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Faith Leaders 4min read

Could Passing the Plate Spread Coronavirus?

The world is facing a public health crisis, and we want to help you, our Givelify family, work through this unprecedented situation. There’s nothing more important than the wellbeing of you and your members, but it’s critical to maintain your financial health. While passing the plate to collect donations is not ideal right now, we’re here to help you sustain your mission during the Coronavirus pandemic. Here are some things to help ensure your organization’s stability now and into the future.

Stop Passing the Plate

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have stated that physical contact, especially from shaking hands and handling objects, is a leading cause of the spread of Coronavirus. According to Givelify co-founder, Dr. Tayo Ademuyiwa, M.D., passing the offering plate poses a significant health risk to your members and to your back-office staff.

“Places of worship absolutely need to stop passing the plate immediately,” said Dr. Ademuyiwa. “You’re risking exposure to not only your members, but also think of the staff in charge of counting the money and handling the envelopes and checks.”

If you must receive non-electronic giving, keep the plate in a stationary location and have members drop off their contributions in it. Provide clear instructions for members to avoid touching the plate during the drop-off. For those who will be retrieving the plate and contributions, provide gloves and encourage them to wash their hands with warm soap and water after handling the plate.

Don’t Share the Microphone

Whether you’re live streaming your services or offering testimony, the microphone you’re using is an easy way to transmit disease. Your other worship leaders and your members are not only touching the mic with their hands but holding it directly to their mouths and faces. Givelify’s V.P. of Denominational Relations, Pastor Ron Pulliam, urges you to forego the use of shared microphones.

“I can’t stress this enough: testimony is wonderful, but not at the risk of making you, your staff, and your members sick,” Pastor Pulliam said. “You simply must not share a microphone. Make another arrangement to continue delivering service.”

Encourage Alternatives to Passing the Plate

We know places of worship are a safe haven and source of critical support for the community and will remain open during the pandemic. While many of your members already use and love Givelify to give their offerings, others may have been reluctant to adopt mobile giving over cash or checks. Whether they’re attending services in person or not, Givelify is the perfect tool for keeping offerings coming in. Encourage your members to all download and use the Givelify mobile giving app instead of cash or checks to help protect their health—and yours.

More Information and Resources

Over the coming days, we’ll be rolling out more news, information, and resources to help you maintain your physical and financial health. We’ll share via social media and this blog information on:

We’ll also be hosting a live webinar covering these topics and more, including a live Q&A session. And finally, we’re setting up a Facebook group where faith leaders can gather to share what you’re doing in the face of potential decreased attendance and giving, the spread of the virus, and generally come together to support one another as a community.

We’re Here for You, No Matter What

Multiple members of the Givelify team have been directly impacted by the outbreak. While we’re all working from home indefinitely, you’ll see no disruption in our service to you and your donors. We’re still answering support requests via phone and online, and we’re still working on making giving a simple, beautiful, and safe experience.

Simply put, we’re here when you need us—now more than ever.

Please reach out to us with any questions you may have, and by all means share this post with your fellow faith and nonprofit leaders.

About the Author

Matt is dedicated to making the world a better place. He works passionately to help charitable causes use mobile technology to raise the funds they need. In addition to his role at Givelify, he volunteers with the Southside Animal Shelter and Kentuckiana Pug Rescue.

Matt Chandler