Using the Guide is a simple, 3-step process; giving is a function of commitment and resources.
1. Most of us budget our financial commitments on a monthly basis, but you may calculate on any time frame that works for you. For convenience, the guide provides annual income levels. Determine your annual income or resource level. $___________________
2. ADD to your income level any unusual or periodic income, such as inheritances, business income, anticipated investment income, etc.
SUBTRACT any unusual expenses, such as large medical expenses, care of a parent, or a large financial expense, etc. Result: $_____________________ This is your Adjusted Annual Income.
Each of us will have our own unique circumstances to consider in making this calculation. The flexibility to include meaningful and unusual exceptions in your financial life (income and expenses) is what makes the Guide fair and useful. This is a tool for you to use in the spirit of the Congregationalist tradition; we are individually and collectively responsible for resourcing our movement and our congregations. This is an honor system; only you know your circumstances.
3. From the Adjusted Annual Income column, move to the right to find a suggested giving level that you are ready to support, between 2% and 5%, depending on adjusted income and level of commitment. Interpolate between guide levels if needed.