Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How many A.A. Inter-Groups are there?

Currently there are approximately 757 Inter-Groups or Central Offices registered with A.A.’s General Service Office; 514 are located in the United States and Canada.

When was New York Inter-Group founded?

June, 1946.

Who started New York Inter-Group?

Twenty three of the groups that were in existence in 1946 founded New York Inter-Group. The founding groups were from: Brooklyn, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County, The Bronx and Westchester County.

Is New York Inter-Group incorporated?

Yes, New York Inter-Group is incorporated pursuant to the Membership Corporation Laws of the state of New York.

How can I find out more about New York Inter-Group’s service structure?

New York Inter-Group’s service structure is explained in its by-laws, which are operating guidelines required by the laws of the state of New York for incorporated not-for-profit organizations. The detailed by-laws were last revised in 1995 and last amended in 1997. Group delegates at a quarterly meeting must approve revisions and amendments to Inter-Group’s by-laws. Copies of Inter-Group’s by-laws are available at the quarterly delegates meeting and in the Inter-Group office.

The by-laws may be amended at any time by a two-thirds vote of the delegates present at any regular meeting of the delegates, provided a copy of the proposed amendment was submitted to each Inter-Group Delegate and Alternate Inter-Group Delegate at least thirty days before the meeting considering action on the proposed amendment.

What’s an Area Forum?

Area Forums, meetings of group Inter-Group Delegates and other members sponsored by New York Inter-Group are held regularly in each New York City Borough and Westchester County. Area Representatives serving on Inter-Group’s Steering Committee preside at the meetings usually held bi-monthly. The Forums provide opportunity for group representatives to remain informed about Inter-Group activities in between the more formal quarterly Delegates’ meetings. They also provide a means by which Area Representatives can keep informed about group concerns as they relate to Inter-Group. Area Representatives inform Inter-Group about Area concerns at monthly Steering Committee meetings.

What service opportunities are available at New York Inter-Group?

Answering Inter-Group’s phones in the office or via call-forwarding at home, Chairing meetings in institutions (rehabs, detoxes, shelters or prisons), speaking about alcoholism and the A.A. program to non-A.A. groups (Public Information), packing A.A. literature for distribution at institutional meetings and serving on the Steering Committee.

There is a frequent need for assistance in preparing mailings to groups. Service opportunities are also available on the annual Bill W. Dinner Committee and the annual Corrections & Treatment Facilities Committee Literature Fund Dinner/Dance Committee.

How do I become a New York Inter-Group office phone or call-forwarding volunteer?

Please call (212) 647-1680 or stop by the office between 10:00am and 9:00pm for an Orientation if you would like to answer phone calls. No appointment is necessary during these hours. An orientation takes approximately 30 minutes.

Members who want to answer Inter-Group’s phones in their homes via call-forwarding are also required to receive an orientation. New York Inter-Group also has many Volunteer positions available with no sobriety time requirement such as: stuffing envelopes, updating the website, inventory count, filing, archiving, etc.

Are there any requirements for becoming a New York Inter-Group office phone or call-forwarding volunteer?

One year of continuous sobriety is required to answer New York Inter-Group’s telephones.

How much of a commitment do I have to make to answer Inter-Group’s phones?

There is no commitment required. After orientation members wishing to answer phones in the Inter-Group office have the opportunity to sign-up for phone answering shift(s). There are three daily phone-answering shifts in the office: 9:00am to 1:30pm, 1:30pm to 6:00pm and 6:00pm to 10:00pm.

Call-forwarding shifts are from 10:00pm to 2:00am, seven days a week. A cell-phone may be used to receive calls at your home; so long as the area code is within the United States (Including Alaska and Hawaii).

The scheduling of call-forwarding shifts is different from scheduling office phone service. Nevertheless, there is no commitment requirement. Call-forwarding shifts are scheduled by other call-forwarding volunteers, called Captains. There is a call-forwarding Captain for each 10:00pm to 2:00am shift each night of the week. Captains schedule call-forwarding volunteers for service, monthly, in advance.

Why doesn’t New York Inter-Group have a 24-hour phone answering service?

Inter-Group will have a 24-hour phone answering service when there are enough A.A. member volunteers to perform the service.

How can I become involved in carrying the A.A. message to detoxes, rehabs, shelters and prisons?

Attend a monthly Inter-Group Corrections & Treatment Facilities Committee meeting in your Borough/Area. The following is a schedule of the local monthly Corrections & Treatment Facilities Committee meetings:

What does it mean for a group to “adopt” an institutional A.A. meeting?

When an A.A. group “adopts” an institutional meeting the group assumes responsibility for taking the meeting to the detox, rehab, outpatient program or shelter. Usually through a “Group Corrections & Treatment Facilities Representative”, group members carry the A.A. message to those in the institution who may be still- suffering alcoholics. Attend a monthly Corrections & Treatment Facilities Committee meeting in your Borough/Area to learn more about group adoption of institutional meetings and for a list of institutional meetings available for adoption.

What is the Bill W. Dinner?

The Bill W. Dinner is an annual celebration of the sobriety anniversary of A.A. co-founder, Bill W. Proceeds of the event benefit New York Inter-Group. The Dinner was started by several of Bill’s friends who were accustomed to celebrating Bill’s anniversary by taking him to dinner. Hearing that the newly formed New York Inter-Group needed financial support, Bill’s friends suggested an annual dinner in his honor to benefit New York Inter-Group. Bill agreed and spoke at the dinner every year until illness prevented his participation. Bill’s wife, Lois, also participated in the event annually until her death in 1988. For more information, contact New York Inter-Group at (212) 647-1680.

How can I become involved in service with New York Inter-Group’s Bill W. Dinner Committee?

Contact New York Inter-Group at (212) 647-1680 and ask for a member of the staff. The staff member will give your name and phone number to the Chair of the Bill W. Dinner Committee.

Who chooses the Chair of the Bill W. Dinner?

Responsibility for Chairing the Bill W. Dinner rotates annually among the five New York City Boroughs and Westchester County. Each year, usually in December, the Area Forum responsible for the Dinner in the following year nominates a candidate to Chair. Nominations must be ratified by the Steering Committee and by Inter-Group Delegates (group representatives) at a quarterly meeting.

What is the process for choosing Bill W. Dinner speakers?

Any A.A. member can nominate a speaker for the Bill W. Dinner. Members of the Speaker Selection Committee will schedule meetings at which they will hear each candidate speak. The Committee will then vote for their choice of three speakers. The Speaker Selection Committee’s choices are subject to ratification by New York Inter-Group’s Steering Committee and by group representatives at the September Quarterly Delegates meeting.

Nominees must be a member of an A.A. group located in one of the five New York City Boroughs or in Westchester County. The closing date for nominating a speaker for the 2016 Bill W. Dinner is May 30th, 2016. Mail or fax (212-647-1648) nominations to the New York Inter-Group office.

What events take place on the evening of the Bill W. Dinner besides dinner?

Dinner is served promptly at 7:00pm. A three-speaker Open meeting starts at 8:30pm; ending at 10:00pm. At 10:30pm, there is a showing of several videos, including “Bill’s Own Story.” Dancing starts at 10:00pm; and ends at 2:00am. There are two separate rooms for dancing; one has a live orchestra and the other a DJ.

Are there any free events on the afternoon of the Bill W. Dinner?

On the afternoon of the Bill W. Dinner there is an Old Timers meeting starting at 1:00 PM, ending at 3:00pm. There will also be a showing of several videos, including “Bill’s Own Story” starting at 3:30pm. No tickets are necessary for the afternoon events. The events are free. A Seventh Tradition collection will be taken.

If I serve on the Bill W. Dinner Hospitality Committee, will I receive a free Dinner ticket?

No volunteer or Steering Committee Member receives a free Bill W. Dinner ticket for performing A.A. service. However we really appreciate all who do service to make this event happen.

Can I pay to attend the dance only without paying the full $125 Bill W. Dinner ticket cost?

No, we rent from the hotel only enough space for a specific number of people based on dinner ticket sales. New York City Fire Department laws limit occupancy of the space provided for dancing.

Is there a dress code for the Bill W. Dinner?

There is no dress code for the Bill W. Dinner. Our experience is that most people wear semi-formal to formal evening clothes.

Can I buy Bill W. Dinner tickets at the door?

No. Our contract with the hotel requires that we provide their Catering Department guaranteed quantities of dinners to be served beginning three days prior to the event date.

Can I buy tickets on the day of the Bill W. Dinner?

If available, there will be tickets sold on the day of the event in the Bill W. Dinner Committee room at the Hilton Hotel until 3:00pm. Additional information will be available by phoning the New York Inter-Group office on the day of the Dinner at 212-647-1680.

What’s the cost of tickets for the Corrections & Treatment Facilities Committee Literature Fund Dinner/Dance?

Tickets are $85 each.

How do I go about buying tickets to the Corrections & Treatment Facilities Committee Literature Fund Dinner?

Tickets can be purchased at the Inter-Group office weekdays between 9:00am and 6:00pm or by mail by sending your check to the Inter-Group office. Make checks payable to New York Inter-Group and include name, address (with apartment number), and zip code and telephone number. The ticket(s) and a receipt will be mailed to you. Contact Committee@NYIntergroup.orgfor more information.

Can I buy tickets to the Literature Fund Dinner/Dance at the door?

No. Our contract with the restaurant requires that we provide an attendance quantity guarantee several days prior to the event.

How can I become involved in service with the Corrections & Treatment Facilities Committee Literature Fund Dinner/Dance?

Phone an Inter-Group staff member to inform of your interest. The staff member will give your name and phone number to the Chair of the Literature Fund Dinner/Dance Committee. You can also email CTFC@NYIntergroup.org.

What is Inter-Group’s Corrections & Treatment Facilities Committee Literature Fund?

The Corrections & Treatment Facilities Committee Literature Fund is made up of contributions received from groups and individual members designated by the donors to pay for A.A. pamphlets and New York area Meeting Books, to be distributed by the Corrections & Treatment Facilities Committee at institutional meetings. The net proceeds of the annual Literature Fund Dinner/Dance are also put into this fund.

Can groups and members contribute to the Corrections & Treatment Facilities Committee Literature Fund directly?

Yes, make your check payable to New York Inter-Group and indicate in the reference section on the check or money order that the contribution is for the CTFC Literature Fund. Mail the check or money order to the New York Inter-Group office.

What’s The Big Meeting?

Annually in June, New York Inter-Group sponsors a three-speaker open meeting honoring the founding date (June 10th, 1935) of Alcoholics Anonymous. The event is free; no tickets are required. The 2016 Big Meeting will be held at the New York Hilton (in the Grand Ballroom) on Sunday, June 19th from 1:00 PM -3:00 PM. For information, please contact New York Inter-Group at (212) 647-1680 or (914) 949-1200 or email Committee@NYIntergroup.org for more information. New York Inter-Group sponsored its first Big Meeting in 1989.

How are The Big Meeting speakers chosen?

Any A.A. member can nominate a speaker for the Big Meeting. Members of the Speakers’ Committee will schedule meetings at which they will hear each candidate speak. The Committee will then vote for their choice of three speakers. The Speaker Committee’s choices are subject to ratification by New York Inter-Group’s Steering Committee and by group representatives at the June Quarterly Delegates meeting.

Nominees must be a member of an A.A. group located in one of the five New York City Boroughs or in Westchester County. The closing date for nominating a speaker for the 2016 Big Meeting is April 1, 2016. Mail or fax (212-647-1648) nominations to the New York Inter-Group office.

How is the Chair of The Big Meeting chosen?

Responsibility for chairing The Big Meeting rotates among members of groups in New York City’s five boroughs and Westchester County. Annually, usually in December, the responsible Area Forum nominates a candidate to Chair the event. Selection of a Big Meeting Chair is subject to ratification by the Steering Committee and by the membership at a Quarterly Inter-Group Delegates meeting.

How do I go about serving on New York Inter-Group’s Public Information Committee to speak to non-A.A. groups (schools and senior citizen centers)?

Download a Public Information Volunteer Questionnaire from the NYIG website, complete the form, and mail to the New York Inter-Group office. If you do not have access to the form, phone the Inter-Group office and request that a form be mailed to you. Local Public Information Committee chairpersons assign Public Information speaking commitments to schools and senior citizen centers. There is a Public Information Committee chairperson in each New York City Borough and in Westchester County. EmailPublicInformation@NYIntergroup.org for more information.

What are New York Inter-Group’s office hours?

The Inter-Group office is open 365 days a year from 9:00am to 10:00pm.

What are the hours during which I can buy A.A. Conference approved literature at the New York Inter-Group office?

Inter-Group’s Literature Room is open weekdays from 9:00 AM to 6:30 PM and on Saturdays from 10:00am to 4:00pm. There are no literature sales on Sundays, legal holidays, Special Events dates, and on Quarterly Delegates Meetings (see list of dates on main page). As of November 1, 2014, New York Inter-Group sells anniversary medallions. For more information emailLiterature@NYIntergroup.org

What are the hours during which I can buy Meeting Books at the New York Inter-Group office?

Meeting Books are available for sale at $1.50 each – anytime the Inter-Group office is open. For more information email Literature@NYIntergroup.org

Do I have to go to the New York Inter-Group office in order to purchase literature and Meeting Books?

No. Inter-Group will ship your order of literature and / or Meeting Books via United Parcel Service; shipping costs along with New York State Sales Tax will be added to your order. When your check or money order is received, the order will be shipped via United Parcel Service. Literature orders cannot be shipped to Post Office Boxes.

Can I fax my literature and/or Meeting Book order to New York Inter-Group?

Yes, New York Inter-Group’s fax number is (212) 647-1648. The literature order will be shipped via United Parcel Service once your check or money order has been received.

Does New York Inter-Group accept credit cards for literature and Meeting Book purchases?

Not at this time.

What are the sources of New York Inter-Group’s income?

New York Inter-Group receives most of its income from A.A. group contributions. Other income is derived from Anniversary Club and personal contributions, Meeting Book and literature sales and the net proceeds from the Bill W. Dinner.

What is the Anniversary Club?

The Anniversary Club is a way for individual A.A. members to support New York Inter-Group by contributing each year on their sobriety anniversary. The suggested contribution is $1.00 for each year of sobriety. Anniversary Club members receive anniversary cards from New York Inter-Group during the month of their anniversary celebrations.

How can my home group keep informed about New York Inter-Group’s finances?

Detailed monthly financial statements and audited annual financial statements are distributed at quarterly Inter-Group Delegate meetings and are available anytime at the Inter-Group office.

What is the maximum annual amount an A.A. member can donate to New York Inter-Group?

Currently the maximum annual personal contribution from an individual A.A. member is $3,000. The maximum also applies to a one-time-only bequest from an A.A. member.

How can my home group be kept informed about New York Inter-Group and its activities?

Groups with elected Inter-Group Delegates are informed by mail about all New York Inter-Group events. In addition, minutes of Inter-Group’s monthly Steering Committee meetings are mailed to Inter-Group Delegates. Inter-Group Delegates also receive New York Inter-Group’s newsletter, “Sober News.”

My home group does not receive information about New York Inter-Group’s activities. What should I do?

At your home group’s next business meeting suggest that an Inter-Group Delegate be elected. Once this is done, complete and mail an updated Group Information form, with the name, address and phone number of your group’s Inter-Group Delegate to the New York Inter-Group office. Your group’s Inter-Group Delegate will then be added to New York Inter-Group’s mailing list.

How can I find out when my group last provided Inter-Group with current group meeting, officer and Twelfth-Step contact information?

The Meeting Book includes the date that New York Inter-Group received each group’s most recent information. The date appears in the group’s meeting listing entry. Or you can phone an Inter-Group staff member.

How often is New York Inter-Group’s Meeting Book published?

The Meeting Book is published bi-annually.

What other services does New York Inter-Group provide to Westchester County groups?

Inter-Group maintains a 914 area code phone number so that members and potential members can reach Alcoholics Anonymous without being charged for a long distance call, etc. The number, (914) 949-1200, is a remote call-forwarding number, which connects the caller directly to New York Inter-Group’s main phone number, (212) 647-1680.

How do I go about listing a new A.A. group in New York Inter-Group’s Meeting Book?

Phone a New York Inter-Group staff member and ask that a “new group” package be mailed to you.