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Preparing the Way
Stewardship 2024

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a pledge?

A pledge is an estimate of annual giving, or a statement of intent. Your pledge amount may be changed, increased, or decreased during the year, at any time that your financial circumstances change. We solicit pledges each autumn for the following calendar year.

An annual pledge submitted in the autumn for the next year helps us to set an accurate budget, make our payroll, fund our programming and outreach, and plan for the future. Pledges fund the general operating budget that is set and approved by the vestry each year.

Why should I pledge?

Pledging allows you to make intentional decisions about your financial giving. When you plan ahead for your giving, you make conscious choices about spending your money in ways that reflect your faith, values and commitment.


Pledging allows our vestry, St. Martin’s governing board, to plan for our parish community in the same way that you plan for your household. The vestry sets a budget based on the total amount pledged to St. Martin’s. While regular giving that is not pledged is important, a pledge allows the vestry to plan more accurately for the programming and ministries St. Martin’s can accomplish.

Further, an annual pledge to St. Martin’s is required:

  • To be a voting member of St. Martin’s

  • To serve on the Vestry or other leadership and decision-making bodies.

  • To serve in liturgical and ministry roles.

How do I pledge?

Annual giving pledges at St. Martin’s are made each year for the calendar year, January through December. While our annual giving campaign is held in the fall, pledges may be made at any time by submitting a pledge to the parish office online or via a paper pledge card. The online form and pledge cards are available year-round.


How do I pay my pledge?

Paying your pledge is a matter of personal preference. You can pay weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually via cash, check, credit card, or electronic fund transfer. You can initiate your own credit card payments via online giving at St. Martin’s website. You can also pay your pledge with a donation of stock. Many companies offer matching funds for charitable donations. Please confirm if your company offers matching funds.


To provide you a record of your giving for tax purposes we will need to receive your gift electronically, in the form of a check, or in a numbered giving envelope (an option you may select on the pledge form). If you give through stock transfer, please have your broker identify you as the source of the stock so we can give proper credit.

What about giving to a specific ministry?

Restricted giving, i.e. gifts designated for specific ministries in the church, are discouraged unless the person has already pledged. As a community, we need to work together to finance our common life and mission first before we focus on individual passions and interests.

How much should I pledge?

Each individual or household member is asked to make an annual pledge of financial support to St. Martin’s. Determining the amount of your annual pledge is between you and God, but the following simple steps may help determine the amount of your initial pledge.


  • Measure what percentage of your income you are currently giving.

  • Does your giving reflect the depth of your gratitude to God for all that you have and all that you are?

  • As you seek to increase your pledge by 1%, 2%, or 5%, moving toward a tithe.

What is proportionate giving?

Proportionate giving bases your pledge amount on a percentage of your income and allows for increases to your pledge in following years by 1%, 2%, or 5% to move you closer to a goal of tithing. It is also a way of giving that begins with the question, “How has God blessed me?” rather than “What does the church need?” or “What is left after everything else?”


What is a tithe?

A tithe is 10% of your income. Since 1982, the Episcopal Church has affirmed the tithe as the minimum standard for giving and encourages its members to tithe or be working toward a tithe. St. Martin’s recognizes that many parishioners choose to divide their tithe among the church and other worthy charitable organizations, so we teach the “Modern Tithe,” 5% to the Church and 5% to other charities.


A tithe may sound like an unattainable goal to begin with, but if you start with a certain proportion of your income and increase the percentage each year through proportionate giving, you can reach this goal over time.

Just as we grow in faith, we continually strive for growth in our stewardship response to meet this standard of grateful giving.

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