Share the Plate
Share the Plate Organizations – 2023-2024
Thank you to everyone who applied for a Share the Plate month. We are pleased to announce the offerings for 2023-2024:
What is Share the Plate?
With Share the Plate Sunday service collections, half of the funds raised (other than those designated as fulfilling pledges), will go to the designated recipient organization and the other half will go to First Parish.
Why Share the Plate?
Share the Plate programs have been around for years, and are used by many congregations. Michael Durall’s writing on creating generous congregations in the early 2000’s spread the word about Share the Plates.
Congregations have found that STP programs created a broader sense of ownership of the Social Action giving process. They also provide an opportunity for congregants to learn about and make connections with new social justice organizations.
Share the plates are generally thought to increase the overall plate total – so the church actually receives more from a shared plate than regular collections.
Can I nominate a recipient for Share the Plate?
First Parish in Concord pledging members and chartered groups are encouraged to nominate an organization for Share the Plate. The nominating process for the following fiscal year (July – June) usually opens in late February/early March and is open for about a month. Awards are usually announced in May. Watch for the announcement in First Parish Weekly.
Presentation to the Congregation During Sunday Service
If your nomination is selected to be the Share the Plate for a particular month you will have several important tasks to complete:
You will need to let the Church’s Worship Team Ministers know which of the two Sundays in your designated share the plate month you could have lined up a speaker to the congregation from the pulpit. Please let the Worship Team know 6 – 8 weeks in advance of your share the plate month.
You will need a staff member of the organization to coordinate their visit to one of the requested and accepted 10:00 a.m. Sunday services that month so that the congregation can learn more about the organization’s work. Or, you may serve as the presenter or find another First Parish member who has first-hand experience with the organization. The presentation needs to be strictly kept to under 2 minutes in length, and a transcript of what will be said should go to the Church’s Worship Team ministers at least 2 weeks before the Sunday that the presentation is scheduled. The purpose is not to simply explain what the organization is or does but to tell a very brief compelling story that will motivate the congregants to give generously and continue to support the organization with funds and volunteer work into the future.
You should submit a 100-word or less blurb about the organization to FP Weekly more than a week before the start of your Share the Plate’s month.
You could look into reserving a table at coffee hour following the Sunday service that month.
How will selections be made among nominated organizations?
A vetting team recommends nominations to church staff.
What are the selection criteria?
The following eligibility and selection criteria were approved by the SAC Board and Rev. Dana.
Eligibility Criteria for Share the Plate
- Was not a recipient organization the immediate prior fiscal year (July – June)
- Nominated by a First Parish chartered group or a pledging member/s
- Mission consistent with UU principles
- Non-profit (501c3) status
- Likely share of collections would make a meaningful difference to the organization (Organization’s Form 990 will be reviewed to determine whether it is of a size where a collection of $1,000 to $10,000 would make a significant difference.)
Selection Criteria for Share the Plate
Of those eligible, the Selection Committee will consider the following in making a selection of the organizations to Share the Plate.
- Extent of support from the congregation (# of nominating sponsors, # of FP programs nominating, opportunities for generating matching funds)
- Opportunity for congregants to build a relationship with the recipient organization (opportunities for partnership, volunteering, or further fundraising)
- Selecting recipients to contribute to a variety of local, national, and international target populations and to different social justice missions
- Opportunity to align collections with themes of sermons and social action events
- Degree to which collection would support the priorities of the Unitarian Universalist Association
- Avoids toxic charity model