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Passing-the-Hat in Your New Online Zoom Meeting

The custom of passing-the-hat at a face-to-face meeting is an important part of the meeting experience for group members. Group meetings are a sharing of experiences and responsibilities. Passing-the-hat gives participants awareness of the mutual benefits for them and SMART Recovery. It allows meeting attendees to make an investment in themselves and their recovery.


Below are four suggestions for how to pass-the-hat in an online Zoom meeting.

1 – Via PayPal

  • Click send
  • Enter
  • Enter the amount
  • Select ways to pay and Goods & Services
  • Click send
  • The sending information is retained by PayPal making it easier to donate next time

2 – Facebook Fundraising Page:

Facebook makes it easy to create a fundraising page to collect your group’s donations.  The fundraising page can be created by you or someone in the group. Instructions are at the bottom of this page. Share the fundraising page link in the Zoom chat screen where it can be easily clicked to mimic the face-to-face hat passing experience.

>>PROs of using Facebook:

  • 100% of the donation goes to SMART.  Facebook does not charge processing fees.
  • Everyone in the group can see the progress of their collective pass-the-hat efforts in real time.
  • Everyone has a choice of making a public or private donation.
  • Participants can find the link after the meeting room is closed by looking at the meeting facilitator’s Facebook page.

>>CONs of using Facebook:

  • A Facebook account is required to donate

3 – SMART Donation Page:

We have a dedicated donation form for the meetings that have recently moved online. Share this link with the meeting group

>>PROs of using a SMART donation page:

  • All donations are private


  • Only 97% of the donation goes to SMART.  There is a 3% processing fee
  • There is not an option for reporting progress toward a group goal in real time
  • The donation form link is only clickable/live during the meeting time

4 – Using Venmo

  • Participants can send donations to your personal Venmo account, then send that collection into SMART via the PTH page. (Venmo doesn’t offers businesses/organizations accounts)

Step-by-step instructions for creating a Facebook Fundraising page:

  • Log into Facebook, under Explore, click Fundraisers
  • Click Select Nonprofit
  • Complete the required information on  the Let’s start with the Basics screen:
    • Raising money for: SMART Recovery USA
    • Goal:  Suggested minimum: $20, check with your group to set a monthly goal
    • End Date:  April 30, 2020

  • Next enter the details for your meeting

  • Next choose a cover photo, click Create

  • Save the link for the fundraising page to share with your group
  • Paste the link into the group chat at the end of the meeting, to create a clickable hyperlink
  • Remember to announce your meeting # when passing-the-hat in your Zoom meeting