Each fall, the Stewardship team invites University UMC to reflect and rejoice in God’s blessings as we renew our commitments to support ministries, missions, services, staff and facilities so that we can continue our mission of transforming lives by loving God, serving others, and building Christian community.
To engage in Stewardship is to honor God's blessings through our own generosity of time, abilities, and resources.
This year’s campaign, “Neighbor, Oh Neighbor: Are you all in?” is an invitation to make the world a better place by investing in the missions and outreach at University UMC. Together, we can strengthen our love of God, serve others, and build Christian community under our roof, in our backyard, and in the world by asking, “How can University UMC make the world a better place if we go all in?” We hope you are inspired to sustain the foundation that makes our work possible by pledging your expected annual financial contribution.
Frequently Asked Questions
Each fall, we reflect and rejoice in God’s blessings as we renew our commitment to support University United Methodist Church through our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness. As part of this annual stewardship campaign, we prepare our ministries for the coming year by providing an estimate of the amount we expect to contribute. This is the pledge commitment we ask supporters to provide so we can plan our programs and ministries wisely. Make your pledge here.
“Neighbor, Oh Neighbor: Are you all in?” is an invitation to make the world a better place by investing in the missions and outreach at University UMC. Together, we can strengthen our love of god, serve others, and build a Christian community under our roof, in our backyard, and in the world by asking, “What does University UMC look like if we go all in?” We hope you are inspired to sustain the foundation that makes our work possible by pledging your expected annual financial contribution.
To continue our work in 2018, University UMC needs to raise $1,530,000 in contributions to the general fund. This represents an increase of 3.0%, or approximately $44,000, over the projected contributions in the 2017 budget.
We need your help! No matter how you are currently giving to University UMC – pledged, unpledged, through automatic, texting, loose offering, etc. – please submit an updated pledge for 2018 and consider increasing your total annual gift. If you are not currently giving to the church, please consider submitting a pledge and making a contribution as you are able to help support our many ministries, programs and outreach efforts.
- Prayerfully reflect. Consider the positive impact you have on so many lives through University UMC, the impact the church has on you and you family, and the legacy of impact you envision for our church in the future. If able, please increase your pledge so we can reach our financial objectives and continue to grow our programs and missions.
- Submit your pledge before November 19. You can return the pledge form that was mailed to you, pledge online, or call the church office at 919-929-7191. Please submit a pledge even if you are already making automated contributions. Doing so helps us confirm that you intend to continue your contributions, and we hope you will also use the opportunity to increase your support.
- Encourage and remind. Help others remember to pledge, such as your Sunday school class, church committees on which you serve, and any life groups in which you participate.
The annual campaign ends Sunday, November 19. We encourage everyone to submit a pledge by that date so that our Finance Committee can make spending decisions and approve a final budget before January 1.
How much you give is a personal matter to be determined through prayer and reflection. The Biblical tithe of 10% of income is an act of discipleship to which all Christians are encouraged to aspire. The Book of Discipline directs United Methodist churches to “find . . . creative ways to turn their congregations into tithing congregations with an attitude of generosity.” (Book of Discipline, ¶258.4) Some tithe and some do even more. Many give all they can but are not yet able to tithe. Know that all gifts in any amount are gratefully received, and all persons are loved by God and by us, no matter how much one may give.
If you are already tithing, we hope you will consider increasing your pledge this year to help us implement our plans for next year. If you are not yet tithing, please consider working toward the tithe by making a pledge based on an increase of one percent or more of your income. For example, if you are now giving 5% of your income, consider increasing it to 6% next year. If you are giving a fixed amount each year, please consider making a pledge based on increasing that amount by 1% of your income. If you do that each year, you will soon reach the 10% tithe.
If you are not giving regularly, please consider doing so through a pledge commitment. You will find that giving can produce more value for the giver than the amount given.
Of course! We welcome your gift at any time, with or without a pledge. If you would like your contribution applied to immediate needs this year, you need not do anything special. If you would like to contribute this year but to have your contribution applied to next year’s general fund and counted toward the pledge goal, please note on your check or in the online gift form that your contribution is “For the 2018 General Fund” and we will treat it as a prepaid pledge for 2018.
Yes. If you need to revise or cancel your pledge at any time during any year, please contact the church office.
You can make payments by check if you wish. Please note on the check that it is for your pledge. We encourage you to use online banking to set up a regular payment from your account, or you can complete an electronic debit authorization form and return it to the church office. You can also make payments by credit card through the church website. Click on “Give” at the top of the page or at this link.
We welcome your gift at any time, with or without a pledge, but pledges help us more wisely use the financial resources you provide. They enable the Finance Committee and our business staff to prepare more accurate forecasts and to make better spending decisions as we implement plans for the year.
A crucial distinction lies between gifts to our general fund and gifts to designated or restricted funds. Designated or restricted funds typically support shorter-term ministry efforts like choir tours and mission trips or special capital needs. The general fund is the foundation upon which all ministries stand and provides the financing needed for our staff and clergy and to operate and maintain our facilities. While both types of giving are important, only gifts to the general fund sustain the foundation of our church’s ministries and ensure our overall health.
The endowment funds were established to receive gifts and bequests to sustain the future programs and missions of the church. Unlike the general fund, in which all gifts are immediately available, endowment funds are invested to generate income to support the long-term financial needs of the church. As of December 2016, the total value of existing endowments was $1,948,851. Each year, five percent of the fair value of the funds are made available for distribution the following year in accordance with the terms of each endowment. These distributions provide additional financial support for the church’s budget including worship, facility improvement, children’s ministry, youth programs, music, emerging ministries and missions.
All who are interested in sustaining the University UMC ministries in the future are invited to participate at any giving level. If you would like to learn more about giving to endowment funds, please contact the church office or note your request on your pledge form and a member of the Endowments Committee will contact you.
In 2016, the most recent full year, total expenses were $1,876,137 while receipts (including funds released from restrictions) totaled $2,005,374. Unrestricted contributions to the general fund, including pledge payments and unpledged giving, represented $1,545,183, or 77% of the total receipts. The balance represents income from designated and temporarily restricted funds and endowment distributions. This amount includes, for example, funds raised for specific mission outreach efforts and programs and funds collected through special offerings.
Pledged giving represents the major source of funds. In the 2018 preliminary budget, achieving the pledge goal of $1,346,000 would generate an estimated 88% of general fund contributions. When viewed in the context of total income for the most recent full year, 2016, including amounts received from designated and restricted funds and from endowment fund distributions, pledged giving represented 62% of all receipts.
After pledged giving and direct program support through designated and restricted funds, the next major funding source is unpledged giving. For 2018, based on our current year’s experience, we are forecasting unpledged giving of $180,000. The amount of unpledged giving is difficult to predict with accuracy. We try to estimate it conservatively but could experience shortfalls if our estimates prove overly optimistic. That is why pledges are so important to the process. When members make pledges to the budget we can estimate receipts more accurately and make commitments to support our ministries; when members give without making a pledge we can only guess about what we may receive and must limit our commitments to those we believe we can fulfill.
An additional source of funding comes from the church’s endowment funds. In 2016, the endowment funds distributed $94,125, with the majority designated for maintenance expenditures in accordance with the fund terms. Five percent of the fair value of the endowment funds at the end of each year is made available for designated purposes during the following year.
370 households pledged to give in 2017. The median pledge was $2,000. The average pledge was $3,548.
The church prepares annual financial statements that are audited by a public accounting firm. Following the conclusion of the audit, the Finance Committee meets with a representative of the firm to review the statements and the report of the auditors. Any member may obtain a copy of the most recent audit report and the associated financial statements upon request to the church office. Members may also obtain the current year and proposed annual budgets that have been approved by the Finance Committee. Anyone with questions regarding the budgets, financial statements or financial reporting and management is encouraged to contact our Minister of Administration, Michael Saunders, or our Finance Committee chair, David Ammons.