What is the Canvass?

The Canvass is our annual pledge drive--an opportunity to renew our financial commitment to UUCR’s mission, its programs, and its staff. This year Canvass season begins with an exciting weekend featuring the Fellowship Dinner on Saturday, March 16 and Canvass Sunday on Sunday, March 17. Canvass Sunday is a celebration of our commitment to sustain our beloved community for the coming fiscal year. During the service, each congregant fills out a pledge card, brings it forward, and places it in the pledge box. 

This year, our Canvass goal is 100% participation with every member of our community sharing what they can to help UUCR grow and flourish. No pledge is too small, and it goes without saying that no pledge is too big. 

Let’s work to meet our goal (100% participation) and continue being awesome!

How to Pledge

You can pay in one lump sum, weekly, or monthly.

At the worship service on March 17, you will receive a pledge card. Fill it out, bring it to the front of the sanctuary, and place it in the pledge box. The Canvass team will place a star on the Canvass wall on your behalf.

There, you will find members of the Canvass team who can answer your questions about making a pledge. It’s easy to fill out a pledge card and put your own star on the Canvass wall!

You can read more about the Canvass, check out the latest pledging and budget data, and make a pledge online. Just go to Realm on the UUCR home page and hit the "+Pledge" button. You’ll still get a star on the wall!

A confirmation email will be sent to you once your form was submitted.

You may request a physical pledge card by emailing us at canvass@uucr.org or stopping by the Canvass table on Sundays.

What is This Year's Canvass Goal? 

The goal is for everyone—members, friends, soon-to-be friends—to participate! 

The Board of Trustees Canvass request is $674,028 for UUCR’s planned programs in FY 2024-25. This is an increase of $59,703 over our current fiscal year budget. If everybody gives what they can, we can reach this goal.

Who Can Pledge?

As a part of our covenant of membership, all members are expected to make a financial pledge, according to their ability to give. There is no minimum amount for a pledge, and you do not need to be a member to make a pledge. We will happily accept pledges from all members of our beloved community.

What is the purpose of pledging? 

The need for financial support is obvious, but the need for pledging might not be. By pledging our support in advance, we make it possible for our congregational leaders to plan for the 2024-2025 budget year. Pledges make up 76% of UUCR’s annual operating budget. 

Here are some of the blessings that you provide through your pledge:

What is New for Fiscal Year 2024-2025?

First and foremost, we want to continue to fully support our excellent staff. We want to maintain our facilities and develop services and programs for members, friends, and visitors. The proposed budget also includes other important items. For many years UUCR has been blessed by a volunteer bookkeeper, a $10,000/year in-kind contribution which is unique among metro area UU congregations. Our volunteer is retiring after many years of service at UUCR, including a long-time role as treasurer in the 1980s-1990s. The Board will hire a part-time bookkeeper beginning July 2024, the start of UUCR’s fiscal year. 

In FY2023-24 you asked UUCR to expand new programming, especially in Adult Faith Formation, music and arts, and outreach to the community. UUCR staff and volunteers are already making this new programming a reality. Continued support will make these programs better and better.

The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) helps to strengthen and expand Unitarian Universalism beyond our own congregations. We aspire to remain an Honor Congregation (formerly Fair Share) to help our denomination grow. In the past year, we achieved this honored status for the first time in twenty years. Our full contribution to the UUA to sustain their annual programs is $38,775.

How much should I pledge?

If you have made a pledge to UUCR in the past, we hope you will raise your pledge as you are able to support our programs and principles in FY24-25. 

If you have never pledged, consider a grateful gift of $10 each month. However, if you pledge within your means, you will contribute to a successful Canvass outcome.

How does the UUCR Budget Work?

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rockville has a long tradition of strong financial management of its resources. It maintains solid financial records that are auditable, and from a financial management perspective operates similar to a small non-profit organization. Its financial officers consist of a treasurer, an assistant treasurer for receipts, and an assistant treasurer for disbursements—all supported by a bookkeeper. The finance and investment committees provide regular oversight of church assets.

UUCR operates on a July to June fiscal year. Each October, the Board issues budget guidance to staff and committees for submittal of funding requests for the upcoming fiscal year. The finance committee reviews and assembles these submissions into a draft budget that is submitted to the Board in January for approval. This becomes the basis for the annual spring Canvass drive. Each June, at the conclusion of the canvass, the Board, if required to do so, adjusts its operating budget (to begin the following month) to reflect any shortfall in pledge card commitments.

The charts below are an overview the Board’s approved income and expenses anticipated this year and estimated for July 2024 to June 2025, our Canvass budget.

The congregation owns 6.4 acres of land, maintains five buildings and serves a congregation with 319 members. The annual cost to operate our facilities this year is approximately $157,000. Expenses include custodial services, utilities, building and grounds maintenance (four of our buildings are close to 60 years old), trash and snow removal, water, sewer and insurance. 

Our office expenses run in the low $20,000s. This includes maintenance and purchase of office equipment and supplies, software and database expenses, telephone, internet and postage costs. 

Our largest expense, at 67% of our Canvass budget, and the heart and soul of our congregation is its staff. UUCR employs five staff who work ¾ or full-time (Minister, Director of Religious Education, Congregational Administrator, Director of Congregational Engagement, and Director of Communications). UUCR has one  half-time employee (Director of Music). Six staff members work 10 or fewer hours/week (Pianist, RE Youth Assistant, RE Assistant, Bookkeeper (new hire) Child Care Provider and Building Sexton).  

Questions regarding UUCR finances can be directed to Bill Newhouse, Chair of the Finance committee, or to Kent Hancock at the Canvass table in the lobby.

What Is UUCR's Financial Condition?

Our financial condition is good, but there is a growing shortfall between the congregation we wish to be and what we can actually afford.  We have been able to fully pay our amazing staff, meet the rest of our financial obligations, and maintain our beautiful campus. This congregation thrives on the growth of its programs, the opportunity to explore new areas of thought and meaningful outreach to the community at large. This takes more pledge-based resources and a growth in membership to increase our volunteer base. 

UUCR has thus far met all the financial challenges we  faced during the pandemic. years. However, inflation continues to slowly drive up operating costs,  

For more information about UUCR finances and the Canvass budget, check out the graphic overviews in our budget charts and budget table. 

Have more questions? Contact us at canvass@uucr.org