Good morning. My name is Mitchell and I am an alcoholic.
On November 2, 2023, the Pacific Region Delegates were joined by Reilly K., the Pacific Region Trustee, to ask questions about the minutes of the October Trustees Meeting. I am having the minutes translated to Spanish so the English and Spanish can be added to the MSCA 09 website, under “General Service Office (GSO) – Pacific Regional Trustee Reports”.
2023 Q4 General Service Board weekend was held in New Your October 27-29, 2023. A.A.W.S. have been able to resume publishing books and getting back to providing services to our groups. The Trustees’ committees have working teams to both stay ahead of a financial low period while figuring out how to give groups what they need in more cost-effective and efficient ways. We expect to elect a new Chair at the 74th Conference. The Trustee Nominating Committee presented candidates for the GSB Chairperson. Following a Third Legacy vote the trustees elected Scott Huyghebaert for the GSB Chairperson for vote at the 74th GSC. Scott served as Delegate Area 79 British Columbia/Yukon Panel (61-62) 2011-12 and, later, Class B Trustee-at-Large Canada (Panel 65-69) 2015-2019.
. Grapevine has a new digital app that members are excited about. General Service Office has a new Dashboard that promises to be easier to navigate and helpful.
Trustees’ Archives Committee
The Archivist also shared that the Spanish and French translations of the revised “Guidelines for Conducting Oral Histories” were recently completed and will be posted on GSO’s website in the coming weeks.
GSO Archives Audiovisual Preservation Survey Report: The committee engaged in a lengthy discussion regarding the Archives department’s “Audiovisual Preservation Survey Report.” The report included basic information about the collection, documented concerns on maintaining audiovisual assets and a proposed phased plan to help inform future decisions around preservation and appropriate storage for these media types. Following discussion, the committee directed the Archivist to proceed with the first part of Phase 1 of the plan and provide status updates at their future quarterly meetings. Phase 1 to begin in January 2024 with a proposed completion date by December 2024, or earlier, if feasible.
Digital distribution of archival photographs: The committee reviewed a sample of digital archival photographs with suggested copyright text, previously furnished via email for committee’s feedback. The committee expressed satisfaction with the placement and language of the copyright text.
New business: The committee engaged in discussion around some of the challenges faced by local A.A. Archives in terms of housing archives and finances to support these efforts. It was shared that local
A.A. Archives are autonomous entities and GSO Archives staff provide guidance and shared experiences accordingly.
Trustees’ General Service Conference Committee
A new online document management system (OnBoard) was implemented in September-October to communicate with Conference Members.
Subcommittee on Inventory: The committee received a progress report from the Inventory subcommittee noting the completion of questions for the GSB inventory questions and plan. The subcommittee chair also shared that the Conference Inventory Planning Committee was selected and will start to meet in early November. The committee looks forward to receiving a progress report at the January 2024 meeting. The committee recommended that the General Service Board adopt the GSB Inventory plan that includes questions, and materials.
Subcommittee on EDW: The committee received a progress report from the EDW subcommittee noting that a survey was translated and sent to Conference Members with a November 15 due date. The subcommittee will meet November 1 to distribute forwarded items and develop an EDW plan.
New Business: The committee received a request from the TABB subcommittee chair, to explore ways to accommodate more time for Conference Members to review the Plain Language Big Book during the Conference week.
Part II – Cooperation with the Professional Community (CPC)
Review suggestions to develop a pamphlet for Mental Health Professionals: The committee reviewed the progress report on the development of the pamphlet for Mental Health Professionals and was informed that the first two rounds of interviews were complete. The committee noted the enthusiasm of several of the interview subjects and their offer to advise us on potential drafts of the pamphlet. The committee recommended that the materials gathered to date be forwarded to the AAWS Publishing Department for the creation of a draft pamphlet. The committee looks forward to a draft pamphlet or progress report at the January 2024 meeting.
Update on Final CPC service cards: The committee was informed that the final draft of the CPC service card has been sent to Publishing and the card will be made available to the Fellowship on aa.org. The committee looks forward to a progress report at the January 2024 meeting.
Part lll – Treatment
Review progress report on the pamphlet “Bridging the Gap”: The committee reviewed a draft of the revised pamphlet P-49 “Bridging the Gap” and agreed to forward the pamphlet to the 2024 Conference Committee on Treatment and Accessibilities with minor edits.
Review progress report on new A.A. Guidelines on Bridging the Gap and other service materials: The committee accepted the progress report on Bridging the Gap service materials. The committee appreciated the work done to date on the A.A. Guidelines on Bridging the Gap and agreed to forward to the 2024 Conference Committee on Treatment and Accessibilities for their consideration.
Discuss the usefulness and relevance of the video “Hope“: The committee discussed the video “Hope” and determined it is outdated, long and needs to be revised to remain useful in treatment committee service work. The committee agreed to forward the video for review to the 2024 Conference Committee on Treatment and Accessibilities.
Review the pamphlet “A.A. in Treatment Settings”: The committee reviewed the “A.A. in Treatment Settings” pamphlet and concluded revisions were needed and agreed to forward to the 2024 Conference Committee on Treatment and Accessibilities a request to discuss revisions to the pamphlet.
Review the flier “Where do I go from here?“: The committee reviewed the flyer “Where do I go from here” and concluded revisions were needed. The committee agreed to forward to the 2024 Conference Committee on Treatment and Accessibilities a request to discuss revisions to the flyer .
Review Progress Report on Treatment Committee Kit and Workbook: The committee accepted the progress report on the updates made to the treatment kit and workbook.
Part IV – Accessibilities
Military Outreach Project: The committee listened to an edited audio interview with a member serving in the military. The committee expressed support for three newly edited interviews and the need for this project in our communities. The Appointed Committee Members (ACM) noted they were overwhelmed with gratitude for leading the project. The committee looks forward to a progress report at the January 2024 meeting.
Inventory of Accessibilities-related A.A. and AA GV/LV resources and outreach: The committee reviewed the report of A.A. publications that address accessibilities issues. The committee agreed to forward the report to the 2024 Conference Committee on Treatment and Accessibilities.
Carrying the message to those with intellectual or information-processing challenges: The committee reviewed a report on the service materials that could be updated to address members with intellectual or information-processing challenges. The committee suggested reaching out to ICYPAA for an archive recording of their workshop on A.A. members and neurodivergence. The committee agreed to forward the report to the 2024 Conference Committee on Treatment and Accessibilities.
A.A. Guidelines for Remote Communities: The committee accepted the report and updated guidelines. The staff secretary is working with Publishing to finalize the guidelines.
Review the pamphlet “Access to All: Members Share on Overcoming Barriers”: The committee asked that a table of contents be added the next time this pamphlet is up for reprint. The staff secretary will forward this request to AAWS Publishing.
Review Remote Communities and Elder Community Resource Lists: The committee reviewed the Remote Communities and Elder Community resource lists and agreed to forward to the 2024 Conference Committee on Treatment and Accessibilities for their review.
Discuss Conference Background to be ready by the November 13th deadline: The committee accepted the verbal report from the co-secretaries that the necessary Conference Background will be ready by the November 13th deadline.
Trustees’ Committee on Corrections
Staff Report: The staff report was approved as submitted. A highlight was the meeting with Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) and the Canadian A.A. corrections trusted servants to reestablish collaboration to better assist in getting A.A. services into all 43 federal facilities. This was the first meeting of its kind and over 50 professionals and A.A. trusted servants were on the call. Shared experience was provided by an A.A. member experienced in corrections service work in Canada for over 20 years and a recovery professional. The professional was able to share with her colleagues the positive impact of having A.A. in her facility.
Trustees’ Finance and Budgetary Committee
Liquidity Update: The chair updated the Committee and let them know that it was expected for the cash flow to be tight this time of year. The background shows three options with pros and cons of both a Reserve Fund withdrawal and of taking no action regarding the Reserve Fund and options for a small, medium, or large withdrawal.
Kevin expressed his perspective on the feedback he’s received from the Fellowship. In the last few forums, the Fellowship has asked why we haven’t done a withdrawal and that they are surprised we are OK with being in arrears with our vendors. They suggested making a withdrawal and explaining the reason why to the Fellowship. The Committee also discussed the intercompany balances.
The Committee had a robust discussion and expressed having the fiduciary responsibility to do what is fiscally responsible for all corporations. They also expressed that it’s important to have a plan with the withdrawal so that we can communicate this to the Fellowship. The consensus is to communicate now with the Fellowship to express the need for more support and then consider a withdrawal of the Reserve Fund in January 2024.
The Committee recommended to the General Service Board to communicate the financial status plan to the Fellowship with the intention to move the discussion of a Reserve Fund withdrawal to January 2024.
GSO Financial Results: The committee reviewed the GSO unaudited financial results for Sept 30, 2023.
For the nine months ended September 30, 2023, revenue from all sources is slightly below budget (97%). Expenses were reforecasted in July 2023 and year-to-date expenses are slightly below that reforecast (98%). Full-year operating surplus before depreciation is reforecasted to be $1.0 million versus $1.7 million included in the original budget. Reserves are just over 7 months of operating expenses versus a target range of 9 to 12 months.
Income Statement Notes
Note that full-year amounts are found on the “Comparative Income Statement” and all references to budget refer to the Reforecast Budget.
Revenue – Contributions, net literature sales and gross margin are slightly below budget. With respect to contributions, individual contributions are ahead of 2022 ($2,335k vs $2,214k). Overall group contributions are down 3.7% ($4,979k vs $5,173k) but the number of groups contributing has increased slightly from 17,273 to 17,303. The increase in gross literature sales is due to two factors: Unit sales of the 10 highest selling books (e.g., hard cover Big Book is a separate book from the soft cover) have increased 8%, from 960 thousand units to 1.04 million units and the price increase that went into effect on April 2, 2023. Revenues are close enough to the original budget that a reforecast was not deemed necessary.
Operating Surplus before Depreciation – This metric is similar to earnings from operations used in non- profit and for-profit settings. It excludes:
- Depreciation – a non-cash expense for long-lived assets previous purchased and ‘capitalized.’
- Support for La Vina (per Advisory Action, the shortfall on publishing La Vina is covered by the General Service Board).
- Volatile financial results such as changes in investments and obligations for pensions and postretirement
The impact is that this measure under the Reforecast is expected to be positive $1.0 million versus an original budget of $1.7 million and 2022 loss of $377k.
Reserve Fund report: As of September 30, 2023, the Reserve Fund Assets total $13.2 million consisting of cash and certificates of deposit. Less the liability for unfulfilled Grapevine subscriptions of $573k, the Reserve Fund Balance is $12.6 million.
Based on the reforecast expense budgets for GSO, Grapevine and La Vina (total $22 million) the Reserve Fund balance is equal to 7.27 months of operating expenses versus
7.67 months as of September 30, 2022. The goal range is coverage of 9 to 12 months. Note that the calculation is influenced equally by (1) the size of the Reserve Fund Balance and (2) the level of GSO, Grapevine and La Vina expenses.
The Committee requested review of the investment policy for the Reserve Fund at a subsequent meeting. It would require an addition of $2,992,033 to rebuild the Reserve Fund to 9 months. The Reserve Fund report was accepted by the committee.
Grapevine financial results: Total circulation of the Grapevine magazine was 63,659. This compared with a budget of 62,008 and 2022 actual of 59,246.
Total income for the year was $813,445 which is $16,321 more than budgeted and $311,433 less than the $1,124,877 achieved in 2022.
Total costs and expenses of the magazine for the year were $1,402,311, which were $66,510 less than budgeted and $4,689 less than the $1,406,999 in 2022.
After adding interest earned, there was a deficit for the period ending September 30, 2023, of
$588,866 compared to a budgeted deficit of $671,697.
The financial statements for the first nine months of 2023 contain a new line item under circulation for the apps. In September 2023 we added 1,119 new app subscribers. Total subscription income for GV equaled $1,239,794.
Notes on Variances
Paid Circulation Average: Up 3.6% over reforecast due to increased circulation efforts in August and September.
ePub: Down 1,236 subs. Discontinued product, with subscribers moving to mobile apps. Subscription Income: Up $41,205 from reforecast due to increase in magazine subs and introduction of mobile app.
Circulation Direct Costs: Down $26,464 from reforecast due to savings on printing, postage and audio recordings of magazine articles.
Content Related Income: Down 42,504 from reforecast, reflecting a continuing weak year for GV and LV book publishing. We hope to increase sales in November and December with free shipping and a 20% discount on all items.
Net Profit on Other Published Items: Also, down $45,834 from reforecast as a consequence of weak book sales. Total Income: Up $16,321 from reforecast, driven by better-than-expected subscription income savings on direct circulation costs, and the early launch of the mobile app.
The Grapevine financial report was accepted by the committee.
La Vina results: For the unaudited results for September 30, 2023, total circulation for La Vina was 4,248 compared to 4,628 budgeted and 6,760 in September 2023. Income from magazine sales was $92,628 compared with a budget of $83,200. After deducting the costs and expenses of $658,265, a shortfall between revenue and expenses of $565,637 resulted for this service activity. This compares with a budgeted shortfall of $566,286 and a shortfall of $435,724 for 2022.
Trustees’ International Committee
AAWS Licensing and translations activity report: The committee accepted the AAWS Interim Translations and Licensing activity report. The committee received with appreciation a verbal report from Legal, Licensing and Intellectual Property Department director regarding the successful completion of the translation of licensing documentation into Spanish.
The committee reviewed cost estimates provided by the Legal, Licensing and Intellectual Property Department to complete the translation into Haitian Creole of the Big Book chapters, 1, 9, 11 and “Dr. Bob’s Nightmare.” The committee requested that a memo be sent to AAWS, seeking the allocation of funds from the International Literature Fund to support the completion of the Haitian Creole Big Book.
The committee also discussed previously developed draft pamphlets of “Is AA for Me?” and “How it Works” in Haitian Creole and asked that the appropriate GSO department proceed in making these pamphlets available. The committee also noted that many of the requests for Haitian Creole literature are requested from those in the U.S./Canada structure for Creole speaking alcoholics.
English Speaking Structures and Local Big Book Stories: The committee discussed a report submitted by GSO’s Legal, Licensing and Intellectual Property Department, which stated that only the first 164 pages of the Big Book are licensed; local stories are treated as “creative work” and therefore are not licensed. The report also states that “It is at the discretion and purview of the country to add stories written by local members in their countries’ languages to the story sections of their translated Big Book.” The committee requested that the international desk send a memo to GSO’s around the world encouraging the addition of local personal recovery stories to the Big Book along with U.S./Canada shared experience on the development of the Fifth Edition of the Big Book.
International Literature Fund and World Service Meeting Fund: The committee reviewed a report on the International Literature Fund and World Service Meeting Fund. The committee received with appreciation an update from the General Manager regarding recent contributions made by REDELA
A.A. structures to the International Literature Fund at the 23rd REDELA. The General Manager also provided an update on a substantial contribution made by the 22nd European Service Meeting and the Great Britain GSO to the World Service Meeting fund. The committee acknowledged the desire expressed by the delegates at the 27th World Service Meeting to be fully informed of the costs of the World Service Meeting and the amount the General Service Board of U.S./Canada contributes to the expenses. The committee requested that the international desk send a memo to the A.A. structures around the world regarding contributions to the World Service Meeting in the spirit of the Seventh Tradition and self-support as well as supporting emerging structures to provide an equal opportunity to attend the World Service Meeting.
Trustees’ International Conventions/Regional Forums Committee
Part ll-Regional Forums
Staff report: The staff report was accepted, noting that in-person regional forums are underway and are going well. Attendance has been lower than expected.
The committee supported the staff secretary’s suggestion that Regional Forums Final Reports be translated into Spanish or French as needed. All other translations will be provided upon request.
It was requested that the staff secretary send a memo from the Trustees’ ICRF Committee to the chair of the General Service Board requesting an opportunity to discuss the subject of simultaneous translation more broadly, with the intention of clarifying practices and policy for documents produced and distributed by the General Service Office.
Discuss Evaluation Questionnaire Summary-West Central Regional Forum: The committee reviewed and discussed the summary of the evaluation questionnaires for the 2023 West Central Regional Forum.
Consider adding additional blackout dates to the bid letter sent to the Area Committee: The committee discussed the list and offered helpful suggestions that included adding Linguistic and Special Events as well as major US/Canada holidays. It was also suggested that we communicate that these are considerations and not blackout dates.
Part lll-International Conventions
Staff report: The committee accepted the staff report as presented. The staff secretary reported that a kick-off meeting with Talley Management and the General Service Office and AA Grapevine office staff is being held to generate excitement for the work that will be required to plan for and execute the 2025 International Convention. It was noted that requests are coming in for hospitality suites and new updates to the FAQs are under development. Finally, web banners with the convention logo are being developed.
2025 International Convention Consultant Q3 update: Gregg Talley, International Convention consultant, provided a comprehensive overview of recent activities in the planning process for the 2025 International Convention. Salient points included:
- International Convention (IC) Budget review and The consultant reported that significant time has been spent reviewing the open questions that could have an impact on the budget and seeking out additional material changes. The production crew made a site visit to Vancouver, BC, Canada to witness a concert set in the round and meet with facility staff. As a result, the issues have been resolved and the consultant is comfortable with the current budget projection around the Big Meetings in the stadium.
- Onboarding the Registration and Housing Company, The consultants have started interfacing with the Showcare team on Registration and Housing, including articulating the business rules around all the processes and policy decisions to present to GSO for input or further dialogue. All proposed changes will be shared with GSO, AAWS and the IC/RF for comment and consensus.
- Insurance policy questions related to event cancellations are still open and will be reported at the January 2024
To facilitate the committee’s discussion on setting the 2025 International Convention registration fees, the committee received a report from the AAWS Finance Committee chair about the budget discussion held at their meeting on October 27, 2023. Salient points included:
- The committee discussed the virtual component for the 2025 International It is necessary for the program to be engaging; and further discussion will take place at the January 2024 meeting about the program component ideas. The committee agreed that a percentage of the registration cost should reflect the cost of the virtual component. It was discussed that this could land somewhere between 40-50% of the in-person registration fee.
- The committee discussed the number of estimated attendees and spoke on border crossing challenges and what number they feel is
The trustees’ IC/RF committee reviewed the 2025 International Convention budget and held a discussion about setting the registration fee for the 2025 International Convention which took into consideration a realistic budget, the committee’s responsibilities relevant to International Conventions, and the spirit of self-support. The committee recommended to the General Service Board that the 2025 International Convention Pre-Registration fee be $155.00 (USO) per attendee and that the Full Registration fee be $180.00 (USO) per attendee.
2025 International Convention Souvenir Book: The committee reviewed and accepted an update on the 2025 International Convention Souvenir Book, from GSO publishing director. Further discussion is also needed by the committee about the option of a souvenir bag and Stadium guidelines (i.e., stadium entrance restrictions), and report back to the committee at a future meeting for additional discussion. One of the committee members, who also serves on the AA Grapevine board, would like to share with the committee about plans regarding the AA Grapevine IC souvenir material at the January 2024 meeting.
Oiscuss Site Selection Guidelines for 2040 International Convention: The committee tabled the discussion of the Site Selection Guidelines for 2040 International Convention to the January 2024 meeting.
Trustees’ Literature Committee
Staff report: The staff report was accepted. The staff secretary also provided an update on The A.A. Service Manual revisions. Currently, the Publishing Department is awaiting suggested revisions from the General Service Board (having received revisions from the AAWS and AA Grapevine boards). It was requested that the staff secretary send a correspondence from AAWS to the GSB Chair requesting that suggested revisions be submitted on or before November 13, 2023, and that revisions submitted after that date cannot be implemented given the fact that we are well past the August 2023 deadline date that was previously communicated.
Preliminary 2024 budget: The committee reviewed the preliminary 2024 budget for the trustees’ Literature Committee and agreed to forward it to the trustees’ Finance and Budgetary Committee.
“A.A. for the Black and African-American Alcoholic”: The committee reviewed the updated draft pamphlet “A.A. for the Black and African-American Alcoholic” (retitled “Black in A.A.: Experience, Strength and Hope”). It was requested that the back page be updated to reflect current information on how to contact A.A. The committee agreed to forward to the 2024 Conference Committee on Literature the draft pamphlet with the requested revision.
“A.A. for the Native North American”: The committee received a progress report on the update of the pamphlet “A.A. for the Native North American” noting that the deadline for story submissions was expanded from October 31, 2023, to December 31, 2023, to allow greater participation. It was also noted that the current working group composition includes four Canadian and six U.S. members. The committee agreed to forward to the 2024 Conference Committee on Literature the progress report.
Fourth Edition, Alcoholicos Anonimos: The committee reviewed a progress report regarding the development of a Fourth Edition Alcoholicos Anonimos. It was shared that additional members will be added to the working group. The committee agreed to forward to the 2024 Conference Committee on Literature the progress report.
Fifth Edition, Alcoholics Anonymous: The committee reviewed a progress report regarding the development of a Fifth Edition of the book Alcoholics Anonymous. It was shared that while the administrative process and procedure has improved, the story review is still moving much slower than anticipated. In order to speed up the process, given the breadth of stories remaining to be reviewed, the committee agreed to: a) drop those readers who have not yet completed their first packet of stories, replace those readers, and return those stories to the pool; and b) increase the number of additional readers to a total of 15 readers, with the option of adding another five readers if warranted. The subcommittee chair will contact the readers who will be replaced, thanking them for their service. Committee members were invited to submit the names of potential readers. Committee members also agreed to accelerate their review of the stories.
The committee agreed to forward to the 2024 Conference Committee on Literature a progress report, understanding that the report will be updated by or before November 15, 2023.
Plain and simple language Alcoholics Anonymous (Fourth Edition): The committee reviewed a progress report regarding the development of a plain and simple language Alcoholics Anonymous (Fourth Edition). The subcommittee is currently making final revisions to the full text, including discussing titles. The subcommittee is also discussing options to allow the full Conference an opportunity to review the full manuscript, considering confidentiality concerns, time constraints, and adherence to the Conference structure and process; the subcommittee chair welcomes all suggestions towards this end. The subcommittee chair will update the committee as plans are developed.
“Do You Think You’re Different?”: The committee reviewed a progress report regarding the update to the pamphlet “Do You Think You’re Different?” A call for stories has been distributed to the Fellowship with a deadline for submissions being April 30, 2024. The working group is discussing additional ways to get the word out, including, but not limited to, regional forums, workshops, and member-member conversations. The committee agreed to forward to the 2024 Conference Committee on Literature a progress report, which will be updated by or before November 15 to reflect the working group’s scheduled meeting on November 13, 2023.
“Twelve Concepts Illustrated” – video animation format: The committee reviewed a progress report on a video animation formatted “Twelve Concepts Illustrated,” including cost estimates submitted by the Publishing Department. The committee agreed to forward to the 2024 Conference Committee on Literature the progress report and cost estimates.
“Too Young?“: The committee reviewed a progress report on the development of an animated version of the pamphlet “Too Young?” submitted by the Publishing Department. The committee agreed to forward to the 2024 Conference Committee on Literature the progress report.
Fellowship input regarding changes to co-founders’ writings: The committee reviewed the draft questions prepared in response to the 2023 Committee Consideration requesting that the trustees’ Literature Committee “seek input from the Fellowship (including, but not limited to Area Delegate feedback) regarding any possible future changes to literature written by A.A’s founders.” The committee will finalize the document and take the next steps for distribution to the Area Delegates.
“Questions and Answers on Sponsorship”: The committee reviewed a progress report and draft mock-up reflecting the suggested revisions to date. It is understood that additional revisions may be submitted; the committee looks forward to an updated report or draft pamphlet being brought to the January 2024 meeting.
Trustees’ Public Information Committee
AAWS YouTube Channel report: The committee discussed the third quarter A.A.W.S. YouTube Channel report. The committee noted an uptick in traffic, particularly coming from India. A committee member reported that this uptick can be attributed to the ongoing conversations they have had with the GSO in India. More U.S. and Canada speakers have been invited to speak at India meetings, resulting in more traffic to aa.org. Notably, hashtags have been added to selected English language videos; content that has been given hashtags has risen in popularity. The committee looks forward to a progress report at the January 2024 meeting.
Google Ads report: The committee reviewed the third quarter Google Ads report. The committee discussed the current status of our participation in the Google for Ads for nonprofits program and noted there is continued lack of clarity on how to be in compliance with Google as it relates to the
A.A.W.S. ads account. It was noted that when Google previously reported that we were out of compliance, it was because of an unenforced policy from 2018. However, our account was reactivated following conversation with Google where we sought to better understand the policy and potential options for participating. The committee continues to seek additional information from Google on qualifying for the program and A.A.W.S.’ account status.
The committee discussed the possible value of a one-time analysis by a consultant on our participation in the Google ads program. Non-A.A. websites often appear first in a search for information about A.A. and in searches for help with a drinking problem. Some non-A.A. websites provide misinformation about A.A. or use the A.A. name for non-A.A. uses. The committee noted the value that Google ads have provided in informing the general public about aa.org and directing people searching for help to our site. The committee requested that the CSD continue its research on this program and looks forward to a progress report in January 2024.
AAWS Meeting Guide App report: It was noted that the Meeting Guide App report was not accessible on OnBoard. The staff secretary will email the report to committee members for their review. There was a discussion of the report on the pilot project for use of Meeting Guide app by Japan GSO, which, it was noted, was also forwarded to the trustees’ International Committee. The committee looks forward to a progress report at the January 2024 meeting.
Quarterly report on GSO’s A.A. Website: The committee reviewed and accepted the GSO 2023 third quarter GSO A.A. Website report. The committee noted appreciation for the new FAQs page as well as recent debugging work with Drupal and Google analytics. The committee looks forward to a progress report in January 2024.
Quarterly report on A.A.W.S. Online Business Profiles: The committee reviewed and accepted the GSO 2023 third quarter AAWS Online Business Profiles report.
Review A.A.W.S. Instagram Account Draft Proposal: The committee reviewed the Instagram proposal. The director of CSD reported that the current draft reflected the suggestions forwarded by the additional committee consideration of the 2023 Conference Committee on Public Information regarding the development of an Instagram account. The committee agreed to forward the revised proposal to the 2024 Conference Committee on Public Information.
AAGV/La Vina Website, Marketing, Podcast and App report: The committee reviewed the third quarter AAGV/La Vina Website, Marketing and Podcast and App reports. The AA Grapevine Executive Editor reported when the app launched, approximately 8,000 subscribers were brought in when their old subscriptions were converted to Grapevine Complete subscription package. There have been approximately 10,000 additional downloads, including 2,500 new users who have subscribed. The committee accepted the AA Grapevine/ La Vina Website, Marketing, Podcast and App reports and looks forward to a progress report in January 2024.
Public Service Announcements (PSAs): The committee resumed its discussion of the relevance and usefulness of audio and video PSAs.
The committee discussed the audio PSA “We Know How You Feel.” The committee requested that the 15 second version be removed from aa.org, noting that the 30 second version is a more effective and accurate tool for carrying the A.A. message.
The committee discussed the audio PSA “All of a Sudden, Everything Got Crazy.” The committee requested that the CSD consider adding updated tag lines.
In a review of video Spanish-language PSA “Tengo Esperanza,” the committee reviewed the analytics report and noted that the data indicates that this PSA is still being watched and is still useful. No action will be taken.
The committee requested that the staff secretary document the committee’s comments as part of the 2023 Report on the Relevance and Usefulness of Video and Audio PSAs and agreed to forward it to the 2024 Conference Committee on Public Information.
Feasibility study on paid placement of PSA videos on streaming platforms: The committee discussed the feasibility study on paid placement of PSA videos on streaming platforms. The committee looks forward to a progress report at the January 2024 meeting.
Progress report on the Mesmerize Point PSA distribution project: The committee discussed the report on Mesmerize Point PSA distribution, and noted with appreciation the potential impact of the project given the number of views that have been reported. The committee noted the suggestion by Mesmerize Point staff to add QR codes to the PSAs; the committee requested that staff from Communication Services Department research on the process for adding QR codes to our PSAs. The committee looks forward to a progress report at the January 2024 meeting.
Membership Survey Pilot using Convenience Samples: The committee reviewed the progress report on the Membership Survey Pilot using Convenience Sampling, which outlined the work completed to-date, including the plan for data gathered using convenience samples collected via the Meeting Guide app and aa.org. There was a discussion about sample size and a question was raised about whether the survey period could be extended if the minimum sample size was not met during the scheduled data collection period. The committee requested that the staff secretary obtain confirmation from our external consultant (Dr. Cooper) that if the sample size is not met within the scheduled data collection period, the data collection period should be extended. The committee looks forward to a progress report at the January 2024 meeting.
Subcommittee on 2024 Comprehensive Media Plan (CMP): The committee accepted the report of the Subcommittee on 2024 CMP. The chair of the subcommittee shared that the draft of the 2024 CMP that was provided as background is near completion, and that the committee should expect a final draft to be circulated via email. The committee agreed to provide any feedback on the final draft via email, so that all changes could be considered and incorporated in order to meet the November 13, 2023 deadline for GSC background. The committee looks forward to a progress report and a revised CMP at the January 2024 meeting.
Public Information pamphlets: The committee discussed the following pamphlets/materials presented for review:
“A.A. at a Glance”: The committee discussed the progress report on “A.A. at a Glance.” The staff secretary shared that a fresh design and updated language had been incorporated into a draft by the Publishing Department. The committee suggested additional edits and asked the staff secretary to share them with the Publishing Department. The committee looks forward to a revised draft or a progress report at the January 2024 meeting.
“A Message to Teenagers”: The committee discussed a progress report on the flyer “A Message to Teenagers.” The staff secretary reported on results of a survey designed to get young people’s feedback. The committee expressed enthusiasm for forwarding the feedback to the Publishing Department so the flier could be revised as quickly as possible. The committee also expressed support for engaging the intended audience for input into the revision and redesign of graphics and text. The committee looks forward to a draft or a progress report at the January 2024 meeting.
“Speaking at Non-A.A. Meetings”: The committee discussed the revised draft of the pamphlet “Speaking at Non-A.A. Meetings.” The committee appreciated the work done to date and offered additional edits to be forwarded to the Publishing Department. The committee looks forward to a revised draft pamphlet or a progress report at the January 2024 meeting.
Addressing anonymity on social media: The committee reviewed a draft survey for collecting shared experience from the Fellowship on anonymity and social media. The committee agreed to email suggested revisions to the survey. The committee looks forward to a progress report at the January 2024 meeting.
Young People’s Video Project: The committee reviewed the progress report on the GSO Young People’s Video Project. The project continues to have an open submissions process. The staff secretary reported on videos that were created at the 2023 lCYPAA convention. The staff secretary reported that two bids had been received for post- production work. The committee asked that the staff secretary work with the appropriate GSO departments to move forward with developing examples to help inform the next phase of the project. The committee looks forward to a progress report at an upcoming interim meeting.
2022 A.A. Membership Survey: The committee reviewed the 2022 A.A. Membership Survey report and looks forward to the launch of the web site and release of the revised pamphlet.
Pl Kit and Workbook: The staff secretary reported that work to update the Pl Workbook is ongoing. The committee looks forward to a progress report at the January 2024 meeting.
Working group on Analytics Reporting: The committee reviewed the Working Group on Analytics report. This year, the Working Group has focused on developing the analytics reporting process. The committee looks forward to a progress report at the January 2024 meeting.
Conference Background to be ready by November 13th deadline: The staff secretary reported that some of the background for the Conference Committee on Pl will not be finalized in time for the November 13 deadline.
A.A. Grapevine, Inc.
The GV Board approved the Sept 2023 YTD ﬁnancial results for Grapevine and La Vina, a draft 2024 high level budget, rolling cash flow forecast and the 990 Tax return.
La Vina App
*Net incomes are an estimate based in gross less 15%
- Fun Fact: The AA Grapevine App currently sits at number 32 on the Apple Top 200 Newspaper and Magazine App
- We are receiving request to facilitate a gift certiﬁcate for the apps, it is on the Stay tuned for the released date.
- The oﬃce has been working with the developers on ﬁxes
- To improve yearly sales and cash ﬂow, the yearly “free shipping” oﬀer in November and December will be combined with a 20% oﬀ all orders oﬀer.
- The oﬃce is actively searching for a new We are using the services of Your Part Time Controller for the moment.
- The Grapevine and La Vina apps officially launched on Friday, September 1, Members can download the apps for free from the Apple App Store for iPhone, or from Google Play for Android. Subscriptions are required to access the magazine and archives. Digital subscriptions, which include the app and the website are priced at $2.99 per month, or $29.99 per year. New digital users need to subscribe to get the monthly magazine, archives and other content. Existing digital subscribers can log to the app using their current username and password.
- Podcast: Over 577,000
- Instagram: Grapevine 10,900 followers, La Vina 1,413
- YouTube: 11,900 subscribers, 109 videos with 163,456
- Early work on special June 2024 GV issue-Grapevine’s 80thAnniversary!!!
Opportunities to learn about service
November 18, 2023 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
USS Iowa Battleship, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro, CA, United States
Delegate’s Bulletin Board
- PRAASA 2024 website (https://www.praasa.org/) with is open for registration and hotel reservation in San Fransico, March 1-3, 2024 San Francisco Marriott Marquis, 780 Mission St., San Francisco, CA. Caution, if you intend to drive parking at the Marriott is limited and expensive ($100/day) but there is a parking lot within a block of the hotel that is $10/day.
Honored to be of Service!
Mitchell B., MSCA 09 Panel 72 delegate
Cell: (949) 278-8263