Expression of gratitude is a common ingredient in all secret recipes for happiness. Generosity as an act of gratitude is a two-way gift! Thus we are about to kick off our very important annual fund drive which will determine our budget from July 2014- June 2015, a critical transitional year for our community. Members and friends should have received pledge packets by snail mail in the past few days (or here http://www.philauu.org/stewardship), and I’d like to address a few frequently asked questions about this year's campaign.
- “How/why was a suggested gift amount determined?” There are many approaches to benchmarking gift amounts. In the end, only you know what appropriately reflects your individual financial circumstances as well as the breadth and depth of connectedness you have with this community, whether past, present, and/or future. Suggestions were made based upon giving history plus a not very scientific adjustment for a variety of miscellaneous factors, including our optimism and enthusiasm. Yes, it is likely that Amazon.com does a better job of predictive suggestions with their multibillion dollar big data analytic machine than your humble stewardship team was able to do! If it does not feel right to you (hopefully we underestimated!) then you can also refer to the UUA Fair Share guidelines in relation to your income. You can also benchmark (as we did in some cases) to the $1200 annual per member cost to operate our church community. Best yet, benchmark to your gratitudes!
- “Why gratitudes? Some members give out of obligation, and may in fact be harboring negative or ambivalent feelings right now.” See above, folks. Giving out of obligation is not joyful, even if it is tied to our commitment as members. And what better way to reinvigorate your engagement with the community than by reminding yourself what you ARE grateful for – maybe it’s the seven principles, maybe it’s the stained glass, a particular event, someone in the community who enriched your life in some way, a piece of music that moved you to tears … I can personally check off all of the above and many more.
I want to thank those of you who made your generous pledges on Day 1, along with your touching words of gratitude which we will share as we go. And of course I am grateful in advance for everyone’s generosity which will carry us with health and vigor into a milestone year.