Each month, the UUCF Share the Plate (STP) program contributes half of the cash and 100% of designated checks from all worship service collection plates to a designated organization promoting social justice. June through September, when there is only one Sunday service, the schedule is adjusted to give the three recipients the same number of services.
The purpose of this program is to:
- Raise awareness within the congregation of social justice concerns in the region, nation and around the world.
- Give congregants an opportunity to provide direct support to social justice organizations that fit into the framework of the UUCF strategic plan or specific Social Justice Council resolutions or major initiatives.
Recipient organizations must be nominated by a UUCF member or pledging friend. The process and request form are provided below.
1. A UUCF member or pledging friend submits the Share the Plate application.
2. The following eligibility criteria must be met:
- Organization must have a not-for-profit status.
- Request must be for an organization, not an individual.
- Requesting sponsor must be a UUCF member or pledging friend.
- Organization purpose must support UUCF Social Justice values.
- Organization must not receive funding more than once in a 2-year period.
3. The Lay Minister for Social Justice shall convene a meeting of the Social Justice Council (SJC) or a special task force for the purpose of reviewing Share the Plate applications. Sponsors of the eligible organizations will be asked to make a short presentation to the SJC on behalf of the organization or provide a spokesperson from that organization to make the presentation. More than one session may be necessary to hear all presentations.
4. The Social Justice Council will hear presentations, review applications, make final selections and notify UUCF sponsors of funding decisions. Priority will be given to those organizations that:
- Address UUCF Social Justice focus areas and/or congregational resolutions or designations.
- Address compatibility with the UUCF Strategic Plan, including the Five Pillars of Social Justice.
- Are engaged locally.
- Demonstrate organizational viability by, for example, attaching the organization’s annual report or other appropriate documentation:
- Providing annual reports for the past 3+ years.
- Earning a good rating from one of the major charity evaluators, i.e., Charity Navigator (at least two out of five stars), BBB Wise Giving Alliance (an accredited charity meets all standards), GuideStar (at least three out of five stars), CharityWatch, or Great Nonprofits.
- Having tools/systems for measuring their success and effectiveness.
- When possible, have a relationship with UUCF (e.g., has volunteers from the UUCF community, would welcome volunteers or has been collaborating with UUCF).
- Exhibit a willingness to educate and engage UUCF members in their work for social change.
- Are not start-ups or requesting seed money, and can show that UUCF’s contributions would make a difference to its operations and not just be incremental additional general funding.
The Social Justice Council may consider funding outside of these areas.
UUCF sponsor obligations
UUCF members or pledging friends sponsoring an STP organization have the following roles in the Share the Plate application process.
- Submit application on behalf of the organization being nominated (please be brief).
- Present the application and organization to the Social Justice Council at one of the review meetings.
- Introduce the organization and project/program during Sunday services (generally, on the second Sunday of the month). The organization is welcome to present materials at a table in the Sanctuary Commons between and after worship services.
- Submit a brief report to the SJC about project/program outcomes within 1 year of receipt of funds.