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“First Things First”
Annual Giving Campaign Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Annual pledges to St David’s in the Pines support our church’s day to day operations and its many ministries. All pledges are greatly appreciated and beneficial. Scroll down for answers to some frequently asked questions about pledging, or you may access our new Online Pledge Card.
• What is St. David's Legacy Program?
• Why are annual pledges important?
• What is the annual operating budget?
• What is the goal of the Annual Giving Campaign?
• How much should I pledge?
• What does it mean to give proportionately?
• Are there giving guides?
• How do I make a pledge?
• Who can pledge?
• Is my pledge confidential?
• When should I return my annual pledge card?
• How can I pay my annual pledge?
• Do I have to pay when I pledge? Can I pay in installments?
• Why should I pledge when I regularly put money in the offering plate?
• I’m not sure what I can afford this year. How can I pledge?
• If I want to change my pledge or have any questions, whom do I contact?
Annual pledges fund the church’s operation and support all that the Church does in its many ministries. Your annual pledge is essential if we are to sustain our existing ministries and begin to address our goals for the future.
The vestry formulates and approves the annual operating budget based on written pledges. Difficult decisions are required each year because needs always exceed pledges. Pledging is critically important because the vestry is committed to a balanced budget.
Planning responsibly is an important part of stewardship at St. David’s. In order to allow the vestry to prepare a realistic budget for the upcoming year, please make your 2012 pledge on or before November 27th, 2011.
The parish’s budget is the very tangible way we give witness to our plans to continue Christ’s ministry in this world through St. David’s in the Pines. The budget is neither arbitrary nor inflated. It is carefully designed to allow the parish to practice responsible stewardship.
Our goal for 2012 is two-fold: We would like each member that has pledged in the past to prayerfully consider increasing their commitment, and for each and every member who did not pledge last year to make a commitment to do so this year.
St. David’s invites parishioners to be generous in everything we do. Stewardship is a way of life and an opportunity to give back a portion of all that God has given us. The biblical benchmark for giving is the tithe, 10 percent of household income. There are many ways to give and serve Christ, but we encourage you to consider a minimum of two percent, moving your gift upward annually, as you are able.
Proportional giving is based on the premise that the first fruits are given back to God in grateful response to what God has given us. It refers to a conscious effort to determine an appropriate level of giving. We ask each parishioner to consider making an annual pledge in proportion to income.
If you have given proportionally in the past, we respectfully ask that you consider stretching to a higher level this year. If you have not pledged, we ask that you make a pledge in joyful celebration of God’s blessings and your membership in the body of Christ.
Commitment Sundays are from late October through late November. Parishioners are invited to offer their personal financial commitments by putting pledge cards in the offering plate on Commitment Sundays. Paper Pledge cards are available at St. David’s Narthex. However, pledges also can be submitted on our new and secure Online Pledge Card. Giving online is easy, secure, confidential, and in addition will save many hours of volunteer time currently spent counting Sunday contributions with accounting and administrative time as well. We request that pledges be submitted by November 27th, 2011 in order to allow the vestry to prepare a realistic budget.
Families and finances are organized in different ways. Anyone, including children, who desires to pledge individually can do so.
Yes, all pledges are kept in strict confidence. Pledge Cards, whether received via mail, in person, or online, are handled by no more than one Sr. Stewardship Volunteer and two Staff members. During the year volunteers such as Counters and other staff do see weekly offering amounts that may count towards a pledge. However, Counters are also counseled to maintain confidence and discretion. In order to follow up on outstanding pledge commitments, volunteers (other parishioners) may be advised as to whether a pledge has been received, but pledge amounts are not shared.
In order to allow the vestry to prepare a realistic budget for the upcoming year, please make your 2012 pledge online or turn in your pledge card envelope on or before November 27th, 2011.
There are several ways to pay your pledge. You may pay by cash, using weekly pledge payment envelopes, write checks, or have your bank account drafted by using our new and secure Online Pledge Card. You may also make payments with stock.
You may pay your pledge when you make it or you can pay in installments. The pledge commitment is for January through December. For those parishioners that prefer to use Paper Pledge Cards and to pay by check, quarterly statements will be issued summarizing your gifts for the year. For those that pay through our new and secure Online Pledge Card, one can at any time review giving history, pending gifts, and adjust giving easily online. We encourage everyone to use the online pledge system because it is easy, secure, and confidential.
St. David’s is dependent upon pledges to meet the parish’s monthly financial obligations. Therefore staying current allows St. David’s to respond to its financial obligations in the same spirit that we respond to all other needs.
Non-pledge funds collected each week help support the ongoing life of the parish. However, pledges are very important because they enable us to plan responsibly and to establish a parish operating budget for the coming year.
A pledge can be adjusted throughout the year if your circumstances change. We suggest that you pledge responsibly, based on your estimate of the year's income. A pledge can be increased, if your circumstances change.
The financial decisions we make in our lives actually provide a witness to what is of greatest importance to us. Planned giving is one of those vital financial decisions and is a measure of our love for our families and our church. The St. David’s in the Pines Episcopal Church Legacy Program encourages you to make these important choices with respect to your estate and will provide the assistance you need to do so.
Scripture teaches us that as stewards of God's creation we are responsible for using what we have been given to benefit his kingdom. As Christians, we believe that ultimately everything in this world belongs to God, so it is only fitting that we return a portion of our blessings to him. Since we are only trustees of the possessions and wealth in our keeping, we must use them for a faithful purpose...for the good of all.
We know the joy we receive when we give to God through the church, and we have seen the astonishing way God transforms lives by using our tithes and offerings. But planned giving goes beyond contributing generously on a monthly or annual basis. Through the St. David’s in the Pines Episcopal Church Legacy Program, you can share in a vision for the future by taking advantage of planned giving opportunities that honor God, provide an enduring witness to your faith, and benefit your family.
Consider these commendable reasons to include a planned gift to St. David’s in the Pines in your estate plans:
You believe in the future of St. David’s. Can you imagine a time when St. David’s in the Pines will not be on the corner of Forest Hill Blvd. & Wellington Trace, welcoming all to worship and providing a base to reach out to God's world? A vital parish is dependent on the financial support of its members.
You believe that all we have is a trust from God. God has blessed us in many ways. As stewards of these blessings, we are called to return a portion to Him.
You want to have a sense of permanence about what you contribute to St. David’s. A bequest or gift to the St. David’s in the Pines Church Foundation can provide a permanent fund to support the mission and programs of our parish. If you have a passion for a particular area of ministry, your bequest can be designated for a specific purpose, such as outreach, music, youth, or buildings and maintenance.
You want to “go the extra mile” in providing for ministries and programs that formerly (due to budget constraints) were only dreams. To appreciate this point, all you need to do is sit in one of the vestry meetings to learn how difficult choices have to be made each year, given the limited amount of available funds.
For more information about specific planned giving vehicles, call the parish office or consult your financial adviser.