Annual pledges to St. Paul’s support our parish’s day-to-day operations and its many ministries. Scroll down for answers to some frequently asked questions about pledging, or you may access our Online Pledge Card.
• Why are annual pledges important?
• What is the annual operating budget?
• What is the goal of the annual giving campaign?
• What is a pledge?
• How do I decide how much to pledge?
• Who can pledge?
• Are there giving guides?
• How do I make a pledge?
• Is my pledge confidential?
• When should I return my annual pledge card?
• How can I pay my annual pledge?
• Do I have to pay when I pledge? Can I pay in installments?
• Why should I pledge when I regularly put money in the offering plate?
• I’m not sure what I can afford this year. How can I pledge?
• Can I change my pledge?
• If I have questions about my pledge, whom do I contact?
Why are annual pledges important?
Annual pledges fund the operation of our parish and support all that we do through its many ministries. Your annual pledge is essential if we are to sustain our existing ministries and begin to address our hopes for the future.
The vestry formulates and approves the annual operating budget based on written pledges. Difficult decisions are required each year because needs always exceed pledges. Pledging is critically important because the vestry is committed to a balanced budget.
Planning responsibly is an important part of annual giving at St. Paul’s. In order to allow the vestry to prepare a realistic budget for the upcoming year, it is helpful for pledge commitments to be received before the first Sunday in November.
The parish’s budget is the very tangible way we give witness to our plans to continue Christ’s ministry in the world through St. Paul’s Memorial Church. It is carefully designed to allow the parish to practice responsible stewardship. Generally, 70% of our operating income comes from pledges; 10% comes from non-pledge offerings and seasonal gifts; and 20% coming from our endowment, the Diocese, and rental income. To see a current financial report, please click HERE.
Each fall we collectively and individually make a plan for our ministries for the coming year. Individual or household commitments come first in the form of annual pledges. As a community, we have identified a number of areas that are of particular importance to us and therefore are worthy of the investment of both time and money:
A pledge is a commitment to give a certain amount of money to St. Paul’s during the calendar year. Most people fulfill their pledges in installments, each week or month throughout the year.
Your decision is as personal as your prayer and only you can know what’s right for you – at this stage in your journey, in your current financial circumstances. If you've never pledged, you may want to begin by pledging something and making it part of your weekly spiritual practice. Pledges at St. Paul’s range from $36 per year to $25,000 per year. The average annual pledge is $2400 per year.
There are many ways to give and to serve Christ and His Church. If you are pledging for the first time your might ask yourself, “How can I make contributions of time and money to this community that will help our community of faith to thrive?” Each year parish expenses are impacted by inflation, so it would be helpful if current pledgers considered an increase that would cover the effects of inflation. Adding an additional increase will enable our parish to improve and expand our ministries.
Families and finances are organized in different ways. Anyone, including children, who desires to pledge individually can do so, or you may make a single pledge as a couple or family.
Parishioners are invited to offer their personal financial commitments by filling our a pledge card. Pledge cards mailed out at the beginning of each annual giving season and are always available at St. Paul’s. They may be mailed in or placed in the offering plate on Sundays. Pledges may also be submitted by going to the St. Paul’s web site and pledging online. We request that pledges be submitted by the first Sunday in November in order for the vestry to be able to prepare the annual budget.
Yes, pledges are confidential. Pledges, whether received via mail, in the offering plate, or online, are handled by Martha Webber, St. Paul’s financial secretary. Volunteers and other staff do not see individual pledges. In order to thank parishioners for their commitments, volunteers may be advised as to whether a pledge has been received, but pledge amounts are not shared.
When should I return my annual pledge card?
In order to allow the vestry to prepare a realistic budget for the upcoming year, please make your pledge on or before the first Sunday in November. However, pledges are gratefully received at any time during the year.
How can I pay my annual pledge?
Most people pay their pledge in monthly or weekly payments; however, you may also pay your pledge in full when you make it or you may make payments on any schedule that works for you. The pledge commitment is for the following calendar year. Each quarter, you will receive a statement summarizing your gifts to that point in the year. St. Paul’s is dependent upon pledges to meet our monthly financial obligations; therefore, staying current allows us to respond to our financial obligations in the same spirit that we respond to all other needs.
Non-pledge funds collected each week help support the ongoing life of the parish. However, pledges are very important because they enable us to plan responsibly and to establish an operating budget for the parish for the coming year.
A pledge can be adjusted throughout the year if your circumstances change. We suggest that you pledge responsibly, based on your estimate of the year's income. A pledge can be increased or decreased, if your circumstances change.
If I have questions about my pledge, whom do I contact?
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