Intergroup News | April 2020

This is an unofficial summary of the April 2020 Intergroup meeting provided for convenience; it is not intended to be the completed approved minutes. For a complete copy of the minutes and full committee reports see “Intergroup” on our website aasfmarin.org.

Our Intergroup exists to support the groups in their common purpose of carrying the A.A. message to the still suffering alcoholic by providing and coordinating services that are difficult for the individual groups to execute.

The Intercounty Fellowship has been organized by, and is responsible to, the member groups in San Francisco and Marin for the purpose of coordinating the services that individual groups cannot provide. The meeting was held on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, online via Zoom. The meeting was started with a call to order and the Serenity Prayer. The March 2020 minutes and the April 2020 agenda were approved.

Standing Reports

Board Chair, Alan G. Subscribe to The Buzz for Covid-19 updates.

  • Changes to Central Office Hours and Literature

Central Office remains closed. For literature, contact aa@aasfmarin.org. All calls are being handled by San Francisco and Marin Teleservice volunteers.

  • New Information about remote meetings

Online Meetings are listed on aasfmarin.org. Send updates to groupservices@aasfmarin.org. Zoom guides and how-to’s, managing participants, managing disruptions, anonymity in zoom settings, digital 7th tradition, etc. are links on the home page of the website. It is a learning process, so contact tech@aasfmarin.org for even more help.

  • 7th Tradition – Socially distant self-support

A.A. groups and Intergroup | Central Office still have bills, so continue to contribute! An information sheet for Digital Contributions is posted on aasfmarin.org. Intergroup is offering unique email addresses for remote meetings. These can be used to set up digital contributions for your group.

Treasurer, Renee T. Our rating for February is “Excellent” but March will be different.

Question: How best to explain to our groups the Rating system? How can we encourage digital contributions to Intergroup?
Answer: There is a guide for setting up digital contributions. A group conscience should dictate a rating guide at group level; 2 to 3 months of a prudent reserve is common.

Question: Is there any forecasting around how remote meetings will affect our finances?
Answer: We are anticipating a change. So far, group contributions are down but individual contributions are up.

Question: Is there a way to subscribe to Intergroup?
Answer: Faithful Fivers is one way, but still contribute to your individual group. And Faithful Fivers does not have to be just five dollars. You have a choice when signing up.

Question: Some meetings are suggesting sending money directly to Central Office through the contributions link.
Answer: That is great, but remember, direct contributions bypass the individual meeting.

Question: Some meetings are suggesting pooling money until in-person meetings begin again.
Answer: That is a good suggestion.

Question: Mission Fellowship (2900 24th St.) wants to stay open, so they are suggesting sending donations directly to them as well. So please remember to keep giving to your group if they need to pay rent.
Answer: The mechanism for collecting for the meetings has changed, but the process should not change. Take care of the meeting first, and then distribute to the other service entities.

Executive Director, Maury P. Subscribe to The Buzz. Results from the survey about an Intergroup-hosted Zoom account was inconclusive and lost. A developer was hired to help with the Remote Meeting Schedule. Scott H. and Patrick M. are handling updates for the Remote Meeting Schedule.

  • Trolls

Meetings are asking to be pulled from Remote Meeting List. A suggestion is to add a password in the additional meeting details. Discord is taking action to help stop trolls and Zoom has been working on it as well. Do not post a meeting link and/or password on Social Media (even in private Facebook groups).

Question: The survey asked for group information and I didn’t know how to complete it. Zoom staff will only message the meeting host or use audio.

Question: Discord has taken a lot of groups down. There seemed to be less Zoom bombing today.

Question: I could not complete the survey because it could not be brought to the group in time.
Answer: The survey will be recreated but some of the responses have been lost.

Question: Please resend the survey. Is some of the Zoom information that was shared on The Buzz available on the website?
Answer: Some of it came from an A.A. in Technology Forum (http://tiaa-forum.org).

Question: Passwords are akin to putting a lock on the door and using the waiting room seems to be a better solution. (And Maury is amazing!). Answer: Thumbs up!

Intergroup Committee Reports

SF PI/CPC, Guru O. Our current emphasis is on diversity and inclusion. We attended “Asian-Americans and Additions.” Sharing literature with them.  We want to change our committee name to Public Relations. Right now, all speaking commitments have been cancelled. We are reaching out to the media about Recovery in Quarantine.

Archives, Mike The next A.A. History Event will be on April 11 titled “A.A. in Times of War and Crisis.” This is an unprecedented time, so any documentation that doesn’t break anonymity should be sent to the committee so that this period of time can be documented for A.A. history.

The Point, John B. The next committee meeting will be on Google Hangout at 12:30 pm on April 11. For information, contact thepoint@aasfmarin.org.  We are working on a podcast and building a stable of voice talent, so please reach out if you’re interested.

SF Teleservice, Luke H. The committee’s commitment has moved to 24 hours and we’ve added 12 additional shifts. There are 40 new people oriented and we now have zero empty shifts!

Sunshine Club, Clayton B. We received no requests for meetings during the month of March. The Laguna Honda facility has been locked down and trying to have a person there connect to a remote meeting.

Fellowship, Elena R. The May workshop “Anonymity in the Digital Age” has been postponed.

HelpChat, Taran R. This committee is seeking new volunteers, so if your available with a cell phone or computer and want a commitment, let us know. Contact HelpChat@aasfmarin.org.

Technology, Taran R. We had a big spike in traffic (7x)! Lots from Facebook and different Intergroups.

Service Community Liaison Reports

SF General Service, Alison General Service events have been made virtual. General Service reps and Intergroup are working together. We are getting lots of interest from National and International groups. The International Convention has been canceled. Question: Why was it canceled and not postponed? Answer: Planning began in 2008 and GSO employees have been working from home and unable to work on it.

SF Bridging the Gap, Camilla R. We had our first virtual bridge!

Marin PI/CPC, Evan We’ve shifted priorities to informing groups about anonymity with digital platforms. High School and Interfaith outreach has been changed to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. We are also working with Marin Bridging the Gap. If interested, contact us at aamarinpicp@gmail.com.

Marin Teleservice, Amanda We postponed our upcoming Spaghetti Feed. Most of our phone shifts are covered. We had a huge response to our virtual training.

What’s On Your Mind?

Ryan, question: Thank you for Zoom resources. How were meeting’s settings decided? Answer from Maury: It was a little bit “from the seat of our pants.” It is all new to us and we are learning best practices as we go. This was set up with New York’s account but that might not be the case going forward. We are “One Day at a Time”-ing it. The Zoom documentation can be contradictory.

Nancy S., comment: Zoom is hard enough for non-tech savvy members. Passwords might put them over the edge. Answer from Renee: There are some meetings that are dial-in only (e.g., the Dry Dock).

Nancy P., question: Is there a way we could use teleservice as tech support as well? Answer from Chat: Teleservice volunteers have been supplied with some FAQs.

Phil, comment: I have been impressed with how meeting co-hosts have worked to remove the trolls. The moderator can be a service commitment. Meetings should be able to decide how to protect themselves from trolls.

Alison, comment: Some trolls sounded like desperate newcomers. I’m worried that a meeting’s concerns about safety will hurt the newcomer.

Stephen, comment: The General Service Conference was postponed but the topics are still relevant and General Service needs feedback. Please get back on the topics.

Liz, comment: If anyone wants to learn about using the Zoom Waiting Room and Breakout Rooms, the Into Action Group has started hosting trainings before the meeting (intoactiongroup.org).

Alan, comment: Please don’t hesitate to email chair@aasfmarin.org or help@aasfmarin.org. But A.A. is amazing at this time!

Targeted Message

  • Communicate what Intergroup is and does – each of us is part of the Outreach Committee!
    • Intergroup | Central Office is a local A.A. service provider bringing you aasfmarin.org, the meeting schedule, 12th Step support – including 24/7 phone coverage, Sunshine Club meetings and HelpChat, A.A. literature, group insurance and more.
  • Wash your hands!

Adjourn with the Responsibility Statement

Next Intergroup Meeting: Wednesday, May 6, 2020, 7:00 pm, on Zoom or in person at St, Andrew Presbyterian Church, 101 Donahue Street in Sausalito — To Be Determined. Please call Central Office, (415) 674-1821, with any questions.

Treasurer’s Report

Month Ended February 2020

For February 2020, Gross Profit (Revenue minus COGS) was $22,315. Total Operating Expense was $23,489.

The result is a Net Operating Deficit of $644 for the month.

Group Contributions for February were $11,748. Individual contributions were $8,952.

Total Unrestricted Cash for February 2020 was $109,267, an increase of $6,384 from January 2020.  Unrestricted Cash is approx. 4.5 months of operating expenses.

The rating for February 2020 is upgraded to “Excellent”.

OVERALL RATING: EXCELLENT

INTERGROUP FINANCE RATING SYSTEM

Every month we rate our monthly finances as “Excellent”, “Good”, “Fair” or “Poor”.  Generally speaking, here are the definitions of those terms:

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.  Operating expenses are roughly $24K/month, so we’d have over $48K in unrestricted cash balances for the month.  The Intergroup rating has been “excellent” since December 2019.

GOOD: We are meeting our budget.  Our 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. The last time we were “good” was in November 2019.

FAIR: We are not meeting our budget.  Our expenses were greater than our income for the month and for the YTD – and 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. The last time we were “poor” was in December 2016.

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