Message from the Treasurer

Treasury Lessons, Take Three! (FY 2023- 2024)

I am Carolyn Hodges, along with Shay Crawford, we are the First Parish Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer serving since FY 2021.  Our volunteer roles ensure proper financial control, monitoring, and reporting for both income and expense activities.  

We are especially grateful to be in our third year and working with our fabulous First Parish community – here’s why:

LEADERSHIP and COMMUNITY – In November we held our third Financial Summit, attended by members of committees supporting the financial infrastructure of First Parish (Parish Committee, Finance, Stewardship, Trustees, Human Resources, Property, Leadership Development).  This group is inspiring for their dedication to ensure First Parish thrives and for their proactive work to ensure the fiscal year proceeds smoothy.  Each group has established priorities, and we collaborate to help achieve them.  Many hands make light work—please consider joining one of our groups; it is a great experience working with kind and knowledgeable colleagues to support our community.

PARISH GOVERNANCE – The Parish Committee closely reviews the health of First Parish each month, spiritual, social, and financial.  We are grateful that leadership remains committed to supporting our wonderful community, prioritizing volunteer support, community connections and continued outreach while ensuring fiscal prudence.  This vision and focus help us to perform our roles more effectively.

STAFF – the unwavering efforts of First Parish Office Manager, Sara Hidalgo, and Bookkeeper, Liz McKersie ensure that Shay and I can do our day-to-day work successfully.   Please thank them for their expertise and assistance when you next see them.

STEWARDSHIP – Our Stewardship colleagues annually notify our community members of the status of financial pledges and gifts. Please watch for this notification to ensure your pledge remains up to date.  We are grateful for your generosity and that your honor your pledge commitments.  Thank you, First Parish remains successful because of your financial support.

As a reminder, many of us to give to First Parish on-line with Realm, using debit and credit cards. Many of you use this technology – please remember that “automatic” still does not mean “auto-magic”. Please review your Realm activity as donation transactions require updated information for amount, and valid information for card number, expiration date, and security code. For some of you, transactions are not fully processed as this information changed. Thank you for keeping watch and updating Realm with changing information and circumstances.   Instructions for Realm are available on the First Parish website (www. If you find you have experienced this and need assistance to resolve it, please be sure to contact us, email:

Special note: In addition to the charitable deduction, you may be able to take if you itemize deductions on your federal income tax return, you may be able to maximize your giving and reduce your taxes further when you pay your pledge (even if you don’t itemize deductions) using one of these ways to contribute:

  • Donate appreciated securities (stocks or mutual funds), which can eliminate the capital gains tax if the securities have appreciated in value.  Instructions are on the First Parish website,
  • Donate from a donor advised fund, which you can set up at most large financial institutions (such as Fidelity or Charles Schwab).  You get a charitable deduction when you fund a donor advised account, using either cash, securities, or other non-cash assets.  You can then make a contribution from your donor advised account, known as a grant, to First Parish and other tax-exempt charities that you support.  It is convenient and you may be able to save on income and capital gains taxes in the year(s) you fund your account.
  • Make a qualified charitable distribution from your IRA if you are 70 ½ years or older.  As long as the funds go directly from the IRA to First Parish, you won’t pay income taxes on the withdrawal.  If you are 73 or older, the distribution can also count towards the required minimum distribution from your IRA

We are fortunate to have First Parish in our lives.  Thank you so much for your patience and willingness to help ensure we thrive as a community. If you have questions, please reach us by email:  Your financial support ensures that First Parish remains vibrant.

Carolyn Hodges, Treasurer, and Shay Crawford, Assistant Treasurer