In partnership with the UUA Board of Trustees’ APF Task Force (and with the help of the congregations in the Southern Region who piloted the GIFT program), we have been working to shape congregational giving in a way that is fair and responsive to the realities of congregational life, while at the same time providing sustainable financial support so that our congregations can be well served. We wanted to create a formula that would be based upon a congregation’s ability to pay, and to inspire greater numbers of our congregations to provide the full requested amount.
Why a New APF?
- Congregational leaders are asking for a new model.
- We have been looking carefully at how congregations support the work of the Association as well as the changing landscape of religious affiliation in our country.
- We want to continue serving congregations with programs and resources that allow them to bring Unitarian Universalist values to life in their communities.
- The covenant that holds us is mutual: congregations are asked to support the UUA financially, and we also want our funding program to be responsive to the realities that face congregations.
- Congregations have different definitions of membership.
- In times of crisis, a congregation’s membership may not reflect the reality of financial challenge.
- Linking APF to certified expenditures (rather than membership) is more responsive to what’s happening within the life of the congregation, and therefore links more directly with the congregation’s ability to pay.
- Separating APF contributions from membership numbers encourages congregations to welcome greater number of members.
- We are all one UUA, and we want a funding program that demonstrates this by inviting contributions to UUA nationally and locally (District or Region) in a single, unified ask.
- Contributions to APF have dropped from an attainment rate of 84% in 2006 to 71% in 2015, even as congregational expenditures are rising.
- Unitarian Universalists are statistically the second highest paid income group but dead last in terms of giving to support our own faith, as compared to other faith groups.
- We hope that talking about the New APF can serve to open a deeper UUA-wide conversation about stewardship as a spiritual principle
- The quest to find the most equitable funding program has been ongoing for over four decades.
- Regionalization changes how our staff, regions, and districts operate and are funded.
- The times in which we live demonstrate how necessary our Unitarian Universalist values are.
- Our UUA can be robust and responsive only with the full support of our congregations.
- We ask congregations to recommit to the covenant of support for one another so that we may powerfully meet the challenges of our time.