Pledging FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Why is pledging important? Why shouldn’t I just contribute cash to the weekly collection plate?

  1. Pledging symbolizes a commitment to the parish. Even a pledge of $1 is a an outward expression of gratitude for the blessings that one has received from God and the role that St. John’s serves in your spiritual life and those around us.
  2. St. John’s has approximately 320 member households, but less than half submitted a pledge last year. One of our goals is to increase the number of households that pledge as well as the annual pledge amount per household.
  3. From a practical standpoint, pledging is helpful because it allows the Church to prudently forecast its expenditures.
  4. Finally, if you simply put cash into the weekly plate collection, you will not get an annual statement for your donations.

How much does it cost to run the parish and how is my pledge money used?

  1. Expenses are: 48% clergy, personnel, and benefits; 19% on utilities and typical property maintenance. 11% on programs (outreach, Christian education, choir/music, flowers, childcare, etc.); 13% for the assessment by the Diocese of New York; and 9% miscellaneous.
  2. St. John’s has been running a significant annual deficit for several years. Annual expenses exceed income from all sources (donations, nursery school fees, etc.) so that our annual shortfall is being funded by our investment fund.

What are the payment methods available?

  1. You may mail checks to the Church office or put them in the weekly plate offering. Envelopes are available by request.
  2. Some parishioners prefer the convenience of their bank’s auto-pay option. Please contact your financial institution for more information.
  3. Contributions of securities (Click here for detailed instructions or you may contact Laura Rawlings, the Parish Administrator, for further details.

What period of time is covered by my pledge?

  1. Your pledge covers the calendar year from January through December 2019.
  2. If you happen to work in a role with a year-end bonus, please consider at the end of the year whether you would be comfortable with an additional contribution beyond your initial pledge.

Is a pledge a binding legal commitment?

No.  There is nothing tangible that happens if someone does not meet their pledging commitment.  Everyone understands that personal financial circumstances can unexpectedly change.  However, it’s important to remember that St. John’s annual donations in total are not supporting its annual expenses currently, so shortfalls create a need to withdraw even more from the investment portfolio, which is not sustainable.

Do other people know how much I’ve pledged?
Only four people know the donation amounts by name: the Parish Administrator, the Interim Rector, the Treasurer, and one of the Stewardship Chairs.

I forgot how much I pledged last year. Or, I’m not sure where I stand currently in my pledging year-to-date.

You may contact Laura Rawlings in the Church office by phone at (914) 834-2981 or by email at [email protected].