Update For Finance – Apr 2024 – Online Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous

Minutes for Finance Meeting - 13 Apr 2024

OIAA Finance Committee 

Record of Minutes

Saturday, April 13th, 2024

8:00am – am HDT

11:00am – pm   PDT

2:00pm -pm EDT

 

Attendees : 

Jennifer B

Nona M.  

Jeff B. 

Chris L.

Dena L

Felix E. 

Michael C.

Susan R. 

Nicky W

 

Jennifer leads Serenity Prayer.  All in Attendance join in.  

 

Jennifer begins with saying that it should be a short meeting as most of their financial affairs are in order such as: Stripe is  working, the tax return is done etc.  She shares the Agenda on screen.  Jennifer tells the group that she has not received the minutes from the last meeting just yet, but that the last meeting was just her and Nicky so the minutes should be easy as they just went  over the financial reports.  After allowing all to read it over, she asks if there is anything else anyone would like to add to the Agenda.  Chris from Denver introduces himself and explains that he is the Secretary of a large online meeting in Denver which has up to 100 people daily.  He explains that his group is transitioning into becoming an online meeting only and splitting from the in-person entity.  He would like to explore the options of OIAA as an avenue for their excess funds.  Before bringing this before his group conscience, he would like to clarify what the relationship between OIAA and AA is.   Jennifer appreciates the questions and adds Chris to the Agenda.  Chris thanks the group.  Jennifer asks if anyone else has anything to add or questions.  None. 

NO QUESTIONS OR FEEDBACK

 

Review of Financial Reports 

Jennifer goes into the March 2024 Financials.  She states that we have Revenues of just over $6,000.00 which is over the Budget by $1,800.00.  There were Paypal Fees directly related to the Revenues.  Professional fees is the Accounting software.  Stripe fees are also directly related to Revenue.  There is a new Special Tech Worker who will be working less hours, but at a higher hourly rate.  This amount has decreased the expenses for Special Tech Worker.  Unity Meeting has also decreased.  The amount shown is for two different languages, which is much less than had been budgeted.  Website hosting and management are all Google related.  Video conferencing is the additional payment to Zoom for the much larger meeting group category.  Jennifer ends with the Net Income amount of $2,700.00.  She asks if there are any questions or feedback for the Financial Reports.  None. 

NO QUESTIONS OR FEEDBACK

 

Questions about OIAA from visitors

Jennifer addresses Chris’ questions regarding OIAA’s relationship with AA.  She tells him that OIAA is an International Intergroup that provides online access  and for example, provides interpreters and translators, for the IGR forums and assemblies.  

Nona would like to add that OIAA is International.  They are not part of the general service structure.  You can find OIAA on the GSO page if you are in need of an online meeting and is recognized as being Alcoholics Anonymous throughout the world.   

Jennifer adds that there are no intergroups that are part of the AA structure and that OIAA is like any other local intergroup.  They provide meeting lists, directories, events, and support for the suffering alcoholic.  

Jeff speaks to Chris saying that OIAA is an Intergroup. He says that the Intergroups weren’t included when Bill created the general service structure.  The OIAA differentiates themselves as being an Online Intergroup providing for the entire world.  They participate in the ICOAA meeting which is where local intergroups come together on an annual basis. The OIAA is an accredited AA organization.  

 

Chris wants to simply ask if the OIAA would be considered an AA service entity.  The group answers,
“Yes!  Absolutely.”  

 

Nona adds that OIAA has been included in the special workers and gets invited periodically to international events across USA and Canada.  She continues that OIAA provides 12 step work  and that service work is done entirely online.  She specifies that if an online group does not have AA affiliations, they are not listed on the OIAA directory of online meetings.  Nona states that the OIAA stays in the perimeters of an Intergroup.  

 

Chris  compliments the website and the info provided there. Before he went before his group conscience, he wanted to be clear on the information.  He thanks the group.    

 

Jennifer brings up the Pie Group Split.  Since OIAA falls under Intergroups, there is a recommended pie split from the Central Office in New York.  Every group is allowed to come up with their own modified split.  

Chris describes his group as a group that was formed during the Pandemic and has members from all over, including Florida, Canada etc.  They were hoping to find direction on where to put their excess funds.  

 

Jennifer asks if Chris’ group is part of a district or an area. Chris answers that the group is originally Area 10 District 13 in Colorado Denver area, but are looking into where they should be as a separate online entity.  Jennifer shares her experience with her own homegroup and explains that  her homegroup originates in Hawaii, where there are no hybrid options available. For them, it was more important to be part of an online district and to be able to participate in the hybrid arena.  So, they decided on an online district in Washington.  

 

Susan also shares her experience with her group.  Her in-person group does  a split of 50/30/10/10.  50 % to her  local intergroup,  30%  to New York, 10%  to the local area, and 10% to the local district.  She says they worked really hard to get an online district and a hybrid assembly.  Her group is in no way hybrid; it is all in-person.  She asks that if anybody in Delaware wants to be a rep, could they please could service and commit to her homegroup.  She continues that what was important to her group was who was providing them services.  Susan’s local Intergroup cannot provide them with services, so “do we give the big chunk to OIAA or distribute elsewhere?”  She asks, “what does OIAA offer service wise?”  She answers, “You’re in a Committee.  There are nine Service Committees.  Your people could be part of a Committee and be provided service opportunities.  OIAA provides for Intergroup Rep Forums to get questions answered by groups.  You can network problems and find solutions together.  We hold those forums quarterly.  We have four Safety Forums for online safety issues.  We have four Assemblies.  Your Intergroup Reps can actually have a voice with the business side of the Intergroup.  You have a voice in the Budget.  You can elect officers.  We can approve laws and change bylaws.  We are a nonprofit in the state of New Jersey.  We are as transparent as we can be.  We are responsible for two conventions.  We are holding an International Convention in October.  We have a three-days ‘Around the world’, ‘What Does Recovery Look Like’ at the end of October.  We have been asked to have a Cyber Week  in Vancouver, so we have a side committee  working on volunteers.  So there’s a lot of service opportunities outside of the group.  So, those are some of the services we provide.  So as I say, ‘Service Facilitates Recovery’.   Look around and come and participate.”  

Jennifer adds that OIAA has an IGR Forum scheduled for April 27th that will give a fantastic idea of what OIAA provides.  

Nona  speaks about the Forum saying that the spotlight is the International Online Convention.  They will provide translations for anyone who wishes to go to these events.  She adds that this upcoming forum will also provide many opportunities and  service positions.  Nona emphasizes how she loves how the OIAA website translates and how transparent OIAA is about having all of their affairs available on the website.   

Chris agrees that he got that impression when he was browsing the website.

Dina raises her hand and says that she understands Chris’ view and she is in a similar situation.   Regarding her homegroup, since they are also splitting, they would like to know how they are going to split their 7th Tradition contributions and as well as where to send the contributions to OIAA.    

Jennifer pulls up aa-intergroup.org on the screen and shows where to find the Contributions area.  On the website, it is under Groups and then under 7th Traditions Contributions.  She shows that they have  3 different methods to contribute:, Paypal,Stripe or an address where they can send  a hard check in the mail.  Dina asks if OIAA and GSO are the same and Jennifer replies that they are totally different.  OIAA is an intergroup and GSO is part of the AA structure and can vote in New York .  

Susan adds that Dina could find a button at the bottom of the page on aa.org.  

 

Review of Financial Statements  

Jennifer goes ahead with the  balance sheet.  She says that they are financial healthy.  There is a cash balance of $115,000.  $5,5000 is earmarked for the International Convention suite Susan has secured for 2025.  In unearmarked monies, there is just under $110,000 at the end of March.  She states that we have significant excess that will occur in October but reaffirms that OIAA is financially healthy.  She believes the best way to use any excess would be to offer services instead of just being a conduit to distribute to other entities.  She suggests that we could donate to the Literature Fund because that gives to the International component.  The Literature Fund is a US non-profit that also reaches the whole world.   Jennifer says that they have previously donated to TIAA Technology, which  provides a service to OIAA.  She explains that she had asked the committees to submit a budget to her, the Treasurer, by August 31 for any upcoming expenses.  What money is left in 2024, will be voted on in December.  There they can decide where to distribute the funds to any other entities.  Jennifer asks if there are any other questions on the Balance sheet.  None.  

NO QUESTIONS OR FEEDBACK

 

Contributions Report

Jennifer states that the reason this report was created was so the individual groups could see if the OIAA had received their contributions.  It also keeps the Treasurer honest so the OIAA can have a level of comfort.  The report shows the amount of income for the month so no one siphoning money for personal gain.  She continues that complete transparency and financial securities are in place to keep OIAA funds secure.  In March, they had the Individuals line item of $571.00.  The Everyone Else groups 49 distinct groups that contributed in the month of March.  Jennifer asks if there are any questions?  No Questions. 

NO QUESTIONS OR FEEDBACK

 

Open Meeting for Questions or Feedback

Jennifer opens up the meeting for anyone to ask questions or are needing answers.  She would like to welcome any questions on how we know the finances are being secure.  She continues that OIAA Financial Committee just did a formal internal financial review.  Those doing the review had full access to the bank account, Paypal and the accounting systems.  They will be providing the report in June but they have let the Finance Committee know that it looks great and that there are no anomalies.  It will show that OIAA, as an Institution, is secure and  how the finances are being covered.  

Chris would like to ask where he and his group could reach out to someone if they have any other questions.  Jennifer answers that they can contact her at treasurer@aa-intergroup.org.  Jennifer brings up the website on the share screen and shows if you go to Service Committees, you could hit Finance and her email is to the right of that webpage.  She explains that a bunch of the other emails will be in that area under their Committees.   Susan states that for example, her email is under OIAA in Action in OIAA Board.  Her email is chair@aa-intergroup.org.  She says that you can obtain the entire Board’s emails.  

Nona would like to say that if you have a question, depending on the nature of the question, you can email  general questions to which you will get a group effort answer.  So always feel free to ask anything.  She adds that during the Forum, there will be a “What’s on your Mind” section where you can ask a question.  If you ask, you will get a response.  Chris thanks the group.    

Jennifer asks Chris if he is listed in the Directory.  Chris replies that they are not.  Jennifer highly suggests that if he is interested, he should be listed there.  She wants to warn him that, in her experience, there will be “bombers”.  In her own homegroup, the security team takes care of them quickly. .   She explains that they dispatch with them and remove them.  She continues that she highly recommends to be on the directory so they could be a voting member.  She says that they could be under the Denver Intergroups, or they could be on multiple directories.  

 

Jennifer would also like to let everyone know that there is a subcommittee of the committee called the TechSteppers.  She tells Chris that they could come to his group and teach them how to set up their Zoom Account.   Chris replies that he has already done webinars about this.  Jennifer also offers that if there are any other financial questions, she could even come to his group conscience.  She reiterates that any way she can help support, she is always willing.  She explains that she just had the International Trustee come to her homegroup to speak about how they could actively participate in the conference.  She tells the group that her homeroup now has a subcommittee called ‘Aloha in da House’.  A play off of her own homegroups name of ‘Recovery in da House’.  

Dina states that Chris’ questions answered many of her own questions.  She says that they are online ready, but if they wanted to make any changes to their description, who would they contact to do so?  Jennifer shows her by pulling up the website and going under Online Meetings then under Updates, you can submit modifications.  She explains that it will have to be done by the person who set up the meeting.  Nona adds that if you need extra help you could look up the meeting number or ask the Registrar to find the meeting number.  

Dina states that her homegroup is just now getting their Paypal set up and that at their group conscience tomorrow night, they are going to set up guidelines.  She states that anything over $5000 goes to OIAA.  They will abide by their guidelines and go from there.  She was glad to talk about the pie cut.   

The group asks if Dina has their IGR and explains how they represent the group.  

Jennifer explains that with her 32 years of sobriety, she finds that spirituality and money discussion including the total transparency of the Financial status to be the most spiritual thing that can happen in this category.  She thinks that it is only when they don’t talk about it, it becomes a problem.  

Felix wanted to ask some questions and apologizes for being late.  He asks to go back to the Balance Sheet.  He wonders about the Prudent Reserve because he notices an additional Prudent Reserve.  He asks why there is so much money here.  He states that the Prudent should be the same amount as in the Checking Account.  Jennifer answers that they will look at how much money they have in those accounts and that they will  make a decision as to where to distribute.  Felix asks one more question about Stripe.  He sees that the last payments received from March did not come in until a couple days later.  He is just concerned because he is reconciling.  Jennifer explains that Stripe does a dump every Monday.  That Monday was a holiday and it takes a couple of days to pass it over.  They didn’t receive it until the 8th.   She says that as long as everything is in for the year, she doesn’t think it matters monthly as much.  

Felix agrees and lastly states that when he tried to reconcile, the screen said it was locked.  Jennifer says that she had to do some last minute edits to change certain charges to date them in April.  Felix understands and has no other questions or concerns.

NO OTHER QUESTIONS OR FEEDBACK OR CONCERNS  

 

Jennifer ends the meeting with the Responsibility Statement.  

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