Support All Souls Church
We depend on your contributions.
In the Unitarian Universalist tradition, the members of a church own the building and everything in it and are responsible for providing financial support for all the operations and programs of the congregation.
So how do we—as an All Souls generation early in the 21st century—use our resources in a way that honors our nearly two centuries of history and secures our future?
Every year, our Annual Generosity Campaign calls us to commit our personal resources to the ongoing work of this church:
- Sunday worship—music, sermons, and education that stirs and nourishes our souls;
- social justice programs such as voting rights work in North Carolina, raising awareness of the implications of climate change, and fair housing and immigrant rights in our own city;
- welcoming the congregation and community into our beautiful renovated building;
- employing a chief program officer to align our programs with our mission;
- staff that enables the work of the church, and the maintenance of our church home.
Our annual budget also includes support of the national and regional (Joseph Priestley District) UU offices, which provide important vision and programmatic and administrative support to all member churches.
All told, our annual budget is $1.5 million, of which 78% comes from our pledges.
While we can’t all pledge the same amount, we can ALL pledge SOMETHING to the church that nurtures and sustains us.
How much does All Souls mean to you? If you’re new to pledging or earn less than $10,000/year, why not start with 2%–3% of your income? As your commitment to the church grows, so can your pledge. Tithing, familiar to those from more traditional church backgrounds, calls for a full 10%. It is obviously your decision to make, but we hope you will live out your spiritual principles by giving generously. Feel free to use the Fair Share Guidelines, found at the bottom of this page.
If you’ve made a commitment (often called a pledge, or statement of intent) to All Souls, choose “Annual pledge gift” from the drop-down menu so that your gifts are applied to that pledge. Otherwise, choose “General contributions.” Gifts to both funds go to our general budget, which covers all costs the church incurs. “Lunch fee” is specifically for paying for our monthly congregational lunch; “Rental fee” is only for people paying the fee to rent space at the church.
Our financial gifts to All Souls make up the vast majority of the church’s annual revenue. Without our support, the church can’t function.
A commitment is simply a promise to make a gift; it is not the gift itself.
The reason the church asks for commitments is that they make it possible to plan next year’s budget. If we only gave gifts but didn’t state our commitments, the church couldn’t plan for the year ahead.
Commitments can be amended! If your circumstances change, simply contact Gary Penn (email@example.com; 202.517.1465), who can adjust your record.
You can state your commitment using the form linked at the top of this page.
You can fill out a paper commitment form, which is found in the pews, at the Generosity Table on Sundays, and at the front desk.
That depends entirely on your unique personal circumstances, and we appreciate all gifts, large or small.
You’ll find a table of suggested giving guidelines below to help you make your decision.
Now!! Seriously, go do it. We’ll wait. The form is linked at the top of this page.
After submitting the online form, you should receive an automatic email sharing thanks from the Generosity Team and confirming that your commitment was received.
If you need additional confirmation of your commitment or amounts, please contact Gary Penn (firstname.lastname@example.org; 202.517.1465).
You can make gifts throughout the year: quarterly, monthly, weekly, or all at once. It’s up to you. The church sends quarterly statements to let you know how much progress you’ve made towards fulfilling your commitment.
Gifts you put in the plate count towards your commitment only if you mark them, by making a note on a check or putting cash in a pew envelope with your name on it.
You can set up automatic bill pay through your own bank’s online system. The only information you need is the church’s name (All Souls Church Unitarian) and address (1500 Harvard St NW, Washington DC 20009). The church pays no fees on automatic payments from your bank (a great help, as the church currently pays about $25,000 in processing fees each year).
You can set up automatic payments using a credit card or bank account number through the church’s database system. The link is at the top of this page. The church does pay fees on these automatic payments (and is very happy to do so if this is the most convenient payment method for you). You’ll also have the option of covering those fees when you set up your gift.
Creating the budget is a months-long process. There is a congregation-wide information session typically scheduled several weeks before the annual congregational meeting.
If you set up automatic payments through your bank, they will probably continue until you stop them. Please confirm with your financial institution.
But regardless, you do need to state a new commitment each year so the church knows what your intention is.