7th Tradition responsibility

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

Post by drze »

We are having a discussion in our home group and have differing opinions. I want to get others take on the topic of the responsibility for the 7th tradition.

I have proposed that we include a statement during our meeting that reads:
"• While there are no dues or fees for Alcoholics Anonymous, there is the 7th tradition that states “Every A.A. group our to be fully self supporting…”
• While contributions are not required, they are appreciated. Please know that while our purpose and meetings are consistent, our expenses such as literature and rent are ever increasing. Keeping
in mind that a dollar doesn’t go as far as it used to, your generosity is appreciated!

This statement was prompted after a group meeting at which it was discussed that we have no reserve and are sometimes very close to not being able to pay rent. I found a sheet in our leaders guide that compared cost from 1970 to 2012. Just about everything mentioned had gone up in price over 500%, however the average donation at an AA meeting in 1970 was $1.00 and in 2017....it is still $1.00.

We have members who do not believe that it is proper to make the statement as I have shown above, claiming that it is not MEETING PARTICIPANTS that are responsible for ensuring we are self supporting, but rather it is HOME GROUP MEMBERS that are responsible for ensuring it.

The tradition reads: "“Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.” I am sensing that the conflict is in the term GROUP.

As we all know the only requirement for AA Membership is a desire to stop drinking. We have probably 30 to 40 people who attend our group regularly. Of these approximately 15 are Home Group members who have selected our meeting as their home group .

While I thoroughly understand that we don't solicit private benefactors or corporate sponsors, I see no problem letting EVERYONE who attends regularly, that their generosity is appreciated. There is another school of thought that believes this is the sole responsibility of the core 15.

I have tried to read as much as I could about the 7th Tradition and responsibility, and my understanding is that if you attend regularly, you are part of the group and should help share the responsibility, regardless of whether or not you are a group "Member"

I would love to here other groups or individuals perspective and if possible, cites from AA Literature.

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Re: 7th Tradition responsibility

Post by Brock »

Welcome to e-AA drze, and thanks for an interesting question.

I believe the members are responsible to keep the group going financially, but that doesn't mean ‘visitors’ shouldn’t be made aware of the hardship the group is facing, and asked to dig a little deeper. At my own home group our rent is more than other groups in the area pay, we once told everyone present what the rent was and said we were having trouble meting it, the amount the hat got went up right away. It stayed up for a while, and each time it started to slide again we would make another appeal. The point is everyone was surprised at our costs, we were having trouble and they were glad to help, how would they know of the problems the group faces if we don’t tell them.

Personally I find the prepared statement too formal, except for the last line - “Keeping in mind that a dollar doesn’t go as far as it used to, your generosity is appreciated.” I would prefer to hear a less formal appeal, ‘our group is having trouble making ends meet, the one dollar contributions that kept us going over the years can’t cut it anymore, keeping in mind that a dollar etc….’

I wish you the best in this, it’s always a bit difficult when we don’t get a majority of members agreeing on the way forward, keep in mind that two thirds agreement is satisfactory as suggested in concept five.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: 7th Tradition responsibility

Post by Blue Moon »

I'm confused. How does the group collect donations today? Is it a basket passed around at each meeting? If so, how does the meeting ensure that only Home Group members contribute? If they don't, why the semantics about responsibility?

As a member of AA, it is my responsibility to pay for the coffee and other resources I consume at an AA meeting, regardless of group membership. If I can afford it, I pay with money. If I can't afford it, I pay some other way to benefit the group.

No AA Group can absolve me of that responsibility. If they were to try, I would vote with my feet.
Ian S
AKA Blue Moon
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