5/16/24 Budgets & Pledging

One of the purposes of pledging, besides our own need to make a commitment and follow through, is to provide the Finance Team with guidance on how much pledging income they will have to work with in our next year budget. Pledge Income is roughly 90% of our budget. And we have a good idea of other income streams, which includes the plate, rent income, interest income, and for this year, utility reimbursement from the Tatarenkos.

The expenditure side of our budget has a number of knowns, including 3% COLA raises for our staff of one year or more; increase in insurance and other contractural obligations. But this year, in particular, we also expect to negotiate a salary for our new settled minister. The Conference provides guidelines that we aspire to. If we wish to attract the minister we all dream of, we must be generous, for ministers have many churches to choose from.

Also, the Personnel Committee has advised that we should expand our Business Manager role to a Church Administrator, with additional hours, responsibilities, authority, and salary. This will also be attractive to a future minister, as administration is usually not a favored activity of most ministers. If we can offload some of that burden, we look even more attractive and will have a minister with more time to focus on Worship & Pastoral Care & Leadership Development, etc. This, of course, also requires more funds.

I have a draft budget (yet to be approved) that will require $300,000 in pledge income to allow for us to afford all of this. After last year, this is a big ask. It is 20% growth in Pledge Income. But we are also hoping for 10 new pledge units—so some growth from new pledgers and some from an increase in pledging. We have 15 new members in the past year and many other new to our church on a regular basis.

I know that for some folks, growth in pledging is not possible. I would never ask you to give more than you are capable of giving. But there are some of us who give to the church and to other good and worthy organizations. As you consider your giving, I hope you will consider this big need of our church for the coming year, and stretch a little! Or if you have never pledged before, consider this opportunity for giving.

There is also a time need, as we need to approve of a budget at the Annual Meeting, so that we can pay our staff in July.

Thank you for your prayerful consideration of your pledge for the 2024-25 fiscal year that begins July 1st.

PS. If you are curious as to what others pledge to this church, check out my blog of last week, where I provide that data.