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Forge Our Future Endowment

How are we doing?

  • Campaign Goal:  $3,000,000
  • Dollars pledged as of January 19:  $2,452,185
  • Number of pledges as of January 19:  149

Thank you to everyone who has helped us to Forge our Future!


What is Forge Our Future?

Holly Patzer abd Mark Chambers

Forge Our Future is our combined 2023-24 annual pledge campaign and a new campaign to create a principle-protected endowment fund. This campaign was initiated when members of our congregation voted in 2021 to commit to grow our church income.

The effort is led by Holly Patzer and Mark Chambers, Campaign Co-chairs, and over 20 volunteer Member Visitors who will meet with each church member by the end of the year.

Why are we doing this?

First Church has a long and established presence in Milwaukee. We were founded in 1842 with only 40 members, and now have over 650 members. However, our average pledge drive increases have not been able to keep up with inflation or close the gap between annual operating income and annual operating expenses, requiring annual draws from our unrestricted reserves.

We need to continue our long tradition of responsible financial planning and use this moment to increase our annual financial sustainability. We want to fully fund all the work we want to do in our church, and in our community. We have enough members to support our vision if everyone does their part and contributes a fair share to make it happen.

We inherited this great gift of community because those who came before us invested in it. We live on their legacy. Those who came before us forged the future with their service, finances, and vision. Now it’s our turn to invest in the future, laying the groundwork for those who will come after us.

What do we want to fund?

Our First Church community is built by our members, friends, ministers, and staff. Together we all benefit from fully funded worship, spiritual development for youth, pastoral care, and social justice initiatives. We have also been dreaming for a long time of becoming a more multicultural, multiracial church that is a growing beacon of progressive values and an even more active collaborator for justice in the community.

We want to help people from the Milwaukee community who are looking for a spiritual home find us. This home where you found belonging with people practicing our shared values is the home so many people are seeking right now. Connecting seekers with our church will serve the people who find us, grow our church, and strengthen Unitarian Universalism in a world that needs it more than ever.

If we support our church financially with a more robust annual pledge, and also create a new revenue stream from the profits from a principle-protected endowment fund, we can grow our ministry and outreach, build our presence in Milwaukee, and increase our impact in the world.

How can you help?

Pledge to the principal-protected endowment fund here.

Hear from our members.

Bob Balderson

Julie Bock and Matt Byrnes

Rod Botts

Laurel Brooks

Rollie Hanson

Tom Hester, on YouTube

Crysta Jarczynski

Rev. Drew Kennedy, Minister Emeritus on YouTube

Ben LeFort

Gordon Mueller

Ron Oshima and Kari Gunderson on YouTube

Tony and Amanda Panciera

Nancy Pajewski

Sarah Richards

Dale Skaggs