Area Request to Verify Your Group’s Online Meeting Info

If you are a GSR or contact for a group currently meeting online, please read this request from Area 48 Registrar Gretchen E.:
Greetings fellow trusted servants! We applaud Groups for moving their meetings to online format, and are pleased to have an Area website directory of 175 meetings online. Hosting meetings open to all AAers is a terrific demonstration of your commitment to our primary purpose of carrying the message.
Since Zoom changed its protocols last week, some Online Meeting links posted on the Area website are no longer functional. Please check your Zoom link on the Area website. If your link is not working without a password prompt (or is not functional at all), please share this information with your Group and then take the action outlined in the steps set forth below.
In keeping with our commitment to our primary purpose to carry the message, all online meetings that are not open to all AAers will be removed from the Online Meeting listing by May 2nd. Please reach out to me, your Area 48 Registrar, at records@aahmbny.org if you have any questions or if we can help troubleshoot the Zoom system with you. Please do not contact the Area webmaster. Thank you!
In fellowship and service,
Gretchen E.
Area 48 Registrar
records@aahmbny.org
INSTRUCTIONS:
Steps to check your Zoom link on the Area 48 Online Meetings listing:
Step 1 – Go to the Area 48 website aahmbny.org then the Online Meetings listing and then lookup your meeting. Click the “Zoom” link to test the functionality.

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Step 2 – Does the Zoom link bring you directly to the meeting without a password prompt?
If yes, then you are all set. No further action is needed. Thank you!
If no, please continue to Step 3.

Step 3 – Do you want to keep the password on your Zoom meeting?
If yes, then please provide your Group name, meeting location, and the Zoom meeting invitation to your District Records Keeper (if you have one) or to the Area Registrar who will update the website so that your meeting can remain open and accessible. Note: Zoom passwords must be embedded in the link, or published on the website, or both (preferred). Please indicate your preference when providing this information.  Or fill out this form:  https://aahmbny.org/new-group-form-group-change-form/   Thank you!
If no, please continue to Step 4.

Step 4 – Do you want to remove the password on your Zoom meeting?
If yes, then please have your Zoom host remove the password from the Zoom meeting. The Area has posted a Zoom Meeting & APP Tutorial to help you with this step. Please recheck your Zoom link on the website after you have updated your Zoom meeting to ensure it is working.
If no, please send me an email (records@aahmbny.org), and we’ll take you off the list of online meetings on the website.

Thank you!

Yours in Service,

Gretchen E., Area 48 Registrar

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.