By: Glen H.
Saturday Night Alive
NA’s policy clearly states: “We decline outside contributions.”
Our fellowship is completely self-supporting. We accept no funding, endowments, loans and or gifts. Everything has its price regardless of intent. Whether the price is money, promises, concessions, special recognition, endorsements or favors. It is too high for us. Even if those who would help us could guarantee no strings, we still would not accept their aid. (Narcotics Anonymous Basic Text page 68) It is in this respect that we ask non-members not to donate.”
So, what’s the Basket For? At some point, during most meetings, a 7th tradition basket goes around and funds are collected. First, the money going in the basket pays to pay rent for the meeting. Anything that is left over will go to buy literature and supplies and the remainder goes down the service structure to support Areas, Regions, and the world. All of this is helps carry the message to the still suffering addict.
Another key part of the Seventh Tradition is that we decline all outside contributions. This limits the possibility of NA being influenced by outside forces or people. Many places would like to give us free meeting rooms. We must insist on paying rent. Our groups remain autonomous. We also must refuse donations of money, materials, and services from outside our Fellowship. If we accepted these funds, it could make us feel obligated. Our sense of obligation may affect our actions and decisions as groups.
A related issue would be fund-raising.
I found this useful information in NA Bulletin 21: The following general concepts have arisen from the experience of our fellowship, and we present them here as starting points for your consideration: 1. Fundraising activities at an NA meeting are not usually appropriate because they may detract from our primary purpose and can present an inaccurate impression of the NA message, especially in the eyes of the newcomer or the non-addict visitor. 2. In order to follow the guidance of our traditions, a fundraising event should be planned and held by and for Narcotics Anonymous members. 3. In order to conform to the ideals of the Seventh Tradition, donations from nonmembers should not be accepted. 4. Since there are often times when we sponsor activities where there is a fixed charge for full participation, the term “donation” should not be associated with these types of fees. In this way, we are not confusing contributions with assessed charges for activities. 5. It must be determined whether the local NA community is willing and large enough to support the event. 6. All aspects of the fundraising event should be consistent with our goal of encouraging recovery from addiction. We should avoid hosting events that might encourage gambling, appear to offer “something for nothing,” or award prizes that are either not recovery-oriented or that otherwise may be seen as inappropriate. For example, a raffle prize such as a car or a television might make someone’s living circumstances more comfortable, but at the same time may not be directly related to his or her recovery, whereas a prize of NA literature or tickets to an NA workshop or convention would be recovery-oriented. It should also be noted that, in many USA states and in some other countries, raffles are illegal. It may also be helpful to consider whether raffles—and especially cash raffles or lotteries—appeal more to the spirit of self-interest than the spirit of voluntary support implicit in our Seventh Tradition.
NA bulletins should not be considered directives or mandates from NAWS, and may be adapted or applied as the user sees fit.