Your Annual Pledge
Every gift is valued and welcome.
We hope you will seriously and joyfully consider what UCWC means to you and your family as you make your financial commitment. We must grow and sustain our support as shared stewards of our mission and our community of faith.
The How and Why of Pledging
Leap into Action
In our congregational vision statement, we declared that we will be a vital, growing and diverse spiritual community. We said we will offer each other love, respect and support, put our UU values in action, take proper care of our UCWC heritage, and expand our reach into the world beyond our doors. Doing all that requires us to stretch beyond where we are today.
Our vision asks us to leap toward a future with more music, more children in religious education, more effort to welcome a wide range of newcomers. It moves us to get further involved with diverse community groups, raise our presence, host more activities, and do more to serve the wider community.
It’s quite a leap – but we can make it. Every dollar you pledge will help us land where we want to be. Thank you for giving to grow our congregation.
With Warmth and Love,
Rev. Dan Schatz, Minister
The generous pledges of members and friends and, to a lesser degree, the success of other fundraisers, determine the amount of financial resources available to our congregation and form the basis of what we can do as a congregation for UCWC and for the wider community.
Making a pledge and following up with regular contributions is the primary way that members and friends give financial support to UCWC. The spring Stewardship Drive is when pledges are solicited from members and friends, but pledges may be made any time during the year.
At the conclusion of the Stewardship Drive a budget is developed for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1. The congregation is asked to approve the budget at the year-end Congregational Meeting.
- Cash. Identify your donation for tax purposes. Cash vouchers & envelopes are available in the foyer.
- Checks. Tip – use your bank’s online bill pay. Great for recurring contributions.
- Investments such as stocks, bonds, and mutual fund shares. Appreciated investments are a wise choice because of tax benefits to the donor.
- Retirement Plan Charitable Distributions. Tip – reduce taxes on your required distribution by having your financial institution issue a charitable distribution check payable to UCWC.
- Donor-Advised Fund Grants.
To make a payment on a pledge, write a check or use your bank’s online bill pay. It should be payable to “UCWC” and specify “Pledge” and Pledge Year (e.g. 2020-2021 Pledge) on the memo line.
Mail checks to the office at 501 High Street, West Chester 19382, attention Income Treasurer, or simply drop them in the collection basket.
All contributions are 100% tax deductible.
- Our congregation started in 1954 as the Unitarian Fellowship of West Chester.
- 21 founding members signed the Membership Book that we still use today.
- We changed our name to Unitarian Congregation of West Chester in 2012.
- Our operating expenses in 1985 were $31,700.
- We now have 200 members and our operating budget is $319,000.
- It costs $1,600 per member or $2,550 per pledging unit to do what we do here at UCWC.
- We’ve come far and have a bright future because of generous members and friends like YOU. Thank you!
It is also possible to give to the UCWC by donating to restricted funds. Restricted funds are earmarked for a specific purpose. These funds are separate from the operating budget (except for the Repair and Replacement Fund) and are funded by special donations and fundraisers. Money donated to one of these funds is kept in the fund until the money is spent for the specified purpose.
There are four permanent restricted funds. Three—the Capital Projects Fund, the Endowment Fund, and the Social Action Trust Fund—are not funded from the annual budget. A fourth permanent restricted fund, the Repair and Replacement Fund for major building repairs, is funded by the annual budget, but may receive gifts.
- Capital Projects Fund. The Capital Projects Fund is a restricted fund that accepts planned and special gifts that will be used to meet the expenses of major improvements to the building and grounds and for major maintenance work.
- Endowment Fund. The Endowment Fund is a restricted fund that accepts planned and special gifts for future needs. The Endowment Fund income will be used for identified special or enduring programs or projects and will not be used to meet the Congregation’s annual operating budget expenses.
- Social Action Trust Fund. The Social Action Trust Fund is a restricted fund that distributes money to social action projects originating in West Chester, PA. Social action groups in our Congregation are encouraged to make recommendations to the Board for granting awards or donations to deserving local social action groups.
- Repair and Replacement Fund. The Repair and Replacement Fund is for non-standard major maintenance and repair of the building or systems within the building not normally anticipated as ongoing annual expenses.
Other Restricted Funds. In addition, the board may create short-term restricted funds for a special purpose. Examples are a fund to buy a new piano or a memorial fund.