Your church needs your help.
If you have not yet made a pledge to support the church in the coming year (July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024), please do so
now. Send in your card or contact Alice Stewart in the church office. Unless you do this, the Board has no way to know
how much money will be available to fund church programs, pay utilities, and compensate our small staff. Even if you
can’t give this year, or choose not to, please just let us know so we can plan accordingly. (email@example.com;
To date, 172 out of 285 households (604) have contributed $439,321 toward our goal of $615,000 (71%).
This is not much different from returns in recent years. What’s changed is the Board’s commitment to presenting a
balanced budget at this year’s Annual Meeting. For too long, the congregation has operated on deficit spending. This
was never responsible, and it is no longer an option. Occasional rentals and fundraisers cover a small portion of the
budget, but this church runs on pledges.
If you have made your pledge, thank you for your generosity. Today we are asking you if you can consider raising it.
This year’s budget is practical, lean and mission–driven, reflecting your longstanding identity as a caring community and a
beacon of progressive values. What matters here?
• your commitment to AMOS, the Trans Lives Festival, and other justice partners
• the OWL curriculum and faith formation for children and youth
• Sunday services, with outstanding music and speakers
• memorials when beloved friends and members are grieving
• responsible care for our landmark building
• programs for adults, gatherings, dinners, and coffee together every single week
• inspiring, reliable ministry with a talented Minister to guide us through our next exciting chapter
To cut any of these would diminish the very identity and the vibrancy of First Unitarian Church.
Your church needs your help. We have got to balance this budget.
Pledges are low right now. They were higher in the past. If you have made a pledge and you are in a position to
increase your gift, please just send an email to Alice Stewart in the office (firstname.lastname@example.org). What we know is
this: the average pledge this year needs to be about $2500. And we rely on pledges much larger than that from those who
can afford to give more, to balance those who cannot.
As I write, ministry candidates are already looking at your materials, thinking about coming here to serve you. From what
I’ve seen this year, you are a remarkable, generous congregation. I tell my colleagues this when they call to ask about
your church. A balanced budget is solid ground, rooting your bright vision in responsible reality. I know you can make
this goal if you want to.
With respect and hope,
Rev. Victoria Safford and the Board of Trustees: Reba Eagles, Sally Merritt, Fern Stewart, LeeAnn Back, Greg Nichols,
Crystal Loving, Jeremy Guenther, Kevin Boeckholt. Andrea LeMeuse
The work we do at First Unitarian can’t happen without the financial generosity of our members and friends. In fact, one of the responsibilities of membership is having an annual pledge, which helps fund the day-to-day work of our church. We also plan for the future of our church through our Endowment Fund and its planned giving opportunities. We invite you to learn more about the ways in which we share our treasure!
The focus of Stewardship Ministry is to nurture and guide our culture of generosity at First Unitarian and lead efforts related to annual giving. We use a pledge drive campaign model.
When you choose to join First Unitarian, we’ll ask you to think about what this church means to you and how you’ll help support our programs and ministry with an annual pledge. To help with your decision, the UUA Fair Share Giving Guide may be useful. When you’re ready, just complete the annual pledge form.
Any time you have questions about your financial support of First Unitarian, please contact us.
The First Unitarian Church Endowment Fund offers planned giving opportunities to help support church goals that are beyond the annual budget. Created in 1987, our Endowment Fund helps make big-dollar projects happen when we need them, and supports smaller efforts through REACH Grants. Currently, our fund is invested in the Unitarian Universalist Common Endowment Fund. Oversight of our fund investments is carried out according to the Endowment Fund by-laws.
We’d be honored to put your generosity to work! There are several ways to support the Endowment Fund:
- A one-time or recurring cash contribution – You may donate online; please select Endowment in the Fund drop-down box. If you prefer to send a check, please be sure to indicate Endowment Fund in the note section of the check.
- A donation of stock or other investment asset – please talk with an Endowment Committee member
- A legacy gift in your will or from a trust or IRA – please talk with an Endowment Committee member
Please let our Endowment Committee know if you’ve made a cash contribution as a memorial gift, for another occasion, or just because you love the church, by completing our Contribution Reporting Form. We want to be able to acknowledge your generosity.
If you have questions or, even better, if you would like to make a planned gift, please reach out to us.
Contact: Marilyn Lantz, Chair | Endowment@ucdsm.org
REACH Grants (Radical Engagement And Creative Happenings) are an ongoing way for our Endowment Fund to support our church’s mission. Each year, up to 2% of the principal value of the Endowment Fund may be tapped to support projects outside of our annually budgeted expenses.
Any member or church group may apply for a REACH grant. Grants are limited to $2,500 and the funds are often used for such things as equipment purchases, educational opportunities or community outreach.
A call for grant applications is typically made in the spring by our Endowment Committee. Applications are reviewed by the committee and the awards are announced in July. Check out the REACH Grant Application Form to get started!