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.
If someone had told me twelve months ago that a congregation could not only survive, but thrive without being able to meet in person for over a year, I would have laughed out loud. But that’s exactly what we’ve done – celebrating, grieving, worshiping, learning, and even singing together, across miles and over computer screens. It has been a tough but amazing year, and we’re ready to look to the future.
As we emerge anew in the coming year, our pledges of financial support are more important than they have ever been. Much of our non-pledge income remains uncertain, and we know some of our members are struggling. If you are able, I hope you will consider increasing your pledge, and if you are new to our congregation or not currently pledging, I hope you will make a pledge.
Together we can emerge stronger than ever.
With warmth and love,
Rev. Dan Schatz
The generous pledges of members and friends, especially while our fundraisers, rentals and plate donations are uncertain, determine the 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.
- Grants from Donor-Advised Funds.
To contribute toward a pledge, write a check, use our giving portal, or use your bank’s online bill pay.
CHECKS: Checks should be payable to “UCWC” and specify “Pledge” and Pledge Year (e.g. 2021-2022 Pledge) on the memo line. Mail checks to: Income Treasurer, Unitarian Congregation of West Chester, 501 South High Street, West Chester, PA 19382, or simply drop them in the collection basket.
PAY PORTAL: To pay through our convenient giving portal, click here, and select “Stewardship Pledge” among the choices.
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 199 members and our operating budget is $321,300.
- It costs $1,615 per member or $2,650 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.