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.
IFAA Board of Directors