H&I Q&A for the A.A. Fellowship of Northern CA – October, 2016

Q: Should our group stop passing the Pink Cans?

A: We earnestly ask that you don’t and hope some of the information below will demonstrate why. To help ensure that the contributions to H&I don’t interfere with the 7th Tradition collection, many groups have started passing the PC’s at the END of the meeting rather than at the same time as the basket.

Q: Is it true that H&I has a Prudent Reserve over $142,000?

A: Yes, this amount is equal to three months’ operating expenses for 2015. This is a VERY CONSERVATIVE amount considering our high monthly cash flow. GSO maintains a twelve month Prudent Reserve and many Central Office/InterGroups with a lower monthly cash flow maintain a six month Prudent Reserve.

Q: How much DOES H&I spend monthly?

A: In FYE 2015, our average monthly expense was $47,620; fully 95% of our total expenses for the year went to purchase and ship literature for the alcoholic who is confined.

Q: Hasn’t H&I always had too much money?

A: No, this is a rumor based on a misunderstanding of our financial needs. Our committee provides about 35,000 meetings every year, carrying the message of A.A. to the confined alcoholic; we serve approximately 25 major state and federal institutions plus hundreds of local jails, hospitals, rehabs and other community facilities. Providing these confined alcoholics with literature which would otherwise be inaccessible to them involves over half a million dollars every year, and for many years we couldn’t evenafford to bring the equivalent of ONE BIG BOOK and ONE 12&12 into each meeting.

Q: Does H&I currently have a surplus?

A: Yes, as can be seen in our Financial Statement, which is published on our website, we currently have an operating account cash balance (in addition to our Prudent Reserve) of almost $139,000. We have introduced the following motion, which passed by over 75% on the first vote:

“The Finance Committee recommends a motion to make a distribution of $50,000 of our current surplus, in accordance with our 7th Tradition, in the following manner:

  1. 60% ($30,000) to InterGroups and Central Offices, which assist the H&I Committee by providing links on their websites, producing meeting schedules, forwarding phone calls and announcing H&I business meetings. Distributions to the various Areas will be made based on the number of meetings conducted in the Area.
  2. 25% ($12,500) to GSO, which could offset the need for AAWS to raise literature prices, since the NorCal H&I Committee is the largest single purchaser of AA literature
  3. 5% each ($2,500 each) to CNCA, CNIA and NCCAA.”

If passed, this would leave us with approximately two months’ running expenses in our operating account, which is a standard amount of unrestricted cash on hand. We hope that by distributing our funds in accordance with our Traditions, we will demonstrate that when we DO have a rare surplus we do the right thing with it, and that this will not be used as an excuse to stop passing the Pink Can.

Q: Don’t your Pink Cans say the money is to provide literature for hospitals and institutions? Wouldn’t giving that money to other service committees conflict with that?

A: Like any other A.A. Ninth Tradition service committee, we are governed by the Twelve Traditions. Similarly, if a group sends a portion of their money to their Central Office, they do so with the intention that the money will be used to cover the Intergroup’s stated expenses and trust that if they have a surplus, they too will distribute it according to our Traditions.

Q: is it true that H&I has surplus stores of literature?

A: Our Literature Policy specifically prohibits “stockpiling” literature; if it is discovered that there is an excess of literature at either a facility or in an Area, the excess is returned to the Literature Chair for redistribution. Additionally we now have a system whereby we regularly review literature usage to catch anomalies of either over or under usage.

For further inquiries, please send an email from the Contact Us page at www.handinorcal.org, click send to ‘General Chair’ in the drop-down box.