Making a Pledge to the USR

As members and friends of USR we all recognize that we receive a multitude of great benefits from our association with USR. These benefits include: hearing interesting sermons, having our children and grandchildren attend our excellent religious education classes, meeting many interesting friends, participating in exciting social activities and working on various social responsibility causes.

While we enjoy the many benefits , we also recognize that it takes generous financial contributions to pay the salaries of our staff, pay the utility bills, and maintain our facilities. Our annual budget is over $400,000 per year.

Providing the financial support for USR is handled via an annual pledge drive. We ask each household (members and friends) to make a pledge.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a pledge?
A pledge is a promise to donate a certain amount of money to the USR within the fiscal year.  It is the true expression of your values and your commitment to the congregation to  continue its work.

What does it mean to be a Fair Share Donor?
We recognize that people have varying capacities to give, based on their resources and other financial responsibilities.  Fair Share Donors commit to making a pledge equal to 2% or more of their Adjusted Annual Income.  Click here to see the Fair Share Giving Guide and a Worksheet you can use to determine your Adjusted Annual Income.

When is the “fiscal year”?
The fiscal year starts on July 1 and ends on June 30.

Why pledge and how is my pledge used?
All the money collected is used to support the congregation in meeting the annual budget.  More specifically it provides worship and music, religious education at various levels, many social justice projects, pastoral care, community events and much more.  It pays the salaries of the minister, RE director and the administrative staff and for the operation and maintenance of the facilities.

Do only members of the USR pledge?
Anyone can make a pledge to the Society, whether you are a member or a friend.

Must I have to pledge to be a member of the USR?
Financial support is one of the responsibilities of membership. But we realize that certain financial hardships occur.  We ask everyone to support  the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood with a percentage of their income.  This year we ask that you search your mind and heart and give at the highest level of support you can.  Locate yourself, by income level, on the pledge guideline grid (see the link below for the Pledge Brochure). “Supporters” make a contribution; “Advocates” feel strongly that the Society is really important to them; “Catalysts” have a vision for the USR and dig deeply to provide the means to change the world for the better.

Can I pledge an amount for a specific purpose?
Our budgets are assembled to serve the entire congregation as a whole.  All pledges support the work of the whole congregation and pledges for specific purposes are not accepted.  Gifts and endowments are gratefully accepted.

When should I pledge?
Pledges will be accepted at any time of the year for new members and friends. Each year in the spring, we have a pledge drive and everyone is encouraged to pledge at that time for the following fiscal year.

Do I receive a bill or statement ?
You will receive a quarterly statement indicating how much you have pledged for the year and how much of that pledge you have paid.

How does the pledge relate to the weekly collection during the Sunday services?
The money contributed during the offering serves as additional income to benefit the annual budget. However some people pay their pledge by putting a check into the weekly collection plate. You should write “pledge” and the pledge year on the check.
This will insure your pledge is credited to you correctly. Note that there also special Sunday collections for external programs/organizations as part of our service to the larger community.