Annual Giving Drive
Generosity can change our lives. We talk about this every week when we introduce our offering. When we give, we align ourselves with our values. We say yes to those things that matter most in our lives and in our community. As Unitarian Universalists, we are in the business of changing lives. We have committed ourselves to this fellowship to create wholeness, healing, and transformation in the lives of this community, and in the wider world. When we give, we say YES to that vision, mission, and possibility, YES to being co-creators in that transformation.
Sixty years ago this year, a committed crew of freethinkers and spiritual seekers established the Boise Unitarian Fellowship as a religious organization in the Treasure Valley (adding Universalist to our name in 1968). They had no building and no minister but believed in the vision of a liberal religion without dogma. A community that welcomed spirited inquiry and a search for truth and meaning. A place that offered connection and exploration and a people who valued justice and being of service.
Sixty years later their vision and legacy has grown into a thriving, vibrant, spiritual community. Together we thrive because of the generosity of our members and friends pledging their time, talent, and resources to create the beloved community within, among, and beyond our walls! As we begin our Annual Giving Drive during this pandemic crisis, we’d like to thank you for your continuing support for our spiritual home, for your commitment to each other and for living out our UU faith in the world. Together we thrive!
What Is the Annual Giving Drive (AGD)?
Each spring, during our Annual Giving Drive, Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (BUUF) asks its members and friends to make a promise of financial support (a Pledge) for the coming fiscal year. Our Annual Giving Drive (AGD) provides the funds that make the life of our fellowship possible.
Finances are important during this Annual Giving Drive (AGD) season, but our real goal is to give everyone an opportunity to reflect on:
* what brings you here,
* what keeps you coming back,
* the commitments both personal and spiritual we are all held to here,
* and the spiritual practice that is giving joyfully.
This fellowship belongs to each of us and it is supported almost entirely through the annual pledges of its members and friends. This year’s Annual Giving Drive (AGD) celebrates the theme of “Together We Thrive.” At BUUF we recognize the value of supporting, sustaining, and investing in our spiritual home as a reflection of how we live out our vision and mission; supporting one another to bring more fully alive the spirit of love.
Kick-off Service ~ April 11th, with special musical guests, Emma’s Revolution!
Celebration Sunday ~ April 25th, with special music and festive connection
ONE Virtual Worship Service at 10:00am!
Annual Giving Drive FAQs
What Is a Pledge?
A pledge is a promise to donate a certain amount of money to the church operating budget during the fiscal year (July 1 to June 30). It is a statement of intent; it is not a legally binding obligation. Do not hesitate to pledge generously even if you are uncertain about your financial situation. Pledges can be adjusted in times of shifting resources.
Is a Pledge like a Membership Fee?
No. Many of us are members of KBSX, the ACLU and other organizations; but BUUF membership is different. Members and friends rely on the fellowship to provide worship and religious education for us and our families. Additionally, we count on the fellowship to be here for us in other intensely personal ways: when we celebrate, when we grieve, and when we work for justice. Boise UU Fellowship strives to build a Beloved Community which supports us throughout our lives. The Annual Giving Drive is the time of year when we ask that you consider what financial support you will offer the fellowship to sustain our home and our important work.
Who Should Pledge?
Members* who sign the membership book, as well as non-members and friends of the fellowship are all invited to pledge. If you have found worship, peace, joy, solace, justice and support here, do not hesitate to make a pledge. Pledges allows us to extend more peace, more joy, more love to more people in our community and beyond.
Do I Have to Pledge*?
Making and fulfilling an annual pledge deepens our faith and sustains BUUF for the benefit of us all and the wider community we serve.
*To be a voting member and receive a ballot, you must sign the Membership Book and fulfill a pledge each year. This requirement is a reflection of our shared responsibility to sustain the fellowship.
When Should I Make My Pledge?
We welcome your pledge anytime. Traditionally each spring, our members and friends are asked to make a financial pledge to support the work and mission of BUUF for the coming fiscal year. We call this the Annual Giving Drive (AGD).
New Members and friends who join BUUF at other times of the year are invited to make a financial pledge for the REMAINDER of the current fiscal year.
How Much Does It Cost to Run the Fellowship?
Our normal** annual budget is about $370,000 — pledges and gifts account for almost 85% of that budget — which “keeps the lights on” for our building and beautiful grounds, supports our staff, and pays for the rich array of programs we offer.
How Much Should I Pledge?
Everyone’s circumstances are different. We recognize and deeply embrace the financial diversity of our congregation. To make this a fellowship for all, we ask those who are able, to carry a greater financial commitment to our beloved community.
The standard, set by our Board of Trustees, asks congregants to “pledge generously within their means.” Or, as one congregant describes it, “Give until it feels good.” We each are asked to reflect on what that amount might be.
It might help individuals and families to know that our 2020 fundraising goal is $385,000 (an average pledge of $1,650 per household.) Below is the UUA fair share giving guide which you might use to contemplate how much you should give.
Is There a Minimum Annual Pledge?
There is no minimum annual pledge. All levels of giving are welcome.
Can I Pledge to a Specific Program or Fund Instead of to the Operating Fund?
The AGD is in support of the Annual Operating Fund is our yearly effort to fund the programs and activities of BUUF. Non designated giving is necessary to fulfill the operating budget and ensure that the fellowship runs properly from every angle. General Operating funds are distributed to worship, programming, facilities, operations and other needs as determined.
All special designated gifts are welcome and appreciated. However, such gifts are not considered part of the AGD for the General Operating Budget . If you wish to make a special designated gift, please contact the Director of Administration.
How Will My Pledge Be Used?
Pledges and gifts account for almost 85% of the fellowship’s operating budget each fiscal year. Our normal** annual budget of over $370,000 “keeps the lights on” for our building and grounds, supports our staff, and pays for the rich array of programs we offer.
What Are My Payment Options?
Pledge payments can be made on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual basis using any of the following payment methods:
- Automatic Donations- You can set-up automatic donations through our online banking system, Vanco. You can choose either an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) direct from your checking account (no fees), or a secure payment with a debit/credit card (3% fee charged to the church). Click HERE to set up a new automatic withdrawal or to make changes to your existing gift.
- Bank Bill Pay (congregant initiated)- You, the congregant, can set-up a regular payment to the fellowship using your personal bank’s Bill Pay feature through online banking.
- Check or Cash- Many of our congregants choose to mail in checks or drop checks and/or cash in our Sunday plate. Just make sure your name and the word “pledge” is indicated somewhere on your check or use a giving envelopes from the seat back pockets and mark it “pledge’ with your name. Checks may also be mailed to the church office: 6200 N. Garrett St., Garden City, ID 83714
- Gifts of Stock or RMD (Required Minimum Distribution from an IRA)- Several members choose to pay their pledge through gifts of stock or RMD. Please email the Board Treasurer for details about these specific payment options.
What If I Cannot Pay My pledge?
Financial hardship should never be an obstacle to fellowship participation. Through good times and bad, we are all in this together! If you need to make adjustments to your annual pledge, no paperwork to fill out, no eligibility requirements, no problem. Just a quick conversation with the Minister or Director of Administration and they will be happy to help.
Is My Pledge Tax Deductible?
Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Inc. is a non-profit, tax exempt church according to Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3). BUUF will provide end-of-year contribution reports showing total contributions made in the calendar year. Please consult a tax advisor for questions regarding charitable contributions.
Can Plate Offerings Be in Place of Pledging?
While gifts of all kinds and amounts are appreciated, unpledged monies put into the plate on Sundays are not enough to sustain the fellowship’s operations. In fact, Sunday offerings represent just 7% of BUUF’s income and are shared with our monthly Plate Partners.
If you prefer to make your donations via check and/or cash in the Sunday plate, please make sure your name and the word “pledge” is indicated on the giving envelope located in the seat back pocket.
What About the Time I Spend Volunteering?
Members and friends of the fellowship are encouraged to give regularly of time and talent as volunteers. Without our volunteers doing much of the fellowship’s important work in the world, our paid staff budget would be much higher. But the fellowship also requires financial support in order to fund our many programs and pay our bills. Volunteered time is highly valued in its own right, but it will never replace the need for financial contributions.PLEDGE FORM
I Still Have Questions, Who Can Answer Them?
Please contact the Director of Administration – Rachel Strong, or Stewardship Chairperson– Lee Stigle, by email and they will be happy to help. The fellowship office number is 1-208-658-1710. Office hours: Tuesdays – Thursdays 10am – 3pm and Fridays 10am – 2pm.