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Wisdom in Contributing

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OA has always impressed me in how well it works, obviously due to Higher Power’s brilliant Twelve Traditions. The Seventh Tradition is the most revolutionary of all.

I remember reading that when Bill W. was forming AA, he had connections to the very rich John D. Rockefeller and asked Rockefeller for a huge sum of money to make AA grow. Although Rockefeller did give AA some help, he turned down Bill’s request for the huge sum, saying, “I think money will spoil this” (Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age: A Brief History of A.A., p. 111). That resulted in the Seventh Tradition, which has guided our OA program to be self-supporting.

At an OA slogan meeting, I once heard a member say their favorite OA slogan was “we have no dues or fees.” That definitely attracted me too. But OA definitely has expenses.

When I first came to OA, the suggested contribution was one dollar, which everybody at my meeting easily put in the bag. Then it went to two dollars, and there was some grumbling, but the meeting format was changed to a suggested donation of two dollars. The change to a suggested three dollars was not passed. Today, OA suggests a contribution of five dollars.

Members often do understand the expenses that help enable us to be self-supporting, which are commonly rent and literature. The intergroup contribution often isn’t as well understood or popular until we have a chance to do service at that higher level. But I now understand why 60 percent of a group’s excess contributions goes to intergroup, 30 percent to the World Service Office, and 10 percent to region. We need higher contribution levels to keep OA going as well as to produce literature. When my region chair explained that she contributes by check, I was surprised to learn that, in the US, a contribution to the World Service Office or any other OA entity that is registered as a nonprofit is tax deductible.

I know that there has been a lot of publicity in recent years about the need for our OA contributions to increase and that members have responsibility to support OA. I practice the Seventh Tradition by sending a check to the WSO. I’m inherently stingy so I have to ask HP for wisdom in deciding how much to contribute. The tax deduction does help me. Remembering what has been so generously given to me moves me to give back.

— Carrie A., Centralia, Washington USA

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