Frequently Asked Questions About Pledging
1. What is a pledge?
A pledge is a promise to donate a certain amount of money to the NSU congregation within our fiscal year (January 1 to December 31).
2. Why pledge and how is my pledge used?
Pledge payments are used for the yearly operation of NSUC. Pledges pay for the programs and work of the congregation, such as our Sunday services, children's program, youth program, adult lifespan learning programs, and music. Pledge income pays for the salaries of the minister and staff and for the operation and maintenance of our facilities.
When members and friends pledge, the congregation can establish a realistic operating budget for the coming year. Those who pledge receive written acknowledgement of contributions to use for their own budgets and tax purposes, and a tax receipt for all funds paid in on the pledge.
3. Do I need to be a member to pledge?
Anyone can make an annual pledge to NSUC, member or not. Those who pledge but do not choose formal membership are known as “friends.”
4. Do I have to pledge to be a member or friend of the congregation?
Everyone is welcome to attend our services, with no financial obligation. However, we believe that financial support is one of the responsibilities of all congregants, if they are able. We strongly encourage you to live your values by making a pledge consistent with your individual circumstances.
In keeping with the guidelines of the Canadian Unitarian Council we ask individuals to pledge 3% of their gross annual income. By way of example, a $1,500 pledge represents 3% of a $50,000 annual gross income.
Generally a “contribution of record” is required to maintain your membership in the congregation. However, if your financial situation precludes you from making a contribution, you may confidentially obtain a waiver. Please speak to the Minister.
5. When should I pledge?
Any time is fine, but the best time to pledge is during the fall canvass. New members can expect a call from a canvasser to discuss their pledging intentions.
6. Will I receive a bill or statement?
No. You may receive a letter thanking you for your pledge, and a reminder letter partway through the year showing you any remaining balance. But you will not receive a bill from us. Annual contribution statements are sent out in January for tax purposes.
7. How does the pledge relate to the weekly collection during Sunday services?
Some people fulfill (or even make) their pledge by putting a cheque or cash in the weekly collection plate in an envelope marked “pledge”; or you can write this on the memo line of a cheque. Other funds collected during the services, unless otherwise marked, are donated to charities and organizations outside NSUC; each month we support a particular organization chosen by our Board of Trustees on the recommendation of our Social Responsibility Team.
Pledges are very important relative to the weekly collection because the commitment you make at the beginning of the congregational year allows us to plan, whereas offering plate donations (unless marked “pledge” or “100% to NSUC”) do not support the work of this congregation, but go to support other organizations outside our NSU community.
8. What payment methods do you accept?
We accept the following forms of payment:
CASH: Please insert the cash in an envelope. Clearly write your name and the word “Pledge” on the outside of the envelope and either put it in the offering basket, or drop it directly into the safe in the Church Office.
CHEQUE: Make your cheque payable to “NSUC” or “North Shore Unitarian Church”. You’re welcome to give us a series of post-dated cheques to be deposited after the dates you’ve written on the front of the cheque.
eTRANSFER: We welcome Interac eTransfers, which are electronic payments sent through internet banking. Contact our Church Office for instructions on how to set up one or more eTransfers.
CREDIT CARD: We prefer other forms of payment, as we lose 1.6% plus 30 cents per transaction when people pay by credit card. But if credit card is your only option, you can pay by credit card using PayPal HERE.