The Boise UU Stewardship function has undergone several transitions in recent years. We’re happy to report successful pledge drives have been conducted in recent years although not without some last minute intervention by Judy Holcombe and Debra Smith, past Board Presidents. Judy stepped in three years ago while she was Board President to rescue a foundering annual budget drive. Judy gracefully and successfully continued to run that campaign for two more years while Boise UU searched for a new Stewardship/Budget drive model. Prior to that, Debra Smith conducted the previous annual budget drive, also during her term as Board president.
A standing Stewardship Committee was formed two years ago to address stewardship issues not related to fundraising. That committee was envisioned to have a year-round gratitude/attitude focus but was not responsible for the annual budget drive.
We’re very fortunate that Tony Zornik has offered to lead the next budget drive. Tony recently attended the Russell Lockwood Leadership School.
While the annual budget drives have been successful small budget shortfalls have been covered by memorial bequests for two years.
Part of the “behind the scenes” magic that keeps BUUF running is the Finance Committee. The Committee has seven members Warren Bean, Allie Gooding, Bob Huntley, Debbie Johnson, Craig Raese, David Woito, and Jane Zornik. David Woito has led the committee for three years. Collectively the committee members represent a wide variety of experience and background. Committee members include a project manager, our Building Steward (now transitioning to a paid staff position), a small business owner, a software developer, an attorney, and more. The Committee works closely with the Board and with the staff bookkeeper to monitor the status of pledges versus expenses. A Finance Committee member manages the two rental properties adjacent to our campus.
Committee challenges include concerns about pledge shortfalls and allocating funding in a way that aligns with the mission. Staff salary raises have not kept up with market. Current projects include discussion of an endowment, managing memorial bequests, and implementing a new financial cycle, which allows better reporting and alignment with the annual budget drive. With Finance Committee leadership and congregational support, we have reduced mortgage debt load by almost half in the last four years, from $600,000 to just over $300,000 today.
The Fundraising committee organizes several fun events every year. Funds raised by the committee go directly to the fellowship's operating budget, and are generally not earmarked for special activities. One of our longest running and most successful activities is the annual Live and Silent Auction Party. The party has a different theme every year and includes dinner and entertainment. Members donate beautiful artwork, whitewater rafting trips, vacation cabins and lots of dinner parties. Last year's auction included an online component, which can be viewed at boiseuu.afrogs.org. New this year, the fundraising committee held a "pay as you wish" pancake dinner which was a big success with families.
Bridge Event Center
Our building and grounds are available for rent by the wider Treasure Valley community when not being used for church events. Marketed as The Bridge Event Center (bridgeeventcenter.com) and staffed by two event coordinators and support staff, our beautiful home has become a desirable location for meetings, parties, weddings, and other special events. BEC employs two Event Coordinators and 5+ support staff, all of whom are BUUF Members or Friends. The BEC brings a modest source of income to BUUF’s general operating budget, and answers directly to the BUUF Board of Directors.