The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) provides many resources—web pages, publications, and people—that can help congregational leaders charged with fiscal oversight and management of the following issues.
Endowment assets need to be invested prudently, but in a way that will generate income for the congregation. The Unitarian Universalist Common Endowment Fund (UUCEF) may be a good option for many congregations, but it is important to make sure that the objectives, risk tolerance, and time horizon are consistent with those of the congregation. Learn more about the endowment resources the UUA offers.
Perhaps the best way to grow an endowment is to create a legacy giving program. At its most basic level, this means letting members of your congregation know that they can put the congregation in their wills. But there are other structured vehicles that allow people to make legacy gifts during their lifetimes. Along with the resources listed, Moira Pulitzer-Kennedy, Legacy Gifts Manager (giftplans @ uua.org), would be a tremendous source of information.
The UUA’s Stewardship and Development group is happy to work with congregations and donors to structure gifts that benefit more than one organization. Contact Katrina Foster (campaigndirector @ uua.org), for more information.
The Congregational Stewardship Network offers consulting guidance with annual budget drives, strategic planning, capital campaigns, and planned giving. Contact Brent Jurgess (bjurgess @ uua.org), for more information.
The Annual Program Fund (APF) office has designed many stewardship resources to help promote an intergenerational culture of giving in your congregation, and to communicate the role of generosity in funding your community. In addition to the resources below, please feel welcome to contact the APF Director (apf @ uua.org), for more information.
The UUA offers a full complement of benefit programs for ministers and employees of our congregations and related organizations. These include: retirement, health insurance, life insurance, dental insurance, and disability insurance. Rev. Richard Nugent heads the Office of Church Staff Finance (ocsf_director @ uua.org), which administers these programs.
Often congregations get confused about their tax status under IRS rules. Every UUA congregation is a “church” under U.S. tax law, therefore tax exempt, charitable, and exempt from tax filing. There is no “blanket exemption” from the UUA, but the UUA will provide a letter saying a congregation is in good standing.This addresses most tax exemption issues. However, it still may be in the interest of a congregation to get it’s own classification letter from the IRS.
The other tax-related questions that come up often relate to permissible behavior on political issues, elections, and lobbying. The UUA, in collaboration with our legal counsel, has prepared a guide laying out the boundaries for political speech and action.
Some general guidance on best practices in the financial management of congregations can be found here:
If you need more information, please don't hesitate to contact Tim Brennan (treasurer @ uua.org) or Susan Helbert, Assistant to the Treasurer (treasurerasst @ uua.org).
For more information contact treasurer @ uua.org.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations.
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Last updated on Wednesday, October 22, 2014.
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The Treasurer is the chief financial officer of the Association and as such, is responsible for all of its financial affairs. The Treasurer also monitors the Association’s investments to ensure their compliance with socially responsible investing guidelines set by the Board of Trustees.
Tim Brennan is the UUA Treasurer.treasurer @ uua.org
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