7th Tradition: Self-Support and 12th Step Work
We received inquiries from members on our committee’s use of funds. Like all groups in our fellowship, GaL-AA is self-supporting and relies on contributions from groups and individuals. In keeping with the 7th Tradition, we do not accept donations from non-AA sources. Groups (regularly, some sporadically) send monies to GaL- AA from meeting collections. We also receive contributions from AA round-up committees, and individual AA members send contributions as a way of giving back to the fellowship – in short, GaL-AA’s operating funds come from you.
What we do with contributions? We maintain an internet website, operate hospitality suites at AA’s International Conventions, distribute literature, sponsor registrations for round-up attendees that lack resources, maintain databases of LGBT meetings and roundups, mass mail communications about and from GaL-AA to AA members, and pay fees to service providers necessary for our operations. None of our committee members are compensated with contributions (each donates his or her time freely). We do not use funds for travel expenses (other than hotel accommodations for limited in-person meetings annually), and we meet monthly online so we do not have normal rental expense. Although different from home groups’, our expenses are necessary in performing 12-Step work. A summary of contributions from groups/sources is below. Is your group contributing or should it consider contributing? There is an AA world outside any home group that includes special purpose groups (other groups similar to GaL-AA with individuals from distinct backgrounds: International Doctors in AA, International Lawyers in AA, “Birds of a Feather”/ airline pilots and aviation professionals in AA, etc.), the fellowship’s General Service Office (GSO), regional intergroups, district and area committees. No matter what their composition, special purpose groups have the same primary purpose as any AA group: carrying the AA message to the alcoholic who still suffers. We are united in the first tradition with one another as it states our common welfare comes first with personal recovery depending upon unity. What a great tradition that binds us.
AA’s GSO has suggested guidance on the 7th Tradition and financial matters groups should consider in adhering to the traditions and upholding the concepts for AA service. GSO’s guidelines remind groups to consider distributing excess funds for 12- Step work. Naturally, the home group’s expenses (rent, literature, coffee/snacks, other supplies) are paid before any distributions outside. The guidance recommends groups consider a plan of distribution (a matter for your group’s own conscience) for funds in order to further carry out the 5th Tradition and 12th Step work. Many group treasurers are familiar with the percentage plan for sending monies to GSO, intergroup/central office, district and area. If your group doesn’t already contribute to GaL-AA, ask your group members to consider us as another AA service entity that relies on your support to carry the message. We are grateful to the groups and individuals for their continuous support. See the website and newsletter for more information on ways to contribute. [Those interested in GSO’s guidance may find it in the AA pamphlet “Self-Support: Where Money and Spirituality Mix”: http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/f- 3_selfsupport.pdf.]