As we enter our second century as a liberal religious community, we have a vital message and vision that is not for ourselves alone, but also for future members, those who come after us, and the world outside our walls. We have developed plans for facilities that will enable us to care for our aging sanctuary and build a larger, more connected, multigenerational community that can fulfill our mission’s promise to awaken spirit, nurture hope, and inspire action.
To this end, University Unitarian Church is preparing to launch a multi-million dollar capital campaign to renovate our existing Kirk sanctuary and expand our social, administrative, and program spaces. Charged last year by the Stewardship Committee with assessing the current readiness and financial capacity of the congregation to support a campaign, the Capital Campaign Team (CCT) engaged Collins Group, a local non-profit fundraising consultant, to survey our congregation online and through in-person interviews. Approximately half of UUC households participated in the study, which indicated strong support for moving forward and financial capacity to support a campaign of $7.5-$15 million. Here is a summary of the study findings.
Over the summer, the Physical Space and Capital teams continued to work to refine their approaches to the project, and to bring the building Master Plan into alignment with the congregation’s giving capacity. This fall, two UUC families agreed to match, up to $5 million each, every dollar raised by the congregation. This 2-to-1 match opportunity means that a Capital Campaign of $15 million is achievable. Even better, commitments of over $2.2 million from nearly 60 UUC families mean that we are already more than 40% of the way toward reaching our goal! This matching opportunity was presented to the congregation at the December 4th Town Hall. You can view the presentation from that meeting here.
The Capital Campaign will be conducted over the next year and a half, with all commitments received by June 2018. Gifts can be payable over three to five years. Our goal is 100% participation, with all members and friends giving “stretch” gifts that are personally meaningful to them. If every member of our congregation gives five times his or her annual pledge, we will reach our goal. This would mean doubling for five years the financial commitment a member makes to the church, with half of that money continuing to go toward the operating drive, and half to the Capital Campaign. There are many creative ways to give and to make your gift go farther: please consider these ideas.
It will take us time to ask each member for his or her commitment, but we will be in touch with you! In the meantime, if you would like to make an early gift, you will find a pledge form here. If you are interested in volunteering, please complete our contact form below this message so that we can be in touch with you. We need members and friends who are willing to plan and host events and reach out to fellow congregants as visiting stewards.
Let us work together to build a church that is not for ourselves alone and makes our beloved principles manifest in our lives, in our community, and in the world!
Scott & Katie Renschler
Capital Campaign Planning Team Co-Chairs