To understand this, consider that West Shore uses your financial gifts in a way that is similar to how individual households spend money.
Start with basic expenses. From the monthly mortgage or rent, to utility bills, to groceries, to the car payment, to going out, to various activities and entertainments (and if you have children, all the bills related to this)–these are basic, non-extraordinary expenses we want to cover. West Shore is similar in that it has basic expenses that enable our church to exist day-to-day and week-to week. All these expenses are itemized in the annual budget, and your annual pledge goes to help pay for them.
Now, there are times when you might attend a special event as a way to help a favored non-profit raise money for good works. You do that because it’s going to be fun, and you also believe in the cause. West Shore, too, offers special fundraising events, like our annual service auction, to create great memories and lots of fun. All the money raised here is planned-for in our annual budget and helps us pay for basic expenses.
But we also know that “life happens when you are busy making other plans!” For example: you go to the dentist and, after your check up, they announce the need for you to get a couple crowns put in, to the tune of several thousands of dollars. Other events aren’t so much surprises as longer-term maintenance issues, like the need to replace one’s roof, or to renovate one’s kitchen. Call these one-time needs, and in private life, we might draw from any savings we have to pay for them, draw on a credit card, borrow money, or cash in on any stocks we might have. Similarly, at West Shore, we’ve got one-time needs that are just too big for the annual budget to cover. So here, we invite folks to make special one-time gifts. Gifts to such projects are given freely, because the giver believes in what they are giving to and it makes them feel good. Givers also understand that their special one-time gift only goes to the special project, and that the congregation’s basic expenses still remain, and still need to be paid for through people’s annual pledge. We call an organized effort to invite as many people as possible to give a one-time special gift a capital campaign.
Finally, think about how people can give through their wills. This is planned giving. My grandmother, when she died, put $50,000 in her will for each of the grandkids, because she wanted to bless each of us. That money represented a lifetime of work of hers and her husband’s, who came to Canada as immigrants and worked blue-collar jobs all their lives. That money meant so much to me. Similarly, people can remember West Shore in their wills. They can designate that a certain amount of money be put forward to the support of the congregation. A major recipient of such gifts is the Endowment Fund. Monies in the Endowment Fund accrue interest income over long periods of time, and this interest income is used to help us meet our budget goals and pay for basic expenses.
Sunday Mornings: Some in the community choose to give on Sunday mornings during the worship services. Those who do give cash or by check, and they make sure to indicate that the gift goes towards their pledge. This is especially important when giving cash. We provide envelopes in the pews for your gift which you can use to indicate where you want your gift to go.
By Text: Others use the Sunday worship opportunity to give by text. Information on how to do this is flashed on the screen during the Call to the Offering.
Automatic Withdrawal: This is a very convenient way to stay current on your pledge, regardless of weather, vacation, or any other factors that may keep you away from church for a week (or maybe even a few weeks). You can arrange for this with your bank directly, or by giving the church office authorization to set up the withdrawal.
Online: A significant number of donors give online through our member database called Realm. For some people, giving electronically is good way to for them to keep track of their giving.
Distributions: You can do direct distributions from brokerage accounts or required minimum distributions from IRAs.
Contact Finance Manager, Suehana Kieres: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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