Comparison of CCUU Pledges with Pledges of a Financially Healthy Congregation

Q:  What does this slide show?
A:  It shows the number of pledges that make up each quartile at CCUU compared to the number of pledges that make up each quartile in a financially Healthy Congregation. It shows that the top 11 households in our congregation give the same amount 118 other households and that is a risk to our financial stability.

Q:  What is a quartile?
A:  A quartile is one fourth (or one quarter – get it?) of the total amount of pledges made by the members of a congregation.  For example, if a congregation has total pledges of $460,000, then one quarter (one quartile) would be $115,000 ($460,000 divided by 4 =$115,000).

Q:  Why use quartiles rather than, say, deciles?
A:  Because the stewardship team is lazy and the average CCUU member possesses above average intelligence, so we knew you’d get these concepts with just four examples rather than ten.

Q:  What is a Financially Healthy Congregation?
A:  A Financially Healthy Congregation is one where the total amount of member pledges is sufficient to support all of its operating costs (staff salaries, building costs, insurance, etc.) and one that can sustain normal growth and dips. A congregation that has a good spread of both pledge units and amounts of those pledges, to maintain stability even if a few households move away.

Q: So, are you saying that CCUU is a financially un-healthy congregation?
A:  Not exactly.  CCUU might be called an “out of shape” congregation.  We know that if CCUU members received the proper information and encouragement, CCUU could become a financially Healthy Congregation in a relatively short period of time (during this stewardship drive, hopefully).

Q:  Where do these financially Healthy Congregation statistics come from?
A:  From the UUA, of course.  Just one of the many support services the UUA provides us!

Q:  What’s the best way for CCUU to become a financially Healthy Congregation?
A:  Why, for everyone to attend a Cottage Meeting and to increase their pledge!

Q:  OK, so can we go back to the chart and can you explain the first quartile?
A:  Sure.  The chart has two bars for Quartile 1.  The Orange bar shows the number of pledges that it takes to make up the first quarter of total pledges in a financially Healthy Congregation and the Blue bar shows the number of pledges it takes to make up the first quarter of total pledges at CCUU.  Also, the numbers in the box – $100 – $2,299, show the lowest annual pledge and the highest annual pledge in that quartile for CCUU.  Remember from several questions back, in our example total pledges are $460,000 and one quarter is $115,000.  In a financially Healthy Congregation, that first $115,000 is received from only 85 member pledges but at CCUU it takes 115 member pledges.

Q:  I think I’m getting it.  Let me explain Quartile 2.
A:  Go for it.

Q:  In Quartile 2, the second $115,000 is contributed by 56 member pledges in a financially Healthy Congregation but only by 37 member pledges at CCUU.  And looking back at Quartile 1, if some of the members in that quartile could increase their pledges and move to Quartile 2 we could move closer to having 56 member pledges rather than only 37 in Quartile 2.
A:  Yes!  I think you’ve got it.  If most members could increase their pledges, and if some members could strive to move up to the next quartile, CCUU could be a financially Healthy Congregation in no time.