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2020 Pledge Campaign Resources

To make your financial pledge for 2020 online, please fill out this online form or return a paper pledge card. Paper pledge cards are being mailed out, and are also in the narthex (church foyer) or parish office — you can return them in the offering plate on Sunday or by mail. Please respond soon: this year the pledge campaign will end on December 13th.

This report on the current state of finances at All Souls may also be helpful in informing your reflections. We hope you will join with us and with one another in common prayer, scriptural reflection, and deep conversation related to the practice of faithful stewardship.

Pledging at All Souls: Questions and Answers

Why does All Souls need me to pledge?
Like most organizations and households, All Souls makes plans for our ministry based on our anticipated financial and human resources. On the financial side, our budget is the plan we use, and pledges represent the most significant source of income in our annual budget. We need your pledge so that we can plan and budget for our ministry with your generosity in mind.

How much should I pledge?
We encourage you to pledge an amount that represents a proportion of your income. Many people find a “tithe,” the scriptural ten percent, to be a helpful framework. Inevitably proportional giving raises a number of questions such as:

  • Should the proportion be pre-tax or post-tax income?
  • What if I already donate to other charitable organizations, should those be included in my proportional gift?
  • My income is volatile, because I work on billable hours or commission, does direct proportional giving still apply to me?

We do not believe that there is a single correct answer to these questions, but the place to start is in prayer. Our giving is a response to God’s generosity and an acknowledgement that our possessions are not really ours, but only ours to use. Whether you decide to pledge 1%, 5%, 10%, 15% or more, know that you are joined by your fellow parishioners and we are confident that you will experience spiritual growth from offering from your “first fruits” to further God’s work in the world.

What is a tithe?
In biblical use, a tithe is giving 10% of your annual income to the work of God. Even though an annual gift of 10% may be out of reach for some, it is an important benchmark in our tradition and many All Soulsians give 10% or even more to the parish.

Direct proportional giving of 1% or 5% or 10% or 15% of my income seems like a lot, where do I begin?
Setting aside a proportion of your income for God’s work is a discipline of the spirit. As such it might seem like a big step to take. We recommend that you discern in prayer at what level you would like to give and set a plan to get there over 3 to 5 years. Take a look at this sheet to have an idea of how these different percentages might play out for you.

What is the Jordan gift? How has All Souls Parish used it?
In 2011 All Souls Parish received a generous bequest from the estate of All Soulsian Ann Jordan that was designated as “not to be used for ordinary expenses.” Between 2012 and 2015, All Souls vestry used a portion of the earnings of that gift to expand the staffing by increasing the Associate Rector from half to full time, and adding first an Associate for Parish Life for a time, and later, a full-time Associate for Ministry Development. In 2013, All Souls increased Sunday services by expanding to our current three services versus the previous two. Between 2011 and the present, the parish has grown in many ways. A simple metric we have is Average Sunday Attendance, which increased from 215 in 2011 to 250 in 2018. This growth occurred at a time when many parishes in our diocese have either been stagnant or shrinking.

While the parish has used the Jordan gift to invest in its ministry, the plan has always been to use the gift as a catalyst for growth and not rely on it long term. Currently the plan that is before the vestry is to use the principle to pay to furnish the All Souls wing of the new parish house and seed the capital campaign that will be necessary for renovations to the undercroft. When that happens, the parish will no longer be able to rely on the gift to cover operating expenses as we expect the principal to be spent.

Do you mean that there is a gap between current giving and current expenses? How big is it? What can we do to close it?
While the Jordan Gift has allowed All Souls to grow, the parish cannot rely on using its earnings to fill in the gaps between pledge income and annual expenses in the long run. We have made strides toward a sustainable budget and are now meeting 95% of our expenses from non-Jordan income.

We believe that this gap can be closed by a combination of additional pledges from current active members and new pledges from new or non-pledging members. We don’t expect that it will be easy, but we believe that with God’s help we will grow to a sustainable funding model.

How much of the budget comes from pledges?
In 2018, 68% of expenses were covered by annual pledges. In 2019 we expect that 73% of expenses will be covered by pledges.

I usually put $1/$10/$20 in the offering each Sunday I’m there – isn’t that enough?
It is a meaningful spiritual practice to give something of what we have back to God’s work at each service, even if we give $1 per week. Pledging, however, can be a more conscious and intentional practice of giving of your resources and allows All Souls to budget its expenses for the year.

Do I need to pledge in order to attend service at All Souls?
You are welcome at All Souls no matter what you choose to give in the offering plate or as a pledge. We do ask that if you believe in the work that this church is doing, you make a pledge to sustain and expand the ministry of All Souls. Many who pledge say that they feel even closer to this community by committing to help support it financially.

Great, I want to participate – how do I pledge?
Pledge cards are always available at All Souls: see any member of the Stewardship Committee or Vestry, or just introduce yourself to an usher or greeter and say, “Where can I get a pledge card?” Pledges can be fulfilled with checks or via the PayPal link above, though using PayPal does incur a surcharge.You can also arrange direct ACH (electronic check) deposit. See Maggie Cooke for more information.

I was traveling/sick/hunkered down writing the Great American Novel and haven’t been to church in a few weeks. I think I missed the pledge card – is it too late?
It is never too late to pledge your support to the ministry of All Souls. Please ask for a pledge card and make your pledge.

My employer makes matching gifts – will All Souls accept those?
Absolutely! Please follow your employer’s process and if you have any questions contact All Souls’ Pledge Secretary, Maggie Cooke.

I have more questions, who can I ask?
A member of the clergy or stewardship team would be happy to talk and help you find answers to your questions. This could be at church, over coffee or in another environment that you find comfortable. Reach out to Emily or Phil to get the conversation started.

Thank you for your giving to the life of All Souls Parish!