Our response to COVID-19
As our communities are effectively shutting down and taking a pause in an effort to contain and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we know some of you are questioning how to proceed with your spring meetings during the next few weeks. We encourage you to follow the guidelines for public meetings that your state/province and local governments have issued and to follow the CDC and/or WHO recommendations when at all possible.
Whether you are a long-standing existing giving circle or a giving circle ready to host its first giving meeting in the coming weeks, there is no right or wrong answer as to whether you should host your meeting as planned in person or postpone to a future launch date. You’ve marketed and created momentum and excitement and members know when and where to show up. As we like to say, you know your community best and know what it can and cannot bear. But, because we live in a technological age, this might be an ideal opportunity to test out an electronic solution that you may find will work and allow for a hybrid type meeting in the future.
To this end, Grapevine has offered to step in and help with the hosting of your future meetings via Zoom video call. There is no limit to the length of time of the Zoom call or the number of participants, so this is a great solution for you larger giving circle chapters with more than 100 members. Of course, Grapevine is also interested in getting you to onboard with their platform (FREE and NO COMMITMENT FOR FUTURE USE), which has an intranet-like capacity similar to FB that will also allow you to message and collectively vote. Members can also pay electronically through the platform, but this is not mandatory, especially if you are utilizing another donation platform such as Growfund or uBack. Grapevine is a slick system that we are testing and liking at the moment. You may want to test it too and Grapevine may even be interested in giving a live demo to your members on all the functions they offer at the same time.
You can also host your own Zoom call just by setting up a free account, creating a meeting, and sharing the link with your members. If you do this, your meeting will need to be cut short by about 10 minutes, as the free version does not give you a full hour. Also, there is a limit of 100 participants.
The Alliance has a paid account that we can lend you during this time. No limit on time, but there is a limit of 100 participants.
Some of you are using Facebook live and if that has worked for you, then please post a testimonial on the FB group for those who are considering going this route. We have received feedback that they don’t want their meetings public or outside of the membership and some pointers on how to prevent that would be welcome for those considering this route.
If you are trying something different, or have another solution, please let us know about it.
If you are interested in speaking with Grapevine or setting up a Zoom call via the Alliance, please email us so we can help you navigate this. Otherwise, we hope you and your loved ones and memberships remain well during this time.