As you reach into your pocket when the basket comes around at your home group, have you ever wondered just where that money went? I will try to explain that, but keep in mind that our Traditions tell us that each group is autonomous so what one group does another may do completely differently. How your home group divides the money is a question you can ask your Treasurer or go to the business meeting and listen to his/her report.:
However, I can give you a general idea. First, the group must pay expenses like rent, electric bills, perhaps gas and maybe even a telephone. Next, you have the coffee, cream, sugar, coffee cups and stir stix. Perhaps your group has pop. Some sell it for 50 cents a can on the honor system with a can in the refrigerator, which is often overlooked. Not many groups make a profit on pop. Then, of course you have the paper towels, toilet paper, napkins and paper plates for birthdays and potlucks, not to mention the knives, forks and spoons. After all this is paid for, most groups buy literature. Some goes on the tables for the meetings and some goes in a cabinet for sale. Hopefully, it gets paid for and not given away. Then there are the coins that are given out for birthdays or monthly celebrations. I’m sure I have forgotten a few things, but you get the general idea. These are the bills that must be paid before a group can contribute to any of the outside entities.
It is also suggested that each group have a prudent reserve. Some groups keep 3 months worth of expenses, some 6 months and some are lucky if they can pay their bills.
If your home group should have any money left after these expenses are met, they must decide what to do with this money. Some use the 50, 30, 10,10 plan . This plan suggests that 50% is given to Central Office, 30% goes to the General Service Office, 10% to the Area the group is in and 10% to the District the group is in. If you are unsure of which Area and District you are in or what the General Service Office is, ask an Old-timer or call the Central Office. We will be glad to get you those answers. We will also tell you a little about what each of these entities does with the money your group sends, such as supporting PI, CPC, Special Needs and more. If the initials confuse you, we can help with that as well.
So, now you have a general idea of where the money goes that you put into the basket. If you have been in the program a while, you now have the means to put in $2, $3 or maybe even $5 when that basket comes around. I sure spent more than that at the bar, didn’t you? Does that sound like a guilt trip? Well, maybe it is.
One thing I want the people of Kansas City AA to know: before any money is spent at Central Office, I always think of that newcomer who puts in the quarters because that is all he/she has in their pocket. I try to remember if I watch the pennies, the dollars will take care of themselves.
by Sue Ann K.
Vol. 46—Issue #1 January 2015