What is Pledging? FAQ
What is a Pledge?
A pledge is a promise of financial support for your congregation. We fund our church through pledges of support from each of us, the members of the congregation. Every year we have the chance to review our decision to financially support this community. At this time, members and friends review their budgets, decide how much they can give over the upcoming year, and make a pledge for that amount.
The finance committee adds up all the pledges made in the spring and estimates how much income we will have for the next year. Based on this estimate, they plan a church budget for July through June. In a June congregational meeting, members vote to accept or reject the proposed budget. Most of our income comes from pledges, so the budget is largely based on the amount members have promised to give. That’s why everyone’s pledge is so important.
How does a pledge differ from a pledge payment or donation?
A pledge is promise of financial support for the upcoming year. 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?
Your pledge covers a budget year, which is July through June.
Since our pledge covers one year, we each need to revisit our pledge every year.
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 we ask everyone to review their pledges then. The church’s work in the world requires that many of us increase our pledges annually.
Am I required to pledge
Our covenant affirms that we will “generously support the ministries of the church with time, money, and enthusiasm.” Our 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.
How do I pledge?
It’s easy, and you have choices:
- Fill out a Pledge Form on our website.
- Make a phone call to the church office: 717-393-1733 Ext. 204
- Request to be mailed a paper pledge form.
You can make, review or change your pledge at any time.
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. 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 do I do if I’ve already pledged for this year, but now I want to change the amount pledged?
- You may change your pledge any time. Whether you’re adjusting your pledge up or down, know that we will be grateful for the information, which helps us manage the budget. Know that every gift is valued. If you find your life is taking an unexpected turn, a call to the ministerial staff might be a good step, too.
- To change your pledge, just submit a new pledge form that shows the total amount you wish to pledge for this year’s Pledge Drive. You will get a new confirmation email. Pledge forms submitted through the website are stamped with the date and time of submission. We use the total amount listed on the most recent pledge form submitted, which replaces the amount listed in a previous pledge submission.
Questions? Email our financial manager
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 UU 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.
- 75% of the church funding comes from our pledges
- Pledging members create opportunity for others to access our community resources.
- For a detailed view of the budget, click here.
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