Bottom Line Letter

Third in a series of letters from some First Parish “personalities” about this year’s pledge campaign and appearing as inserts in the Sunday order of service.  This one is from March 3. 
All are being posted on:

Dear Parishioner,

Whoopee! We are off to a high-flying start for this year’s Annual Pledge Campaign. Thank you!

I feel so good about you, and your recognition that pledges determine First Parish’s operating budget—our ability to provide reasonable increases to staff compensation and cover mounting operating costs. You step up!

It’s humbling to work with generous folks, especially those of us who labor to make ends meet. We are an economically diverse spiritual community, and I appreciate every dollar each of you pledges. Thank you!

I’m a straight-shooter yet I’ve struggled with how to best present our financial picture and give you guidelines on what to pledge if you haven’t done so already. Try this: Take a look at your household budget. Does it reflect how much you value your spiritual community? How does your pledge compare, for instance, to your vacation or grocery budget—do you value the sustenance you get from the church more or less? In the words of parishioner Tom Wilson, “Please give until it feels really good.”

I bow my head in gratitude for all we’ve built so far as I tell you:

It costs more than $2,000 per household to keep our doors open. If you are new to First Parish, or to pledging itself, we suggest a 2019-2020 pledge of $1,000 or more. Every pledge is generous, no matter its size.

For pledges made to First Parish last year, please accept our heartfelt thanks. To accomplish more great things this coming year, we encourage you to reach deeper.

  • If your pledge was $1,000 or more last year, please raise it by at least 5%.
  • If your pledge was between $0 and $1,000, please consider raising it to $1,000 or higher.

I’m proud we’re a community that fulfills its mission. Each year, pledging at the higher levels of $5,000 or more suffers attrition due to members or friends moving away, retiring, or passing away. It is vital to the financial health of the church that these donors are replaced, and that generous leaders step forward, increasing their pledges significantly to further the work of FP.

Together, let’s reach deep to reach high and wide on Celebration Sunday, and in the coming weeks!

Yours truly,

Bottom Line