Many people are surprised to learn that the Fair Share Guide is not a creation of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). It was first developed in the 1990’s by the Henry David Thoreau Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Stafford, TX and subsequently adapted by the UUA as a helpful resource for all of us.
The Guide is a valuable tool in congregational giving for two reasons:
The financial commitment levels in the Guide are suggestions, with a start point of 2% of adjusted income for congregants earning up to $1,000 per month and at the other end of the spectrum, the guide suggests a full 10% commitment of adjusted income, regardless of a congregant’s income level. Each of us has to make our own decisions about the right level of financial commitment to make; the Guide is an excellent first step in making that decision, every time we make it.
Even small adjustments can make a big difference. For example:
Suppose that every day you collected the loose change you had; it probably comes to about a dollar on most days. If you were to add that loose change to your pledge, it would add up to a very welcome $365 annual increase. If everyone in the average size congregation of about 100 members did the same, that congregation would find itself with over $36,000 in new resources. Could your congregation use a gift of that size? That is the power of working together and of making best use of even small amounts
The Guide can be used effectively throughout your congregation.
The question is sometimes asked, “How do we know this is actually a Fair Share level of contribution?” The short answer is that this is an honor system. Ensure people understand what is meant by the question, and then trust their answers. The vast majority will state it correctly.
Some people may find it necessary to first make a commitment to move toward their suggested financial Fair Share goal over time. It might be a three-year process or even a five-year process for some of us, but we can start the journey today.
Moving toward a Fair Share financial commitment, whether quickly or in a steady, intentional way is a welcome process that builds community, instills a spirit of personal stewardship.
It reminds us all that this is our congregation and our UU movement – this is what we make it, this accomplishes what we resource it to do.
If you have engaged a Stewardship Consultant through this office, you will find she or he eager to help you make best use of the Fair Share Guide as a part of their service to your congregation
For more information contact congstewardship @ uua.org.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations.
Please consider making a donation today.
Last updated on Wednesday, November 26, 2014.
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