In August a letter addressing some Intergroup issues was sent from the Intergroup Advisory Committee to all Groups for which Intergroup had a mailing address. The text of that letter is copied below.
Here’s a link to a PDF version for downloading: Letter to Groups.
To All Groups in Central Oregon
There have been lots of stories circulating over the last several months about the status of Intergroup and of the Central Office; many of them not factually accurate. This is sent to the groups and the fellowship in Central Oregon by the Advisory Board in order to share the facts of the recent past and let everyone know where we are now. As with many organizations in the current economy, COIGAA has made significant budget cuts over the last six months. We believe that essential services have not been impaired yet.
These services include the centralized purchase of books and other literature for the groups, the Conscious Contact newsletter, entertainment events, maintenance of the COIGAA webpage and providing a solid daytime anchor for the hotline. Many of these “behind the scenes” functions are not obvious to newcomers or members not in service, but they provide a real cohesion and flow to events beyond the individual groups. Many of the jobs COIGAA performs are of a type that may not be appreciated until they are missed.
The Central Office was, for many years, in a freestanding building on 11th Street in Redmond, and was open during standard business hours. COIGAA was fortunate to have one dedicated individual who ran the office for 12 years. Unfortunately, this happy state of affairs was interrupted in March when the lease was terminated with one month’s notice.
Given the very short time available to move, the office manager took it upon himself to find another location, for which he signed up by himself. What he did not consider was that the office had been running a consistent monthly loss and eating into the prudent reserve for at least six months at that point. The base rent for the new location was $150 per month higher than the old building, and there were going to be increased monthly expenses.
When the Advisory Board met to consider this situation, it was decided to continue looking immediately for a more affordable location. This was found fairly quickly in the new office at the Alano Club building, where the rent is $50 per month less than the old building and monthly expenses are fixed at a number much lower than the office paid historically. Unfortunately, the office manager did not find this new space suitable, and chose to resign on short notice.
This gave the Advisory Board some flexibility on hours and wages. The office is now open 9:00am to 1:00pm six days a week, and this seems to be working well. Payroll expenses have also been trimmed considerably, so the new office configuration has resulted in significant monthly savings.
Unfortunately, these expense cuts, even with combined with some fee increases and decreases in other services have not been enough to keep the budget in the black. In looking at the income statements, COIGAA’s problem is glaringly obvious – contributions are way down, even from last years’ levels. This fiscal situation is becoming increasingly unsustainable, and we are running out of budget squeezes. Unless Intergroup is able to raise some significant funds in the near future, more services will disappear.
The Central Office itself is in jeopardy, and once it is gone there is no guarantee it will ever come back. Please raise this issue in your next business meeting and see what your group can do to help Intergroup through this difficult time.