GROW THE GOOD, FUND THE GROWTH: Our 2019-20 Stewardship Campaign
SUMMARY: On February 24th, UU Wellesley Hills officially launched our annual Stewardship Drive with a lunch and presentation by Rev. Kelly immediately after the worship service. This year, we are thrilled to have received a very generous challenge grant from a few families. As a group, these families will match dollar for dollar (up to $25,000) all donations we raise over our base-budget target of $320,000. If we can "catch all the match," we will have $50,000 in additional funds to invest in growing our congregation. That money will be invested over the next two years, primarily in personnel and programming.
Clear Message from the Congregation--We Want to Grow: As part of the Ministerial Search process, we conducted an extensive Congregational Survey. The main conclusion of that survey was that we wanted to grow our congregation and needed a skilled leader to help us do this. We now have that skilled leader in the Rev. Dr. Kelly Murphy Mason and are readying ourselves for the next growth period.
Importance of Multi-Dimensional Growth--“Grow the Good”: We are a religious community and "growth" cannot be measured just with numbers (e.g. new members or budget size). In addition to having more members, we want to grow our ability to inspire and heal each other and the community around us. To use Rev. Kelly's words, we want to be a "spiritual center with a civic circumference" that is widening into the world. At “Launch Sunday,” Rev. Kelly shared her congregational assessment and recommendations for how our matched funds might best be spent to "Grow the Good." Click HERE to read a handout she provided.
Three Pillars of “Infrastructure” Needed: Facilities, Personnel and Programming:
In order for us to “Grow the Good,” we need three types of “infrastructure”: facilities, personnel and programming. The very successful Capital Campaign that we completed three years ago focused on the first — improving our facilities, which have been dramatically enhanced. Moreover, thanks to the generosity of many in our congregation, over the last two years we took steps to provide better compensation for our staff. But we still have much more to do to lay the groundwork for growth in the areas of personnel and programming!
One-for-One Match For Every Dollar Over $320,000: We have the potential to raise an additional $50,000 for New Growth Efforts! Standing Committee has set a fundraising goal for our 2019 Stewardship Campaign of $320,000. Frankly, this is our "maintain the status quo" budget. Fortunately, a few families have pledged matching funds of up to $25,000 for every dollar raised over the $320,000. This match is in addition to their standard annual donations. Thus, we have the potential to raise an additional $50,000 ($25,000 congregational donations over $320,000+ $25,000 match) for growth initiatives. (Click HERE to see a graphic representation.)
Assessing and Addressing Our Personnel and Programming Issues: Rev. Kelly and Standing Committee have spent the past six months analyzing obstacles to our growth. Our Capital Campaign already addressed some of the major issues affecting the physical plant. Now it seems that we need additional funds in order to strengthen the other two pillars in our infrastructure, personnel and programming. Rev. Kelly and our Standing Committee Chair have identified certain staffing issues that must be addressed and introduced those to the congregation in a separate note, which you will find HERE.
Feedback from the Congregation Will Be Welcomed in Advance of Allocating Matching Funds: Assuming that we are able to raise the $345,000 and "catch all the match,” how will we spend the additional $50,000 in growth funds that this $370,000 budget will provide? In drafting the budget, Standing Committee will work in close consultation with Rev. Kelly to determine our personnel needs and devise the staffing structure that works best for us. Feedback will be welcome at the Standing Committee Coffee & Conversation on March 3rd, and Rev. Kelly’s Listening Session on March 17th. Once we have a clearer sense of the amount of “growth funds” raised, Rev. Kelly and Standing Committee will communicate their plans for allocating that money prior to our Annual Meeting in June and invite additional feedback.
NEED FROM YOU — Increase in Your Base Gift PLUS A One-Time Gift to “Catch the Match”: What do we need from you to have a successful Stewardship Drive? In order for us to meet the “Base Budget,” we need the congregation as a whole to increase its giving by 3%. Since some members will not be able to do this, we hope many members will be willing to increase their base donation by 5% over last year’s level. Furthermore, in order for us to “catch all the match” and receive the bonus $25,000, we will need the congregation as a whole to raise another $25,000. This is a ONE-TIME GIFT and would require that we, on average, donate an additional 10% over last year’s donation level. Therefore, unlike prior years, we will be asking you for two pledges this time. The first is your “base pledge,” while the second is a ONE-TIME pledge to catch the match. If we do not hit our fundraising target of $320,000, you will not need to pay this second pledge.
We are very excited about what we together will be able to accomplish this year and look forward to investing the “growth funds” that we will raise. The Stewardship Drive will conclude on Friday, March 22nd with a Potluck Dinner Celebration in Parish Hall. We hope everyone will return their signed pledge forms — with both amounts listed — by Sunday, March 17th. You will find a link to a pledge form at the top of this page.
Stewardship Leadership Committee: David Barnard, Tim Fulham and Peter Stoner
As you think about your pledge to support the annual operating budget of UU Wellesley Hills, please remember that there is another, extremely important way to assure the financial health of our faith community. End-of-life gifts designated for our endowment fund help to grow this permanent asset, which provides income, in perpetuity, for church programs. It is a wonderful and easy way to express your gratitude for what the church has contributed to your life. Please consider joining the forty-one individuals who have already included UU Wellesley Hills in their estate plans and are therefore members of the Planned Giving Circle.
If you would like more information please EMAIL us.
And after you have made your decision to honor the church in this very special way, please let us know of your intentions by filling out the online Planned Giving Circle Form.