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FAQ: Annual Pledge Campaign

We have answered some frequently heard questions below. If you have other questions about the campaign, email

What is the goal of the canvass this year?

  1. We aim to increase pledges so that we can sustain and expand programming, continue to pay our staff fair compensation, and reduce our dependence on drawing from the principal of our endowment.
  2. We aim to increase participation in the pledge drive from 125 to 145 households.
  3. We hope households that last year contributed less than $2,000 will consider increasing their pledge to last year’s average pledge, $3,000.
  4. We hope that households who pledged above $2,000 will consider increasing their pledge by $1,000 this year.

What is the cost of programs and operations of First Parish?

We spend $5,000 for each of the 125 households who pledged in 2019-2020. The $5,000 pays for all that you experience at church: our minister and staff, worship, other >spiritual and community activities, social justice work, music, small group ministries, religious exploration, and pastoral care. We also provide financial support beyond our walls including Centro Presente, the Unitarian Universalist Association, UU Urban Ministry, and Common Hope.

How much of our budget is devoted to caring for our building?

We have an exceptionally beautiful and historic building to care for; we are able to fully operate our facility for only 14% of our total budget (heat, electricity, insurance, basic repairs, etc.).

What was the average pledge and total pledges in 2019-2020?

The average pledge was $3,000. Total pledges for 2019-20 were $379,000.

What was the highest pledge in 2019-2020?

We received two pledges of $30,000 each.

If the average pledge is $3,000, and it costs $5,000 per household to sustain First Parish, how does the community make up the difference?

We make up the difference with rentals, Sunday collections, and endowment withdrawals (both the annual interest and some portion of the endowment’s principal. A breakdown is attached.

How much do we draw from our endowment?

In 2019-2020 our budget called for a withdrawal of $69,000 of the endowment income based on historical returns PLUS $93,000 of endowment principal. Ideally, to maintain and grow our endowment, we would withdraw as little as zero from the principal.

What is the breakdown of our revenue and expenses?

Projected Revenue
Projected Expenses