What are we going to spend our money on?
Let’s look at the proposed church budget for 2017-2018.
On the revenue side the only significant change from last year is that to balance this years proposed budget the pledge donations have to increase by $59,000.
On the expenses side there are a number of increases:
- The mortgage increases by $4,890 to allow the installation of parking lot lighting and storm sewers this year as part of our long term plan to pave the parking lot.
- The projected increase in payroll expenses next year will be $39,270. This increase comes from 2 sources: the hiring of a new settled minister and the implementing of Lifespan Religious Exploration programming. The Ministerial Search Committee recommends we respect Canadian Unitarian Council Fair Compensation Guidelines, and be prepared to increase our budget line for ministerial compensation significantly. With Board approval we have budgeted for this. Lifespan RE programming will be implemented by hiring an RE Assistant rather than increasing the DRE’s hours, at a cost of $7436. As well it is proposed that the DRE compensation package increase to bring it in line with fair compensation standards. It should be noted that our DRE is recognized for her skills across North America.
- The administration line increases by $4,100. The most notable increase here is the $1735 required for software. There are also expected to be $500 increases in each of postage, banking and website maintenance expenses.
- The only other significant increase is in the program expenses. Here the increase is $6300 with the major items being: youth leadership ↑$1700, child care ↑$1800; and social justice, pastoral care and choir music each requesting $500 increases.
How much should I give?
The proposed budget reflects our dynamic church potential. It also asks us all to think carefully about our church, our values and our money. A new settled minister and new lifespan religious exploration programming are very worthwhile. But you may be asking, “Can I give more money to the church?” It is important for each of us to examine where we are spending our money, and ask ourselves if we are spending in a way consistent with our values. For those of us with limited income and only a little discretionary spending the options are limited. For those of us with higher incomes and much more discretionary spending the choices can also be difficult. In trying to decide how much to share you may find the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Giving Guide helpful. This document lays out suggested ranges of giving dependent on income and level of commitment to the church. http://www.uua.org/sites/live-new.uua.org/files/fair_share_contribution_guide.pdf ). On the following page the Giving Guide has been adapted into two graphs which show suggested pledge ranges for various income levels.
In order to reach our pledge goal this year we need as many pledges as possible to be at or near the top range for our income levels. Please give this careful consideration. Last year’s average pledge was $1880. To meet this year’s pledge target the average pledge has to be $2303. For many people this is not an attainable amount, so following the Giving Guide is a fair way to attain our goal.
Tax advantages to giving
The federal government offers very favourable tax advantages to promote charitable giving. There is a government web site where it will give the exact tax credit for any given charitable donation. The web site is (http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/dnrs/svngs/clmng1b2-eng.html ).These tax credits work out to approximately $440 for every $1000 donated. The table below indicates the approximate tax credit for various donations and the actual cost of the donation.
How do I pledge?
After looking at the graphs and deciding what to pledge please go to the church website and pledge online (http://uuwinnipeg.mb.ca/home/pledge-campaign). We are hoping this year to have 85% of pledging done online. If you prefer to pledge by paper, we will have pledge forms available at the church. As well pledge forms will be sent by email and snail mail for those not on email. It is time for our generosity to be put into action.