Below are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about giving, pledging and how budgets work at All Saints Church. If we can help answer any other questions, please contact Jim Loduha in our Giving Office at 626.583.2736.
Q: What is a pledge?
A: A pledge is a financial promise. Each autumn, we renew our commitment to one another and the ministry of All Saints Church by making a financial pledge. A pledge may be changed as needed throughout the year by calling the stewardship office. Fill out a pledge form.
Q: Why is my annual pledge important?
A: Annual pledges support everything we do and are at All Saints Church—from supporting our outreach ministries to our musical offerings to having outstanding staff. Every pledge matters and even a small increase in your yearly personal giving is magnified dramatically when our entire community gives together.
Q: How much should I give with an annual pledge?
A: We ask each person to consider making a pledge that is both responsible and significant based on his or her financial situation. A tithe (10% of one’s income) is often a benchmark reached after incremental increases each year.
Q: When should I pledge?
A: We ask everyone to make a pledge during October of each year so that we can plan our budget for the coming year. Of course, new pledges are welcomed throughout the year.
Q: When do I pay my pledge?
A: Many people fulfill their pledge monthly, quarterly, or even in one payment. However, you may fulfill your pledge in as many payments as you wish throughout the year. Pledges are fulfilled on a calendar year basis, beginning January 1.
Q: How can I pledge when I don’t know what I can afford during the next year?
A: A pledge can be adjusted during the year if your circumstances change. We suggest that you pledge responsibly, based on your best estimate of the year’s income.
Q: Does All Saints live within its means?
A: All Saints does live within its means, and each year the Vestry adopts a balanced budget. Your pledge made during the annual pledge campaign is critical to establish that budget, as our income projections are based primarily on pledges that we receive from our members. If pledges are not received, then adjustments are made in the church's budget and programming, sometimes during the program year, which is why we close every year in the black.
Q: Ed said that our 2015 budget needs to increase by 10% from our 2014 budget. Can you explain why this is necessary?
A: There are three primary reasons driving this needed increase. First, each year All Saints has unavoidable increases in expenses such as insurance, utilities and basic things such as paper and other supplies.
Second, the staff at All Saints has received only one cost of living wage increase in the past decade. Our staff is among the most talented around, and it is a priority to include a minimal cost of living increase in our 2015 budget. The Vestry believes that it is unjust to ask our staff to continue to absorb increased costs without a corresponding increase in their compensation.
Finally, last year one-time funds helped close a budget gap of approximately $200,000, which will not be available this year.
Because of these different factors, our 2015 budget must increase by approximately 10% simply to stay at a status quo level of staffing and programming.
Q: How does All Saints spend the money we give?
A: All Saints has many specific budget areas, combined into the following categories:
Q: What will happen if All Saints does not get a 10% increase in pledge support for 2015?
A: We will have to make some very difficult decisions. We want to remain a leader in our community, and all decisions will be made with the goal of protecting our mission of embodying the inclusive love of God in Christ through spirituality, community, and peace & justice. Our commitment to this mission is reflected in our current budget. While 63% of our budget is spent on personnel-related expenses, this is a low percentage for a church and illustrates our dedication to spending our resources on direct programming. Particularly since the onset of the economic recession, we have done everything possible to protect our programs, even as the church has had to do more with fewer resources. If we do not get a 10% increase in 2015, we will take an even harder look at every program and personnel expense, and the likely outcome will be that staff cuts will be necessary to satisfy the Rector’s and the Vestry’s mandate of a balanced budget that includes a cost of living increase for our existing staff.