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How Much Should I Give?
Written in February 2019
One of the questions that we don't talk about very often is how much does each person need to give to support the church. Last year (2018) we received $153,504 in identified pledge donations from 134 families. The means that the average donation works out to $1,146 per family for last year.
Let's look at a couple of things.
The good news is that we have some very generous members. We have 10 pledges over $3,000 a year including a a handfull over $5,000. Remember that I worked out last year's average identified donation at $1,146? Well 76% of our donations are from the 30% of our donors that donated $1,146 or more. While we appreciate all donations of any size, I do want to acknowledge the generosity of the donors that pay considerably more than the average. We appreciate your dedication to funding this church.
So how much should you give to your church? A good starting point to look at is 1% of your income. If your income is $60,000/year then a $600 donation would be 1% of your income.
What does this look like week to week? I you were to give $20 a service and you come to about 30 services in the year that would be $600. If you turn that into a monthly donation then that would be $50/month. Set that up with preauthorized donations and for most people that will not affect your finances significantly.
I realize that not everyone can donate a lot but 1% is a good starting point. We appreciate all of our donors but those of us with the means to contribute need to provide enough support to keep the connections going in our church.
If you are a member of this church then you have an obligation to provide financial support (it is listed in our bylaws). For each member we include in our church membership list we contribute about $100 to the CUC each year to support our denomination so that is really the minimum contribution that we ask for. But we do have members that do not contribute. There are some that can legitimately not afford to contribute and that's fine. My concern is for those members that can afford to contribute but don't. Lately we have been asking those members if they would consider changing their membership to "friend" status. Friends are not obligated to support the church (though many do, thank you!) and we do not pay support to the denomination for friends.
So how much should you donate? 25 years ago when Karen and I joined the church we started with a contribution of $600/ year ($50/month). We have raised that amount year by year as our incomes have grown and our debts have been paid down so that now we contribute at the highest level.
The main message I have is that if you are not donating then start. If you are already donating then consider raising your pledge to above the average amount. And please consider ongoing donations as they are the lifeblood that keeps the church going year after year.
If you would like to discuss your pledge amount please give me a call. I would be happy to sit down with you and discuss this important topic.