FAQ: Making an Annual Commitment
How Important is My Financial Giving to St. Francis-in-the Fields?
It is the financial support of the congregation that makes all we do at St. Francis-in-the-Fields possible. Our parish, like any household, has income and expenses. Our expenses include our staff compensation and benefits; numerous building expenses such as heat, water, and general upkeep; insurance costs; our support towards the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis; and our outreach, music, education and youth ministries. More than 90% of our income comes from contributions of our members. Our parish can only be financially solvent and effectively further God’s mission with your consistent and generous financial support.
What is an Annual Commitment?
Your annual commitment is your best estimate of what you will be able to give financially over the coming year, and the commitments received form the basis for determining the annual budget. But, beyond that, making an annual commitment shows that you consider St. Francis-in-the-Fields to be your spiritual home and a priority in your life.
Why is Making an Annual Commitment Important to St. Francis-in-the Fields?
The annual commitments from our members give the Vestry and the Treasurer insight into the amount of financial support that can be expected from the congregation for the coming year. While all donations, like cash in the offering plate, are appreciated, the annual commitments made by our members are the cornerstone for our annual budget.
How Will My Donations be Used?
Most of your money is spent right here at St. Francis-in-the-Fields. The donations received fund expenses to operate our building, our clergy and administration salaries and benefits, our supplies and our various ministries. Donations fund local outreach programs, mission trips, parish events, music programs, Christian formation activities and much more. In addition, we help support the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis.
After the Annual Campaign is completed and annual commitments are in hand, the Vestry will work with the Treasurer to finalize a budget for next year. The budget will be approved by our parish at the Annual Meeting in after the first of the year.
Why is Making an Annual Commitment Important to Me?
The reason for giving is highly personal and varied. This is really 're-directing' a portion of your annual income. It may mean giving up something now... for something better later. That something better is God’s work in the world through the church and we have a role we play in that. The deeper relationship we develop with God and the personal experiences we have that shape our lives and the lives of our children help make the case that this is a worthwhile use of one's resources.
How Much Should I Commit to Give?
It is incredibly important to St. Francis-in-the-Fields that each member of the congregation makes an annual financial commitment to the church. We ask that you be generous in your giving, but we value each commitment, regardless of size. How much you give is a personal decision that should be determined through prayer and reflection.
You may consider giving a
proportion of your income as your annual commitment. Proportional giving reflects the belief that
everything we have is through God’s grace, and how much we give should be in
proportion to how much we have received.
The Biblical standard of tithing,
or giving 10% of one’s income, is a form of proportional giving. Take a look at this helpful chart to see how proportional giving might work for you.
How Do I Pay My Annual Commitment?
You can pay it weekly, monthly, quarterly or on a semi-annual or annual basis. You can set-up electronic payments that will come directly to the church on a monthly basis or put your offerings in the collection plate. If you pay by cash in the offering plate, please make sure it is designated towards your annual commitment so that we may track it for you and send accurate statements.
What Happens if I Need to Adjust My Annual Commitment?
Whether you need to move it up or down throughout the year, just let the rector or the parish office know in writing (via a note, email or by filling out a new Commitment Card). We understand that circumstances change and that your ability to give may decrease or increase.
Can Others See My Annual Commitment or is it Confidential?
The amount of your annual commitment is confidential and is viewed only by the Treasurer and the Rector. It is not available to others. As part of their follow up efforts, the members of the Vestry will know who has made an annual commitment; however, they will not know the amount of your commitment.
Where can I get more information?
You are always welcome to contact a member of the Vestry, the Treasurer or Fr. Davies with your questions. If you have questions about budgeting, there is also a bulletin board by the office that shows the budget and the actual income and expenses to date.