilities, we require professional services to minister, manage programs, and outreach that meet the needs of the congregation.
- Members and friends are also very active in standing committees, which receive funding, to engage in community outreach, social justice, and educational programs.
- Finally, any budget needs to provide room for savings to be ready for maintenance contingencies, sabbaticals, and other non-recurring expected and unexpected expenses.
To do church well, Beacon currently operates with a budget of over $160,000 per year. Members are invited to tithe (contribute or give away 10% of household income), such as pledging 5% to the congregation and 5% to organizations that speak to your heart. Friends are also invited to pledge and contribute financially to the congregation. Because there is no required pledge amount, some members are able to pledge more and others pledge less. We believe that this is an equitable way for people of differing financial means to be stewards of our congregation and we encourage those who are able, to do more.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I make a pledge?
Yes. Just click on Annual Pledge Form and print it out. Complete the form and drop it in the collection plate on Sunday morning or send it to:
Beacon Unitarian Universalist Congregation
510 North Leroux Street
Flagstaff, Arizona, 86001-3222
What is our operational budget for?
Our operating budget compensates our staff, maintains facilities, supports Beacon’s programming and outreach, and puts money away for future needs. It also allows us to contribute to the larger Unitarian Universalist movement, including renewing our membership in the Unitarian Universalist Association.
How is the operating budget determined?
Committees and staff provide their budgetary needs to the Finance Committee. The Finance Committee considers requests for funds and proposes the annual budget, based on pledges and estimated returns on the yard sale and auction to the Board. The Board of Trustees presents the budget to the congregation at the Annual Meeting for approval.
How much is a member expected to contribute?
Members should contribute what they are comfortable with. Recent pledges by Beacon members and friends have averaged around $1,500 per donor.
When do I pay what I have pledged?
Pledges apply to a fiscal year. If you become a member prior to June 30, you pay the prorated amount of your annual pledge for the remainder of the current fiscal year. Beacon conducts an annual Stewardship Campaign to update pledges for the coming fiscal year. You will be asked to choose an annual, semiannual, quarterly, monthly, or weekly schedule for planning purposes. Pledges may be paid anytime during the fiscal year until your pledge has been met. Some members like to take advantage of a tax break at the end of the year, others like to make regular payments they can budget on a monthly basis. Regardless of your chosen schedule, your payment is always welcome.
Can I change my pledge?
You can increase or decrease your pledge at any time if your financial conditions change.
Can I specify where I want my money to be spent?
No. Your pledge goes into the general operating budget.
Who knows how much I give?
Beacon respects the confidentiality of all your personal information, including how much you give. Our staff, members of our Stewardship team, the Board of Trustees Treasurer, and the Chairs of the Finance Committee have access to your financial contribution.