Everyone who went to the Friendly Feast last month received a packet of information about the church and a pledge form. Markus sent out more pledge forms in his December mailing. Why? What’s the big deal about pledging? After I’ve pledged, how can I donate?
Pledging helps you, and it helps St Paul’s.
Pledging helps you because it gives you a chance to really think about what St Paul’s means to you, what value it holds for you, and what you think you should give back to it. It lets you be very intentional about your giving, rather than just dropping a few dollars into the collection plate sometimes. Once you decide what you want to give to St. Paul’s, and you tell us, we will help you by providing regular (every 4 months) statements reminding you how much you’ve given and how much you’ve pledged (we do this mainly to give you the chance to correct any errors we have made in recording donations, but it is also a helpful reminder to you).
Pledging helps St. Paul’s two ways. Most people, when they think about how much they want to give, will give more than if they just haphazardly drop money in the plate. Of course, more money is better than less money. But the other way it helps us is when we have pledges, we have a much better idea of how much money to expect, so we can balance our budget. So from our perspective, it is not about getting more money, it is about getting a predictable amount of money.
If you have not pledged before, even if you are a regular giver, I urge you to pledge for 2009. Even if you pledge exactly the same amount as you would have given without the pledge, your pledge helps us with planning.
Once you’ve decided how much you want to give in 2009, there are several ways to do it.
You can drop cash in the collection plate. This is the easiest, and it works great for when you’re visiting a church. The disadvantage is that you do not get a tax receipt at the end of the year, and you have no way of knowing exactly how much you’ve given at the end of the year. You may have decided to donate $10 each week ($520 for the year), but what about that week when the snow was so bad you couldn’t get in? Did you remember $20 the following week? And those two or three weeks when you didn’t have any cash in your wallet? And the week you were out of town? Although you intended to donate $520 for the year, you may not have reached that goal, and you’ll never know.
You can get a box of weekly donation envelopes. With these, you put your cash or cheque in the envelope with the date of the service on it, and then put the envelope in the collection plate. This is better, because if you miss a week, you can see the empty envelope in your box, and you’ll remember. We keep track of how much you donated, and send you a tax receipt at the end of the year. If you want envelopes, please contact the treasurer (Wade Richards) by putting a note in the collection plate.
You can use post-dated cheques. Some parishioners give us 12 cheques in January, one dated for the start of each month. We don’t deposit the cheques until after the date written on the cheque, so your donation is spread throughout the year. This works well for people who don’t want to have to remember to bring in a donation each week, but you should be sure that there will be enough money in your bank account so the cheque will be covered. If you give us post-dated cheques and for some reason want us not to deposit them, you can always contact the treasurer and we will make whatever changes are required.
You can use credit card or pre-authorized debit (PAD) from your bank account. This is the high-tech, electronic way to do it. For credit-card, fill out the pledge form with your Visa or MasterCard number, expiry date, and monthly donation and sign it. For PAD, write the monthly amount on your pledge form and sign it, and include a void cheque. We will charge the credit card or deduct the bank account the requested amount monthly, around the 20th of each month. As a bonus, you can use any airmiles you get from a credit card donation to get closer to God. As with post-dated cheques, if there is any reason you need to make changes during the year, I will be happy to accommodate them: increasing, reducing, or entirely cancelling your donation if that is what you want.
If you want to use post-dated cheques or credit-card, but are self-conscious about having the collection plate go past you without your putting anything in it, you can pick up one of the “I Support St. Pauls” fliers at the back of the church, and put it in the collection plate when it comes by.