The Intergroup is a nonprofit membership organization representing all registered A.A. groups in San Francisco and Marin. Intergroup provides services such as an online and printed schedule, 24-hour teleservice, the bookstore, local publications, and service opportunities. Meetings are the first Wednesday of each month. All are welcome. See calendar for details.

15 03, 2022

Intergroup News | March 2022

Intergroup Meeting – Proposed Minutes
Wednesday, March 2, 2022, 7-8:30 PM

Intergroup coordinates services which individual groups in San Francisco and Marin cannot provide. We bring these services, as well as service opportunities, to our Member Groups. Our Intergroup observes the intent and spirit of A.A.’s Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts for World Service, as well as A.A.’s Three Legacies of Recovery, Unity, and Service.

7:00   Getting Started

  1. Open with the Serenity Prayer
  2. Call to order. Statement of Purpose
  3. Review the minutes and agenda
  4. Roll Call
    1. 47 groups represented: 27 from San Francisco, 20 from Marin

  1. Orientation Announcement (Alison T)
  2. Orientation is at 6pm directly before the monthly Intergroup meeting and they discuss the role of an Intergroup Rep, what we do at Intergroup and the service committee opportunities. The Orientation Committee has updated their orientation resources and those are available to everyone. Please email [email protected] for details.
  3. New IGRs, Visitors, AA Anniversaries
    New – Thatcher IGR Not a Glum Lot, Dave G. AIGR Monday Night Stag (Tiburon), Andre B. IGR Monday Night Stag (Tiburon)
  4. Visitors – Jackie B SFGS, Brian
  5. Anniversaries – Tanya 3 years, Andre 6 years, Joel 3 years, Courtney 1 year, Ken 26 years, Nikki 15 years
  6. Approval of agenda (housekeeping item)
    Motion to approve: Michelle W; Second: Caitlin
  7. Approval of last month’s Intergroup Meeting minutes (housekeeping item)
    Motion to approve: Chip; Second: Isae

7:10   Officer Reports

  1. Board Chair – Charlie
    1. Inventory Debrief
      1. Thank you to everyone who attended the Inventory session and for the Ad Hoc Inventory Committee for organizing it. 
      2. Notes from the Inventory were included in the packet so please review them. In the coming months, we will be discussing them more in-depth. 
    2. 2022 Budget review
      1. We will take a considerable amount of time today to review the 2022 budget and thanks to Jim and the Finance Committee for their work. Tonight we will discuss and ask questions about the budget, and next month we will vote to approve the budget.
    3. Bylaws to be updated
      1. For newer Intergroup members, we are on a two-year rotation to update our bylaws. We have met with an attorney to help us be in compliance with California law – so those edits need to get approved. We will start this process next month and will present the revisions. We will aim to approve those changes in the next couple of months.
    4. 3 Board of Directors seats coming due in June
      1. For individuals that may be interested in serving on the board, the time to start thinking about it is now. You can nominate yourself or someone else and next month we will share the Statement of Interest form which needs to be filled out and submitted to the Nominating Committee. We want at least 6 candidates – and would like Marin representation, as well as diverse individuals (gender, race, and identity).
  2. Executive Director – Christina
    1. Grateful to witness the Inventory process
    2. Prayer & Meditation book in stock at Central Office. Order your copy now at aasfmarin.org
    3. Committees need support! Please carry this message back to your groups as it is a great way to be of service – and you do not need to be an Intergroup Rep to join.
    4. Operations Policy Manual is currently being reviewed and updated. Expect to see a copy of it in an upcoming Buzz edition.
    5. Continuing to work on improving our internet bandwidth at Central Office. This is the first step in bringing volunteers back into the office. 
    6. Attending PRAASA this weekend.
  3. Treasurer’s Report – Jim
    1. Format is a little different this month because we do not have an approved 2022 budget just yet. Instead looking at our January numbers and compared them to last January 2021 and December of last month. 
    2. Group Contributions: $37,0519, 56% increase from Jan 2021 and 31% increase from Dec 2021
    3. Individual Contributions: $7,131, 10% decrease from Jan 2021 and 47% decrease from Dec 2021
    4. Overall revenue is $47,642, 42% increase from Jan 2021 and 3.1% increase from Dec 2021
    5. Net revenue is $17, 125, 132% increase from Jan 2021 and .5% decrease from Dec 2021  
    6. Unrestricted Cash: $76,006 equal to approx 3x monthly operating expenses 
    7. Financial rating for Jane is “Excellent” and still trending up
    8. Faithful Fivers: 9 fewer members in January. Go to aasfmarin.org to become a faithful fiver! Our goal for year end 2022 is to have 350 Faithful Fivers.

7:27   Intergroup Committee Reports (up to 2 minutes/report)

  1. Archives Committee – Mike 
    1. Meets 3rd Sunday of the month in person. Hybrid zoom meeting is open at 12pm
    2. Service positions available – especially for organized folks! Come help us sort the history of AA in SF/Marin
    3. Working on finding things to contribute to the 75th anniversary celebration.
  2. The Point – John B
    1. Thank you to Michelle G for 5-years of service as Point Editor
    2. Business meeting on 2nd Saturday of month via zoom at noon – next at 3/12
    3. Need a new chairperson and Point Editor in keeping with our spirit of rotation
    4. Word documents, audio files, artwork all accepted
    5. Ideas for April – 4th step, tradition, concept, anything AA-related email to [email protected]
  3. Sunshine Club – Kate K.
    1. Mission is to bring AA meetings to individuals who are unable to attend regularly scheduled meetings. 
    2. No in person meetings at this time due to COVID, volunteers still making phone calls to isolated AA members
    3. Email [email protected] for info, to request a meeting, or to volunteer
    4. Planning to hold a business meeting this month
  4. Fellowship Committee – Elena
    1. Need a new Fellowship Committee Chair!!
    2. If you are interested in joining the Fellowship Committee or being the Chair, please reach out to Elena at [email protected]
  5. Help Chat – Caitlin
    1. Great opportunity for 12-step work and requires one-year of sobriety
    2. Responding to requests from Intergroups regarding our HelpChat service – including from New Jersey and Vancouver BC
    3. Created a Google Form for Help Chat orientation: https://forms.gle/xNzdVVQTUiMDTwMU9
  6. Tech Committee – Fiona
    1. Mtg is on the 1st Monday of every month at Zoom
    2. Tech Committee does not require you to be too tech savvy – maybe you have an idea of how to improve some piece of technology. We are looking for folks with experience with WordPress or Airtable
    3. Flier went out in the Buzz Committee
    4. Shot-out to Andrew, Brian and Lydia – who have been working so hard
    5. Brian talked about a recent website hacking in January by a bitcoin mining program – yay to the Tech Team for working on this and keeping our website safe. Join the Tech Committee if you want to help out with things like this!
    6. Email [email protected] for more information
  7. SF Teleservice – Jeff
    1. Jeff is the new co-chair for SF Teleservice, along with Cathy C.
    2. Continued need for volunteers! 
    3. Orientations held on the 3rd Monday of every month at 6pm at Central Office
    4. Jeff shared his personal experience with SF Teleservice and calling in to get help. He is now the chair and six years sober!
    5. Please make an announcement to your groups to volunteer: [email protected]
    6. Chair turning over in Feb 2022
  8. The Buzz – Michelle
    1. Weekly digital newsletter and includes service opportunities and upcoming events. Very helpful in giving Intergroup Rep reports
    2. aasfmarin.org/buzz to subscribe
    3. If you want to post in the Buzz please do so by Monday 12 pm for the upcoming Friday edition.
  9. Public Relations – Scott B
    1. Calling card is completed and we’re using it – used it at the in-person event on 2/11 that was in the Tenderloin
    2. PSAs on the KGO radio station
    3. Housing Challenged pamphlet is coming along
    4. Committee needs support with outreach to local media outlets
    5. Email [email protected] for info and to get involved!
    6. Next mtg 3/14 @ 7pm

7:45   Service Committee Liaison Reports (up to 2 minutes/report)

  1. Marin General Service – Molly M
    1. General Service Conference:
      1. Bill and Bob developed the General Service Conference and this was the structure they put in place. The General Service Conference is the collective group conscience of all AA groups. The agenda topics are the main way this gets communicated.
      2. Through April 10, groups will be discussing agenda topics and group consciences will be brought to area delegate, Jennifer. She will take them to the General Service Conference at the end of April in NYC.
  2. SF General Service – Alison T
    1. March 4-6 PRAASA (Pacific Region AA Service Assembly)
    2. SF General Service 06 Agenda Topics Workshop is March 12 from 10-1:30 pm
    3. Abridged topics listed on SF General Service website under GSR Resources: https://sfgeneralservice.org/
      1. Also check out SFGS website for useful resources for GSRS and other trusted servants
    4. For Committee Chairs, Jackie B. is able to come to your committee meetings to discuss any agenda topic ideas that your committee would like to discuss

7:55   Old Business

  1. Intergroup Inventory Debrief – Chip
    1. Job of inventory committee is to conduct and organize the inventory session for the member groups that were represented
    2. It is now up to the IGRs to discuss next steps. But do look at the inventory notes prepared by Jackie.
    3. Discussion from Committee members and/or Inventory participants:
      1. Fiona – committee met for several months and did a lot of work; so grateful to the committee members, the people who showed up, the board and the facilitator. Thank you, it was inspiring
      2. Jaime – good process and was glad to be a part of it. The moderator was very good. 
      3. Isae – on the Board and a part of the Inventory committee. Great process. Underscore idea that no one is in charge – or that we all are – so please take a moment to read it and it is up to all of us. Can look at what role we want to lay in that feedback. 
      4. Kathleen – since it was a subset of individuals, we may get more people interested in Intergroup if it was made available to more folks. Can we put it up on the website?
      5. Nikki – one of our targeted messages is to bring the Inventory notes back to your meetings and there are procedures if you want to discuss any of these ideas further at the Intergroup level

8:09   New Business

  1. 2022 IFAA Budget
    1. A budget is an estimate of revenue and expenses
    2. To develop the 2022 budget, Jim looked at the figures using the actual data from 2018-2021 as well as January 2022 for current trends
    3. Biggest question to address, can we maintain IFAA services if we were to operate at a worst case scenario deficit? For example, if we had another 2020 would we survive
    4. We expect to vote on the 2022 budget at the April 6 meeting
    5. For revenue we are looking at a 7% increase. We anticipate $104,100 in individual contributions which is a 2% decrease from 2021, however we expect group contributions to be at $191,500 (a 4% increase from 2021).
    6. For expenses and bottom line, the important thing to note are our committee expenses. Our committees carry the message in the way our groups cannot. For committees that provided a budget those numbers are included – for others their 2021 budget numbers are carried over. Bottom line total expenditures is $340,014 which is a 17% increase from 2021. If you compare income to expenses that would result in a decrease of $32,844 however because our unrestricted cash is at $69,781 our ending balance for 2022 would be $26,937.47. This would leave us with 1.3 month’s left over (in addition to our 6 month prudent reserve). These budget numbers take into account any uncertainty for the coming year.
    7. Please take the budget back to your groups in preparation for a vote next month.
    8. If you or your groups have any questions, please reach out to Jim at tr[email protected]

8:25   What’s On Your Mind

1. N/A

8:26   Targeted Message

  1. Review the Group Inventory Notes with your Group and the Budget!!!
  2. Committee Openings:
    1. you do not have to be involved with Intergroup to be a committee member
    2. great opportunity to be of service
  3. Be a Faithful Fiver
  4. Subscribe to the Buzz!

Adjourn with the Responsibility Statement

Next Intergroup Meeting is Wednesday, April 6, 2022. Our monthly meeting will continue to be held online per local guidelines from the health department until further notice. Please email [email protected] with any questions.

Treasurer’s Report

2022 OPERATING BUDGET FOR IFAA

WHAT IS A BUDGET?

  • www.investopedia.com “A budget is an estimation of revenue and expenses over a specified future period of time and is usually compiled and re-evaluated on a periodic basis”
  • For our intergroup purpose, a budget ensures we can sustain our Central Office, Bookstore, Communications, Website, Databases, Intergroup Events, and Committee Expenses; and still maintain non-profit status
  • We are not necessarily bound to the budget (see below) 
  • Contribution variances, unanticipated expenses, and extraordinary items (natural disasters, government mandates, hyperinflation) may require amendments based on group conscience
  • Budgeted expenses are adjusted as appropriate

GENERAL ASSUMPTIONS AND ANALYTICS: 

  • Prior 4 years analyzed, utilized best estimate (4 Yr Avg, 2021, 2018/2019) 
  • Current monthly trends analyzed (Jan 2022 vs Jan 2021 vs Dec 2021)
  • Known factors considered (contractual expenses, regulatory compliance, committee budget requests) 
  • Covid-19 measures caused the most volatility in financials, and remain the primary unknown for budgeting purposes 
  • Expenses generally aggressive with a 7.5% increase for inflation (January CPI)
  • Revenues also aggressive based on trends and easing restrictions, but to a lesser extent – a more realistic estimate was budgeted

COMPONENTS OF REVENUE ASSUMPTIONS:

  • BOOKSTORE SALES 

While there we saw only a moderate increase in bookstore sales from 2020 to 2021, there was a 77% increase from Jan of 2022 as compared to Jan 2021. So, while a 50% increase to $50K appears aggressive, it is still well below 2018 and 2019

  • GROUP CONTRIBUTIONS

Increase is in line with 2020 – 2021 trend, but still below 2019 levels

  • INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTIONS

Budget is in line with 2020 and 2021, far above 2018 and 2019. Jan 2022 as compared to Jan 2021 is essentially the same, but sharp decline over December 

COMPONENTS OF EXPENSE ASSUMPTIONS:

  • INTERGROUP COMMITTEE BUDGETS (RETAINED)
      • Greater of 2022 budget request, or 2021 actual expenses
      • Budget carried over from 2021 if no budget was requested
  • OUTSIDE SERVICES 
    • While $36K was budgeted for 2021, only $19K was used. Contractors estimated $18K for 2022, another $6K was estimated for contingent expenses for a total of $24K for 2022 (website bug fixes, credit card interfaces, database management)

BOTTOM LINE COMMENTARY:

  • Estimates for contributions were as realistic as possible, while estimated expenses were more of a worst-case scenario given high inflation was added and all prior budgets and actuals retained
  • Even if that were the case, a $32.8K deficit would only reduce our Unrestricted Cash to $33.5K or 1.3 months. We would still report a “Fair” financial rating, and maintain our Prudent Reserve in its entirety 
  • Such an operating loss coupled with sufficient cash for operating expenses would also ensure we maintain federal non-profit tax-exempt status, and still support all of our current service offerings

SOURCE DATA:

2022 BUDGET (w/2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 data)

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1oNTyNhT9t4QdXFIOjxXSl6b0NnIUbQve

2022 INCOME STATEMENT (w/Prior Month and Prior Year comparisons)

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1oNTyNhT9t4QdXFIOjxXSl6b0NnIUbQve

INTERGROUP COMMITTEE BUDGET REQUESTS

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1btEpKSS0j59XdpTJgGMX72E5BuUsLKgPaiY6M3u0s5k/edit#gid=839811294

15 02, 2022

Intergroup News | February 2022

Intergroup Meeting – Proposed Minutes
Wednesday, February 2, 2022, 7-8:30 PM

Intergroup coordinates services which individual groups in San Francisco and Marin cannot provide. We bring these services, as well as service opportunities, to our Member Groups. Our Intergroup observes the intent and spirit of A.A.’s Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts for World Service, as well as A.A.’s Three Legacies of Recovery, Unity, and Service.

7:00   Getting Started

  1. Open with the Serenity Prayer
  2. Call to order. Statement of Purpose
  3. Review the minutes and agenda
  4. Roll Call
  5. 44 groups represented: 26 from San Francisco, 18 from Marin

  1. Orientation: Alison: new orientation materials; we do orientation before this meeting; materials available for anyone; its been modified; have pdfs updated, there is a link
  2. New IGRs, Visitors, AA Anniversaries
  1. New IGRs: Kate P – Leaky Cauldron; Dillon S – Weekend Warriors; Sonya – Came to Believe;  Gina C – Marin a Vision for You
  2. Visitors: –
  3. Anniversaries: Charlie – 6 yrs, Elena – 10 yrs, Kaitlyn – 2 yrs, Alison – 6 yrs, John – 2 yrs! HBD everyone!!!!
  1. Approval of agenda (housekeeping item)
  1. Motion to approve: James; Second: Chip T

Approval of last month’s Intergroup Meeting minutes (housekeeping item)

  1. Motion to approve: Isae; Second: John B

7:05   Officer Reports

  1. Board Chair – Charlie: Welcome Flip as new Recording Secretary; Thank you Alex; welcome Christina Exec. Dir.; been on boarding her for last month; discussion on 2022 events – taking all ideas, gathering best course of action; either hybrid or workshops to get the most out of our intergroup and fellowship. 
    1. Christina: Central office open 10-6 T – S, purchase literature – have a lot of books in stock; placed grapevine order.  Marcus printed updated meeting sched. However meeting schedule constantly changing so go to website for current info; updated mask mandate – retail space so wearing masks, if you come wear mask. Holiday in February so closed on Feb. 15.  Notice will be in Buzz.  I hope to soon get vols back in office and answering phones; grateful to Marin and SF teleservice for answering phones.  One thing to work on is ensure internet connection strong enough to hold myself and volunteers.  Meetings that needs group insurance – renewal in mid Jan; reach out to Marcus [email protected] to get.  Tomorrow is 30 days on job –working on accounting, bill pay, donations; grateful to contributors.  Year end so tax forms need to be filled.  More to learn but look forward to committee meetings and meeting you; IFAA celebrated 75th anniv. This week.  
  • Treasurer – Jim B

YEAR END 2021:

  1. Group Contributions: $183,571 – $23,615 under budget YTD
  2. Individual Contributions: $106,737 – $12,148 under budget YTD – 
    1. $11,467 is just 4% under
  3. Overall surplus / deficit: $571 surplus > $20,000 expected deficit – expenses were $31K under
  4. Unrestricted Cash: $51,618 equal to approx 2.1 monthly operating expenses (1.5-2 “good”)
  5. Financial rating for the Year is “Excellent”
  6. Faithful Fivers: 7 additional members $192 increase over Nov. 5% increase annualized is a big # – every bit counts; user website to become a Fiver! 
  7. Jaime – Very comprehensive thank you! 

7:30   Intergroup Committee Reports (up to 2 minutes/report)

  1. Tech Committee – Alex B: Chair Welcome Fiona new chair Tech committee; – part of OG tech committee years ago.  Excited to be back; want to get to know existing members, get new members.  Mtg with Christina soon.
  2. The Point – John B bells and whistle on new site but having difficulty uploading content; monthly mtg 2nd Sat. looking for content for March (3rd step/trad/concept) include jokes artwork, anything re AA local
  3. Sunshine Club – Clayton
  1. In person mtgs may resume;
  2. Looking at health regs; hospital policies also in flux; Alan Gaines was there – we appreciate Alan coming helping us out.  
  3. Doing phone calls?  No one has requested phone call – zoom has filled that purpose.  
  4. Q: Alison: in last month targeted message – wasn’t sure about announcement – is it vols can make calls?  What should we say? Clayton: IGR’s announce we continue to make phone calls; hope was to find people who want a phone call. Q: Allison: so it’s around awareness building?  Yes, the phone service.  Hopefully infection rate will go down and will begin in person mtgs.
  1. Ad-Hoc Inventory Committee – Chip G
  1. Sent meeting materials for inventory 2/5;
  2. This is not a debate, not going to get anything done, nothin decided; just air thoughts 
  1. Archives Committee – Mike 
  1. archives; chair; meet 3rd sun. in person – 
  2. organizing all material; slowed down lately looking for new archival material – please submit; 
  3. look forward to contributing materials for 75th anniversary.  
  4. Archives @ aasfmarin.org
  1. Public Relations – Peter M
  1. We try to carry message to public; you can help: know a place for presentation or if you work somewhere that would like a presentation; put us in touch with your HR  
  2. Calling card is outreach tool; in person reentry event 2/11 – recovery “rally” – by adult probation.  About drug overdose crisis – info table; 
  3. outreach through media: message on KGO and working on other stations.  
  4. Pamphlet for housing challenges; next mtg. 2/14 7 pm.
  1. Elena – fellowship – 
  1. as Charlie mentioned looking forward to discuss ideas for events etc. excited to make those come true.  
  2. Had a mini mtg and talked re first event on founders day in June – hopefully can do something in person; will have backup plan if not possible; focus on 75th anniv. 
  3. As anchor; we’d love all interested in becoming comm. Member; would also love a chair for the Fellowship committee!  If you know someone not current IGR – not requirement – is interested?  [email protected] (party planner?)
  • Isae – Buzz  
  1. Announcing it: keep it fresh, limit repeat announcements (2x max)
  2. Make it relevant
  3. Focus on AA – content sponsored by an AA group, conference or service entity, aligned with 12 traditions.

7:45   Service Committee Liaison Reports (up to 2 minutes/report)

Jillian/ Marin teleservice – did have successful committee turnover; Todd L. made new chairperson and still answering phones based on vol supply; life is good. Nikki: thank you for service.

Molly – Marin general svce.  Upcoming: PRASA – Alison is SF gen. svce will also talk PRASA.

Alison – SF Gen svce – last month gave teaser topics – maybe graphic novel of BB.  

  1. SF Gen Svce has new website. Great resource for GSR’s; calendar of events etc. sfgeneralservice.org/calendar.  
  2. PRAASA 2022: March 4-6; hosted virtually by Oregon Area 58; online reg for PRAASA now available thru 35; praasa.org.

SF H&I – next business mtg. 3/19 12 noon.

  1. 14 H&I zoom mtgs. 3 in person – St. Francis; Father Alfred’s; Skip Byron
  2. Lit. continues to be delivered to facilities
  3. Expenses/contributions down but we are sound at this time; still need contributions for lit.
  4. Contacting treatment facilities for in-person mtg status
  5. Area 62 looking for regional Chair for H&I Norcal.

Karen Grant – liaison Marin H&I; our mtg is 2/8 marin alano club; orientation 6:15; biz mtg 7:15 – live.  Need new chair.  Jails reopend – first mtg next Monday. 

Bridging gap: Phil – liaison.  New co secretary Rudy San Miguel; same position as sunshine club and H&I – access.  Talked to UCSF, adult probation event we will be there.  Made decision to make our own web page to go on GS website.

7:55   Old Business

  1. Intergroup Inventory 2/5

Chip – sent out info – will send reminder later this week; all zoom.  10 am 2/5.  This is not a debate; conduct shows what’s it about – cross talk not accepted.  Commenting inappropriate.  Just opp to express yourself – summarize responses at the end and distribute; will put top concerns on intergroup to-do. 

Carol Q: is facilitator actively participating?  Chip: yes, presenting Q’s – round robin, Question 1 etc.  Will be very involved.  Nikki: is outside intergroup; yes, but very involved in GS.  Was a trustee and experienced.

Melissa: if I had not been on that committee I would wonder about the facilitator.  The committee has met with him for – Chip: 5-6 mos; he is one impressive leader.  Going to make the process work.

Isae: Chip thank you for work on this; encourage IGR’s to participate.  Q’s are great, great opp to provide feedback.  

Jackie: (from SF GS) added plug for how important inventories are; do every year at district.  Important to spiritual health of service body.  Principles at work – willing to look at ourselves; not to be missed.

Chip: TY Jackie will be scribe.

Nikki: Much thought into Q’s – Chip how were Q’s determined? Chip: started with a whole bunch; wanted to boil down to 7.  Possible we won’t get through all.  Had 12-15 people attend mtgs.  Had lots of discussion; boiled down to 23, had comm members vote for top 8. Top 7 made final cut.

Nikki:  2/5 10 am.

Chip: got login info, Q’s.  

7:56   New Business

Nikki: working on budget things – next month will have draft budget to review.

8:25   What’s On Your Mind

Alison – the pdf’s for orientation I put in chat; given to new IGR’s or if you want refresher.

Jackie – agenda topics coming up; will contact comm chairs – will bring those topics; GS conference will vote on; will send out topics list – collect group conscience in March.

8:24   Targeted Message

  1. Central Office Schedule: Tues – Sat 10am to 6pm
  2. Buy lit thru central office website and come to pick up – curbside pickup; support central office – big order arrived, lots there.  
  3. Be a Faithful Fiver – 7 new ones in past month!
  4. Subscribe to the Buzz!

Adjourn with the Responsibility Statement

Next Intergroup Meeting is Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022. Our monthly meeting will continue to be held online per local guidelines from the health department until further notice. Please email [email protected] with any questions.

Treasurer’s Narrative 
Figures for Month and Year Ending December 31, 2021

CONTRIBUTIONS:

Group Contributions for the month were $28,274 exceeding expectations by $2,470 

Group Contributions year to date were $183,571 short of expectations by <$23,615> 

Individual Contributions for the month were $13,502 short of expectations by <$1,731> 

Individual Contributions year to date were $106,737 exceeding expectations by $12,148 

  • Overall, contributions were ~$11.5K below expectations for the year. 
  • This was just 4% under plan of $302K

SURPLUS or DEFICIT:

IFAA experienced a surplus (or profit) of $17,226 for the month or $3,032 better than expected.  

Year to date surplus (total revenue minus total expenses) was an unadjusted $9,071 [1] or $29,071 in excess of budgeted deficit of <$20K>. 

  • Overall, IFAA made surplus of $571  for the year net of all adjustments [1]
  • While contributions were lower than expected for the year, reductions in Employee Expenses, Committee Expenses, Operational Expenses, and Outside Services related to database and website management technologies more than outweighed the difference.

TREASURY MATTERS:

Unrestricted Cash (in addition to 6 Mo. Prudent Reserve) was an adjusted $63,521 or 2.5 months [2] of expenditures.

  • Adjustments for Fiscal Year Close (or FYC) were factored into both cash and monthly expenses for unrestricted cash calculation. 12 month average expenses were used. 

FOOTNOTES TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS FOR FISCAL YEAR CLOSE:

[1] Year to date Net Revenue per Income Statement = $9,071 less <$8,500> of invoices paid in 2022 for services in 2021 = $571

[2] Funds were consolidated to Wells Fargo after Capital One elimination of money market business account and Executive Director transfer. 

Reduce $170,339 PR balance by $10,468 to = $159,931 (approved prudent reserve) 

$53,053 + $10,468 = $63,521 [FYC expenses averaged $25K/mo for the year]

Bank transfer was made on 1/20/2022

MATERIAL VARIANCE FROM PRIOR YEAR:

Unrestricted Cash fell from $228,336 to $53,053 from prior year (-$175,283). In addition to adjustment [2] above and regular operational expense variations, the primary reason for reduction was the return of bequest money. Cleared check for $140K was identified out of Wells Fargo Checking cut on 2/17/2021 with description “Return of Large Bequest – SDC Trust”  

OVERALL RATING: EXCELLENT (meeting our budget, profitable for the month)

FINANCIAL RATING SYSTEM 

EXCELLENT:  We exceeded our budget.  Our income was greater than our expenses for both the month and YTD and we have more than two months’ worth of operating expenses in unrestricted cash balances.  

GOOD: We are meeting our budget.  Our net income for the month, or for the YTD, was slightly greater than our expenses and we’d have approximately 1.5 – 2 months of operating expenses in unrestricted cash balances.

FAIR: We are not meeting our budget.  Our expenses were greater than our income for the month and year to date, so our unrestricted cash balance would be somewhere between 1 and 1.5x our operating expenses. 

POOR: We are not meeting our budget and our unrestricted cash balances fell below one month of operating expenses.

 

13 01, 2022

Intergroup News | January 2022

Intergroup Meeting – Proposed Minutes
Wednesday, January 5th, 2022, 7-8:30 PM

Intergroup coordinates services which individual groups in San Francisco and Marin cannot provide. We bring these services, as well as service opportunities, to our Member Groups. Our Intergroup observes the intent and spirit of A.A.’s Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts for World Service, as well as A.A.’s Three Legacies of Recovery, Unity, and Service.

7:00   Getting Started

  1. Open with the Serenity Prayer
  2. Call to order. Statement of Purpose
  3. Review the minutes and agenda
  4. Roll Call
    1. 55 groups represented: 35 from San Francisco, 20 from Marin

  1. New IGRs, Visitors, AA Anniversaries
    1. New IGRs: Charlie G – Serendipity in the Garden; Lexi M – Bernal New Day; Giselle – Keep it Simple Sister; Flip – High Noon Thurs; Danny – PAX; Kate P – Leaky Cauldron; Karen W 
    2. Visitors: Jackie B district chair for SFGS
    3. Anniversaries: Isae – 29 yrs, Claudia – 20 yrs, Alex B – 18 yrs, Lexi M – 2 yrs, Charlie – 3 yrs, Rob – 18 yrs! HBD everyone!!!!
  2. Approval of agenda (housekeeping item)
  1. Motion to approve: Isae W; Second: John R
  1. Approval of last month’s Intergroup Meeting minutes (housekeeping item)
  2. Motion to approve: Tom H; Second: Karen G

7:05   Officer Reports

  1. Board Chair – Charlie
    1. Welcome our new Executive Director – Christina G
    2. Christina: super excited to be here and is on day 3 of the job; thanks to board for guidance; thanks so much to Maury for answering all questions, as well as Marcus for keeping Central Office going 24/7; sober for 24 years, live in west marin but will come in to Central Office at least 2x week; worked in non-profits for 20 years at various environmental, cultural, healthcare non-profits; masters in org leadership; hope to be transparent with the work and in the position, how do we best serve the still suffering alcoholic; thank you! Email [email protected]
    3. Update on new website integration
      1. New website is live! Thank you to everyone involved. May be some glitches to work out still, give a bit of time to fix these first (a week or so) and then please email [email protected] for any glaring bugs you come across
      2. Major thanks to the Tech Committee for helping with this integration
      3. Aware of calendar issue already (update: later on during the meeting, Drew advised the calendar issue had been fixed)
    4. Volunteer for new Recording Secretary – email went out with a description, this is a 1 year term, position includes recording minutes editing, sent out monthly
      1. Flip C volunteered for Recording Secretary position, will follow up
    5. Buzz Editor position also open
      1. Michelle W interested in Buzz position, will follow up
  2. Treasurer – Jim B
    1. Group Contributions: $14,841 > $2643 over budget for Nov; $155,297 > $26,085 under budget YTD
    2. Individual Contributions: $14,791 > $7336 over budget for Nov; $93,235 > $13,879 over budget YTD
    3. Overall surplus / deficit: $3556 surplus > $10,670 over budget expected for Nov; $7720 deficit > $13,879 over budget YTD
    4. Unrestricted Cash: $34,622 equal to approx 1.6x monthly operating expenses
    5. Financial rating for Nov 2021 is “Good”
    6. Faithful Fivers: 9 additional members in Nov (up to 289), total and avg contributions are up. Go to aasfmarin.org to become a faithful fiver! Small contributions matter!
    7. John R – is the budget for 2022 worked on yet? Taking into account projections based on shelter in place? 
      1. Jim: yes it is currently being worked on, waiting for Dec #s but will have preliminary for next month; yes interesting to think about projections based on what has happened during the pandemic, 2021 numbers will at the very least provide a starting point
    8. Kathleen – balance sheet, last number right hand side 190,121 in red ink, that represents a drop in unrestricted cash?
      1. Jim: I will look into it and get back to you personally on that – I don’t have the print out on me currently and don’t want to misspeak!
      2. Alan: 140k of that was the bequest being returned
    9. Tom – part of the reason we did well is because of Gratitude Month? Bequests from last month reflected?
      1. Jim: from a contribution standpoint yes, but also expenses across the board were lower; and yes, the bequests are listed under individual contributions

7:30   Intergroup Committee Reports (up to 2 minutes/report)

  1. Tech Committee – Alex B
    1. Chair position is open! Moving out of state at the end of the month, thanks to all
    2. Mtg is on the 1st Monday of every month at 6p on Zoom (except this month is on 1/10)
    3. Keep updating your meetings online! Ad hoc scheduler is still in progress
    4. Email [email protected] for questions
  2. The Point – John B
    1. The January issue is posted online @ aasfmarin.org
    2. Word documents, audio files, artwork all accepted
    3. Ideas for February – 2nd step, tradition, concept, anything AA-related email to [email protected] 
    4. Business meeting on 2nd saturday of month via zoom at noon – next one is this Saturday 1/8
    5. Sound engineer has been found! Thank you
  3. Sunshine Club – Kate K
    1. No in person meetings at this time due to COVID, volunteers still making phone calls to isolated AA members
    2. Email [email protected] for info, to request a meeting, or to volunteer
    3. IGRs can make announcements at meetings that Sunshine Club exists as a service available to home-bound members!
  4. Ad-Hoc Inventory Committee – Chip G
    1. IG inventory 2/5/22 a meeting place has been rented, facility has equipment for a hybrid meeting – subject to change if conditions warrant – potential to move to online
    2. 1/19/22 online meeting on zoom
    3. Inventory questions sent out to IGRs, just so you can think about them – considering the very IG specific content, group conscience at your individual meetings is not quite necessary but of course you are still welcome to do so 
  5. Archives Committee – Mike 
    1. Meets 3rd Sunday of the month in person. Hybrid zoom meeting is open at 12pm
    2. Service positions available! Collect group histories, member stories, catalog, organize, create and recreate visual displays
  6. Public Relations – Peter M
    1. Planning Diversity/Inclusion Town Hall for later Spring 2022 hopefully (discussions with Fellowship Committee)
    2. Calling Card produced and is being distributed at meetings
    3. Committee still needs support with outreach to local media outlets
    4. Pamphlet for those with housing challenges in recovery in distribution soon
    5. Email [email protected] for info and to get involved!
    6. Next mtg 1/10 @ 7pm (orientation at 630)
  7. Chris F: question for sobriety requirements for these volunteer positions? Possible to add to slides?

7:45   Service Committee Liaison Reports (up to 2 minutes/report)

  1. SF General Service – Alison T
    1. PRAASA, Agenda Topics, General Service Conference
    2. General Service website has a calendar and a glossary check it out sfgeneralservice.org/calendar 
    3. Ask for new GSRs to go check out the website! 
    4. Plain language big book, graphic novel, changes to Living Sober
    5. Grapevine and La Vina service rep positions are available
  2. Marin Teleservice – Jill
    1. 1/25 all service positions are turning over
    2. Please announce that Marin Teleservice is looking for new faces to fill commitments – 6 months sobriety requirement
  3. SF Bridging the Gap – Phil S
    1. Connects alcoholics leaving institutions to get them to meetings on the outside
    2. New Pamphlet and new service manual and we have a new co chair! We are looking to increase engagement with the fellowship
  4. General Service – Molly M
    1. GSR Workshop – demystifying general service
      1. Sunday 1/23 12-130p anyone with a desire to learn about General Service is welcomed tho directed to Marin GSRs
    2. Agenda Topics Season is here!
      1. List of topics to be discussed and groups marin and sf are looking for group consciences and report that to delegate 

7:55   Old Business

  1. N/A

7:56   New Business

  1. Potential for 2022 events?
    1. Alan: thinking about getting involved with events – 75th anniversary of Central Office like Peter mentioned; other ideas: people who got sober on Zoom and have never been to a in-person meeting
    2. Get in contact with Fellowship Committee with any ideas you have
    3. Nikki: Town Halls sharing best practices – are there ways virtually that we can bring the fellowship together as we navigate things which keep changing, workshops, etc.
    4. Michelle: Tools game, get into teams of 4 and use the tools (make a call, go to a meeting)
    5. Tanya (in the chat): a talent show we just did for the daily women’s meeting!
    6. Melissa: talking about how COVID has affected sobriety, the loneliness – many people are interested and concerned about all this a hot topic for anybody who is a writer who would want to collect stories focused on topics impact of COVID, good and bad
    7. Jackie: not IGR but visiting and have ideas based on what we do in General Service- how about a trusted servant workshop? That could work well on zoom; business meeting workshop? Etc.
    8. Molly: not an IGR but I’m in General Service, thinking about getting back to in person and what it used to look like – in terms of Zoom just trying to embrace what works even though it’s different from what we’re used to; perspective shifts
    9. Nikki: [email protected] reach out about these ideas and more!
  2. Scott B: service commitments table to encourage people to get involved – other service committees that are available outside the meeting

8:25   What’s On Your Mind

  1. Molly: difference b/w the Buzz and Point?
    1. Nikki: Buzz is weekly newsletter about upcoming events, service opportunities for the fellowship in SF/Marin
    2. John: Point historically used to also have that information before our transition online, Point continues to house the experience, strength, and hope of members via publishing stories, essays, etc. – hyper local version of the grapevine
  2. Jackie: AA History Symposium – scholarships for newcomers or anyone who is not able to afford ticket
  3. Isae: new beginnings, very excited to welcome Christina, new website, really excited about the inventory work we are going to be doing in Feb; what’s working and where we can improve, encourage all to check out the inventory questions
  4. Danny: working with others, step work, how do we bring the message to the newcomer and engage the steps, contextualize them and emphasize the book; any cool new ideas about working with newcomers?
  5. Alex B: era of zoom, the concept of a 12th step call on zoom is very interesting
  6. Flip: there’s 12th step workshops on zoom that i’ve been to they’ve been pretty popular
  7. Nikki: I see no more hands up, do we have any objections to ending the meeting early? (No objections – consensus to end the meeting early)

8:24   Targeted Message

  1. Spread the word about Sunshine Club
  2. Buy literature through Central Office
  3. Become a Faithful Fiver
  4. Subscribe to the Buzz!

Adjourn with the Responsibility Statement

Next Intergroup Meeting is Wednesday, February 2nd, 2022. Our monthly meeting will continue to be held online per local guidelines from the health department until further notice. Please email [email protected] with any questions.

 

January 2022 Intergroup Meeting Treasurer’s Narrative 

Figures for Month Ending November 30, 2021

CONTRIBUTIONS:

Group Contributions for the month were $14,841 which was over budget (or “better than expected”) by $2,643. 

Group Contributions year to date were $155,297 which were $26,085 under budget (“worse than expected”)

Individual Contributions for the month were $14,791 which were over budget (or “better than expected”) by  $7,336. 

Individual Contributions year to date were $93,235 which were $13,879 over budget (or better than expected)

Individual contributions are no longer making up for the unexpected reduction in group contributions 

SURPLUS or DEFICIT:

IFAA experienced a surplus (or profit) of $3,556 for the month. We budgeted (or anticipated) a loss of <$7,114> so we operated $10,670 better than expected.  

Year to date our deficit (total revenue minus total expenses) was <$7,720>. While this may seem poor, we were expecting and had budgeted a total loss by this time of year of <$34K> so our year to date November deficit was $26,474 better than expected.

TREASURY MATTERS:

Unrestricted Cash (in addition to 6 Mo. Prudent Reserve) was $34,622 or 1.6 months of expenditures.

Quarterly bill for outside services was paid in November, as well as 3 payroll periods causing sharper than expected reduction in unrestricted cash.

 

OVERALL RATING: Good (meeting our budget, profitable for the month)

 

FINANCIAL RATING SYSTEM 

EXCELLENT:  We exceeded our budget.  Our income was greater than our expenses for the month and we have more than two months’ worth of operating expenses in unrestricted cash balances.  

GOOD: We are meeting our budget.  Our net income for the month, or for the YTD, was slightly greater than our expenses and we’d have approximately 1.5 – 2 months of operating expenses in unrestricted cash balances.

FAIR: We are not meeting our budget.  Our expenses were greater than our income for the month and year to date, so our unrestricted cash balance would be somewhere between 1 and 1.5x our operating expenses. 

POOR: We are not meeting our budget and our unrestricted cash balances fell below one month of operating expenses.

30 10, 2020

Special Intergroup Meeting: Response to Questions / Comments

Thank you to everyone involved in the discussion around the decision to accept the bequest and set up a special projects fund for our fellowship. We are blessed to have been given the opportunity to be of service to our fellow alcoholics from the beginning of the process. The founders of A.A. were clear from the very beginning that every voice should be heard. One of our greatest challenges is making sure every voice gets heard. Luckily for us, the founders also did a great deal of the heavy lifting in this regard and we have an organization with a service structure that supports this goal.

At the Special Projects Fund Meeting on Wednesday, Oct 21 we heard from over 20 of the roughly 80 participants and compiled their questions/comments/concerns. Here is a list of what we heard:

  • How seriously did we consider the traditions/concepts/principles?
  • Why wasn’t this brought to the groups before accepting the money?
  • How come it wasn’t more readily disseminated to the groups/members?
  • Members expressed a desire to return the money, or return all but 10k.
  • How is the money to be spent?
  • Was there precedent, were other entities (Intergroups/CO/GSO) consulted?
  • What will happen with the second bequest?

How seriously did we consider the traditions/concepts/principles?

The experience, strength and hope present at the monthly business meeting of Intergroup representatives is overflowing with knowledge and appreciation for the service structure of A.A.: years of experience in dealing with matters concerning the traditions, concepts and principles; the strength of the representatives comes from the trust their groups’ members place in their decisions; and the hope incumbent in the gift of sobriety as the ultimate goal for all those who have a desire to stop drinking. We fully understand and share the concerns expressed around the dangers of accepting a considerable sum of money from a deceased member of our Fellowship. We considered the long form of Tradition 7 which states: “acceptance of large gifts from any source, or of contributions carrying any obligation, is unwise. Then too, we view with much concern those A.A. treasuries, which continue, beyond prudent reserves, to accumulate funds with no stated A.A. purpose.” The Special Projects Fund was set up with a specifically stated purpose and through the decision making process as it exists in our business meetings, a summary of the circumstances can be found here

Some members expressed their belief that it did not matter how strongly Intergroup believed in the usefulness of the projects to assist our fellowship’s capability to help the still suffering alcoholic as it clearly violated the traditions and was harmful to A.A. as a whole. A.A. as a whole is constantly facing challenges that require our careful consideration in an ever changing environment. Sometimes the solutions to those problems may involve decisions that cause discomfort and unease within our membership. This has been the case since the beginning, and the structure built by those who have gone before us was tested repeatedly and came out stronger on the other side. The traditions, concepts and principles emerged out of what Bill W. termed the “Constructive Use of Trouble.” He states, “This trouble is now converted into an educational process. It is something for growth, and progress becomes our most important product – and trouble is the touchstone, the stimulus, to the perfection of that progress.” However the results of the decision to institute a Special Projects Fund turns out, A.A. as a whole will be stronger for the debate and loving discussion that surrounds the process. 

Why wasn’t this brought to the groups before accepting the money? How come it wasn’t more readily disseminated to the groups/members?

The Intergroup Representative (IGR) is the primary conduit through which the business of Intergroup is conducted. At any given time roughly 7% of the groups have an active IGR. This has been the case for many years and increasing outreach to the fellowship is one of our greatest challenges. If your group is not currently represented you can find information on the role and responsibility of the IGR here. Intercounty Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous (IFAA, or “Intergroup”) is a function of the service structure in AA by which the individual groups and members can achieve the primary purpose of helping the still suffering alcoholic. IFAA procedure relies on the participation of its members to operate and maintain the services provided and is consistently aiming to improve and expand the efficacy of both the services provided and the participation of the groups. The establishment of the Special Projects Fund is specifically rooted in assuring the continued dedication to IFAA’s purpose of serving the groups and the still suffering alcoholic. 

Members expressed a desire to return the money, or return all but 10k.

This request has been added as “New Business” to the current agenda at Intergroup.

How is the money to be spent?

You can find details about how the money is being spent and plans for future projects here

Was there precedent, were other entities (Intergroups/CO/GSO) consulted?

There have been other service entities that have taken large sums of money and addressed the concerns of their members over the decision. We have heard from a number of other people involved in service expressing their support and interest in how this process came about and in how it develops going forward. GSO was not specifically consulted during our decision making process but responded to our inquiry for their feedback recently. Their response is as follows:

I spoke with our Archivist and also with senior staff and there were a few common themes.  One of them, which you brought up in your email, is that in accordance with Tradition 4, each AA entity is autonomous and develops its own informed group conscience on how to apply the Tradition to its daily operations and activities.  While G.S.O. does currently have a limit of $10,000 for individual bequests, other A.A. entities, guided by A.A. principles and Traditions may certainly have a different threshold.

Another theme was to look closely at Tradition Seven, especially the long form which has more specifics to it: 

The A.A. groups themselves ought to be fully supported by the voluntary contributions of their own members. We think that each group should soon achieve this ideal; that any public solicitation of funds using the name of Alcoholics Anonymous is highly dangerous, whether by groups, clubs, hospitals, or other 2 outside agencies; that acceptance of large gifts from any source, or of contributions carrying any obligation whatever, is unwise. Then too, we view with much concern those A.A. treasuries which continue, beyond prudent reserves, to accumulate funds for no stated A.A. purpose. Experience has often warned us that nothing can so surely destroy our spiritual heritage as futile disputes over property, money, and authority.

The Tradition cautions treasuries not to “accumulate funds for no stated A.A. purpose.”  From what you described, there were clearly defined purposes for the contributions and that they related to carrying the message of A.A.

The long form says “…that acceptance of large gifts from any source, or of contributions carrying any obligation whatever, is unwise.”  It is up to the informed group conscience to decide if these contributions carried any obligation and what is the definition of “large gifts.” 

Several of us remembered the discussion at Conference when the bequest limit was raised from $5,000 to $10,000.  Some members spoke about how we should rely on the entire Fellowship for support rather than looking to wealthy members.  They shared that this is another expression of the spiritual concept of anonymity – no one stands out because of the amount of money they give to A.A.  The ideal is that we all get the chance for that feeling of belonging that comes from contributing as well as the spiritual rewards of giving with no reward in mind.  There is the potential for large contributions to engender a feeling of “I don’t have to participate in self-support, it’s covered by a few high rollers.” It’s good to ask if that has happened since the contributions were accepted, or not?

One other theme brought up was that we are a self-correcting Fellowship.  The process you described bears that out:  the fact that the Board at first declined the contribution, then opened it up to a broader discussion (which is in keeping with our Traditions and Concepts) and decided to accept it.  If another correction needs to be made, well that’s just A.A.

As our literature reminds us, “we are not saints” and “it’s progress, not perfection.”  If we do make a mistake, Step Ten instructs us to “make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone.  Then resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help.”  

I hope there is something in this hastily gathered experience that is helpful. 

What will happen with the second bequest?

The second bequest is currently under further consideration by Intergroup.

30 10, 2020

Special Projects Fund Meeting Minutes

October 21, 2020

  1. Introductions – (Alan G)
    1. Open Meeting with the Serenity Prayer
    2. Why are we here? Members have expressed their interest concerning IFAA’s acceptance of a bequest for $140,000
    3. Hope to continue the conversation from last month’s IGR meeting
      1. Information will be posted to the website 
    4. We’re not trying to change minds, this is to provide information, why the decision was made and how it was made
  2. Review Decision Making Process
    1. Timeline (Renee)
      1. Early in 2019 IFAA was contacted by an estate that there was a potentially large bequest which was initially declined
      2. Later in 2019 at the October 2019 IG meeting there was a conversation about the individual ($5,000) and moratorium limits ($10,000). At this time we discussed how IFAA was a separate entity and we received unanimous support from IG to continue discussions
      3. IFAA Board discussed options to accept the funds beyond the $10,000 level
      4. In March, 2020 the IFAA Board received consensus from IG to accept the full amount of bequest as a one time exception leaving our limits in place
      5. April, 2020 IFAA accepted the $140,000 bequest where it was recorded as income and then segregated into a Special Project Funds that would not be used to cover general operating expenses 
      6. Note: there is an opportunity for IFAA to provide more detailed meeting minutes moving forward
    2. Review of Decision Making in Intergroup
      1. Address the general principles by which IFAA operates and how decisions get made
      2. Info packets each month provide information on how to get motions onto the agenda and the consensus decision making model which provides IFAA with a more rigorous procedure around the minority opinion and get to a point where we are as close as possible to unanimity
      3. Who gets a vote: Per the Bylaws each IGR is given 
      4. What gets decided at Intergroup vs. the Board?
        1. Inspired by Concept 3 “The right of decision”, the Board is beholden to the lay and Bylaw and beyond that it is a matter of discretion to decide what matters are brought to the entire Intergroup
        2. The authority of the Groups – each representative is allowed to bring forward a motion which is considered by the Board
        3. Approval of the intergroup resolution is by substantial unanimity (⅔ majority) which is different from Robert’s Rules which requires only a majority or 50% +1
  3. Use of Special Project Funds
    1. Operational Challenges
      1. Outreach and engagement – a conservative estimate is that we spend about 50% of our time on 
      2. Rotation – Impact of rotation allows for more members to be in service commitments, however, at any given time you lose human capital or 
      3. Communication Channels
        1. Curate content
        2. Assessed connectivity when we went through the transition of the Point to digital from mail at which point a survey was conducted to understand how
      4. Economies of Scale
        1. Number of people involved in service outside the group is minimal so we started to 
      5. Contributions from Individual members
      6. Volunteer membership 
    2. Overview of Special Projects Fund
      1. 7 – 8% of groups had representation at Intergroup
      2. Named Director of a 501(c)3 nonprofit 
      3. Operations committee during the Fall retreat
        1. Lease expiration where a move could be costly
        2. Accounting software transition from desktop to online presented challenges 
        3. Database was a custom database that was managed by a single volunteer and it became clear that we needed to look at purchase of a 
        4. Integration of SMS text messaging for 12th step calls and meeting reminders
    3.  Comments from Fellowship

Raise your hand to share your thoughts, the chat will remain closed. 2 minutes per share.

  • Melanie – AA is held to a higher standard than most non-profits. Where is our discussion of the 7th tradition? Are the by-laws more important than the traditions. (If we don’t change our decision, she will not feel comfortable ever providing 7th tradition)
  • Thatcher – Questions our decision and our process. Trusted servants should follow the guidelines and traditions, concepts and steps – clearly not the case in this choice. Wants us to pause any more spending of this money, and take it to the groups we serve for consideration. This will harm other intergroups. “No more special money.” What about the second request? This is not good.
  • Vanessa H. – Thank you to Maury and Board. This has come up because of discussion at GSR meeting. Traditions and concepts were not being followed. She understands that a lot of consideration was put into this, but she hopes everyone stays civil. This was a decision made in love, and we can disagree in love. 
  • Jennifer K.- From Marin. She understands one of our intentions is to share with other intergroups. Have the other intergroups ever had a bequest like this? How have they handled this? Did we speak to GSO? What was their response? Intergroup is autonomous – *except where it affects other groups or AA as a whole* — how might this affect aa as a whole?
  • Karen C. – This is the biggest issue to hit local AA since she’s been sober. The purpose of the money is irrelevant. All sounds like wonderful projects. But the 12 and 12 talks about this, and that money was probably for a good reason too. We have a principle of corporate poverty. We need to admit we made a mistake. Not spend more than $10K. Until we can give a thorough airing and let groups decide. We should be grateful for $20k. Need to keep principles.
  • Fiona – Thank everyone for service. Has experience in service at IG. Just found out about this last week. Concerned about this. Concerned that very little was mentioned in the IG minutes (she lists various month’s meeting minutes). How many IGRs are actually telling their meeting this information? Who are the consultants? What is the cost breakdowns? More transparency. Let the groups make the decision. More discussion is needed. Put money on hold.
  • John R. – Decision has been made and this meeting is after the fact, and he is troubled. Couldn’t find anything in minutes. Bylaws do not trump traditions. Need does not give us the right to circumvent the traditions. Understand that COVID made things difficult. Was not at March meeting – was it a 2/3rds vote to accept the fund? He’s a long time member. Let’s rethink – not spend any more money than $10k and take back to groups to have a new vote.
  • Kathleen – IGR for Coconuts Meetings. She cites the concepts for why we should be using consultants and get the best for our fellowship. But she is concerned that we went against our policy of limits. Breakdown in the communication. March 2020 was a very small meeting, not well represented. She doesn’t feel like there was a real vote. It was a chaotic time to communicate a big decision.
  • Brian – He would like to know the mechanics for getting a motion on the next IG meeting to put a vote on the floor to return all but 10K of the bequest. We are in a leadership position – our board is great, the tech is great – but we need to return money.
  • Alex – Appreciate the report. He has served on tech committee – more happening in the last nine months than last many years combined. What Patrick said in his report – single point of failure – is true. He wants to acknowledge the good work. Wants Jennifer’s questions answered (what are those questions? See notes above). 
  • Michael M. – Thank you to Board. The fellowship is upset that they were not addressed before violating traditions. He knows Dallas has taken a large bequest. He knows it is not unusual. But we should have come to the fellowship and ask. He knows we have the best intentions. Groups could have provided the money we needed.
  • Jaime – Intentions don’t matter. Now we have money. He would like us to give it back. Was the deceased a member of AA (alcoholic?)? Wants us to refuse the second bequest.
  • Liz – Thanks everyone! Everyone is participating tonight, not everyone was around back in March. She is passionate about finding a common solution. We have to fix the technology solutions, otherwise we waste volunteers time. Discussion was lengthy and slow at the Board. Time will tell what will happen next, but she hopes that people will be as informed as they can be and not be emotional.
  • Marie – Some of us have taken Central Office for granted. This has sparked a desire to be more involved with Central Office. We are first and foremost part of AA. We have to follow traditions. Board has the right to make decisions. Fellowship has the right to appeal a decision. Do the right thing – make amends – give the money back and say sorry. We have not been trustworthy.
  • Julie S. – Thank you for the presentation. Thinks we should give the money back! Ask the groups for the money we need to update our systems. In favor of righting this wrong and looking at our communication and the breakdown. (also a problem at General Service). What can we do to fix that?
  • Leslie – Thank you everyone. 1) idea of helping other intergroups – actually causes concern. She’s not sure why, but that we should be taking care of our local area and not other areas. 2) She is GSR and they have an IFR – She doesn’t like that it was brought as a decision and not a discussion
  • Paul – We see a lot of people are passionate about AA. We need better communication in terms of the bigger issues we’re facing. Was hoping that more of tonight would be around the decision – not the need for the money – but why we accepted it.
  • Chip – Thank everyone involved. As we can see from tonight’s comments, most people are just learning about this. Surprised by the Board’s decision. Perhaps groups have to take responsibility for that because they are not involved enough. But blame is not important. It would be a good idea for the Board to step back, get the group’s more involved and take a new consensus.
  • Gareth – Works on H&I committee. New to AA. Cares about the traditions. Tradition 7 is important. This issue has come up before and AA has learned from its mistakes. We are not supposed to become rich, or for-profit. We should decline “outside contribution.” He would like to vote to send money back.
  • Rob – Echoing Chip. He has attended meetings that have IGRs, and he’s fortunate in that respect. This is a lesson to get involved, and report back to groups so that everyone will know what’s going on.
  • Hunter – Thank you for the special meeting. He is in favor of the Board’s decision to accept bequest. He believes the main thing here is don’t drink. And AA has changed his life. AA and steps have been around longer than traditions – we’re still learning. He does believe we need to keep transparent about the use of funds.
  • Judy – Thank you to the Board for getting everyone up to speed. She agrees with most of the concerns everyone has voiced tonight. She mentions a previous discussion about raising contribution limits – but it needs to be a discussion. Go back to the groups and get their input. We’ve done more to respond during COVID than most.
  • Cathy – Thank you for service. Learned a lot. Cites the Rockafeller dinner as example. Intergroup did a fantastic job during pandemic getting info out. Contribution amount comes up every year at the general service conference. Personally, she’d like us to return the money and ask the members of the fellowship for what we need.

Wrap Up and adjournment. Info will be posted at aasfmarin.org/10212020.

2 10, 2020

Special Projects Fund

To our SF/Marin Fellowship:

Central Office has recently received inquiries regarding a bequest accepted by IFAA (Intercounty Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous of San Francisco and Marin Counties) earlier this year. The IFAA Board of Directors would like to provide background around how this opportunity came about, the decision-making process, and our plans for the funds. Please note all of this information was made available via our monthly Intergroup Meetings and their corresponding minutes.

In 2019, we received notice from two (2) separate estates of deceased AA members that IFAA had been named as a beneficiary and that the amount was unknown, but expected to be greater than our contribution limits (close to $100k). IFAA’s policy is to observe the same contribution limits as those observed by AA General Service Office (GSO) – currently, $5,000 limit for an individual member (annually) and $10,000 limit for a bequest (one-time). 

For several months, our Board discussed the pros and cons of accepting these bequests in light of AA’s Traditions and our current contribution policy. We also notified the broader Intergroup of this topic and our ongoing deliberation. After several months of deliberation, the Board concluded that accepting these bequests to fund larger scale projects that we otherwise would not be able to fund would enable us to better serve our fellowship and further our organization’s mission to serve the AA groups of San Francisco and Marin and to bring services to the still suffering alcoholic that individual groups cannot provide. Further, our goal is to share the end result of these projects with Intergroups in other areas, to the extent possible, thereby maximizing the reach of these funds.

At the March 2020 Intergroup Meeting, the Finance Committee of the Board presented our decision to accept the bequests and set up a Special Projects Fund. At that time, we opened the floor for feedback/questions and had a healthy discussion. While a few members expressed concern about setting an undesirable precedent, the majority of Intergroup members showed strong support for the decision. We all agreed that accepting these bequests would be viewed as a one-time exception to our policy, rather than changing or amending the policy to increase the contribution limits.

In April 2020, we accepted one estate’s bequest totaling $140,000, and used it to establish the Special Projects Fund. The other bequest is still pending contingent on the settlement of the estate.

The Special Projects Fund is set aside to tackle projects that go above and beyond our traditional capabilities, and is not being used for day-to-day operations of IFAA.

So far, these projects have included:

  • Migration of our back-office data systems (in progress) from a custom system to one based on commercial products (Airtable, Zapier, and TypeForm). For this project we engaged the help of a member from New York General Service and intend to develop guidance for other service entities that want to replicate it.

Future projects under consideration include:

  • Creating a meeting schedule PDF generator to be shared with other AA service entities
  • Software upgrades and implementation 
  • Consultant fees for specialized help (accounting/legal/tech)
  • Reserve for potential Central Office move (lease expires in October 2021) – while this is not a project, per se, it is an anticipated large expenditure our normal operating funds would not likely cover.

We will continue to provide a quarterly report on the fund financials and progress of the projects underway at future Intergroup meetings. 

If your homegroup does not have an Intergroup Representative, we encourage you to get one so that your group has a voice and stays up to date on all matters concerning IFAA.

In Service,
IFAA Board of Directors 

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