Better Together

Is my gift tax-deductible?

Yes! We will provide a giving statement each quarter for your records, which will also update you on the status of your pledge. 

Am I making a commitment to both our Annual Operating Budget and the capital projects?

We hope so! This campaign is a two-fold campaign for the Annual Operating Budget and the campus projects outlined in our materials. Both are mission critical as we look to the years ahead. 

How many years may I take to fulfill a capital projects pledge?

You may take as long as you need to make a meaningful gift to this campaign. Based on past campaigns, most gifts have been given over the course of 3-7 years. 

Can more than one person give for a named gift opportunity?

Yes! In fact, in our last campaign, we had an Adult Sunday School class give a joint named gift, and it was a beautiful way to participate in the campaign. 

Are there ways to make a gift other than cash?

Yes! We can accept securities, real estate, and personal property (as deemed acceptable by the Board of Trustees). You may also make a gift using a deferred vehicle (bequest, charitable gift annuity, charitable trust, life insurance, 401K distribution, etc.). 

Are we planning to pursue outside funding for any of the capital projects?

Yes! We have a group of volunteers bringing leadership to our requests for outside funding through grants, foundations, and any other opportunities. 

When I am committing my pledge to the Annual Operating Budget, can I make an additional designated pledge to a ministry of my choice?

Absolutely. Please contact Dick Moncrief, our Financial Administrator, to discuss the additional designated please you have in mind. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (585) 271-1050 x108.

Are these projects 'shovel ready'?

No. In 2015, the congregation authorized the Trustees to spend up to $90,000 for professional studies and schematic designs. These studies, designs and estimates are the basis for the proposed projects. They were also the basis for decisions as to which projects should be prioritized and which could be deferred. Recovery of the money spent on these design studies is included in the $6.3 Million plan. Assuming congregational approval on September 24, final detailed specifications will be developed, bid packages prepared, and contractors will be selected. This intensive process will take significant time. While that is happening, we will work hard to begin raising funds!

When will construction start?

The earliest that construction could start is in the fall of 2018.  This is not a fixed date and is dependent on many factors as the detailed designs are developed and funds are raised.

Will the projects be phased or done all at once?

The projects will be phased, although the exact sequence and timing will be determined after an approval from the congregation. Many factors will determine the final sequence, including cash flow from donors, the impact of construction on current campus programs, and the prioritized list to place immediate infrastructure and safety concerns first.

Why not build a new building for outreach?

We considered it. A lot. In the end, however, because we value stewardship as a congregation, we knew it was not the right decision. Building a new building on our campus would not only have added a new (and expensive) depreciating asset, it would leave 1010 virtually empty. We knew it was not right to ask the congregation to build a new building without fully utilizing our current ones.

Why not place the Outreach Center closer to areas of poverty?

We also considered this. A lot. On the one hand, we recognize that poverty is closer than many of us think. On the other hand, when we asked our guests, we were told in no uncertain terms that they loved being invited onto a beautiful campus and made to feel welcome. They did not want us to move. Additionally, our location is easily accessible on the bus line and offers plenty of parking for guests and volunteers alike.

When will construction on the Outreach Center begin?

As soon as we have secured the pledges to cover the cost of the renovation. No sooner. Our hope is that we can begin in the Fall of 2019 so as to dedicate the new space on our 200th anniversary.

Where will RAIHN be located?

We will remain a host congregation for RAIHN (Rochester Area Interfaith Hospitality Network) and families will be housed in one of our other buildings.

Are there more phases to come?

Phase one of the Better Together campaign focused on immediate infrastructure needs including the front steps, the boiler, and the necessary electrical work in 1040. This phase two focuses fully on the Outreach Center, which includes the accessibility of that building. Phase three will be the accessibility of 1050 East Ave and, we hope, will include the renovation of the third floor.