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A.A. Guidelines                                                 Carrying The Message to the Deaf Alcoholic
from G.S.O., Box 459, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163

The A.A. Guidelines below are compiled from the practical experience of A.A, members in the various service areas in trying to carry the message to deaf alcoholics. The suggestions offered are drawn directly from two surveys within the Fellowship. They also reflect guidance given through the Twelve Traditions and the General Service Conference (U.S. and Canada).
For the purpose of these guidelines we will use the term "deaf." There are other people who are hearing impaired, either permanently or temporarily. However, the hard of hearing may not benefit from sign language, and might be more knowledgeable in lip reading or helped by hearing aids.

CARRYING THE MESSAGE TO DEAF ALCOHOLICS

One A.A. member reminded us that, in Twelfth Step work, "Try not to treat the deaf alcoholic as different or special. Allow him or her the best possible freedom to fit into a typical A.A. meeting."

The main thing to remember is that deaf people have the same problem with alcohol as anyone else. While they come up with a thousand reasons why they are different, let's emphasize over and over "Don't drink; Keep coming back."

Often, everything must be written out for those with impaired hearing; not all are great readers and writers. A smile, a handshake, and a cup of coffee help carry "the language of the heart," even to those minus their hearing.

Try to encourage the newcomer to take some A.A. literature and summarize what the speaker said on a note pad. Encourage them to come to another meeting and try to work out a way for the deaf person to bring a professional interpreter who uses sign language with them, or contact one yourself at a nearby agency, or check with your local intergroup or central office or general service area committee.

INTERPRETERS

You may want to consider an interpreter for the deaf alcoholic as a means of communication, perhaps someone who knows the individual. This is important, as a qualified interpreter is trained to communicate on the individual's level and will be more effective.

Care must be taken that the deaf person doesn't become so dependent on the interpreter that there is little or no interaction with other members. It is difficult to convey feelings through another person.

We have learned that deaf people have varying degrees of language skills which differ depending upon their age when they became deaf. Most deaf people use sign language, but there are various levels of competence, ranging from low to high verbal skills, and there are also different types of sign language, not to mention regional dialects.

As you know, interpreters are professional people who charge fees for their services. There are groups that cover this expense. Sometimes an agency will take care of the expense. On occasion, local area committees, districts, and central/intergroup offices have authorized payment for interpreters. Occasionally advanced students of signing will do the job at no fee for the experience gained. Whatever arrangements are made should be based on the group conscience expressed after discussion at a business meeting. For instance, is the group agreeable to having a non-A.A. attend its closed meetings to act as interpreter for the deaf alcoholic? Is the group willing to cover the expense of this service, or does it wish to appoint someone to contact the central office or a professional agency about providing an interpreter? In order to welcome the deaf person (and the interpreter) and make the newcomer feel that he or she is an important addition to the group, it is important that a full understanding be reached in advance. Nonalcoholic interpreters should be introduced to the group before meetings.

SIGN LANGUAGE

More and more, dedicated A.A. members are learning sign language in order to be more effective in this Twelfth Step work. Here are some comments: "As a result of trying to communicate with deaf alcoholics, I am finishing a course in sign language." "Learning this skill for a hearing person necessitates being with the deaf often. Expecting a hearing person to give himself often to the deaf community is expecting the heroic. When I say often, I mean like constantly." "As two of us go on Twelfth Step calls, it isn't necessary that both use sign language: one talks, the other interprets."

Many area, district and central and intergroup office newsletters publish information about groups for the deaf and availability of instruction in sign language for anyone interested in learning.

SHARING BY MAIL

The International Deaf Group by Mail, listed in the front of all A.A. directories, and the Loners‑Internationalist Meeting, an A.A. meeting by mail, published six times a year, are ways to share with others. Also, deaf members or groups can correspond with each other by writing G.S.O. or their nearest intergroup/central office.

A.A. LITERATURE

A.A. literature cited as most helpful with the deaf includes Living Sober, "A.A. at a Glance," "Twelve Traditions Illustrated," "Twelve Steps Illustrated," "Is A.A. for Me?," "It Happened to Alice," "What Happened to Joe?," the A.A. Grapevine (monthly), and the books Alcoholics Anonymous and Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

Alcoholics Anonymous, the Big Book, is available in American Sign Language (ASL) on video cassette.

In response to requests for simplified material, the following service pieces are available in easy‑to‑read and large type: "Twelve Steps" (also available in French), "Twelve Traditions," "A Brief Guide to A.A.," "A Deaf Newcomer Asks," and "Is A.A. for You?" In addition, there is a list of deaf groups and contacts, a press release on help for deaf alcoholics, and these Guidelines. All are available free of charge.

The videos, "Young People and A.A.," "Hope: Alcoholics Anonymous" and "A.A.‑Rap With Us," are all closed‑captioned for the deaf.

PUBLIC INFORMATION AND COOPERATION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL COMMUNITY COMMITTEES

Based on the fine response G.S.O. received from the professional agencies we contacted, we would encourage local P.I. and C.P.C. committees to seek out agencies for the deaf (often included in local agencies for the handicapped) and offer to put on an open A.A. meeting or a Public Information meeting about Alcoholics Anonymous.

Another project that has been suggested for P.I. committees is to take an A.A. meeting to schools for the deaf and/or provide information and material about A.A. to such schools.

Often, local C.P.C. committees will exhibit A.A. literature at deaf conferences. Some C.P.C. service people also make presentations about A.A. and available services to conferences and professional meetings.

Apparently, there are a number of social clubs for the deaf, and there are likely to be some alcoholics among the members. At the very least, some club members may know of deaf alcoholics. If we can make information available about what A.A. can offer the deaf person, receptiveness toward attending A.A. meetings could become much more positive. These clubs can be reached through the National Association for the Deaf or the National Fraternal Association for the Deaf.

G.S.O. has T.V. public service announcements that are captioned for the deaf.

EVENTS AND CONFERENCES

Deaf A.A. members may need a few special considerations when attending an A.A. event. For those who have a fair amount of hearing and/or who read lips, seating near the speaker may be all that is required. Others who are deaf may require the use of a sign‑language interpreter. Here are some points to consider when planning a conference or meeting that will be attended by deaf A.A.s.

Reserve interpreters well ahead of time because they are in great demand.

Budget the interpreting expenses. Find out early what the estimated cost will be, whether by the hour or by the day. If you are holding concurrent workshops, you may need more than one interpreter. If your event is small (and short) you may be fortunate to find a qualified volunteer, but do not expect to rely on volunteers.

In arranging preferred seating for deaf members, designate the reserved area clearly: "Please reserve for deaf members."

Sensitize workshop leaders and meeting chairpersons to the use of the interpreter. If there is trouble locating an interpreter for a moment or two it is preferable to wait. In this way, those members who depend on the interpreter will not be deprived of opening remarks or keynote speakers.

Stick with your plans once you have announced that an event is sign-language accessible. Deaf people are very likely to travel far for the few events that are interpreted. If the event is a large one with concurrent meetings and workshops, plan for continuous availability of several interpreters. Ask the deaf participants ahead of time which workshops they plan to attend.

If you are listing the event with the General Service Office, your local intergroup/central office or in any A.A. publication, specify that it is sign‑language interpreted. If possible, have a T.D.D. number that deaf people can call for more information.

CONCLUSION

For information on TTY and TDD equipment please check the Central Offices/Intergroup Directory, which indicates those central offices with these special machines for the deaf. A list of offices providing this service is also available from G.S.O.

We encourage you to keep us informed of your experience in trying to carry the message to deaf alcoholics, so that we can continue to improve our services in this area. G.S.O. will contact you when we receive requests for help from hearing‑impaired alcoholics in your community. We look forward to hearing from you, and wish you good luck in carrying the message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

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A.A. Guidelines                                             Alcoholics With Special Needs
from G.S.O., Box 459, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163

A.A. Guidelines are compiled from the shared experience of A.A. members in various service areas. They also reflect guidance given through the Twelve Traditions and the General Service Conference (U.S. and Canada). In keeping with our Tradition of autonomy, except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole, most decisions are made by the group conscience of the members involved. The purpose of these Guidelines is to assist in reaching an informed group conscience.

While there are no special A.A. members, many members have special needs. For the purpose of these Guidelines, we define A.A.s with special needs as persons who are blind or visually impaired; deaf or hearing impaired; chronically ill or homebound, and those with limited reading skills.

SPECIAL NEEDS COMMITTEES

Some areas are attempting to meet such needs by forming Special Needs Committees. Since the goal is to make A.A. accessible, some committees refer to themselves as Accessibilities Committees. In some areas committees name themselves according to the specific need addressed, such as "Hearing Impaired Committee." When one or more members of a group have special needs (such as the need for an American Sign Language interpreter or wheelchair accessibility, or have an illness which prevents them from getting to the meeting room), A.A. members from that group will attempt to see that those needs are met. The members of a Special Needs Committee explore, develop and offer alternatives to make the A.A. message and participation in our program available to everyone who reaches out for it.

CARRYING THE MESSAGE TO A.A.s WITH PHYSICAL DISABILITIES AND/OR CHRONIC ILLNESSES

Many A.A. members are hearing impaired or deaf, visually impaired or blind, confined to their beds with a chronic illness, or use wheelchairs, walkers or crutches. Members of a group may feel stymied when first faced with these out‑of‑the‑ordinary requirements but, in fact, there are many accommodations which can be made so that alcoholics with special needs can be active, fully functioning members of a "regular" group. Some adjustments are simple and some are more complicated‑but all are possible for the member willing to "go to any lengths" for his or her own sobriety and to help another alcoholic.

If a member is home‑ or hospital‑bound and unable to get to a meeting, taking a meeting to his or her bedside is the "miracle" solution! "I can't tell you," one hospitalized A.A. reported, "what a difference it made in my mental and emotional state when those six people showed up in my room carrying the message of A.A. and all the love and support of our Fellowship. And they did it twice a week for three months, until I was able to make meetings again! I was so down in the dumps before; I really had sort of given up‑and, to be honest, I had started thinking I might as well have a drink, since 1 was dying anyway. But hearing the experience, strength and hope of others in the program inspired me to fight both my illnesses the cancer and my alcoholism. I don't know what I would have done without A.A. at that low point in my life."

For members who aren't confined to bed, A.A.s in their group often drive them to and from meetings, install wheelchair ramps over steps to the meeting room, and arrange the room so that there is ample space for wheelchairs or walkers. It is important to identify meetings accessible for wheelchair users in local meeting schedules.

Services and material available for members who are chronically ill and/or have limited ambulatory ability include the Loners/ Internationalist Meeting (LIM), a newsletter for A.A. members who are in isolated areas, at sea, or home‑ or hospital‑bound (known as Homers) and stay in touch with other members by mail and newsletters. A similar publication (not through G.S.O.) is World Hello, an international correspondence group. Many A.A.s share via computer bulletin boards and on‑line meetings (contact G.S.O. for more information). Alcoholics Anonymous, the Third Edition of the Big Book, is also available on two 3 1/2" diskettes that run in Microsoft Windows. G.S.O. has a service piece, "Tapes for Sale and Exchange," that lists distributors of A.A. talks, and the Grapevine has a series of popular audiocassettes on A.A. subjects.

DEAF OR HEARING IMPAIRED

For members who are deaf or hearing impaired, the use of a skilled interpreter in American Sign Language (ASL) is encouraged. The Special Needs Committee can compile and maintain a list of meetings where ASL signers are available, as well as a list of ASL interpreters who are willing to sign at A.A. functions. The cost of ASL interpreters is a factor for many groups. In some areas, the intergroup or district committees provide financial assistance and/or help coordinate efforts to make signed meetings available.

If your local central office or intergroup doesn't have a TDD or TTY machine, encourage them to purchase one or start a fund for such a purpose within your group or with other local A.A. groups. You might also keep a list of deaf or hearing‑impaired A.A. members who have TDD or TTY machines at home and want to network with other members. Put your deaf member in touch with a hearing member of the group who is willing to help the newcomer get comfortable. It's also helpful when speaking to look directly at the deaf or hearing‑impaired member, since many are able to read lips. With the help of your local central office/intergroup or district committee, efforts can be made to start new A.A. groups especially geared to the needs of deaf or hearing‑impaired members.

Services and material available for the deaf and hearing impaired include the Intergroup/Central Offices Directory (those with TDD or TTY equipment are noted) that lists times and locations of local meetings; A.A. Guidelines: "Carrying the A.A. Message to the Deaf Alcoholic"; and a 5‑volume 1/2" VHS video of Alcoholics Anonymous in ASL. Pamphlets rewritten for the deaf or hearing‑impaired alcoholic include "A Deaf Newcomer Asks," "A Brief Guide to Alcoholics Anonymous" "Translation of the Twelve Steps," `Translation of the Twelve Traditions," and "Is A.A. For You?" There is also a confidential list of contacts for deaf and hearing‑impaired alcoholics. Deaf members are welcome to participate in the LIM. There is also an International Deaf Group by Mail listed under "Special International Contacts" in the regional directories published by G.S.O.

BLIND OR VISUALLY IMPAIRED

For A.A. members who are blind or visually impaired, simply getting to the meeting room can be the biggest problem. The Special Needs Committee can compile and maintain a list of sighted members who are willing to provide transportation to and from meetings and other A.A. functions. Several groups have asked their local central office or intergroup to code Twelfth Step lists to identify members who are willing to provide transportation. Volunteers may be recruited to guide the blind or visually‑impaired newcomer to chairs, the hospitality table and rest rooms, until that member is acquainted with the surroundings. Meeting rooms should always be set up exactly the same way, or else the blind or visually‑impaired members should be alerted to what's different. Banging into a chair or a table in what was empty space at the prior meeting can be both dangerous and embarrassing.

Services and material available to help the blind or visually impaired alcoholic include books and pamphlets available in Braille, in large print, and/or on audiocassette tape, and a list of suppliers of A.A. talks for sale or exchange.

LIMITED READING SKILLS

Some alcoholics are unable to take advantage of the wealth of supportive and informative literature in A.A. If you become aware that a member might have a limited ability to read, there are several ways to be helpful without embarrassing him or her.

For instance, when your group's literature chairperson announces which books and pamphlets are available at that meeting, he or she can also mention the numerous books, pamphlets and Grapevine articles which are available on audiotape. Or, if you think a member of your group might have limited reading skills, you can structure your Step and Traditions meetings so that the Step or Tradition is read aloud at the beginning of the meeting‑which is great for everyone!

Services and material available to help A.A.s with limited reading ability include audiocassettes; a list of suppliers of A.A. talks for sale or exchange; illustrated, easy‑to‑read literature, such as "Is

A.A. For Me?," "Twelve Steps Illustrated," "Too Young?," "What Happened to Joe," "It Happened to Alice," "It Sure Beats Sitting in a Cell," and films and videos.

GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR ALL SPECIAL NEEDS ACCOMMODATIONS

Respect for the dignity of others has to be the foundation for all our efforts to carry the message to alcoholics with special needs, with emphasis on identification rather than on how we are different. As one deaf A.A. put it, "I'm just an alcoholic, like everyone else here. I have the same need to be a `worker among workers' and not be singled out for special treatment. If you can just make the program available to me, I'll do what I have to do to work it." The goal is to allow the alcoholic with special needs the freedom to fit into a typical A.A. meeting.

Beyond helping those in your own group or committee, others may be informed about carrying the message to alcoholics with special needs through workshops and presentations at A.A. gatherings, such as area assemblies, conventions, conferences, round‑ups and Regional Forums.

In the interests of good communication and working together, Special Needs Committees are encouraged to keep their area committees and local central/intergroup offices informed of their activities. It is also helpful to work closely with committees handling Public Information and Cooperation With the Professional Community in terms of keeping the public and appropriate agencies informed about making A.A. accessible for alcoholics with special needs.

SUMMARY

There are many materials and services available for alcoholics with disabilities, and many more which need to be developed. Those with special needs might also include the elderly, alcoholics who speak other languages, and groups who are under‑represented within A.A. (For sharing on those subjects and a list of all available materials for alcoholics with special needs, write to G.S.O.)

Our Big Book says, "We are people who normally would not mix," and this is especially true when someone is a little "different" from the others. But the rewards of giving this kind of service to a fellow alcoholic are immense! Group fellowship grows stronger, the person with special needs is included and respected as a fully‑participating member of the group, and everyone's sobriety is strengthened. When faced with the challenges of accommodating a special need, we would do well to remember: "When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of A.A. always to be there. And for that, I am responsible."

Please share with the General Service Office your experiences and successes in carrying our A.A. message of recovery to alcoholics with disabilities. G.S.O. will in turn share your experience with any A.A. member trying to reach out to alcoholics with special needs.

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A.A. Guidelines                                                                                          Finance
from G.S.O., Box 459, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163

A.A. Guidelines are compiled from the shared experience of A.A. members in various service areas. They also reflect guidance given through the Twelve Traditions and the General Service Conference (U. S. and Canada). In keeping with our Tradition of autonomy, except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole, most decisions are made by the group conscience of the members involved. The purpose of these Guidelines is to assist in reaching an informed group conscience.

"AA's far‑flung Twelfth Step activities, carrying the message to the next sufferer, are the very lifeblood of our AA adventure. Without this vital activity, we would soon become anemic; we would literally wither and die.

"Now where do AA's services-worldwide, area, local‑fit into our scheme of things? Why should we provide these functions with money? The answer is simple enough. Every single AA service is designed to make more and better Twelfth Step work possible, whether it be a group meeting place, a central or intergroup office to arrange hospitalization and sponsorship, or the world service Headquarters [now the General Service Office] to maintain unity and effectiveness all over the globe.

"Though not costly, these service agencies are absolutely essential to our continued expansion ‑to our survival as a Fellowship. Their costs are a collective obligation that rests squarely upon all of us. Our support of services actually amounts to a recognition on our part that AA must everywhere function in full strength‑and that, under our Tradition of self‑support, we are all going to foot the bill."

Bill W., October 1967 Grapevine

One of G.S.O.'s responsibilities is to share A.A. experiences with groups and members who request it. In these Guidelines, we are glad to provide some sharing from a variety of sources, though we are aware that actual A.A. practices often vary. So, if your group has found solutions other than those cited below, please let us know, so that we may share your experiences with others.

Some often-asked questions received at G.S.O. regarding finances cover such topics as group rent, bank accounts and insurance; reimbursement for service workers; I.R.S. deductions and I.D. numbers; roles of the General Service Board and Conference Finance Committees.

SOME QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Question: Why do A.A. groups support A.A.'s essential services?

Answer:
Because the services benefit all A.A. groups. Our Seventh Tradition states "Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions."

Therefore, Alcoholics Anonymous accepts no outside contributions. In accordance with the Sixth Tradition, A.A. makes no contributions to any outside organization or cause, no matter how worthy.

A.A.s want our Fellowship to endure, and to be readily available for the still‑suffering alcoholic to come. An A.A. group makes this possible by taking care of its basic group expenses: rent, refreshments, A.A. literature. After meeting these basic group expenses and providing a meeting place, many groups participate by supporting the central (intergroup) office where one exists, the area and district general service committees, and the General Service Office (G.S.O.).

Question: Doesn't all A.A. money go into one pot? In other words, when our group contributes to central office/intergroup, isn't our money distributed to the area, district and G.S.O., as well?

Answer: No. Each A.A. entity-group, district, area, central office and G.S.O.-provides a specific service and is autonomous. Each is separate from the other.

Question: How do groups divide their excess funds, then?

Answer: Outlines for contribution plans are described in the pamphlet "Self-Supporting Through Our Own Contributions."

Question: Our group would be glad to contribute to these various service entities, but we do not know where to send our check. Where do I find mailing addresses?

Answer: If there is a central office/intergroup in your community, it will be listed in the telephone directory. (If your group does not already have an intergroup representative, think about electing one.)

Your group's general service representative (G.S.R.) probably has addresses for the area and district committees. If not, call G.S.O. for information.

Other sources: The names and addresses of your general service delegate and area chairperson are listed in your regional A.A. Directory.

Contributions to the General Service Office can be sent to: G.S.O. Grand Central Station P.O. Box 459 New York, NY 10163

Please make checks payable to: General Fund. Pre-addressed group contribution envelopes are available from G.S.O. (See catalog/order form.)

Question: After covering our group's expenses, we have very little money left. Isn't it embarrassing to send what seems to be just nickels and dimes?

Answer: The General Service Conference has emphasized that it is not concerned about the amount each group contributes, but that each group contribute something. At a recent service assembly, one G.S.R. said "It is a spiritual obligation to participate by contributing."

Question: If the facility in which an A.A. group meets cannot accept rent (such as a federal or state building, what can be done in accordance with our tradition of self-support?

Answer: A group can usually contribute in some other way. For example, the group might furnish equipment or furnishings to the facility.

Question: How do we know that G.S.O. has received our contribution, and credited our group?

Answer: All group contributions are acknowledged by a computerized receipt, sent to the person indicated on your contribution envelope, or to the G.S.R. if a name and address is not indicated.

Quarterly contribution statements are sent to each group's G.S.R. These statements reflect year‑to‑date information, whether or not the group contributed.

REIMBURSING SERVICE WORKERS

Question: Is it our group's responsibility to reimburse service workers for their expenses?

Answer: Each group, district, area or service committee is autonomous, of course, and each has different needs and resources. While it is certainly up to the group conscience, many A.A. members seem to agree that no one should be excluded from service because of finances. Some service workers' expenses come out of their own pockets, while others are reimbursed.

We are aware that in those areas holding two- and three-day assemblies, expenses of participants (G.S.R.s, D.C.M.s, etc.) are sometimes met by asking groups to contribute toward the expenses of their trusted servants. Expenses for area officers are usually covered by the area treasury.

The A.A. Service Manual includes some information regarding reimbursing G.S.R.s' expenses to such functions but does not address the D.C.M.s' expenses.

BANK ACCOUNTS

Question: Our group needs to open a bank account and we were asked for an "I.D. number." Can we use G.S.O.'s?

Answer: More and more frequently, A.A. groups in the U.S. are being asked to supply an ID number to a bank when opening a checking or savings account, whether or not it is interest bearing. According to G.S.O.'s outside auditors, no local A.A. organization can use the tax-exempt status or identification number of the General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous, Inc. Local entities should obtain their own tax-exempt status and I.D. numbers.

Question: How do we obtain an I.D. number for our group checking account?

Sharing its experience, one area advises that the SS-4 form headed "Application for Employer Identification Number" is needed to open a checking account in your groups name. To obtain the form call your local Social Security office or IRS office. You'll find the phone number listed in the "blue pages" of your phone directory under Government Offices-U.S. and broken down by towns.

In filling out the application form, it is suggested that you consult with the IRS or a professional, such as an accountant or tax specialist. Be sure to include the signature of a group officer or member where such is asked for. Date the form, list a phone number, and mail to the IRS Center listed for your area. In time, the I.D. number will be mailed to the address shown on the SS-4 form.

Also, you might want to check with your local service structure to find out how other groups have handled bank accounts.

TAXES

Question: Are my contributions to A.A. tax-deductible?

Answer: Contributions to an A.A. group, central office, or intergroup are tax-deductible only if the entity is a qualified charitable organization as determined by the Internal Revenue Service.

Contributions made directly to the General Service Board of A.A. are deductible under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The Internal Revenue Code has no provision under which the General Service Board of A.A. could apply for tax-exempt status for all groups and other A.A. entities, since each entity is autonomous in financial matters, as in all other ways. Donations at A.A. groups are not deductible unless the group has filed the proper application of Form 1023 with their local I.R.S. office and has obtained a ruling that the organization is tax-exempt. Experience has shown that some tax examiners may make exceptions if proof of contribution is presented, but this is strictly up to the individual tax examiner.

INSURANCE

Question: Our landlord has asked us to provide our own liability insurance. Can G.S.O. help?

Answer: The liability insurance of G.S.O. cannot be extended to cover local groups. A.A. groups are autonomous, and are not subsidiaries of G.S.O. The group might consult a local insurance agent or attorney about liability matters.

WHO MANAGES G.S.O.'S SHARE OF OUR CONTRIBUTIONS?

The General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous, Inc. is the custodian of all contributed funds. The board's Finance and Budgetary Committee meets quarterly to review and approve G.S.O.'s budget and financial statements.

The A.A. World Services Board meets monthly, and maintains direct control of income and expenditures. This service board is composed of: the G.S.O. general manager, who is president; two regional trustees; two general service trustees; and three non-trustee directors. (The chairmanship of this board rotates each year between a regional and a general service trustee.)

The budgeting process of G.S.O. is under the direction of the controller, who oversees the annual budget for G.S.O., which is reviewed by the general manager before presentation to the Salary and Budget Committee of the A.A.W.S. Board.

The Salary and Budget Committee reviews the budgeting process and makes its recommendation to the entire A.A. World Services Board. The committee also reviews the salary structure and benefit policy of G.S.O. to ensure its adequacy and competitiveness in the marketplace.

Following approval, the A.A. World Services Board makes its recommendations to the trustees' Finance and Budgetary Committee. Finally, the annual General Service Conference reviews A.A.'s finances through its own Finance Committee.

All of A.A.'s financial affairs are an open book. A summary is published in each Quarterly Report and a full accounting is in the annual Final Conference Report. And the account books themselves are available at the General Service Office for scrutiny at any time.

What is the General Fund?

The General Fund is a sum of money consisting of A.A. groups' and members' contributions. This fund, administered by the General Service Board, is used by G.S.O. to cover expenses attributable to group services.

What is the Reserve Fund?

The Reserve Fund is A.A.'s "prudent reserve," an amount of money primarily set aside to ensure that in time of emergency or disaster G.S.O. would be able to carry on for a reasonable length of time.

The Fund is currently defined not to exceed one year's combined operating expenses of A.A. World Service, Inc., A.A. Grapevine, Inc., and the General Service Board of A.A., Inc. All funds of the operating entities, in excess of those required for working capital, are transferred to the Reserve Fund annually.

The use of the Reserve Fund may be authorized by the board of trustees on recommendation of the trustees' Finance and Budgetary Committee. It has been used in the past for moving, related construction and refurbishing of the General Service Office.

For more information on finance

Final Conference Report, The A.A. Service Manual/Twelve Concepts for World Service
(Financial Statements section)

Pamphlets:

"Self-Supporting: Where Money and Spirituality Mix"

"The A.A. Group"

"Twelve Traditions Illustrated"

"A.A. Tradition-How It Developed"

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