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West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church

Stewardship is about rallying more people to West Shore’s work of changing lives. 

The Stewardship Team does this by creating financial abundance which enables the church to support increasingly powerful and bold ministry programs. 

Education is also a part of the mission of the Stewardship Team. 

Did you know that West Shore uses your financial gifts in a way that is similar to how individual households spend money?

Annual Pledges

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 you 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.

When you make a pledge, you are essentially setting an intention for how much you plan on giving to West Shore over the course of a single year, representing your contribution to paying for the church’s basic expenses.

Special Fundraising Events

In your life away from West Shore, there are times when you might attend a special event 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.

Special One-Time Gifts

But then you 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, 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 your roof, or to renovate your kitchen. Call these “one-time needs” and in your private life, you might draw from any savings you have to pay for them, put the expense on a credit card, borrow money, or cash in on stocks. Similarly, at West Shore, one-time needs come up 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 people to give a one-time special gift, a capital campaign.


Planned Giving

Finally, think about how people can give through their wills. This is planned giving. My grandmother, when she died, put a sizeable amount in her will for each of the grandkids, because she wanted to bless each of us. That money represented a lifetime of work, 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.