First Unitarian Congregation relies on your generous support to fuel our work to seek freely, connect authentically and serve passionately. Your donation is an important way to ensure our services and programs connect with members, friends, and the wider world.
There are two easy ways to make an online donation to Toronto First.
- Through CanadaHelps: Go to our page at CanadaHelps, FirstUnitarianToronto.org/CH, and make the donation. CanadaHelps will deduct a 3.5% admin fee from your donation—please consider adjusting your gift to accommodate the fee.
To support First Unitarian services, programs, and our work in the wider world, please pledge to give monthly. Thank You!
Pledges for Ongoing Giving
Our annual Pledge Drive occurs in the spring when you are asked to commit to an amount you can give over the course of the program year. Your stated financial commitment allows us to plan staffing, services and programs knowing that there will be sufficient funds. Giving regularly (monthly, quarterly, annually) provides your faith community with a predictable income.
We are very grateful for the ongoing generosity of our members and friends who make financial contributions to support our programs and operations. The First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto is a registered Canadian charity (851846816 RR0001) and issues annual tax receipts.
Ways to Give
If you donate at least $20 in a year, you will 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.
Give 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).
Give 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. Please consider adding 3-5% to cover the fee.
- We can set up a recurring donation on your schedule (monthly, quarterly, every two months)
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
- If you donate via CanadaHelps, the tax receipt will be generated by 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.
Donate using post-dated cheques
Donate in the Collection Basket (not currently available)
- 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.
- 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 supports your values. All levels of giving are welcome. The amount you pledge is a personal decision, but we ask that you consider at least 3% of your pre-tax income. Many of our members pledge 5% or more. (For reference, some religious communities ask their members to pledge 10%.)
What Your Funds Provide
First Unitarian’s operating budget supports our mission to. We achieve this with:
- Worship and Music that resonates in our lives and brings us together to find shared purpose and to express our common humanity
- Programs for Spiritual & Personal Growth — teaching compassion to our children, guiding youth to find their sources of meaning, inspiring adults to cultivate spirit, and nurturing the wisdom of our elders
- Social Justice & UU Activities to make our faith community and the world a more just and equal place
- Serving our Members through times of change and in times of joy and times of sorrow
Activities are also greatly enriched by the many hours of effort and talent provided by our many volunteers.
How We Raise Funds to Seek, Connect and Serve
First Unitarian Toronto is a completely self-funded community with an annual operating budget of approximately $600,000 which, in previous years, has been supported through the following sources:
- Member Pledges contribute 75-85%
- Rental income from the building is 8-10%
- Other donations, fundraising and lay chaplain activities range from for 5-15%
In 2019, a total of 311 households financially supported the First Unitarian Toronto community. Of those, 214 made a pledge. Our average annual pledge is close to $2000.
We encourage all levels of giving and do not want income to be a barrier to you joining us on the journey to Seek, Connect and Serve. Please consider beginning at a level that is manageable for you, then increasing your giving as you are able.
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.
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 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