Assessing our Fiscal Year
This message is a short follow-on to last month’s. As you are probably aware, our CMwD District Staff have been keenly interested in the issue of leadership and stewardship during difficult times. Hopefully, you’ve benefitted from some of the columns and blogs, workshops or podcasts that are available on our district website.
By now your congregation has received an e-mail survey from the CMwD requesting a very brief update on your congregation’s financial situation and your latest expectations for donating to both the UUA’s Annual Program Fund and to the District for the remainder of this Fiscal Year.
If you have not yet replied to our survey, please accept this reminder. We really need your participation. Click here for Finance Survey.
You could have knocked me off my treadmill Saturday morning (Nov. 29) when I saw a Headline News segment featuring the Unity Church Unitarian of St. Paul, Minnesota. The report showed that they had held services on Black Friday. Their goal was to initiate a movement for what this holiday season should truly be about. For lack of a better phrase, we could call that Ethical Christmas (or Ethical Chanukah or Ethical Kwanzaa). Instead of Religious Christmas or Commercial Christmas, they proposed a balance between the religious aspects and the commercial aspects held together by the ethical idea of helping people in need.
Financial Leadership in Anxious Times
APF: Tackle the Inbox
I suspect, based on what I've learned from conversations with Ministers, Board Presidents, Treasurers and Office Administrators, that many Annual Program Fund pledge forms are resting peacefully in various in-boxes. Now is the time to yank them out and work them through your system!
Early Pledge Season
By now you may have seen the request from our UUA for this Fiscal Year's pledge to the Annual Program Fund and wonder why it has arrived months earlier than usual.
The reason is that our soft national economy has already been seen to a slight degree in the wrap up for the Fiscal Year we have just completed. This has sensitized our Development Personnel to the possibility that we may see more than a slight decline in this Fiscal Year. That said, we still hope our congregations do not use the economy as an excuse to pledge and donate less unless, of course, your congregation has been hit hard.
Nevertheless, we suspect all congregations will feel this economy to some degree. That means that it may take a little more work than usual to hold the line in your budget process. We understand that and are here to help.