We are very grateful for the ongoing generosity of our members and friends who make financial contributions to support our programs and operations. First Unitarian Toronto is a registered Canadian charity (851846816 RR0001) and issues annual tax receipts.

There are many convenient ways to make a donation and we invite you to use whichever method or combination of methods are best suited to you.

Pledges for Ongoing Giving

If you are ready and able to give regularly to First, you are probably ready and able to participate in what we call “Pledging”. Our annual Pledge Drive occurs in the fall, when we provide our members and friends with information about this critical process for sustaining our congregation and planning our annual budget.

We ask members and friends to indicate ( i.e., “pledge”) an amount they are committed to giving over the course of the coming year. This stated financial commitment from each member, paid periodically, allows us to plan staffing and programs knowing there will be sufficient funds. If you give regularly (monthly, quarterly, annually) you will provide us with a predictable income. Of course, the amount is up to you; we invite you to give at a level that fits your circumstances and your values.

We understand that circumstances can change and pledges can't always be fulfilled. We ask that you please advise This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you must make a change to your pledge so we can adjust our cash flow expectations accordingly.

You can create a pledge at any time using the confidential secure online pledge form.  Or if you prefer to use a paper form, you can download it, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Ways to Donate

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., if you have any questions about your donations.

If you donate at least $20 in a year, you will normally receive a tax receipt from First Unitarian in February covering the full amount you donated  in the previous year. It will come either by email (if we have your email address) or by Canada Post. 

If you donate via PayPal or CanadaHeelps, the tax receipt will be generated by those sites.

Donate in the Collection Basket

  • When you put a donation in the collection basket during the Sunday service, whether by cash or cheque, 100% of your donation comes to First Unitarian.

Donate using post-dated cheques

  • If you prefer to pay by cheque, you could leave a set of post-dated cheques with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Donate using debit from your bank account

  • When you donate via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), 100% of your donation comes to First Unitarian.
  • We can set up a recurring donation on your schedule (monthly, quarterly, every two months).
  • Please provide your bank information on our secure pledge form or by giving a void cheque to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or leaving it in the collection basket. You could also email a photo of a void cheque.

Donate using your credit card

  • First Unitarian supports donations using either Visa or Mastercard.
  • When you donate via your credit card, the card takes a processing fee. 95-97% of your donation comes to First Unitarian. Please consider adding 3% to cover the fees.
  • We can set up a recurring donation on your schedule (monthly, quarterly, every two months)
  • Please provide your credit card information on our secure pledge form or by giving the information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Donate via Paypal

  • When you donate via PayPal, 100% of your donation comes to First Unitarian. (Paypal started waiving their fee for charitable donations in October 2018.) Learn more at PayPal.ca/GiveBack
  • Your tax receipt will come from Paypal Giving Fund Canada with one email per donation.
  • Paypal does not support automatic recurring donations.
  • Donate online via PayPal. You can also use the PayPal app on your phone.

Donate via CanadaHelps

  • When you donate via CanadaHelps, there is a processing fee of 3.5%, so 96.5% of your donation comes to First Unitarian. Learn more at CanadaHelps.ca.
  • CanadaHelps supports automatic monthly donations.
  • Your tax receipt will be available on CanadaHelps.ca. You can get one receipt for all your donations for a year.
  • Donate online via CanadaHelps

Donate by Transferring Securities

  • Giving stock directly to First may be more prudent than selling stock and giving cash because there may be tax advantages related to capital gains.  
  • Please contact your financial advisor to confirm the best arrangements for you. Use our Stock Transfer Form.

Estate Planning

  • Planned Giving is a way to express your support for First after you are gone. Read more about how to make your wishes known and select the most suitable way for you to plan this type of gift.

Deciding How Much to Give

We invite you to make a decision that suits your circumstances and your values. As points of reference, we suggest you consider First’s annual operating budget and the recommended Unitarian Universalist practice: many UU congregations recommend 3% of pre-tax annual household income as a meaningful personal commitment. First is a completely self-funded community with an annual operating budget of approximately $600,000:

How First Raises Money

 

First’s operating budget supports our mission to Seek Freely, Connect Authentically, and Serve Passionately. The following pie chart represents our spending from an outcomes perspective. Each slice of the pie includes the direct costs of the outcomes and services listed, plus a share of the indirect costs of our overall infrastructure (i.e. staff, insurance, equipment, etc.) All of our outcomes are also greatly enriched by the many uncharted hours of effort and talent provided by volunteers:

Spending our Money

Pause your mouse pointer over sections of this chart to see what that spending pays for,
or click on the chart to learn more:

How much should I plan to give each year?

The amount you pledge is a personal decision, but we ask that you consider 5% of your pre-tax income. Many religious communities ask their members to pledge 10% (this is called tithing). Many of our members pledge 5% or more, and some tithe.

The following table will give you a sense of the financial contributions made by other members.

In 2018, 219 households pledged a total of $375,000 for our operating budget.

  Amount pledged for 2018 Number of pledges 
          <$250 23
  $250 to $499 26
  $500 to $999 47
  $1000 to $1799 49
  $1800 to $2499 26
  $2500 to $4999 30
  $5000 and up 18

Please consider beginning at a level that is manageable for you, then increasing your giving as you are able.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” - Winston Churchill


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