7th Tradition and outside group copying expenses

The 12 Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, the principles that hold our groups and society together.
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7th Tradition and outside group copying expenses

Post by sjdesign1 »

I attend a meeting where a lot of copying is done for various flyers and handouts for the meeting each month. One member has been doing them for over a year at her own expense, and in our business meeting, asked for a volunteer to take over the job for her. There are at least 300 copies a month that need to be run off, and when the question was posed if there would be reimbursement for the copies for the next person who took the job, the woman said no, and that she had run the off without asking for reimbursement and that the new person would do them at their own expense, too. I challenged this action, siting Tradition 7, that a group ought to be fully self supporting and that I thought that according to this tradition, the person should be reimbursed. Another member offered to run them off for free at her job and not be reimbursed, but I think that is not in accordance with this tradition, either. Can anyone comment on this for me and let me know where I can get some conference approved literature that explains this kind of situation that occurs when there are outside expenses? 300 copies is about $30.00 or more each month.

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Blue Moon
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Re: 7th Tradition and outside group copying expenses

Post by Blue Moon »

You were absolutely correct. People "donating" their own money for the group or to do General Service may think they're doing AA and the group a favour, but they're really not because they're often de-facto denying the next person the opportunity to serve unless they can do it out-of-pocket.

Does the group not pay for the coffee and cookies? Paying for flyers, or paying the GSR for mileage to/from Area Assemblies etc., is no different. If the group cannot afford the expense, they shouldn't do it - and, being an AA group, they should perhaps quit the coffee, coins and cake expenses before deciding they can't afford the GSR's mileage.

The AA Service Manual has more to say, as do a couple of leaflets (e.g. "Self Support: Where Money and Spirituality Mix", The AA Group Treasurer) and the Finance Guidelines

Of course, the reality doesn't stop a lot of groups from being cheap. A lot of groups in my area were up-in-arms a couple of years ago about insurance, conveniently overlooking the fact they were "renting" a large hall each week for far less than any other organisation could hope to pay.

And of course, the usual caveat applies - every group is autonomous, so what they do with the money is up to them. But it does sometimes help if the group conscience is fully informed on what is or isn't technically within the Traditions before they draw any lines in the sand.
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Re: 7th Tradition and outside group copying expenses

Post by jak »

My home group insists that an expence be paid and we then explain that if the member did not want the funds they could quietly donate it to the basket. That way the expense is recorded in the checkbook and the next person to rotate to that task is free to accept reimbursement.

Some people need the reimbursement. We believe that to deny a member a chance to be of service just because of money can be a dangerous spiritual path for individuals and groups.

jim k

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Re: 7th Tradition and outside group copying expenses

Post by Steven F »

Interesting thoughts - thank you all. We often "just arrange things" in our small home group, so you gave me things to consider.

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