The A.A. groups themselves ought to be fully supported by the voluntary contributions of their own members. We think that each group should soon achieve this ideal; that any public solicitation of funds using the name of Alcoholics Anonymous is highly dangerous, whether by groups, clubs, hospitals, or other 2 outside agencies; that acceptance of large gifts From any source, or of contributions carrying any obligation whatever, is unwise.
From: The Twelve Traditions (long form)

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Where does the money come from?

“Now that we are sober in A.A., the word ‘support’ has to do with sharing, people, self-respect, gratitude, and what we are privileged to give — not take — in material terms.”

While the Fellowship has always faced problems of money, property, and prestige in one form or another, through the wisdom of the Seventh Tradition we have never been diverted From our primary purpose of carrying the message to the alcoholic who still suffers — wherever he or she may be. This is the fundamental work of Alcoholics Anonymous, and to ensure that the hand of A.A. will always remain outstretched, money and spirituality must continue to mix. And for that, we are all responsible.

From: Self-Support: Where Money and Spirituality Mix, p. 9

All ASO services aim to support 12th step work within the groups. All ASO services aim to support 12th step work within the groups. The committees’ work aims at bringing newcomers into our meeting rooms. When we no longer have the means to finance our committees and the ASO, we will no longer be able to welcome newcomers into the groups and so, we will have failed at our mission. We will no longer have the reason to exist.

PERSONAL CONTRIBUTIONS AND BEQUESTS

Can I leave money to A.A. in my will?

A.A. members may leave up to $5,000 in their will for the benefit of the General Service Office. This bequest can be on a one-time basis only, and not in perpetuity. For specific information about bequests, please contact the Staff Coordinator  at G.S.O. In keeping with A.A.’s Tradition of self-support, we do not accept bequests from non A.A. members. For information on bequests to a local central office/intergroup, please contact them directly.

From: Frequently Asked Questions About AA.org

On your A.A. birthday: Contribute $1.00 or more for each year of sobriety — or as much as you wish to give (up to $3,000). You may request that your group be credited.

From: Self-Support: Where Money and Spirituality Mix, p. 10

Footing the bill

“Now, where do A.A.’s services — worldwide, area, local — fit into our scheme of things?” asked Bill W. in an October 1967 article in the A.A. Grapevine. “Why should we provide these func¬tions with money?”

According to Bill, “The answer is simple enough. Every single A.A. service is designed to make more and better Twelfth Step work possible, whether it be a group meeting place, a cen¬tral or intergroup office . . . or the world service Headquarters . . . .

“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 A.A. must every-where function in full strength — and that, under our Tradition of self-support, we are all going to foot the bill.”

How can groups participate?

To help support A.A.’s essential services, the General Service Conference suggests that indi-vidual groups, through an informed group con¬science, adopt a specific contribution plan tailored to meet the group’s financial situation.
From: Self-Support: Where Money and Spirituality

Once the basic group expenses have been taken care of, for example: (rent, refreshments, A.A. literature, Grapevine literature, local meeting lists, G.S.R. travel expenses to attend service func¬tions), and a “prudent reserve” has been set aside to cover any emergency contingencies that might arise, the group may decide to further carry the message by sending money to the following A.A. service entities.

  • The local district, which communicates direct¬ly with the groups, providing the district group conscience for the area assemblies, and serving as a link between the area delegates and the G.S.R.s.
  • The area committee, which coordinates vi¬tal A.A. activities over a broad geographic area; sends a delegate to the annual General Service Conference; holds area assemblies to determine the needs of the Fellowship; and provides informa¬tion at all levels of service.

From: Self-Support: Where Money and Spirituality Mix, p. 7

Here is a list of services provided by Area 87 :

  • Service office (3 employees)
  • Meeting rooms
  • Helpline
  • Assurance of responsibility for all registered groups, committees etc. that are registered with the ASO in Area 87.
  • Area meeting list
  • Area bulletin & latest information sheets.
  • Area Website
    o District Website
  • Meetings in Correctionnal Facilities
  • Meetings in treatment centers
  • Public Information
  • Archives services
  • Cooperation with professionals
  • Groups services
    o Service seminars
    o Inventories / Guidelines
    o Special projects

Surplus of sales from the literature counter.

Every time you buy from our Literature Sales Counter, you contribute to the self-support of your Area Service Office and the funding of our Committees’ efforts to reach out to the still suffering alcoholic.

This information now appears on our price list.


Anniversary tokens and sobriety medallions are an important source of revenue.

Traditionally, the sales counter does not carry gift items; but more and more the central offices and intergroups are having to turn to this merchandise to balance their budgets. We have the choice to continue as is, or to take a turn and develop this market.. Those who obtain souvenirs at the international conventions are happy to bring them home, yet they are allowing individuals to profit in this lucrative market. For us, the surplus will keep coming from book sales and will serve to carry the message via our committees or redistributed to the ASO to continue to carry the message.

For the last 10 years, the percentage of groups that participate in the 7th tradition remains between 42% and 45% across North America. The question should be how to reverse these numbers from « 45% participating and 55% not participating » to « 55% participating and 45% not participating ».

The Birthday Plan

“He realized that reaching out to A.A.s who were no longer active and offering them a chance to do Twelfth Step work—or to finance it—would help the individual member as much as it would the General Service Office.”

Contributions to the General Service Office support G.S.O.’s services to members and groups throughout Canada and the U.S. and help ensure that the A.A. message is carried around the world. The services that the G.S.O. provides the A.A. groups cost more than $6 per member per year. Members customarily contribute $1, $2 or even $5 a year for each year of sobriety‒–others may give a penny or a nickel a day for each day of their sobriety.
From: “Birthdays, Gratitude, and Twelfth Step Work” — Box 4-5-9 – April-May 2000

Some Questions and Answers About A.A.’s Finances

Is there a limit on how much an individual can contribute to G.S.O.?

Yes. That limit is $3,000 a year

Can people leave money to A.A. in their wills?

Bequests in wills are acceptable only From A.A. members on a one-time basis, and not in perpetuity. The limit is $5,000.

How can an individual member contribute to G.S.O.?

On your A.A. birthday: Contribute $1.00 or more for each year of sobriety — or as much as you wish to give (up to $3,000). You may request that your group be credited.

What are the contibutions to the area service office (ASO) used for?

On each dollar received,
13 cents goes to Group Services ( training workshops, group inventories and guidelines, special projects, postage, insurance, translation and computer technology and accounting); 5 cents to Public Information activities; 3 cents to the CPC; 3 cents to Treatment Centers; 6 cents to Correctional Facilities; 4 cents to Internal communications (Echo Echo, news bulletins, flyers); 5 cents to the General Service Conference; 8 cents for contributions to NY; 2 cents for the Archives; 3 cents for the Helpline; 2 cents for the Publications committee (La vigne, La vina, the grapevine); 1 cent for the Website and 45 cents to maintain the Area office (rent, elecricity, heat, maintenance, telephone, equipment rental, office supplies and the salary for 3 employees).

Copyright © Reproduced with the permission of The AA Grapevine Inc.[/column]