“IHC is rooted in the idea of radical welcoming.
We must all partner together to create community every day, every month, every year. It begins with our financial commitments to keep the community vital and alive.”
-Rabbi Brett Krichiver
We Rely On Your Partnership. Without You, There is No IHC.
Each of us has a stake in maintaining the synagogue as a place in which Judaism is fostered. Whether you come to services every week or only every Kol Nidre, you know that IHC is here for you in times of celebration and struggle. By committing on an annual basis, you help IHC predict and budget, ensuring we meet our day-to-day operating expenses, plan successful programs, and provide support to community members in need.
At IHC, we don’t tell you what you have to pay to be a member. We are transparent about the cost of operating our synagogue, show you what the price per family would be and then ask you to follow your heart and make a self-directed contribution annually. As our partner, all members are expected to make an Annual Commitment pledge. One of the questions we frequently gets ask is: Does this mean that payment is optional (membership is free)? No. All members are expected to make an Annual Commitment pledge. Of course, finances will never be a barrier to membership. Visit the FAQ section below for more information.
If you need guidance in setting your gift, contact our Executive Director for a confidential conversation.
Your Annual Commitment is IHC’s primary source of revenue. Each year, we ask you, our partner, to:
- Consider if you are able to contribute the sustaining amount (see below).
- Make a meaningful commitment, a true gift from the heart, to help support IHC’s financial needs. We believe that by allowing our partners to self-direct their contributions, they feel more engaged and have a stronger sense of ownership in the synagogue’s well-being. We trust that each household will do what is right for your family and what is right for IHC. We ask you to increase last year’s amount to cover inflation.
- If able, give double, triple or even more above the sustaining amount. Your generosity helps those who may not be able to give a full gift. By removing financial barriers to membership, we are able to improve retention, increase engagement, and attract new families through our membership model.
- Recommit to being a member and partner by completing the 2021 Annual Commitment Pledge Form found below by November 22.
- Pay your pledge in full, either monthly, or in one or two installments.
The 2021 Sustaining Amount
As you know, prior to the start of each fiscal year, members are informed of the sustaining amount, which is the amount that each member would need to contribute, on average, to sustain IHC’s operations. Simply put, it is calculated by dividing our expenses by the number of our members (partners).
This year’s Sustaining Amount has been capped at last year’s amount of $2860. You can read more about the unknown effects of COVID-19 on our budget in the FAQ section below.
If you are able, please give at least the sustaining amount of $2860. If you have the means to double, triple, or give even more, your generosity helps this giving model work so that all can be part of our community. If you are not able to give the sustaining amount, rather than giving until it hurts, please give until it feels good. Every dollar is needed, especially next year as we continue to deal with the effects of COVID-19.
Please Read Before Filling Out Your Pledge Form
We ask that one member of your household completes our 2021 Annual Commitment Pledge Form found below by November 22, 2020.
We know that many of you like to make your contribution for next year when you complete your pledge form and we appreciate that! After you submit your completed form, you will receive an acknowledgement email. There, you will find the mailing address to send your check or a link to set up your payment using our Annual Commitment Donate Now page.
If you select making your contribution in 12 monthly payments, please provide the required fields for ACH. We will set up the monthly payments for the 15th of each month, beginning in January. Other arrangements will be invoiced accordingly.
Thank you for your continued partnership.
Without you, there is no IHC.
Frequently Asked Questions
Has IHC’s Commitment Policy Changed? Back in 2014, we made a bold decision to change from a traditional dues model where we tell you what you need to pay, to a new self-directed model that allows you to set the amount of your Annual Commitment. The past few years, we added a slogan called “Gift From The Heart”.
Our goals for the Annual Commitment Program are simple:
- remove as many barriers to new and continued membership as possible
- ignite engagement across our community with new and better ways
- to belong and connect to each other and to our synagogue community
- to participate in programming
- to sustain and strengthen our congregation
What does this Annual Commitment mean? Simply put, this means the amount you and your family will give to support IHC on an annual basis (January 1-December 31). With transparency, we show you what it takes to preserve all of the programs, education, worship, life cycle services and pastoral care upon which our community is built. Calling our model an Annual Commitment helps you understand that it takes all of us to provide for the fiscal reality to running our organization, but that money should never be a barrier to spiritual engagement. Our doors are open to all.
How will COVID-19 affect IHC in 2021? The truth of the matter is we won’t know until we hear back from you on how you are able to financially support us next year. Then, there are other factors, like, will COVID-19 prevent us from keeping the Early Childhood Center open, will enrollment for our Jewish Learning Program stay the same, and will our members be able to give what they pledged to give. We also don’t know if we will be able to reschedule the fundraising celebration of our ten-year partnership with Rabbi Krichiver or what other fundraisers we will need to forgo. We have forecasted (based on national figures and what has happened already in 2020) that our income will be down significantly We promise as the year progresses we will will keep you apprised.
How do we know how to set our Annual Commitment? We start by providing you with our “Sustaining Amount” which is determined each year by dividing the total budgeted costs (less Early Childhood expenses, because they are self-sustaining) by the number of member household.
The 2021 Sustaining Amount has been set at $2860. This is what it costs, per member household, to run the synagogue. We are hopeful that most of you will be able to give at the sustaining level and that those who are able will be able to give above (double, triple, etc.) the sustaing level which is a gift that allows all to enjoy all that we have to offer at IHC.
What is the commitment income used for? What does it cover? the Annual Commitment income is used to fund IHC’s basic operational budget (salaries, utilities, snow removal, grass cutting, building maintenance, program materials, etc.) It ensures that our synagogue, clergy and staff are available every day throughout the year to serve the needs of our congregants as they occur. Other fees, such as religious school tuition or Bar/Bat mitzvah fees will remain separate. Your Annual Commitment – regardless of amount – means you are a full member of our IHC congregation. See the section below to see where your money goes.
What if I cannot afford to set my Annual Commitment at or above the Sustaining Amount? We know many households may not reach the Sustaining Amount. If you need to give less than the Sustaining Amount, do what is right for you and your family. We just ask that everyone makes a meaningful gift. If you are able to give more than the Sustaining Amount, please share your blessings. Please invest in us!
We have heard from some of you that you may need guidance on the what to give, based on your household level or where you are in life. No problem, please contact our Executive Director . He has great resources to help guide you. All conversations are kept confidential.
What percentage of our annual costs do we expect to be covered by the Annual Commitments? If each household contributed the Sustaining Amount, Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation would meet all of its financial obligations. Historically, the Annual Commitment income has only covered approximately 60% of our budget. We will continue to rely on your continued generous support to the annual High Holy Day Appeal and other donations and fundraising opportunities to fund the remaining percent of our budget.
What happens if I do not return my pledge form?
What Your Money Does at IHC
In 2021, IHC’s expenses are expected to be $2,498,950.
Now more than ever, we rely on our community’s membership contributions to preserve the programs,
education, worship, pastoral care, and life cycle services, upon which our community is built.
“If IHC is a business, then we are in the business of creating Jews and helping people live more Jewishly.”
We do this by living out our values of chesed (caring for one another), gemilut chasadim (acts of loving kindness), learning together, praying together and by our commitment to be good stewards of our financial resources so that we provide for today’s needs and for future generations to come.
As with any business, there is a cost associated with living out our mission. We pay for professional, support staff, and teachers, utilities, building maintenance, insurance, legal fees, supplies, program materials, security, and other expenses. Our projected expenses for 2020 are $2,498,950. That includes cuts necessary due to COVID-19 and does not allow for any growth.
Our income is comprised of ongoing membership pledges (your annual commitment and other contributions), tuition, program fees, facility rentals, and fund revenue from our foundation. Like all businesses our income must increase each year to keep up with the cost of inflation and other expenses. This is one area we need to improve.
What makes us different from other businesses is both our mission and the values our budget reflects. A synagogue is much more than a membership organization. It is a congregational home. We do not pay dues per se; rather, we make a monthly or annual commitment to support the mission, vision, and goals of the congregation. By ensuring the future of our congregation through adequate financial support and prudent management of our resources, we are doing our utmost to protect our Jewish future and that of our children, as well as of generations to come. Those who came before us preserved our Jewish heritage for us. Our obligation is to do the same for our children.