We’re gearing up to officially begin the Annual Budget Drive on February 16.  Gene Lambirth is the chair this year.  Here are a few things we really want every UUCA Member to know.  If you can help distribute this information informally, that would be a big help.

The How’s

  • This campaign will be more low-key than normal.  No kick-off sermon, no weekly appeals, although you may hear stories about changing lives.
  • The campaign’s theme is “We Change Lives.”  We hope that hearing how this congregation and/or denomination has a role in directly changing the lives of people you know will inspire all of us to increase our giving.
  • Beginning this year, we are establishing the Sustained Commitment.  We will assume that if we do not receive a commitment form from a member/friend, the commitment they made for 2013-14 will continue as their commitment during 2014-15.  This stops the madness of tracking down people for a completed form(!), allows us to redeploy volunteers and acknowledges that we estimate our next year’s income and budget on good guesses by a few key volunteers.

Why We Ask People to Increase Their Commitments Each Year

This short video by the Eau Clare, WI UU congregation explains the basics of an annual budget drive in a great way.  Although we have no big wish list this year, we are asking people to increase their giving to UUCA. Below are a few reasons why:

  • First, though the US inflation rate is a manageable 2 or less percent per year, it still means that every year we need to raise at least 2 percent more to keep “even.”
  • Second, and far more significantly, we have been purposefully spending more money than we “earn” (from commitment payments) as part of a 5-year plan adopted by the Board 3 years ago. This plan enabled us to take on a full-time second minister and an experienced DLRE.  Every year, the subsidy we allocated ourselves gets smaller and smaller meaning we need more money than last year just to keep “even.”
  • Unfortunately, “even” isn’t good enough.  Some of our expenses are going up.  They go up annually because:
    1. Cost-of-living increases (at the Social Security rate) are granted each year for all staff to keep up with inflation.
    2. Health insurance increases at least 6 percent a year for all eligible staff
    3. The Asheville Living Wage (http://justeconomicswnc.org/what-we-do/) went up substantially last year.
    4. Technology costs go up as we add, repair and replace computers and other electronic equipment for staff and congregation uses (ever use a UUCA-owned computer or projector or TV for a meeting?)
    5. Buildings and grounds costs have historically been held too low, thereby deferring necessary maintenance.  We use and maintain 3 buildings with the newest building more than 40 years old.

If you have any questions about this information, please ask.  If your friends are asking questions, please supply correct answers or ask for more information if you need it.  This is important to the life of the congregation.  As our congregation’s covenant says, “Our life together declares that the future of each depends on the good of all and the future of all depends on the good of each.”  We need the contributions of each of us, at whatever level we can manage, to support the very reason we exist: to nurture our individual searches for meaning through worship, education and interaction while we work together for freedom, justice and love among ourselves and out in the world.