2017-18 Supplemental Budget Drive

Dear UUCSS Members and Friends,

After significant work on assessing our finances and deliberation, the Board is reaching out to request our members and friends consider increasing their pledges for this fiscal year. Due to a shortfall in our income projections, we are $8,000 short of the budget adopted by the congregation at the annual meeting in June.

As many of you know, we had to make significant cuts to our budget this year due to a significant decline in pledges. And additional cuts at this point would be extremely painful. We would have to reduce staff hours or lay off some staff and make some additional significant reductions in our already reduced programs budgets.

If, however, on average, each of our 160 pledge units can increase their pledge by $50, we can close the gap. We understand that everyone is not in a position to make an increase in their pledge, so would ask that if you are in a position to give more, you consider making a supplemental pledge of $100 or more. Pledges can be made directly into the collection plate, via check, or online.

So how did we get to this point? Heading into our Annual Meeting, the congregation had $117,000 less in pledges from those who had submitted pledges or resigned. In addition, 35 pledge units who had been contacted, had not indicated whether they would make a pledge. We tried to be conservative and budgeted that we would receive total pledges of half the amount those individuals pledged last year, or $30,000.

Unfortunately, we did not make this target. Even with an excellent result from our church auction, which raised $30,000, and some savings on health insurance, there were some unexpected increases, such as trash collection. The net result of all of this is that we are $8,000 short of making the budget that was adopted by the congregation in June.

To balance the church budget back in June, we had to make a number of significant cuts that were painful reductions. To recap some of the more significant cuts:

  • Two committees, Membership and Adult RE, had a 50 percent reduction in their budget and, on top of this, the overall programs budget was reduced by $5,500, about a 16 percent cut.
  • We reduced to $0 our contributions to the Unitarian Universalist Association and Central East Region of the UUA.
  • We reduced the salary we budgeted for hiring a new DRE by $5,000.
  • We reduced the Staff Holiday Bonus budget from $1,500 to $400.
  • We reduced the budget for professional expenses for our staff significantly.
  • We reduced to $0 the sabbatical reserve budget (money set aside for a year in which we have extra costs due to the minister being on sabbatical).
  • We reduced Maintenance and Property Repair/Replace each by $1,750.
  • We reduced landscaping by $2,000.

While these cuts were difficult, the places we would need to cut at this point to make up the shortfall of $8,000 would be even more painful.

We are very hopeful that the people of UUCSS will be able to answer this call. Pledge cards will be available at the information table at services and can be submitted via mail, the collection plate or online.

This supplemental pledge period will end on Monday, December 4, 2017, when the Board will assess whether we will need to make any reductions to the budget.

Thank you for your commitment and love for our blessed community.