The 7th Tradition
Every C.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside
Where does the money in the basket go?
are like many of us when we first came into the rooms of Cocaine
Anonymous — we put our money into the basket and then we saw that
one person who we thought was the boss or president of C.A. take
the money and put it into an envelope or into his or her pocket or
pocketbook. At first, this did not seem to be a big deal; then, we
came to a point at which we wondered what happened to the money in
the speaker or chairperson get paid?
the treasurer keep the money?
makes the coffee?
the coffee-maker buy the coffee with his or her own money?
this business about rent?
C.A. part of this church or hospital?
of us asked these questions as well. To explain all of these questions,
and many others,
let's follow "the money in the basket."
The coffee-maker is usually the first person to show up. He or she
buys the coffee, sugar, milk, and snacks prior to the meeting and
sets up before everyone arrives. The meeting begins and, usually
before the break, the basket is passed and donations are collected.
The treasurer takes the donations and reimburses the coffee-maker
for the costs of the coffee, sugar, milk, and snacks. Then, usually
after the break, the treasurer gives a report on the total donations
collected and the expenses paid out. If there is money left over,
the treasurer keeps a record of it, and is accountable to the group.
What happens to the leftover money?
Cocaine Anonymous is not affiliated with the hospitals, churches,
or halls where our meetings are held; we pay rent and/or make a donation
to these institutions for the use of their space. This arrangement
is mandated by our preamble, which states that we are not allied
with any sect, denomination, politics, organization, or institution.
Rent money comes from the donations put into the basket. The meeting's
treasurer is responsible for paying the rent on time and reporting
this to the group.
is that it?
Are rent and coffee our only expenses?
the key chains, coins, and literature come from?
After the break we usually hear the secretary read some announcements,
point out the literature table, and then give out key chains and
Meetings purchase literature, coins, and key chains from the C.A.
World Service Office, usually through their local District or Area.
Your meeting's secretary is responsible for keeping track of these
items. When the supply of any of them gets low, he or she puts together
an order and gives it to the treasurer. The treasurer then takes
money from the donations in the basket and gives the order form and
money to your meeting's Group Service Representative (GSR). The GSR
takes the order form and the money to the monthly District or Area
meeting and gets the literature, coins, and key chains to bring back
to your meeting. Methods vary, but this is the way in which many
Let's now review a meeting's typical expenses:
milk, sugar, snacks, etc.
chains, chips and literature
all these expenses are paid, it is suggested that your group
keep enough of the leftover
donations to cover two
months worth of
expenses. This is called a prudent reserve.
What is a prudent reserve?
A prudent reserve
is a "savings" to be used when donations
to the basket are scarce.
How much of a reserve is prudent?
We've found that two months worth of expenses is enough to cover
the lean times. The following table is provided to help figure your
meetings' prudent reserve:
and supplies per week
and supplies per month
key chains, chips per month
expenses Add lines 1, 2, and 3 together
Reserve Double line 4
So what happens to the rest of the money?
This is where the 70/30 plan comes in. With the 70/30 plan, 70%
of your meeting's remaining funds are donated to your District or
Area meeting and 30% are donated to the C.A. World Service Office.
Each group has but one primary purpose - to carry its message to
the addict who still suffers. We've found that nothing diverts us
from our primary purpose like problems of money, property, and prestige.
What do the Districts/ Areas do with this money?
Your District and/or Area exists to serve you and is responsible
to your meeting. Your District and/or Area also has expenses that
can include a hotline's telephone bill or answering service and the
publishing of meeting schedules. It also purchases literature, coins,
and key chains and keeps enough of them on hand for the groups it
serves. Districts and Areas must also keep a prudent reserve.
So what does the C.A. World Service Office (CA WSO) do with this
The CAWSO is responsible for public relations, the distribution
and publication of all literature, world directories, newsletters,
world conference material, and meeting starter kits. These are just
a few of the many responsibilities of the CAWSO. The CAWSO is there
to serve you as well as your Group, District, and Area.
features limited terms at all levels of service. According to Tradition
Two, "Our leaders are but trusted servants;
they do not govern." Once our term of commitment has expired,
we step down and a replacement is elected. Even our Trustees step
down after serving for 4 years. There are no leaders in C.A.; we
are all trusted servants. Our service boards and committees have
been created to help the addict who is still suffering; to give back
what we have freely received.
So, the next time you put your money into the basket, think of all
the things that are being accomplished and how YOU are helping the
addict who is still suffering.
Donations = Twelve Step Work
Reprinted & adapted with permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services,
Inc., c. 1939, 1955, 1976