Every GSA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
Best Practices for Seventh Tradition Donations at Remote Video (Zoom) Meetings
Recently there has been an increase in GreySheeters Anonymous (GSA) Zoom video meetings because of covid-19 restrictions. Online meetings make it difficult to “pass the basket” and practice the seventh tradition. Some groups have set up digital contribution accounts with services like PayPal, Venmo, Google Pay, etc. to deal with this problem.
Each group is autonomous and should consider taking a group conscience on whether digital contributions are an option and which platform to use. These guidelines are taken from the shared experiences of some virtual meetings in practicing the seventh tradition.
Why Should We Continue to Practice the Seventh Tradition at Online Meetings?
GSA meetings that take place remotely (via video conference or telephone) do not have expenses for a meeting place, and the cost of remote meeting platforms is less than the rent or donation most venues ask. Even if your group's rent expenses have been reduced or eliminated due to the pandemic, expenses of the fellowship continue. Various entities of GSA still need your support.
- Groups may need to continue to pay rent, utilities and will need supplies for when the meeting will reopen.
- Intergroups collect monies to send delegates to the next World Service Conference, to provide supplies and services to groups in their area and for providing events and retreats.
- GreySheeters Anonymous World Services (GSAWS) has ongoing needs for the website, literature, protecting the integrity of the GreySheet, public information, and general operations.
Planning for Digital Contributions
Review the pamphlet “The Group Treasurer” to learn about the role of the treasurer, keeping a prudent reserve, spending a group’s funds, and taking care of a group’s monies.
Should we have a group bank account or use a Treasurer’s personal account?
For smaller groups, it is all right for treasurers to use their personal bank account and keep track of a group’s funds by using a spreadsheet, if there is transparency. A larger group typically has a bank account established in the name of the group. Consult the pamphlet, The GSA Treasurer for guidance on this subject.
Selecting a Digital Payment Platform
Take a group conscience since each member who wishes to contribute will need to open an account with the chosen service. Many members may already have a service they use and prefer.
How Do We Get Started?
Often the meeting treasurer will gather information on different digital payment options, then present that to the group for discussion at a business meeting.
What Options Are Available?
Here are some of the digital payment platforms that groups are using: Cash-App, Google Pay, PayPal, Venmo and Zelle. Groups can compare the costs and benefits of each platform, considering things like ease of set up and use, payment processing fees, security, and privacy. Some groups avoid Venmo since by default transactions are not private. (If your group decides to use Venmo, make sure to turn on account privacy so transactions stay private and are only visible to the sender and recipient).
How Does Our Group Set It Up?
The group treasurer or another trusted servant will set up the account and link it to the bank account the group is using. For more information about setting up bank accounts and tax ID numbers, see the GSA pamphlet "The Group Treasurer."
Choose a username for the account that is simple and intuitive since it will be shared with those attending the meeting. Groups usually avoid using a personal email if it reveals someone’s full name to avoid breaking the person’s anonymity. Often groups will share the username through the chat screen as they announce practicing the Seventh Tradition. It is recommended that groups do not share the username as part of the meeting’s public online information.
Create a strong password for the app and ensure your mobile device used to access the app has a passcode. If possible, set up two-factor authentication for added security.
Learn the app’s privacy settings and apply them!