Group Treasury Made Simple

At one year sober, a grateful member, Debbie, was elected as the group treasurer. Humbled to be trusted, she aimed to do a great job. She knew the potential consequences and what was at stake.

Debbie inquired, “What do I need to do? Does the group have a bank account?”

Karen, happy to find someone willing to be the treasurer, replied, “Yes, the bank requires an individual responsible for the account, and that’s you!”

A lengthy pause stirred doubts in Debbie, who asked, “Using my social security number?”

Karen’s reply was unexpected, “Yes, it’s always been done that way. Go to the bank with Matt, our outgoing treasurer, and he will authorize the bank to replace his tax id with yours.”

Though concerned, Debbie recalled her sponsor’s advice, “I suggest you get a service commitment, and try not to say no.” She knew the importance of following those who came before her. Thus, the question remained unspoken, “What does this mean for me personally?”

Karen concluded, “Don’t worry, this is how all the other groups handle it, and we’ve never encountered any issues.”

The names used in this story are fictional, but when I became the treasurer for my homegroup, I encountered a similar situation. Seeking clarity, I reached out to other groups and the local office, only to discover that this was indeed the standard practice. Despite my apprehension, I fulfilled my duties as treasurer without any issues.

However, my sense of uncertainty and vulnerability persisted. I believed that other treasurers must feel the same way, and my journey to find a better solution began. After I rotated out of my group treasurer commitment, I found myself progressively elected to various positions within GSO. These trusted positions took me across the United States, attending assemblies and regional forums.

It was during the 2016 Regional Forum in Hawaii that I encountered a group of individuals who shared the same concerns but lacked definitive answers. Despite participating in numerous forums and assemblies and engaging with countless program members, I found that none of them knew of a solution.   Continued…

  “  10 years
as a trusted GSO servant, I traveled across the country. The treasurers I spoke to worried about their personal tax exposure. I am blessed to provide a solution that transforms the treasurers service commitment into one that’s protected and user-friendly.”
Aaron B. – HGOL Designer

Finding an answer proved challenging. I proposed to my homegroup that we brainstorm ideas, and our members agreed. We didn’t deal with a lot of money, but enough to require banking. The challenge was to safeguard our treasurers—how could they oversee group finances without personal exposure? No way around it, an individual or entity is required for banking. We didn’t want to expose a member’s tax ID at every rotation. We also considered that using their tax ID wasn’t exactly self-supporting. Our group concluded that an organizational entity was the solution. For our group, a perpetual entity would be better than rotating tax ID’s.

Once our treasurers’ tax info was safe, our group discussed ideas on how to collect electronically, disburse payments, and easily rotate treasurers. I was managing our group’s website, and I recognized the potential of integrating an ecommerce feature to facilitate these tasks. The group name, along with the website and its ecommerce feature could be organized into the entity we wanted. The happy outcome would be an easy way to collect and distribute 7th tradition contributions. Transitioning to the next treasurer would be a simple password reset. The origin of Homegroup.Online arrived!

The response from my homegroup was overwhelmingly positive. Members could now contribute through various electronic platforms like Zelle, Venmo, and credit/debit cards, while present and future treasurers could manage finances without exposing their tax IDs.

While developing the website, I recognized its potential to scale up and accommodate multiple groups. The pivotal moment arrived when I presented this to my homegroup, resulting in a unanimous vote. With this endorsement, Homegroup.Online and its development were launched in 2018 as a Central Office, poised to serve groups and treasurers nationwide.

Every program member has a unique story. Throughout my journey, I’ve witnessed countless miracles and observed small seeds blossom into sprawling forests. As I reflect on my journey, tears of joy fill my eyes, for my narrative now includes conversations with treasurers from across the country—individuals who serve members globally. They express profound gratitude for Homegroup.Online, relieved of worries and empowered to dedicate more time to serving newcomers.

Looking ahead, Homegroup.Online is committed to offering additional services beyond safeguarding treasurers. This marks just the initial stride. Plans are underway to provide resources directly to groups, positioning Homegroup.Online as a central hub for organizational activities. Moreover, Homegroup.Online is transitioning into a non-profit entity. Originally conceived to serve a single group, it was initially structured as an LLC. Homegroup.Online is on track to complete its transformation into a non-profit organization by the end of 2024.

How do we do it?