Online Meetings & Tradition 7

As we figure out how to move meetings into the virtual realm, the relatively low cost the meeting venues and the lack of in-person contact could lead us to conclude that keeping up an active 7th Tradition collection practice may not be as important.

GSO has published FAQ on practicing 7th Tradition @ vitual meeting

This thought came up in my meditation last night, and here are the things that I came up with as reasons TO maintain collecting funds and distributing them:

  1. Our regular meeting locations still have bills to pay
    a. Rent, utilities, employees still need to be paid by our landlords – do we stiff them by not continuing to pay our regular rent?
    b. Meeting supplies will still be needed when we re-open – coffee, paper products, literature, refreshments. And after an extended closure, we may experience a large influx for a while when people are motivated to re-join the fellowship in person.
  2. Our local services still have bills to pay
    a. Website Services
    b. Answering Services
    c. Rent on office space
    d. Telephone and Utility Payments
    e. Some local services have employees to pay – and we should continue to support these folks during the crisis
  3. Our Districts and Areas still have expenses
    a. Regular expenses to support the work of committees, and events that will take place when the crisis has passed are still there
    b. The ability to support groups with web services has real expenses
    c. Expenses for venues for events that have been cancelled may still need to be met, since any income from the event won’t be there to support the pre-payment of reservations, cancellation fees, etc.
    The expense of re-arranging for venues to reschedule events is very real, also.
  4. GSO still has expenses
    a. The ability to support groups with web services has real expenses – and we rely on these more than ever!
    b. GSO employees deserve our continue support – their salaries and healthcare are crucial to their ability to serve us.
    c. GSO still has rent, utility, telephone, and other ongoing expenses

I realized that even though the immediate need for virtual connections is relatively inexpensive, the real expenses of our fellowship continue. We may not need as many funds for our local groups, so this would be a great time to make up-line contributions to support the work of our fellowship structure. Please consider continuing to collect 7th Tradition funds and make contributions to the service entities that support your group – your Intergroup or Central Office, your District, Area and the General Services Office.

Now, how does our Group go about collecting digital contributions?

  • Understand the role of treasurer – read The A.A. Group Treasurer to learn about the role of treasurer within the group. Here you will learn the importance of selecting a treasurer, how to safeguard and distribute group funds, what a “prudent reserve” is, and more!
  • Group bank account vs Treasurer’s personal account – Your group likely has this sorted out already. For smaller groups, treasurers tend to use their personal bank account and account for group funds using a spreadsheet. A larger group might have a bank account established in the name of the group. For more information on how to set up a group bank account, see this Guide to Obtaining a Tax ID Number.
  • Digital payment options – VenmoPayPalZelleCash AppGoogle PayStripe, and Apple Pay are all viable options.
  • Take a group conscience – A group conscience is recommended as each member who wishes to contribute will need to open an account with the chosen service. Many members may already have a service they use and prefer.
  • You can select one or multiple – A group can agree to use just one service, but larger groups may even want to consider multiple options for their members.
  • Consider the costs and benefits of each platform – each service has varying fees for money transfers depending on the users’ chosen method of payment (debit, credit, checking account, etc.). Some may have a more user-friendly interface than others.