Active Group Conscience Decisions

The following group conscience decisions have been made and are currently being followed by the trusted servants of
BDA Help for Debtors (registered group # 7720):

September 2020

  • If we receive contributions for a specific fund or purpose, i.e. literature or public information, we consider those earmarked funds and welcome them. However, if we ever have a real need to transfer those dollars to another fund, we can go back to the group or member that contributed them and ask their permission to use their contribution for a different purpose. We will not "repurpose" earmarked funds without permission of the contributor.

  • Beginning with the September inventory, approved literature reports will be posted to our Literature Coordinator page for review and consideration by BDA groups and members. 

  • The newsletter monthly editorial calendar has been approved unanimously, including request for approval by email 10 days before the current month’s service meeting, i.e. October for October, and distribution before the meeting (3 days later) along with an invitation to join us. The editorial calendar has been posted to our Newsletter Coordinator page. (NOTE: We missed several months on our 2021 publication schedule. At our July service meeting, we decided together to skip the missing issues of our newsletter and to begin moving forward again with our August 2021 issue.)

  • We record all of our monthly service meetings, audio only, to support having the most accurate meeting minutes possible. Both files — audio recording and minutes — will be maintained in our archives, but only the minutes will be posted on the Service Meeting Minutes page. 

  • We consolidated our efforts with those of "Let's Grow DA" (registered group # 13017), building on their several years of service to the DA and BDA fellowship. We continue to be a significant source of public information resources and activity, including hosting the Public Information Workshop Recordings created during the three-year history of "Let's Grow DA," along with their Outreach Brochures. Please visit the linked pages in the previous sentence for details.

 

October 2020

  • Only short-term decisions — approval of minutes, treasury report, literature report, and literature order PLUS our goals and spending plan for 2021 — were made at this service meeting. Our spending plan and other financial reports can be found on our Treasury Plans and Reports page.

November 2020

  • As a reminder: As long as there are available dollars in the Literature Fund, the Literature  Coordinator does not need to ask for additional approval to place literature orders or to receive additional pre‐imbursements for supplies and postage. Requests for spending beyond the balance in the Literature Fund must be brought to a monthly service meeting for review and approval.

December 2020

  • All pages, words, and elements on our website at helpfordebtors.org have now been approved.  Changes and additions will be approved at future service meetings.

  • We agreed to move forward with an $18,000 radio media outreach project agreement with a professional media service, who will produce and distribute both a 60-second audio news release (ANR) and a 30-second audio public service announcement (PSA) focused specifically on attraction and awareness for debtors who are self-employed and / or own businesses, including sole proprietors, artists, and independent contractors. Please visit Radio Media Outreach Resources and Radio Outreach Project Reports for more information. 

  • We recommitted to our participation in the BDA Intergroup — now known as BDA Help for Debtors (registered group # 7720) — and will continue to serve all DA and BDA newcomers, members, and groups, plus still-suffering debtors through outreach. We are practicing the 12 Steps, especially the 12th Step, 12 Traditions, and 12 Concepts of the DA and BDA program to the best of our ability. We provide this service in order to maintain our own solvency — no new unsecured debt, one day at a time, no matter what — and our continuing spiritual growth as recovering compulsive debtors and business owners.

January 2021

  • We agreed to move our monthly service meetings from conference call to video conference beginning in February 2021. We will continue to record our service meetings, audio only.

  • We created our free DA and BDA conference-approved literature request form on our Free Literature page, putting the form and our new literature fulfillment process into service immediately.

  • As a reminder: Our spending plan does not include duplication of literature items — i.e., a book in both physical and digital formats or some paper pamphlets and the digital pamphlet collection — although we will fill second requests that are made at least three months after the first request.

  • As a reminder: We can provide eBooks if requested instead of physical literature but, unfortunately, only in the US and Canada, until DA extends its copyrights to other countries and continents.

  • As a reminder: Our spending plan will support shipping of physical literature anywhere in the world with a maximum shipping cost per request of $35. That amount is the same as what it costs us to purchase and receive the seven pieces — two conference-approved books and five pamphlets — from the GSO, bringing our total maximum cost per member or newcomer to $70.

  • Although we had been shipping literature via media mail, the delays at year-end were unacceptable. We will begin mailing literature first class effective immediately, which is better for both literature recipients and for our Literature Coordinator.

  • Our recovery event calendar for 2021 was approved unanimously.

  • Our revised 2021 income and spending plan, including prudent reserve and contingency at 10% each, was approved unanimously at $48,000 in income and approximately $38,400 in spending.

February 2021

  • We unanimously elected an Alternate Treasurer, who will open our new checking account and serve as our second signer. Our BDA Intergroup — now known as BDA Help for Debtors (registered group # 7720) — leader is still responsible for our treasury, including all related activities and reporting. 

March 2021

  • Only short-term decisions — approval of minutes, treasury report, and literature report PLUS preparation of a participant survey for our first-ever DA and BDA Visioning Conference — were made at this service meeting.

 

 

April 2021

  • Only short-term decisions — approval of minutes, treasury report, and literature report PLUS addition of a second DA and BDA Visioning Conference beginning on July 4th — were made at this service meeting.

May 2021

  • We are moving forward with both the Summer Visioning Conference (every Sunday in July and August) and the BDA Business Planning Conference (every Sunday, except Halloween, in September, October, and November). In both cases, we will record the orientations but no other workshops in the conference series. Please see BDA Online Events for upcoming recovery event offerings to be hosted by the BDA Intergroup — now known as BDA Help for Debtors (registered group # 7720).

June 2021 (we met offline informally)

  • We agreed to move forward with a second $8,000 radio media outreach project agreement with the same professional media service. Having already produced our 30-second audio public service announcement (PSA), they will again distribute this PSA to 1,000 US radio stations. This second PSA distribution contract will cost 20% less, since the production has already been done and there will be significant overlap, redistributing to 876 radio stations that didn't pick up our PSA the first time but may pick it up the second time PLUS 124 new radio stations to replace the 124 stations that have already played (or are currently playing) our PSA. The next PSA distribution will occur on the first Monday in October, followed by six more months of follow-up reporting. Our vision is to perform PSA distribution to radio stations twice each year through 2023, longer if possible. (We will not be repeating the Audio News Release distribution, although we still have the 60-second recording.)

  • We began to answer the question "who is a BDA Help for Debtors (registered group # 7720) member?" Here's what we have so far:

"We suggest that new participants read our agreed decision‐making process on page 5 of our agenda. We do not read this process together during our service meetings (anymore). Nor do we invite visitors to our service meetings to introduce new topics or to participate in decision-making during their first two service meetings, although they may participate in our discussions."

Our emphasis here is on the Traditions, specifically, for now: unity and common welfare; the integrity of our informed group conscience (yay, God!); actual membership and commitment, not random drop-ins; our autonomy to follow our God-given service path; freedom to carry our service group's message — "Solvency first, Steps second, everything else third or later;" and, of course, the practice of principles before personalities. (We have reasons related to the other six Traditions, too, but don't want to annoy or bore you.)

  • We set our distribution plan for proceeds from both our upcoming conference events at 70% to the Public Information Fund, 20% to the Literature Fund, and 10% to the General Fund.

July 2021

  • Only short-term decisions — approval of minutes, treasury report, and literature report PLUS follow-up on our second-ever DA and BDA Visioning Conference and second PSA distribution agreement — were made at this service meeting.

  • We had both a zoom bomber and an email bully, both BDA members, harassing us this month. We
    agreed not to overreact to either of these situations. We believe we are on the right track with the
    development of a definition for “Who is a voting member of our group?,” along with our service
    position qualifications, protocols for filling positions, and stability in service roles. Let’s pray  for our peeps who are still suffering in our rooms, possibly solvent, or not, but definitely not recovering.

August 2021

  • We celebrate our first of hopefully many years of service to our DA fellowship and BDA community and successfully registered ourselves as a service group: BDA Help for Debtors (registered group # 7720). We’ve also got our newsletter going again!

  • As follow-up to the zoom bomber in July, all service coordinators will be made co‐hosts in zoom at the beginning of each zoom meeting, so that no one person is responsible for managing disruptive meeting attendees. 

 

  • As follow-up to both the zoom bomber and the email bully in July, we have agreed to a zero‐tolerance policy for harassing, abusive, and / or slandering behaviors. Anyone who acts out in this way will be immediately removed from future service meetings without discussion.

  • We reconfirmed that only solvent BDA members holding a service position, as either service leader or service coordinator, will have a vote during our service meeting decision‐making processes. But everyone present may participate in discussion.

  • We set qualifications for our coordinator positions: 

 

Before they volunteer for a coordinator position, we ask our BDA fellows to have: at least 90 days solvency; taken at least the first five Steps in DA or BDA; a DA or BDA sponsor; reviewed our website as thoroughly as possible, perhaps beginning with our Sitemap and Spiritual Ground Rules; and attended at least two of our monthly service meetings. 

  • We set expectations for service meeting attendance: 

Two consecutive absences from monthly service meetings or two months with no action taken in service will be considered a resignation. 
 

  • We will attempt to fill all coordinator positions for one year in October of each year. This will allow for two months of transition. This also means that coordinator positions filled in any other months will still end in December of the new year. 
     

  • Due to the ongoing success of our two primary recovery events, we have agreed to “soft schedule” a repeating schedule of DA and BDA Visioning Conferences and BDA Business Planning Conferences twice each, each year, in 2022 and 2023.

  • Due to our success attracting radio stations to play our BDA PSA so far, we have agreed to “soft schedule” a repeating performance of the same PSA distribution project — this or something better — twice each year in 2022 and 2023.

September 2021

  • We defined the position details for our service leader, working to support the efforts of everyone involved with BDA Help for Debtors (registered group # 7720). The details for this position include:

Position description: Creation of monthly service meeting agendas, minutes, and treasury reports; facilitation of service meetings; and support to all service coordinators and volunteers when requested. (In addition, our service leader has a vote during decision making, just like the coordinators, and may fulfill service coordinator duties as well.) 

Qualifications: Before they volunteer for our service leader position, we ask our BDA fellows to have: at least two years of solvency; taken all twelve Steps in DA or BDA; a DA or BDA sponsor; and has completed at least one year in service in one of our service coordinator positions.

Service term and term limits: We will elect our service leader for one two-year term. If no one is ready to be elected to replace the service leader at the end of the term, the service leader’s term can be extended for one additional year, for a total of three years, but will not be eligible for re-election for more than one two-year term.

Attendance expectations (same as for coordinators): Two consecutive absences from monthly service meetings or two months with no action taken in service will be considered a resignation.

  • We have created the position of Social Media Coordinator. Details will follow and position description will be developed and posted as the position comes into focus.

October 2021

  • We discussed and decided on our elections process:

We will invite volunteers, first collectively and then individually, rather than receiving
nominations.


Except for the events coordinators, we do not welcome co‐coordinators, but we do welcome
coordinators to gather a team of volunteers. (Volunteers are welcome to attend service
meetings and to participate in discussion but would not have a vote, including the right to
object to decisions.)


We will then ask whether the volunteer meets our qualifications. If no, we will ask them to wait
until they do. If yes, we will ask them what their service and recovery interests are and what
they want to bring to BDA Help for Debtors and to their desired service position.

 

Current trusted servants and the new volunteer will then be welcomed to ask questions of each other.


Once the discussion is complete — usually 5 minutes or so per volunteer — our service leader
will ask for objections to inviting the new volunteer into service. If there are objections, we will
work together to resolve them. If there are no objections, we will do the happy dance with our
new trusted servant.

November 2021

  • We approved our 2022 service action plan, which will be published on page 2 of our January 2022 newsletter, and our 2022 income and spending plan. Both can be found at the bottom of the page at Treasury Plans and Reports.


Additional group conscience decisions will be added as they are made.