Intergroup News | November 2020

This is an unofficial summary of the November 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, November 4, 2020, online via Zoom. The meeting was started with a call to order and the Serenity Prayer. The October 2020 minutes and the November 2020 agenda were approved.

Intergroup 2020 November Roll Call

 

Review of Decision Making Process at Intergroup

Consensus Model – Taran R.

Information is outlined at the bottom of each meeting agenda. The Reference for the Consensus Model can be found at https://www.seedsforchange.org.uk/shortconsensus. Raise hands to take stack, ask clarifying questions during the discussion, vote “yes / no / block.”

Yes means you agree with the motion, No means you disagree with the motion but will let it move forward, and Block means you believe that the motion is harmful and should not go forward. Blocked motions undergo another round of changes / clarifying questions / voting. Voting eligibility is defined in the IFAA Bylaws.

Special Project Funds Meeting Recap

Timeline of Decision Process – Renee T.

IFAA was contacted in 2019 by the attorney from the estate. The amount of $10K was accepted (the bequest limit) from the estate and the rest was rejected.

October 2019:
Discussed bequest limits with the Intergroup. We asked Intergroup about exploring the bequest limits. We received a consensus empowering the Board to look into expanding the bequest limits or making a one-time exception to the limits.

March 2020:
The Finance Committee presented the Board decision to accept the two bequests as one-time exceptions and not change the bequest limits.

April 2020:
We received $140K from one estate and segregated the contribution into Special Projects Funds (SPF). We began quarterly reporting on the SPF.

Special Project Fund Stated Purpose and Planned Use – Patrick M.

  1. Update operational systems
  2. Software implementation and integration
  3. Reduce reliance on volunteers for business continuity
  4. Update database for meeting guides
  5. Integrate digital payment systems

Reviewed Special Projects Fund – Renee T.

The current balance is $121,538. Expended money on software and IT consultancy services.

Old Business

Revisiting the Acceptance of the Bequest

Asked for IGRs who were in attendance at the October and March Intergroup meetings to speak first about their memories of those two meetings.

Kevin, IGR – Does not recall the discussion about the bequest. Question: Would we still be able to keep $10K from the original bequest? Answer: No, we would return all $140K; $10K was received initially.

Tom, IGR – Attended the March meeting but could not vote. He has spoken to his group and his group (Be Still AA) believes that we should return the money.  If that is financially unfeasible, they would also be amenable to just returning unspent funds.

Carol, IGR – She was at both meetings. She doesn’t remember if the board brought back a motion to accept the bequest. Speaking for herself, she thinks we should return the money. 

Peggy, IGR – She was at both meetings. She doesn’t remember voting on accepting the funds. She felt the matter was glossed over because we didn’t know the amount. Her group has not weighed in but will be bringing it to them.

Alex, IGR – Attended both meetings and recalls voting in March. Understands both sides of the issue and recalls knowing that the amount of the bequest was going to be large. Would have voted differently had we known how much trouble this was going to cause.

Kathleen, IGR – She was at both meetings. Does not remember the specifics of the discussion from those meetings. She felt that descriptions of the bequest at the time was vague. She agreed that we needed more discussion but it was not discussed after March (due to the pandemic). She feels that decision about the bequest should have been sent back to the groups. Cocoanuts (her group) feels the money should be sent back. 

Hunter, IGR – He was at both meetings. October 2019 was his first time at Intergroup. He felt accepting the first bequest was okay because the Board made a decision that it was a one-off. He is okay with having accepted the first bequest but thinks there should be more discussion before accepting the second. 

Thatcher, IGR – He was not at either meeting. Question: Was the decision to accept the bequest brought up as New Business in March and voted on in March? Answer from Renee T.: It was brought up as New Business in March but was not announced the previous month and it did not extend to the month after.  We did not ask the Intergroup Reps to take the matter back to their groups nor did any of the IGRs present request to do so. At the October Meeting, the bequest was a discussion that occurred during the treasurer’s report and was not part of New Business. 

Jim, IGR – He feels we are not violating the Traditions as it was from a deceased member.  Read the long forms of Traditions Six and Seven. He voted yes to take the money because he trusts the Trusted Servants.

Vanessa, IGR – Question: What is the process for deciding what projects get worked on?  She supports the uses the money has been spent on, but is worried about the process. Answer: Taran R.: There is no process on that level of detail within the Intergroup.  Decisions are made by the people who do the work and operational matters are run through Board committees. 

Alison, GSR Liaison – She attended at least one of the meetings. She felt like we didn’t bring it back to the groups and that it went quickly, but knows that the Intergroup can spend a lot of time on small things and that the Board is there to make decisions like this.

John, IGR – His group feels that we should stop spending money. Question: Are there notes from the meetings between Board members about the bequest?  What did the vote look like?  Answer from Patrick M.: It was a strong consensus as laid out in our IFAA Bylaws. 

Darryl, IGR – Question: What type of account was the money put into?  Answer from Renee T.: Funds from the bequest have been put into a Money Market account that earns a few dollars in interest per month. Question: What did the consultants build? Answer from Renee T.: There are receipts and they are directly related to updating the database and website, including tools for supporting remote meetings and updating Trusted Servant contact information. Question: Can we have a breakdown of the spending so far? Answer from Renee T.: We are working on it.

Jaime, IGR – He became an IGR because of this matter. He thinks the decision was based on “self.” He believes if there are large expenses, it should be brought to the groups to be funded by “passing the hat.”

Alan, Board Member – He thinks it is good to see so many people participating in out Intergroup because of this matter.  Thanks everyone for the feedback. He asks if we can vote on reopening the acceptance of the bequest. 

Karen, Visitor – Question: Does this motion mean we are going to go back to our groups to see if we should take the bequest? Answer from Patrick M.: The motion is to reopen discussion on the acceptance of the bequest.

Lisa, IGR – She was at both meetings. She makes a motion to reopen the discussion about acceptance of the bequest. The motion was seconded by Chip.

Jillian, IGR – She wants to stop spending the money while this matter is discussed. Clarifying Question: She would like to discuss more next month so she has more concrete information to take to her group. Answer from Taran R.: The Board will come together and provide supplemental material to take back to groups for their discussion.

Alan, Board Member – He clarifies this discussion is concerning the first bequest and that the Board will provide supplemental material to provide to groups.

Taran, Board Member – He confirms the motion is to reopen discussion on the acceptance of the bequest and that the Board will provide summary information for IGRs to use to take back to the groups for an informed group conscience.

Vote was recorded and the motion passed.

Targeted Message

  1. Encourage members of your groups to sign up for The Buzz; we are currently coordinating fellowship wide communication through that channel.
  2. Share with your groups the current state of the discussion regarding the bequests. Take back to your groups any matters for which we are requesting a group conscience.

Adjourn with the Responsibility Statement

Next Intergroup Meeting is Wednesday, December 2, 2020, location to be determined. Please email development@aasfmarin.org with any questions.

Treasurer’s Report

Month Ended September 2020

For September 2020, Gross Profit (revenue minus COGS) was $17,988, this was under budget by $586. Gross Profit is $10,893 over budget year to date.

Total Operating Expense for September was $22,033, which is under our average monthly expenses of $24k. Program expenses (committees) and operational expenses are less than expected.

The result is a Net Operating Deficit of $4,271 for the month. This leaves the fellowship with a $12,007 surplus year to date.

Group Contributions for September were $10,270, under budget by $2,355. Group contributions are $22,519 under budget year to date. Individual Contributions for September were $7,457, over budget by $3,461. Individual contributions are $47,659 over budget year to date. Bookstore Sales remain low and are $48,595 under budget year to date.

Total Unrestricted Cash for September 2020 was $109,411, a decrease of $1,256 from August 2020.  Unrestricted Cash is 4.5x monthly operating expenses.

OVERALL RATING FOR September 2020:       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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