TO: UUSA Members and Committed Friends

The outline of important dates for the Fiscal Year 2025 (FY 25) budget process are as follows:

  1. March 3 – Pledge drive materials delivered (or pledge online – after March 3)
  2. March 3 – Congregational Conversation after service
  3. March 15 – Pledge forms due
  4. March 21 – Budget planning
  5. April 18 – First board meeting on the budget
  6. May 5 – Congregational conversation on the proposed budget
  7. May 7 – Second board meeting on the budget
  8. May 8 – Zoom meeting on the proposed budget at 7:00 pm
  9. May 16 – Final board meeting on the budget
  10. May 26 & June 2 – Warrant is read to the congregation
  11. June 9 – Annual congregational meeting to vote on the budget

By the way, it is not too late to pledge! See: FY 25 Online Pledge Form

INCOME PROJECTION (as of May 27, 2024)

EXPENSE PROJECTION (as of May 27, 2024)

Thanks to everyone who participated in our budget meetings in person and on zoom. As you know, we were initially projecting a $32,769 deficit. Among the ideas we considered to close the gap are:

  1. Reducing staff hours
  2. Reduce or postpone fair compensation adjustments to staff salaries
  3. Reducing or eliminating contribution (dues) to the UUA
  4. Reduce or eliminate proposed Sunday services line
  5. Additional pledge request or fall/winter appeal
  6. Transfer funds from financial reserves

Having carefully considered all of these options, we will be presenting a balanced budget to the congregation on June 9 at the annual meeting, which is required in our bylaws. We achieved this by trimming some expenses, using specified reserve funds whenever possible, making a commitment to a second fundraiser in the fall, and recommending that we move about $13,000 from unrestricted reserves into the annual budget.

Final Budget Recommendation

The following was shared prior to the pledge drive….

Continuing to Invest in Our Future!

In FY’24, we took a big step toward building for our future. Here are some highlights: 

  • We gave our staff an 8% Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) to better align with UUA fair compensation guidelines.
  • We paid off a big chunk of our siding loan with a combination of new pledges and drawing from reserves. 
  • We established a flexible COVID policy to deal with resurgences of that infernal virus. 
  • We re-energized our commitment to social justice during the Social Justice Jubilee.
  • Best of all, we welcomed 17 new members at a time when the majority of congregations are shrinking. 

We chose to invest in ourselves with the FY’24 operating budget, and it has paid off! 

Thanks to the commitment of our congregation and the resilience of our staff, the UUSA feels full of possibility. The vibrant future that we envision for our congregation continues to depend on our willingness to pledge. 

Let’s BUILD on this investment during fiscal year 2025!

See the video below for a summary of our FY’25 budget projections.

Why pledge? What does my money pay for? We do not receive funding from regional or national bodies. In fact, we contribute to them! Every dollar you pledge goes directly to fund the life of our congregation—our staff, our programming and the maintenance of our beautiful building. Every member is encouraged to share in the stewardship that makes our vision for the UUSA a reality. About 75% of our budget relies on your pledges. 

Why do we ask now? We ask for pledge commitments in the spring so that the Board has time to finalize the proposed budget for the coming fiscal year (beginning on July 1, 2024). We also scheduled two congregational conversations in May to discuss it before we vote on it at the congregational Annual Meeting on June 9.

What if I give to the plate? Thank you for supporting the congregation via the offertory during services. This contribution is shared 50/50 with an organization that the Dedicated Offering Committee has elected to support. While we do anticipate – and need – contributions made this way, your pledge now allows us to plan! 

Our challenge: The long-term financial health of our congregation requires both a growth in membership and a growth in average contribution per member. For many years, our budgets have been funded with a heavy reliance on a small number of committed donors. This year, for example, 50% of our pledge income comes from 17 pledging households. This leaves the UUSA vulnerable should any of these donors no longer be able to sustain their level of financial commitment. That is concerning, yet not insurmountable.

So how much should you pledge? We encourage you to pledge based on the Prism of Possibilities! 

Let’s keep investing in our future! With the energy and support of a growing congregation, we can build the sustainable, beloved community that we envision. We are guided by our First Principle, to value “the inherent worth and dignity of every person,” our Second Principle, to support “justice, equity and compassion in human relations,” and our own Bylaws that require us to present “a balanced operating budget in which the income and expenses are reasonably and realistically estimated.” We are asking you to invest in that vision.

This always represents a challenge and a possibility! We know the world needs a vibrant and vital UUSA. The UUSA exists because it has always met this challenge. Thank you! 

Before you decide how much to pledge, please consider our “Prism of Possibilities”!

Online Pledge Form