As applied to our fellowship, financial support expresses all of these aspects of stewardship because it allows the management and planning that creates everything that we find here - from children’s education to our liberal religious experience; from outreach and the maintenance of our facilities - to our music on Sunday mornings.
Stewardship does not happen by accident. It depends on the acknowledgement that a personal relationship with the UUFC is important to each of us and that we have a personal commitment to protect it and preserve the values that make it important.
For many, the act of giving is itself a spiritual practice. It can be a transformative experience to give back of our financial resources to this congregation that has given us so much, to put our money where our hearts are, to support our values and our mission. It is only through our shared generosity and giving that we are able to create the vibrant, joyful, dedicated, beloved community that we celebrate here at UUFC.
We are a generous congregation. Through our generous giving we support the mission and vision of UUFC. We give what we can with joy and enthusiasm because we are UUFC and we know that we matter and that we make a difference within and beyond our walls.
Why We Pledge
UUFC is a totally self-supporting congregation, which means that every aspect of our religious life together is financially supported by us – the members and friends of UUFC. As we work together to fulfill our mission, it is important to gather the necessary funds to pay for the programs and work of the church, including worship and music, children’s and adult religious education, pastoral care, our social justice projects, and new ministries. The UUFC also needs to cover the salaries of the ministers and staff and for the operation and maintenance of our facilities.
All members and regularly attending friends are asked to make a financial pledge to UUFC in accordance with their resources and circumstances. A pledge is simply an estimate of what each person or family will give over the coming year. No matter what each is able to give, it is certain that all pledges, of whatever amount, are needed.
Every pledge is welcome and appreciated. Imagine what your own act of generous giving will do toward our shared mission! It takes every one of us to support the mission of UUFC and our beloved community.
What Is A Pledge?
A pledge is a promise to donate a certain amount of money to UUFC during its fiscal year, which runs from January 1 through December 31 of any given year.
All pledges go into the UUFC’s Operating Fund and are disbursed in accordance with the approved budget for that year.
Make Your Pledge!
Simply complete and return a pledge form, available in the annual October Canvass Letter, print the online form, or contact the UUFC Office at email@example.com for further assistance.
Return your completed and signed pledge form to a member of the Stewardship Team, Financial Council or Board of Trustee, drop it in the Sunday collection basket, or mail it to:
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Clemson
Attn: Stewardship Team
230 Pendleton Road
Clemson, SC 29631
What Can We Do With Your Contribution?
Sustain Our Community
Maintain & Sustain our Faclilities
Encourage Intellectual & Spiritual Growth
Support Our Music & Arts Programs
Reach Out to Members in Need
Sponsor Events that Open Minds & Hearts
Expand Our Outreach & Social Justice Efforts
Welcome Our Diverse Community Into Our Fellowship
How Much Should I Pledge?
Consider what UUFC means to you and its importance in the larger world. Then choose the pledge amount that feels both right and generous. Keep in mind that with each year expenses rise with inflation and increases in your contribution are welcome.
The Fair-Share Guide, a tool provided by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and adapted for UUFC.
It suggests three levels of giving, in relation to annual income.
In general, we ask that you seriously consider an annual pledge of 5% of your annual household income. We understand that we all have varied circumstances. If 5% is simply not possible, please contribute an amount that is significant for you, representing your commitment to UUFC, to your personal growth, and to relationships within the community.
Planned giving is an important way to be stewards of our great liberal religious heritage. It is the act of planting the trees to provide shade for future generations.
Giving is one of life's great satisfactions, especially when you know that your gifts will improve the lives of others. Your gifts may be made in remembrance of loved ones, or to honor a special occasion or special person.
Most gifts received by UUFC are made without restrictions as to how they will be spent. Unrestricted gifts are preferred, and allow UUFC to apply the donation where the support is most needed. However, gifts for special purpose are also welcomed.
Ways To Give:
Gifts Given During Your Lifetime
Bequests Made In Your Will
Annuities that provide you lifetime income
Designating UUFC as the beneficiary of an insurance policy, retirement, or bank account
What is planned giving?
Planned giving is a thoughtful way of making a charitable donation that helps the church and also helps the donor. It usually is done with long-term benefits in mind.
Why should I make a gift to UUFC?
People have different reasons for making gifts – to honor a loved one, to express appreciation, or to enable new opportunities. People who make gifts to UUFC appreciate what this community has meant to them, and want to see our liberal religion endure and thrive.
How can I be sure that my gift will be wisely used?
In most cases, donors have worked hard for what they have and want to leave a legacy. They give willingly, but want to know that their gifts will have a lasting impact. Our Board takes such gifts very seriously for the long-term good of UUFC, and understands that by using these gifts wisely for long-term purposes, we encourage generosity and promote a culture of giving that will sustain us for the future.
Will my gifts be publicly recognized?
Public recognition is currently given for donors who have passed and left a bequest to the UUFC. However, we are happy to reflect the donor’s wish for either recognition or anonymity.
What are my options for giving?
There are many ways to make planned gifts, ranging from simply writing a check to setting up a special trust. The best choice depends on your goals. You may wish to consult with your legal and financial advisers on the tax consequences of various forms of giving, such as transferring appreciated property or naming UUFC as the beneficiary of a retirement account or insurance policy.
Is planned giving only for wealthy people with complex estates?
No. Small gifts are as welcome as large ones. We have received very generous gifts from people of modest means. All gifts are a statement of belief in our principles, and are helpful, appreciated and respected.
Do I need an estate planning attorney?
For significant giving, you certainly need an estate plan. An estate plan can be a will or a trust, simple or complex. It ensures that your assets will benefit those you care about most. Because there can be serious financial consequences, and because we cannot provide legal advice, we strongly recommend that you consult a responsible professional.
Can I donate real estate or property?
Yes. However, for gifts or bequests other than cash or publicly traded securities, your proposed gift needs to be approved by the Board of Trustees. UUFC reserves the right to decline donations that it judges to be unsuitable.
Can I specify how my gift is used?
Yes, but ... UUFC welcomes gifts earmarked for special purposes, if that purpose is aligned with the general purposes of the church. Such gifts are said to be restricted. Since unrestricted gifts provide us with greater flexibility, they are preferred. But we will gratefully accept restricted gifts that support our mission.
Do gifts and bequests offset the need for pledging?
No. In general, annual operating expenses are expected to be paid for through pledge fulfillment and other annual income, such as the proceeds from fundraisers. They are the foundation for keeping the doors open day in and out, year-long.