Intergroup News | November 2019

This is an unofficial summary of the November 2019 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, November 6, 2019, at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 101 Donahue Street in Sausalito. The meeting was started with a call to order and the Serenity Prayer. Baskets for dinner were passed. The October 2019 minutes and the November 2019 agenda were approved.

Standing Reports

Board Chair, Alan G. Our first Intergroup of the new year falls on January 1. Due to holiday, the meeting will be held on January 8, 2020. Regarding the Marin meeting place reservation for the next year, the board recommends staying at the present location; everyone feels good about it. It’s Gratitude Month: please ask your groups to consider sending the basket around a second time for Intergroup. Also, mention the Faithful Fivers program. We budget for this, so it is important to get message out.

Treasurer, Renee T. (Maury P. is filling in) Rating for September was “excellent.” Group contributions are under budget for year and Individual contributions are also under budget. Operating Expenses are also under budget (good), and Unrestricted Cash is enough to sustain us for 3 months. Data migration issue: we are working with a consultant to fix issues with COGS versus bookstore revenue discrepancy (it’s a QuickBooks problem). The 2020 Budget is under way and we plan to present next year’s budget in Dec. Question: Regarding Faithful Fivers, has anyone discussed a “rebrand” to reach a broader demographic? Answer: People have suggested “Thankful Tenners” but any amount is welcomed (up to the annual GSO contribution limits). We encourage higher participation over higher contribution amount per member. Sign up and ask a friend to, as well (or sponsor or sponsee)!

Executive Director, Maury P. Do you have or know about holiday meeting schedule changes? Please let us know! Are you aware of holiday alcothons and/or events? Please tell us! We will circulate it on the aasfmarin.org website. Remember that Central Office is a Service Center, which includes HelpChat, the website, Public Information, and Teleservice. We do more than sell books. We are currently looking for Graphic Designers to volunteer for various projects. Maury is now serving on the Intergroup Communications Committee (elected at the recent Intergroup/Central Office Conference) GSO is presenting the idea of launching a meeting finder on aa.org. This is not sitting well with a lot of Intergroups because it is a local service already being provided. GSO already started selling books to individual groups which hurts central offices financially. A.A. literature makes clear that making AA literature available and maintaining meeting schedules is our role and responsibility. This topic has been divisive.

Intergroup Committee Reports

The Point, John B. The monthly November issue is now available on the website. We are looking for articles about your home group! Send them to thepoint@aasfmarin.org. We meet on the 2nd Saturday every month at 12:30 pm. Please come check it out.

Archives, Kim S. Another History Talk called “A.A. in Spanish Translation” will be coming up on Sunday, November 17, 2:00 to 4:00 pm at Central Office, 1821 Sacramento Street in San Francisco.

SF Teleservice, Lara A. Let Teleservice know about any upcoming meeting closures so that it can be communicated. Plug for SF Teleservice: the business meeting is every 3rd Monday at Central Office, 1821 Sacramento Street in San Francisco, if you want to learn about what we do, information about our Volunteer Appreciation Event next year, how to spread the message, share 12th Step calls in The Point, etc. We can be reached at sfteleservice@aasfmarin.org.

Orientation, Trevor J. We have 5 new IGR’s tonight. Please pass around the Buddy Sheet, and say “HI” to the new people! What can we do better to keep people here, and to keep them interested (retaining new IGRs)? Think about it.

SF PI/CPC, Molly J. Our purpose: educating medical professionals, laymen, public information booths, informing businesses of what A.A. is and the resources they can find. We also bring A.A. Big Books to local libraries, set up information stands at Sunday Streets and Unity Day, make presentations to UCSF medical students, plus many more events. Contact sfpicpc@aasfmarin.org.

Sunshine Club, Clayton B. Our upcoming orientation for recruiting additional volunteers will be at Central Office, 1821 Sacramento Street in San Francisco on Wednesday, November 13 at 6:00 pm, then in Marin after the 10:00 am Rise ‘N Shine meeting on Saturday, January 26 in Novato. Anne M. has rotated out as Chair, so we need another co-chair for both San Francisco and Marin. If interested, contact us at sunshine@aasfmarin.org.

Technology, Taran R. We are still in need of a Graphic Designer and someone to take on the Chair position. Fun Fact: In September 2019, 11,222 people found us on Google, 614 visited our site and 72 people called. Awesome!

Fellowship, Elena R. If you are interested in volunteering at some of our Special Events in the new year, contact us at fellowship@aasfmarin.org. The next Safety Workshop will be in late February, date TBD. If you want to help, email us. It has been suggested we have other Workshops on different topics. Offered ideas: Q/A on Sponsorship, Traditions, Anonymity and Technology. Founder’s Day for San Francisco will be in June 2020. A deposit has been put down on the room, but do people like it? Do they have ideas of switching it up? Let us know.

Service Committee Liaison Reports

Marin Teleservice, Carlo Minor website changes will be made adjusting for the holidays.

Marin PI/CPC, Evan Over the past couple of weeks, we visited several high schools and Dominican University, doing CPS presentations for 60 of their employees (super excited about that). We have an Outreach Coordinator position open.

SF Bridging the Gap, Phil We are currently fixing misinformation about Bridging the Gap (BTG) and where does it fit in our fellowship as a whole. The gap is spanning from Institution to joining the local Fellowship. BTG picks up where the H&I committee leaves off. For pre-release A.A. contact, we have a pamphlet for you to fill out and turn in. There has been discussion to kill it but there is still a need. How do we figure out how to make it work? We will send out a clarification on the purpose to other services. Our plan is to mainly work with H&I and as well as with the Intergroup.

SF General Service, Allison The Fall Assembly was postponed due to wildfires and has been rescheduled for Sunday, November 24 in San Francisco. We will definitely need volunteers, so email Chelsea directly or email General Service if you want to help sfgeneralservice@gmail.com.

New Business

Filling Vacated Board Seat Nominated Andy B. whose sober birthday is January 29, 1991. The Andy B. motion passed. Yay Andy!

Old Business

Email Communications Strategy We want to unify our message as much as possible. The Buzz is our primary organ of information. Other was we disseminate info: The Point, Intergroup News, and the Trusted Servants/Secretary’s Monthly. Proposal: parcel out info into a few separate newsletters instead of The Buzz. POV: can we focus on improving the newsletters we currently have? Different levels of understanding, trying to speak to everyone, is a huge challenge. Would it possibly increase engagement with specific things if we separate? But it also might be nice to have just one source for everything. Working with a different format – paper versus online – changes the way people want to see information. Is a long email newsletter effective or do people just not read it all?Proposed table of contents: everything on the first page, plus have links to separate articles. Question: Has the Technology committee been consulted? Answer: The Tech committee has definitely talked about it; they are not in a position to have opinion on this. They can inform based on how to do things but not why (that’s more group conscience).Getting the message to meeting secretaries is what’s important, no matter the format.

What’s On Your Mind?

  • Ask your meeting secretary if they are reading The Buzz.
  • Safety / Emergency Disaster preparedness: what do we do? Emergency kits? Temporary meeting places? Think about these topics for next month.

Targeted Message

  • November is Gratitude Month – Remind your group treasurer – see if your group wants to pass 2nd basket
  • Communicate what Intergroup is and does – each of us is part of the Outreach Committee

Adjourn with the Responsibility Statement

Next Intergroup Meeting: Wednesday, December 4, 2019, 7:00 pm, at the First Unitarian Universalist Center, 1187 Franklin Street in San Francisco. Orientation is at 6:00 pm, dinner is served at 6:30 pm.

Treasurer’s Report for September 2019

Note: In September, Central Office transitioned accounting software from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online. The new system requires a different valuation method for our Bookstore Inventory and, as a result, significantly impacted certain figures related to our Bookstore – namely, Inventory and Cost of Goods Sold.

This affects both Balance Sheet and Income Statement.

We are sorting out this accounting issue. We will provide September Balance Sheet and Income Statement at a future meeting once the appropriate inventory adjustments have been made.

Here is data unaffected by inventory valuation issue:

Group Contributions for September were $12,445, under budget by $4,530. Group contributions are $7,037 under budget year to date. Individual Contributions for September were $2,968, under budget by $34. Individual contributions are $2,866 under budget year to date.

Total Operating Expense for September was $23,183, under budget by $2,690, due to lower than expected employee expenses and timing of expenses. 

Total Unrestricted Cash for September 2019 was $80,987, a decrease of $3,908 from August 2019.  Unrestricted Cash is about 3.3x monthly operating expenses.

OVERALL RATING for September 2019: “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 2016.

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.

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 October 2016.

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