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Don’t Ask for the Minimum

By Donald E. Skinner

Q. Our congregation wants to attract new members; we also want to manage our money in a responsible way. We estimate that it costs $75 minimum to keep a member on the church list for a year. This includes newsletter costs and the support we provide to our district and the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Should we insist that every member pay at least $75 per year?

A. Wayne Clark, the UUA's director of Congregational Fundraising Services, cautions that asking members for only a minimum contribution can lead them to expect that their church won't ask much of them in any area: "If you use the lowest common denominator, that's usually what people will give. And it's often much less than what they would give if they'd been asked differently."

Clark prefers to give them the UUA's Suggested Fair Share Giving Guide. He recommends asking new folks for a financial commitment as soon as they join or become regularly involved.

About the Author

Donald E. Skinner

Donald E. Skinner was the founding editor of the InterConnections newsletter for congregational leaders and a senior editor of UU World from 1998 until his retirement in 2014. He is a member of the Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church in Lenexa, Kansas.

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