Passing Digital Baskets: Setting Up Online Payment Options for Groups

Passing The Virtual Basket

In A.A., we pay our own way. According to the 7th Tradition, “Every group is self-supporting, declining outside contributions.” Best practices for the 7th tradition included using “money from the hat” to pay for home group expenses first — rent, coffee, cups, etc. The remainder is then distributed to the district, area and GSO levels of AA to cover expenses of reaching out to the alcoholic who still suffers.

During COVID-19 meeting suspensions and online meet-ups, if your group needs to cover expenses and collect contributions, how do you virtually “pass the basket?” Your group may want to set up an Online Contribution Basket.

What You Will Need To Do:

  • File for a Federal Tax ID online for your group.
    • With a Tax ID for your group, no one in the group would be responsible for paying taxes on the group’s annual income.
  • Open a bank account into which online contributions are deposited.
    • To get an account, you will need either a member mailing address
    • Or get a post office box for your group
    • With a Tax ID and PO Box you can go to the bank and open up an account without anyone’s personal SSN or mailing address attached to that account.
    • Many groups have the group treasurer coordinate this work.
  • An online payment method (here are links to a few solutions):
    • PayPal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlAo43FEj-I
    • Square: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqnKxrMo_uQ
    • Stripe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxJB0QPtcnk
    • DonorBox: https://donorbox.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360020293192-How-To-Create-a-Donorbox-Org-Account
    • Venmo: https://help.venmo.com/hc/en-us/articles/209690068-How-to-Sign-Up

Once your group has set up an account with one of these providers or some other payment processor of choice, simply copy the link to your online payments page into the chat window of your online meeting when announcing the 7th Tradition. One way to make this easy is to create a separate meeting format document for the online version of your meeting  and include a link to your online payments page in that document.

Have questions? Contact Adam, Area 48 Treasurer at treasurer@aahmbny.org.

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