Westwood Stewardship

Joyful Giving Campaign – March 2016

 “At the congregational meeting it was said that Westwood is capable of great things. I agree. I also think Westwood is already a great thing – so I am doubling my pledge this year.” Westwood Member

To help our members and friends share in the opportunity to support our congregation, we have developed a Stewardship Campaign.

The campaign features:

This year we are asking all our members to consider their commitment of both money and their talenets and energies.

To do so we have created two online contribution forms:

The Dollars and Sense of the Campaign (below) looks at our costs, our income, our budget and provides a guide to determine my ‘Fair Share’.

Westwood Dollars and Sense – Why give joyfully?

Our annual stewardship campaign is the time to reflect on what matters to us. Things that matter tend to get our attention, and hopefully Westwood matters to each of us. A ‘Joyful Giving’ campaign focuses on more than fundraising. Authentic stewardship is the nurturing and the growing of one’s heartfelt desire to serve. Turns out giving brings joy. Check out this 2013 blog from the World of Psychology: http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/12/22/how-giving-makes-us-happy/ – accessed Feb 15, 2016.

You’ll be hearing from our Stewardship Chair about opportunities to joyfully share your time and talents this coming year. As your Treasurer, I’m focused on the financial side of our campaign. As many of you already know, the Westwood congregation has agreed to apply for a casino licence and undertake a ‘Joyful Giving’ campaign.

Proposed balanced budget – increase in Contributions and Fundraising activities

In the past the, after receiving requests from committees, considering staff workloads and our contractual obligations the board has proposed deficit budgets – three in a row to be exact. We’ve also asked for an increase in contributions ranging from 10% to 15% to offset increased costs. As a congregation we passed these budgets in support of the 120 by 2020 Initiative. Many of us did our best to increase our contributions by the requested amount, however, this approach has failed us. We’ve used up most of our savings, and haven’t substantially increased our membership to offset the deficit.

The proposed balanced budget maintains current programs, including worship services, religious education, youth programing and Winter Solstice. It includes a 1.7% increase (COLA) for staff, an increase of 80 hours of administrative support time over the church year, as well as the cost of two childcare givers for Sunday services.

Membership & Friendship

Currently Westwood has 71 members and 17 friends who provide financial and volunteer support to the congregation. Westwood continues to gain a few new members every year, but at the same time, some members move away or become less active. Westwood also has other friends who are active in the church, but for various reasons have not chosen membership or to make financial contributions.

Where does our revenue come from?

Based on the Joyful Giving Campaign motion passed on February 21, 2016 the board is asking for 80% of the church’s revenue to come from the contributions of members and friends. The remaining 20% will come from rental of the church and fundraising efforts. The goal is to achieve $116,000 in pledged contributions and another $5600 from supplementary pledges and anonymous contributions. This is an $11,000 increase over what was contributed in the 2014 – 2015 church year. A concerted effort to increase other revenue streams is also required to reach the $30,600 goal. The Congregation’s willingness to investigate other fundraising options and apply for a casino licence will assist in this area.

What are our expenses?

Programs: $58,935 or 39%, includes a portion of the minister’s salary and related professional expenses, the director of religious education’s salary and related expenses, childcare expenses, winter solstice, religious education, communication (web site hosting, newsletter), Lay Chaplain, social justice, hospitality, youth group, campus ministry, membership.

Worship: $46,695 or 31% includes a portion of the minister’s salary and related professional expenses, worship speakers, worship accompanists and the choir accompanist as well as other worship expenses.

Administrative Expenses: $24,500 or 16% includes the administrator’s salary, minister supervision of staff, copying, telephone, internet, maintenance contracts.

Building Expenses: 9% or $13,500 for building operations (utilities, janitorial services, insurance), building maintenance and building reserve fund.

Denominational Fees: 6% or $9000 for CUC membership. As a member congregation in the Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) Westwood contributes $95 per member per year.

Savings: 2% or $2600 to replenish our savings account.

Total Expenses: $152,200

WW budget 2016-17

What’s My Fair Share?

The Joyful Giving campaign is based on information found in “Beyond Fundraising: A Complete Guide to Congregational Stewardship” by Wayne B. Clark. This information was shared at the January Congregational meeting and introduced the concept of analyzing congregational giving patterns. Analysis of current pledging indicates Westwood is receiving an average of $8980 per month. To meet the target of $116,000 for 2016-2017 the average monthly amount is $9,700. Does that mean everyone is being asked to increase their pledging amount by a given percentage to reach the target? No. This year’s campaign is based on comparison of Westwood’s giving patterns to the giving patterns of a healthy congregation.

The table below is broken into four groups (quartiles) and provides the average pledge amount for each group, as well as the range within the group (low and high amounts). It includes the number of individuals per group (not pledging/family units) and compares the percentage of individuals within each group to the percentages found in a healthy congregation.

Analysis of the information indicates that Westwood’s top two groups are in a healthy range for both number of pledging individuals and the amount pledged each month. Westwood’s bottom two groups are not falling within this healthy range, and as result a shortfall of $720 per month will experienced. To make up the shortfall 28 individuals from the 60 people within these two groups, are being asked to increase their monthly pledge by an average of $25/month (five lattes) or $300/year. For a family of two contributing adults the amount is $600/year. We realize that not everyone in these groups is in a position to donate more, but those who can are being asked to take a look at the UUA’s Suggested Fair-Share Giving Guide provided below to decide if they can increase their pledge by $5.75 a week ($11.50/week for a family unit).

Congregational Giving Patterns – Sharing the Responsibility


UUA’s Suggested Fair-Share Giving Guide

The UUA’s Suggested Fair-Share Giving Guide offers an interesting perspective to help tackle the question of “how much is right for me?” The guide is progressive i.e. the more you have, the more generous you can afford to be, once your basic needs are met.


2-6% of Income


3-7% of Income


5-9% of Income


10% of Income


Adjusted Monthly Income


Adjusted Annual Income


Suggested % of Income




Suggested % of Income




Suggested % of Income




Suggested % of Income


























http://www.uua.org/finance/fundraising/budget as accessed February 15, 2016.

What do I need to do to pledge or increase my current pledge?

There are two ways you can pledge or increase your pledge. You can complete a paper copy of the pledge form and submit it to me or Elaine. Paper forms will be available at church, or you can print off the form included in the Stewardship Package sent to your email address. You can also complete the on-line pledge form by using this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1CooBxB8JwFyZ3KReK-B80i65Lih7tTqJVGcwRhId_Ck/viewform

Thank you for learning about the dollars and sense of Westwood. If you have any questions, please contact Treasurer, Colette Orieux, (treasurer@westwoodunitarian.ca) or members of the Board (board@westwoodunitarian.ca).