***Great news – You can now make online donations to Beacon through the secure Vanco app. Donations accepted for the weekly plate offering and for your annual pledge. Click here to donate!
Update: March 31th, 2020
Stewardship and fundraising supports everything that a faith community does and calls us into deeper connection with each other. Stewardship is more than just planning our congregation’s annual finances and budget. It is rooted in our faith principles and inspires our generous support of Unitarian Universalism, as well as our commitment to Beacon as our congregational home and the place where we seek our vision of a welcoming and loving community.
Social distancing may change how we connect, but we can stay connected just the same. Members of Beacon who have not yet pledged and friends of Beacon who may wish to pledge should have received a letter with a pledge form in the mail. If you did not receive a pledge form click here to download one. Alternatively, you may email the amount of your annual pledge for FY 21 to Dennis at President@beaconuu.com or Ben at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can attach your email to a pledge form to be signed later.
What Does Stewardship Mean At Beacon?
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). Last summer, the Beacon congregation passed a budget with total expected income of $155,710 of which $120,010 was from pledges. The total estimated income for the previous year was $169,237 of which $131,840 came from pledges. The drop was an expected result of the Capital Campaign for our building expansion project.
We are at a precipice with a vision of many opportunities we have not seen before. These opportunities will need the financial support that was available to Beacon prior to the Capital Campaign. Our goal this year should be to recover the from that impact. The chart below represents small increase over the FY 2018-19 Stewardship Campaign.
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. Members and friends will be given an opportunity to complete the attached Annual Pledge Form. Beacon has a mission and it relies on having the funds to meet the budgeted expenditures to achieve those 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 in 2020 and 2021, Beacon will require a budget of at least $160,000. Some members pledge to organizations that speak to their heart in addition to the Beacon congregation based on their income level. Whether you pledge to other charities or just to Beacon, no one is expected to contribute beyond their comfort level. Here are examples of pledge amounts based on a percentage of income levels.
|Income % Pledge||$25,000||$50,000||$75,000||$100,000|
Lower wages and employment opportunities during the previous pledge drive may also have affected the distribution of pledges. Everyone’s efforts are equally appreciated regardless of the pledge amount.
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?
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.