Who should pledge? All those active in the life of our church are invited and encouraged to contribute their generous and personally significant share in support of our mission to deepen spiritually, to take care of one another, and to be a blessing to the world.
Expectations: What kind of giving is typical at First Parish? Everyone’s circumstances are different so giving varies widely. Annual pledges for FY17 range from less than $250 to as high as $12,000. We suggest making a commitment by starting with a pledge of 1% to 3% of annual income. Wherever you start or whatever your current percentage of giving, we ask all church participants to set a personal generosity goal and to grow steadily in generosity as their commitment to First Parish deepens.
How important are pledges? Where does the money go? Direct contributions from members and friends pay for more than 80% of church operating expenses each year. The vast portion of these funds each year comes from your pledges. And, more than 70% of every dollar you contribute pays salaries and benefits for Elea and for our extraordinary staff. At First Parish we invest every pledge dollar in something vital to our mission work here together as a community of faith. So, your pledge really matters.
What share is right for me? We ask each of you to discover the level of generosity that fits your circumstances and your growing connection and commitment to our church community. We ask that each pledge be generous, affordable, and yet personally significant. There are several ways to think about this. Many among us have found a percentage of income approach can help in this process. Please see the First Parish Guide to Percentage Giving. Some members like to see where their contribution fits in relative to what others in the congregation are giving and to then watch how that changes as they grow in generosity over time. A new idea that’s proving attractive to some members is to figure out how much they earn hourly, and then set aside a given amount of time (e.g. an hour per week) to donate to the church. One of our members has told us it makes getting up on Monday mornings a little easier knowing that for the first hour of every week, you’re working for First Parish.
On the Testimonials page you can hear congregation members speaking about the meaning to them of giving to support First Parish Church.
When is payment due? You decide. There are many options including weekly, monthly, and single payments.
How do I make a payment? You can pay by check, with cash, or by using your bank’s automatic bill payer option (an option which has been rapidly gaining in popularity). For automatic bill payer, please check with your bank for details as each bank handles this somewhat differently. With cash, be sure to use an envelope with your name on it so we can properly record and credit your payment. Cash envelopes are available in every church pew. Please enter FY18 on the check memo line or on the cash envelope so your payment can be properly recorded.
What if my financial circumstances change during the year? First Parish records each pledge payment as the year progresses. The church will send you a statement at the end of the calendar year that you can use for itemizing charitable deductions on your tax return. If you need to know the current status of your payments and remaining pledge balance, or if your financial circumstances change during the year and you find it necessary to adjust your pledge, please contact the church Treasurer, .
Questions? If you have any questions regarding our Renewal of Giving process, please email , or leave a message for Renewal of Giving in the church office at 978-448-6307.