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Grapevine : July 2011
32 July 2011 whether by groups, clubs, hospitals, or other outside agencies; that acceptance of large gi s from any source, or of contributions carrying any obligation whatever, is unwise. en, too, we view with much concern those AA treasuries which continue, beyond prudent reserves, to accumulate funds for no stated AA purpose. Expe- rience has o en warned us that nothing can so surely destroy our spiri- tual heritage as futile disputes over property, money, and authority." (Tradition Seven, Long form.) Generally speaking, practicing alcoholics enjoy grand financial gestures, like throwing a wad of cash down on the bar and announcing free drinks for all. e closest I came to any kind of selfless donation was pledging a large sum of money dur- ing some charity appeal on television, only to frantically try getting out of it later. Unacknowledged con- tributions were boring. We didn't get much of a buzz out of that. When we arrived at AA, beaten and broken, some of us could barely scrape together enough for a cup of tea. As we got on with the program, o ered freely to us, our sponsors guided us back to work. Material things became available to us and we were able to put a bit more into the pot. ose who had lost little materially were ob- viously able to put more into the pot from the out- set. Did this make them better AAs? Of course not. Nor did it give us any more rights. We all give according to our circumstances, however, there have to be limits. AA cannot risk being at the mercy of donations from a few wealthy con- tributors who might start acting like share holders, demanding things must be done a certain way. Excess funds at a group level may cause dis- putes as well. Tradition Seven tells us to keep a prudent reserve. Any surplus is forwarded on to the AA general service structure. In the early days of AA, some wealthy friends were able to see that too much money would spoil our aims. ey gave us a nominal amount to help at the time, but could see clearly that our organization would only survive by supporting itself. At the time, AAs were desperately trying to find the money to get the Big Book published, build hospitals, dispatch messengers to the far corners of the earth and Tradition Seven is the foundation of our service structure. Unfortunately, without money, AA would wither and die. ere will always be a great need for member contributions. Money and spirituality mix in the basket.