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Your FA Seventh Tradition

Reaching the Suffering Food Addict

Every FA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions. 

— FA's Seventh Tradition

FA World Service, Inc. (WSI) has written this pamphlet to inform the FA fellowship about the spiritual and practical principles involved in how Seventh Tradition donations are used and about how members and meetings may contribute to FA financially. 

We Have No Dues or Fees

In FA we have no dues or fees, yet the Seventh Tradition guides FA to be self-supporting. FA members are following this principle when they make Seventh Tradition donations at their meetings, and the same principle extends to financial practices at all FA service levels. In addition, an FA member may donate directly to a chapter, to an intergroup, or to World Service. Have you ever wondered how your Seventh Tradition donation is used?

Carrying the Message

FA members are guided by Tradition Five to "carry this message of recovery" to those who still suffer. Thus, the primary purpose of our Seventh Tradition funds is to do the work of carrying the FA message, while ensuring that FA continues to be self-supporting.

How Seventh Tradition Funds Are Used

Meetings provide a meeting space, literature, CDs, meeting directories, and trifolds and may conduct Information Sessions or other public information activities to raise awareness of FA in their meeting vicinity.

Chapters provide a meeting space, an area meeting directory, a local phone line, and trifolds; initiate or support public information activities for or with their meetings; and serve as the local arm of their intergroup.

Intergroups provide intergroup or area meeting directories and trifolds, contact the media, and support public information activities.

World Service Inc (WSI) supports the overall functioning of FA by providing information through the website, the FA Office, its publications, conventions, and public information materials.

We Give Out of Gratitude

We who have found recovery in FA feel very fortunate. Our gratitude at being lifted out of misery can genuinely be shown by doing service, giving of our time and money. We do what we can when we can, at both the member and the meeting levels. Individual members make donations within their means. Meetings pass on what they can to the rest of the FA service levels. The responsibility rests with each of us to ensure that FA services continue and that FA will be here to reach the newcomer.

Benefits of Contributing

Our contributions are very important. Our collective donations allow us, both as individuals and as meetings, to participate in the process of reaching out to food addicts everywhere. As we give, we are not only showing gratitude and generosity, but we are also doing service that reaches beyond our local area. This service strengthens all of FA.

Spiritual Principles that Guide FA Finances

How do we practice recovery while doing service where finances are involved? We follow the spiritual and practical principles laid down in both our Twelve Traditions and our Twelve Concepts. The Twelve  Traditions guide our meetings. The Twelve Concepts specifically guide the World Service Conference and the WSI Board. These principles extend to all FA service organizations. Concept Twelve guides FA to have "sufficient operating funds, plus an ample reserve." All levels of FA service (meeting, chapter, intergroup and World Service) follow the spiritual and practical principles of "corporate poverty" to ensure FA's viability now and in the future.

Key Principles of Corporate Poverty

  • Be self-supporting (pay our own expenses) (Tradition Seven)
  • Use FA funds wisely (Concept Twelve)
  • Avoid problems that divert us from our primary purpose (Tradition Six)
  • Maintain an appropriate prudent reserve to ensure service can continue (Concept Twelve)
  • Pass on extra funds so that they may be used to support more FA work (Tradition Five)

Recommended Distribution of Meeting Funds

In keeping with the philosophy of corporate poverty, WSI recommends that meetings, chapters and intergroups (IGs) handle their funds in this manner:

  1. First, pay expenses: rent, literature, public information, etc. (Note: if there is no rental fee, a meeting will usually make a donation to the facility in keeping with being "self-supporting."
  2. Next, maintain a prudent reserve of 1-2 months' expenses for a meeting. Chapters and IGs would keep a prudent reserve and budget appropriate to their needs.
  3. Then, pass on all remaining funds monthly. (An IG may choose to request a different % split. An IG may have specific needs and could ask its meetings and chapters to donate differently (i.e. 50/50%). The IG would inform its meetings, chapters and WSI each year about the reasons and timeline for that change.)
    • For meetings registered with an intergroup 75% to WSI and 25% to the intergroup
    • For meetings registered with a chapter 100% to the local chapter
    • The chapter sends its extra funds 75% to WSI and 25% to the intergroup
    • If the intergroup has extra funds beyond its expenses and reserve, these are sent to WSI.

It is recommended to send most of the extra funds to WSI, since it supports the website, all members and meetings, and global public information.

Donating to Your Chapter or Intergroup

They will guide you. Find your chapter or IG address in the "Contact us" button at www.foodaddicts.org.

Guidelines for Donations to World Service

Per the Traditions, WSI accepts donations only from

  • FA members or groups of FA members
  • FA meetings, chapters, or intergroups

A member may donate up to $3,000 in a year or make a one-time bequest of up to $5,000. WSI does not accept outside or anonymous donations.

To Donate to WSI: Mail U.S. funds, with meeting's day, time & location or member's name, to FA-WSI, 400 West Cummings Park, Suite 1700, Woburn, MA 01801; or donate online at www.foodaddicts.org using "Login."

How World Service Manages Its Funds

The World Service Board (WSB)—the officers and committee chairs of WSI—meets regularly and is responsible for managing all WSI income and expenses for FA functions and services. It is guided by FA's Concept Twelve to follow prudent financial principles and to have "sufficient operating funds, plus an ample reserve." The WSB Finance Committee supports the Board with financial and budgetary reviews.

Financial Practies of FA World Service (WSI)

Like an FA meeting, WSI follows the principles of corporate poverty and prudent fiscal responsibility. WSI sets aside a prudent reserve (which it does not touch) consisting of one year of operating funds so that, in case of a drastic change in income or costs, the work of FA can continue. The budget is a fiscally responsible plan for income, expenses and projects. Operating costs are funded primarily through donations, while convention and publication costs are covered by their own revenue. A project reserve (with funds from previous years) is used for special projects that do not occur every year, such as book publication and website changes. All finances are reviewed by the Finance Committee. A financial summary is given at the yearly World Service business Convention. 

The pamphlet "Your FA Seventh Tradition" is FA Conference Approved Literature.