7th Tradition - Suggested Digital Best Practices

During these unusual times of responsible social distancing, there are many online meeting options our groups have made available. Our Central Service Office has good information on where to find them here.


When there's a will, there's a way!


But, while online meeting spaces make it difficult to "pass the basket," A.A.'s 7th Tradition reminds us that, Every group ought to be fully self-supporting... Virtual meetings are relatively inexpensive, but the real expenses of our fellowship continue. Please consider some reasons for offering your group members a way to contribute:


Our regular meeting locations still have operating expenses

  • They may rely on our regular rent to help pay their rent, utilities, and employees
  • Meeting supplies will still be needed when our meetings reopen

Central Service and the General Service Office still have operating expenses

  • Phone lines, rent, insurance on office space, utilities
  • Website and other web services that we may rely on now more than ever
  • Paid special workers whose compensation is crucial to their ability to serve us

Our Districts, Areas, and H&I still have expenses

  • Regular expenses to support the work of committees and events that will take place after this crisis has passed
  • Web services support for groups
  • Expenses for venues for events that have been cancelled may still need to be met, since any income from the event won’t be there to support the pre-payment of reservations, cancellation fees, etc. The expense of re-arranging for venues to reschedule events is very real.

Each group is autonomous and might consider taking a group conscience on whether digital contributions are an option, and which platform(s) best suits their groups’ needs. If your group wants to consider online contributions, below is information on how other groups have done it.

  • Digital payment optionsVenmo, PayPal, Zelle, Cash App, Google Pay, Stripe, & Apple Pay are viable options. 
  • Take a group conscience – A group conscience is recommended as each member who wishes to contribute will need to open an account with the chosen service. Many members may already have a service they prefer.
  • You can select one or multiple – A group can agree to use just one service, but may even want to consider multiple options for their members.
  • Consider the costs and benefits of each platform – each service has varying fees for money transfers depending on the users’ chosen method of payment (debit, credit, checking account, etc.). Some may have a more user-friendly interface than others.

Once your group selects a platform:

  • Setting it up – choose a username that is easy and intuitive for the group.
  • Security – Create a strong password for the app and ensure your mobile device used to access the app also has a passcode. If possible, set up two-factor authentication for added security. 
  • Privacy – Learn the app’s privacy settings! Some digital payment platforms have social components that you may want to disable to protect anonymity.


 Self-Support: Where Money and Spirituality Mix



The above was adapted from A.A. Intergroup of SF & Marin: A Guide to Best Practices For a Digital 7th Tradition

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