UUCC 2021-2022 Pledge Drive

by Caroline Eastman, UUCC Finance Chair

In June 2019, four large trees came down in a storm and started a fire in our house. Our lives were seriously disrupted. Almost all our belongings were taken to warehouses, and we moved to an apartment for a year. After the initial shock had passed, we realized that this was a time not just to repair and rebuild the house as it was but to re-imagine the house as it could be. We imagined a larger kitchen, a utility room, and a master suite. We imagined a circle driveway with sun loving plants replacing their shade-tolerant predecessors. We are now living in the re-imagined house and are glad to have taken the time and money to make these changes. But it wasn’t easy.

As we contemplate and plan for reopening of our building, UUCC can re-imagine our future. We don’t have to put things back just the way they were. We can make changes. The crises and disruptions of the past year have forced us out of our familiar patterns and activities. We could try to simply recreate our past. Or we can consider what changes might be desirable in our activities and the ways we implement them. For example, the Finance Committee has decided to continue meeting via Zoom even after the building is reopened. We have realized that we can accomplish our work without meeting in person and that the virtual meeting avoids long drives and reduces conflicts with personal and professional lives.

We hope that all members and friends will play an active role in this re-imagining. Although there are surely things you would like to stay the same, there must be others you would like to change. What should stay on Zoom? Are hybrid activities possible? Are there new activities you want to join or lead? Is there anything we should simply leave behind? It is likely that we will have at least partial reopening of our building this year, and we have a committee planning this process. Contact a board member or committee chair with your ideas.

There is a lot of uncertainty associated with our re-imagined UUCC. However, the need for money to support our activities is not one of these. Our pledge drive for 2021-2022 starts this month. Our goal is $216,000. This amount is based upon historical data on income and expenses, with some modifications for anticipated changes. Almost all our income is from member contributions. Having these in the form of yearly pledges makes budgeting and planning for the year much easier. During the past year we have had almost no income from other sources, such as rentals. We don’t know how this situation will change as we reopen.

Most of our money is spent on fixed costs, such as salaries, insurance, services, and utilities. During the past year, most of our building expenses have continued unchanged even though we have not been meeting there. As is the case in most households, only a limited amount is available for discretionary expenses. But these discretionary amounts are what we need to support exciting and innovative activities.

Please submit your pledge to support our re-imagined UUCC. You may return the pledge card which is being mailed to you. Or you may send an email with your pledge amount to our administrator [uucc@uucolumbia.org]. We are asking that you consider increasing your pledge this year by 10% so that we can meet our goal for the year. The pledge year is the same as UUCC’s fiscal year – July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022. Contributions made during a fiscal year will be assumed to be for that fiscal year unless you specify otherwise. As you mail or email your pledge, remember that it will support not just our existing sound foundation but the re-imagined UUCC that will be built on this foundation.