Strengthening Our Interdependent Web
Campaign – March 2018
“Generosity and gratitude, both, are about how we use our time, talents and treasures. It is about how the outpouring of those spiritual gifts can reach, touch and transform the world, transforming us in the meantime.” – Fishing Tips, Rev. Dr. John Pentland
Our seventh principle affirms and promotes respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
Westwood’s 2018 stewardship campaign invites you to reflect on our place in that web and ways we can strengthen it.
The campaign features:
- A message from the Stewardship Coordinator- Brenda Jackson
- A message from our Minister, Rev. Anne Barker
- A message from our Board Chair, Lorian Kennedy
For those who prefer paperless communication, we provide Westwood members and friends with the following forms:
- A form for you to make your first pledge or change your existing pledge commitment
- A form for to consider ways in which you can participate or learn about opportunities to volunteer at Westwood
The Dollars and Sense of the Campaign (below) looks at our costs, our income, and our budget. It also provides a guide to determine a ‘Fair Share’ contribution.
Westwood – Dollars and Sense
Strengthening Our Interdependent Web
Stewardship at Westwood – Why focus on generosity?
Our annual stewardship campaign provides each of us an opportunity to think about what we value. Our values are derived from our beliefs, so if we believe we are responsible to care for one another, we may value generosity more than, for example, buying the next item that catches our eye on Amazon. Things that we value tend to get our attention. A campaign which focuses on creating cultures of generosity is about more than fundraising. Check out this article about the benefits of valuing generosity from the University of Notre Dame at: https://generosityresearch.nd.edu/news/48736-what-makes-us-generous/ – accessed January 30, 2017
You’ll be hearing from our Stewardship Chair about opportunities to generously 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 agreed to apply for a casino licence at a congregational meeting in February 2016. Our licence was granted, however, we are still 13-15 months away from working a casino.
Proposed balanced budget – increase in Contributions and Fundraising activities
The proposed budget for 2017 – 2018 maintains current programs, including worship services, religious education, youth programing and Winter Solstice. It includes a 1.1% increase (COLA) for staff, a pay raise for our Administrator based on glowing performance review and the percentage increase that minimum wage earners received in October 2016. The Board is also proposing an increase in our Director of Religious Education’s (DRE) which would bring the DRE to 515 hours per year.
Membership & Friendship
Westwood has 75 members and friends who provide financial and volunteer support to the congregation. Westwood continues to gain a few new friends and members every year, but at the same time, some friends and 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?
The board is once again proposing that 80% of the church’s revenue come from the contributions of members and friends and the remaining 20% come from other revenue streams. The goal is to achieve $129,900 in pledged, supplementary and anonymous contributions. This is a $4,700 increase over what was budgeted for in the 2016 – 2017 church year. The goal for ‘Other Revenue’ is $31,600, $3,200 more than last year. This goal is comprised of $15,000 generated through rental revenue, $15,200 through fundraising efforts and the remainder generated from rebates and interest.
What are our expenses?
Programs: 34% or $54,500 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, membership
Worship: 28% or $44,700 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: 15% or $24,700 includes the administrator’s salary, minister supervision of staff, copying, telephone, internet, maintenance contracts
Outreach: 9% or $15,300 includes Chaplaincy activities at the University of Alberta and in the community
Building Expenses: 9% or $14,000 for building operations (utilities, janitorial services, insurance) and building maintenance
Denominational Fees: 5% or $8000 for CUC membership. As a member congregation in the Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) Westwood contributes $95 per member per year
Total Expenses: $161,000
What’s My Fair Share?
Similar to last year’s stewardship campaign this year’s campaign is based on information found in “Beyond Fundraising: A Complete Guide to Congregational Stewardship” by Wayne B. Clark copyright 2007.
The table below analyzes Westwood’s giving patterns by adding up predicted monthly pledged contributions and dividing the sum by four or into quarters. Once the quartile amount is established the next step is to determine the number of individuals contributing to each quarter group or quartile. At Westwood the first quartile group is comprised of seven individuals who are predicted to contribute $2425 a year for an average monthly donation of $346 per individual. The second quartile group is comprised of 10 individuals who contribute $2393 a year for an average donation of $239 per individual. The third quartile group is comprised of 14 individuals who donate $2276 a year for an average monthly donation of $163 per individual. The fourth quartile group is comprised of 33 individuals who contribute $2306 a year for an average donation of $70 per individual. The table also includes the range within each quartile group i.e. low and high amounts donated.
Please note the numbers below do not include several members and friends who donate sporadically. Their donations are captured under supplementary contributions with a target of $2000 set. The 2017-18 budget also includes a $1500 target for anonymous donations.
Rather than asking each individual to increase her/his donation by a set amount, this year’s request is based on Westwood’s quartile groups. The stewardship committee is asking donors in the fourth quartile group to increase their contributions by $9/month or $108/year. Third quartile group members are asked to increase their contributions by $21/month or $252/year. Second quartile group members are asked to increase their contribution by $29/month or $348/year and the first quartile group to increase by $41/month or $492/year.
Congregational Giving Patterns – Sharing the Responsibility
|Westwood members and friends who donate 25% of the contributions||Proposed Increase|
|Quartile||% of Donors/|
|# of Donors/|
|Average Donation /Month||Range||Current Monthly Donation/Group||Monthly Increase/Group||Yearly Increase/Group|
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.
“In making your decision, consider the four commitment levels below and how they relate to your membership. Consider your UU values in thinking about your income and your financial commitment to the congregation, as expressed in the four levels below. Note that within each commitment level, the guide is progressive, with giving levels rising with capacity.” http://www.uua.org/finance/fundraising/budget as accessed January 30, 2017.
Using the Guide is a simple, 3-step process; giving is a function of commitment and resources.
|Most of us budget our financial commitments on a monthly basis and the guide is organized accordingly, but you may calculate on any time frame that works for you. For convenience, the guide shows monthly and corresponding annual income levels. Determine your monthly income or resource level. $___________|
|ADD to your income level any unusual or periodic income, such as inheritances, business income, anticipated investment income, etc. and the SUBTRACT any unusual expenses, such as large medical expenses, care of a parent, or a large financial expense, etc. Result: $_________ This is your Adjusted Monthly Income.|
Each of us will have our own unique circumstances to consider in making this calculation. The flexibility to include meaningful and unusual exceptions in your financial life (income and expenses) is what makes the Guide fair and useful. This is a tool for you to use in the spirit of the Congregationalist tradition; we are individually and collectively responsible for resourcing our movement and our congregations. This is an honor system; only you know your circumstances.
|From the Adjusted Monthly Income column, move to the right to find a suggested giving level that you are ready to support, between 2% and 10%, depending on adjusted income and level of commitment. Interpolate between guide levels if needed.|
|In making your decision, consider the four commitment levels below and how they relate to your membership. Consider your UU values in thinking about your income and your financial commitment to the congregation, as expressed in the four levels below. Note that within each commitment level, the guide is progressive, with giving levels rising with capacity.|
|· Supporter: The congregation is a significant part of my spiritual and intellectual life that I want to support. My fair share financial commitment starts at 2% of my income and rises to 6% as my income and capacity rise.|
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
Thank you for learning about the ‘Dollars and Sense’ of Westwood. If you have any questions, please contact Treasurer, Colette Orieux, (firstname.lastname@example.org) or other members of the Board (email@example.com).