Public Information and Outreach Guide

Is your local group looking for a way to increase membership and create a greater awareness of S-Anon in your community? A piece of service literature, the Public Information and Outreach Guide, is now available to help you with this!

Step Twelve asks us to carry the message of the gifts of recovery, offering help and hope to families and friends of sexaholics, and Tradition Eleven emphasizes attraction rather than promotion, while maintaining personal anonymity. The Outreach Guide offers projects, suggestions, and ideas that adhere to both of these principles.

The Public Information and Outreach Guide can be a resource to grow local membership and to increase community awareness of our fellowship. The Guide offers suggestions and ideas for creating a local PI&O committee, along with ways to use the resources presently available on the S-Anon website. Other subjects in the Guide cover over 30 potential projects, including outreach to the general public, the media, helping professionals, and local correction institutions. Supplemental templates, forms, and resources are available for download in the Public Outreach section on the member area of sanon.org.

Consider adding this guide to your local group resources so you can help reach out, increase awareness of S-Anon in your community, and hopefully attract new members.

The Outreach Guide is available in both printed and digital formats through the S-Anon literature store.

2020 World Service Conference Postponed

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Service Conference that was to be held on Friday, July 24, 2020, in Toronto will not go forward as scheduled. With the cancelation of the Toronto International Convention, the possible health risks involved in meeting face-to-face, and the uncertainty surrounding the ability to reschedule this event in the near future, the WSC voted to convene in person next in July 2021 in Salt Lake City, UT. This date will be subject to change depending upon the circumstances that exist in Spring 2021.

From the Treasurer’s Desk

As you review the 2019 Profit & Loss Report and the Balance Sheet, I want to highlight important items to help explain the year-end results.

  • We ended our 2019 fiscal year with a Total Net Income of $17,966.32.
  • Because we use the cash basis of accounting, these results include some income and expenses from our second ever standalone S-Anon International Convention (Nashville Host Committee supported by WSO) in January 2020.
  • Our first ever WSO standalone S-Anon International Convention in January 2019 was a success and very well attended. S-Anon recorded our Nashville Convention speakers and the recordings are available for purchase via the S-Anon literature store under audio products. These recordings are available for an introductory price of $20 for the set.
  • We finished upgrading our e-commerce store and the S-Anon website. This has resulted in increased literature revenue most likely due to increased website traffic and new products.
  • We reprinted “Exploring the Wonders of Recovery” in a spiral bound version in July 2019. It is available for purchase via the S-Anon literature store for $15 plus shipping and handling.
  • We had a higher than budgeted revenue from International Convention proceeds and donations. I want to thank all the Convention Host Committee members who generously did service work which produced financially successful conventions.
  • Thank you to all the groups who made 7th Tradition donations to the WSO in 2019. Because of your generosity, these were higher than the historical averages that we used for our 2019 budget.
  • Our Cost of Goods Sold is not something we budget for, year to year. This reflects the cost of the inventory that was sold via our literature store during 2019.
  • Our accounting and legal fees are higher than budgeted due to two projects for which we needed to utilize attorneys, beginning in 2019, and continuing in 2020. They are 1) updating the Copyright Translation Agreements used with International S-Anon groups wishing to translate, print, and distribute S-Anon literature locally and 2) addressing a copyright infringement issue by another entity. This is ongoing as we work to protect the S-Anon copyright on our literature.
  • Our telecommunications expenses are higher than budgeted. Due to S-Anon being in a good financial position for 2019, the BOT made the decision to purchase audio and visual equipment to be used at the World Service Conference and to record breakouts and speakers at International Conventions. The remaining audio equipment purchased was originally planned for 2020 but advantageous year-end sales resulted in acquiring this expense in 2019.
  • Our Prudent Reserve is fully funded, and we ended 2019 with $40K in our Retained Earnings.

The January 2020 International Convention in Nashville, TN, was a collaboration of members of the Nashville S-Anon community, with the WSO providing the small business support for our second S-Anon Only Convention. This was well attended, and we utilized S-Anon’s newly acquired audio equipment to record the main speakers and a breakout room. These recordings are available for purchase on the online store. They are available as bundles or individual breakout meeting topics.

Thank you for all your financial support by making 7th Tradition donations, purchasing items from our literature store, attending conventions and being a member of S-Anon.

Dawnielle A.
Treasurer, Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees Statement – COVID-19

March 16, 2020

Dear S-Anon Fellowship,

The S-Anon World Service Office has seen a recent spike in group correspondence with questions concerning appropriate actions S-Anon groups need to take considering the current situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Whether it’s through a group conscience to postpone meetings for a period of time, taking precautionary measures at face-to-face meetings, temporarily relocating meetings to phone or virtual platforms, or being faced with meeting locations closing the doors to social gatherings, many S-Anon groups are making decisions on how to care for members of the group and newcomers as we all continue to provide support for each other.

In response, we have compiled some recommendations to consider as groups continue to meet or begin creatively brainstorming how to adjust to this current reality. As autonomous entities, it’s up to each S-Anon group to decide what the next right steps are and considering the uniqueness of each S-Anon meeting such as city and number of members, what may be best for one group may not be necessary for another.

Face to Face Meeting Safety

Most large social gatherings scheduled over the next several months for over 100 people are being cancelled or postponed but due to the smaller attendance of S-Anon meetings and the varying locations of each group, some groups may not see the need to postpone meetings. In the event a group decides to continue meeting face-to-face, we recommend that all members practice standard precautionary measures to avoid the spread of any illness such as good hand washing habits, avoiding handshakes/holding hands, and staying home if feeling ill.

Groups may wish to make changes to the Suggested Meeting Format as is reflective of a group conscience to prioritize the safety of all attendees, and group members may want to consider providing hand sanitizer and using disinfecting wipes for all meeting material passed around. We do not encourage meetings be relocated to personal homes.

The decision to continue attending face-to-face meetings is a personal one and all members are encouraged to use their best judgement as they decide what levels of social distancing is right for them. Above all, we advise that every member and group stay up-to-date with local advisories as circumstances may change day to day.

Phone and Virtual Meetings

In the event a meeting location closes to social gatherings or a decision is made to postpone meetings for an extended period, a group may wish to meet via a call conferencing or virtual meeting room platform. If an Intergroup is developed within the area, creating one account with a company that provides these services may be beneficial to help organize meetings locally.

There are no additional guidelines for phone or virtual meetings beyond what S-Anon groups already have for face-to-face meetings, but the group may see a need to adapt the Suggested Meeting Format to accommodate the unique meeting arrangement (i.e., please mute when not speaking or “pass the basket” using a money transfer app).

For any groups choosing to simply postpone meetings and not relocate to phone or virtual meeting space, members can still participate in already established phone and virtual meetings. Please email [email protected] for the phone and virtual meeting schedule.

Communicating with the World Service Office

For groups who have lost their meeting space availability, choose to postpone meetings, or temporarily relocate to a call conferencing or virtual meeting space, please contact the WSO immediately with updated information and include a 1-2 sentence statement that can be published under the meeting’s profile on the Find a Meeting page to inform inquirers about when to check back in on the meeting status or instructions for connecting with members of the group. The WSO typically has a 2-business day turn-around for publishing updated meeting information on www.sanon.org though we will now be prioritizing these updates as they are submitted.

A statement will be posted this week on www.sanon.org which will inform inquirers of potential interruption in regularly scheduled meetings due to the current circumstance.

Serving the Newcomer and Group Members

During this unique time, we would like all groups to carefully consider how they can still extend a welcoming hand to those in need. Updating the WSO with any meeting changes is a great start! If the group has or intends to create a group email, inquirers can be met with a kind, personal message, updated meeting details, a list of group members available for phone support, and even literature or recorded meeting recommendations from the online store.

If your group hasn’t already, this may also be a good time to create a phone list of all attending members. Whether it’s a group text for shares, reading recommendations, or to just check-in to see how everyone is holding up, this phone list could come in handy to help maintain connection with each other.

World Service Office Response Plan

At this time, we do not foresee the need to close the WSO and entirely move work remotely but understand that if our circumstances change, i.e., if a staff member or family member becomes ill or childcare arrangements change, we may also face new challenges in responding to inquirers, members, and groups in a timely manner while we transition work outside the office. In this event, our response time may be strained so we would like to ask groups to consider creating a generic group email to be published on the meeting’s profile so that newcomers can reach out directly to the group, reducing the length of time it may take a newcomer to connect with the local group.

Currently, we have only one staff member who will begin working remotely but because the WSO is in a small office building away from populated areas, the remaining staff will be able to come and go without interacting with others. The Executive Committee will continue working closely with the WSO to ensure all staff members are adequately cared and provided for during this time which means our response plan may need to adapt to changing conditions as they occur.

The BOT is aware of the fiscal impact the WSO may experience if S-Anon meetings cease to gather face-to-face for an extended period. Because 7th Tradition contributions account for 25% of the WSO’s revenue stream, we would like to ask all groups and members consider ways in which we can continue to support the WSO. For example, individual members can make direct contributions to the WSO at www.sanon.org, groups who relocate to phone or virtual meetings can still collect 7th Tradition through money transfer apps, or members can purchase the recorded meetings from the most recent International Convention.

You are not alone.

This statement has certainly been taken to a different level as of recently but truly, we are all in this together.

Please reach out to your Area Delegate or Regional Trustee with any questions on how to connect with other local groups. If your area is not represented by an Area Delegate or Regional Trustee, you are always free to reach out directly to the WSO at [email protected].

Board of Trustees: Roll Call

Did you know that S-Anon International Family Groups, Inc. is guided by a volunteer Board of Trustees?
As a non-profit, S-Anon is required, by law, to maintain a Board of Trustees (BOT) but the function of this group is more than just to check a box for the Internal Revenue Service. The BOT is responsible for making administrative, legal, and financial decisions for the fellowship of S-Anon and performs some of the following functions:

  • Serves as guardian of S-Anon’s Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of Service
  • Provides guidance in matters of policy
  • Serves as custodian and guarantor of good management of the WSO
  • Monitors and supports the accomplishment of strategic goals of BOT Committees
  • Approves the annual budget and maintains prudent reserves

The work of the BOT does not stop there though! All in all, the BOT ensures the security of S-Anon’s future for the benefit of the common welfare and for those who are yet to come.

We’d like to introduce you to some of the wonderful, dedicated members who are currently serving on the BOT:

Fatima B., Board of Trustees Chair, [email protected]
Mercedes S., Board of Trustees Co-Chair, [email protected]
Greta B., Board of Trustees Secretary, [email protected]
Dawnielle A., Board of Trustees Treasurer, [email protected]
Lindsay W., World Service Office Executive Director, [email protected]
Angela M., Literature Committee Chair, [email protected]
Kathleen S., Policy & Service Communications Committee Chair, [email protected]
Allie H., S-Ateen Committee Chair, [email protected]
Tami H., International Convention Committee Chair, [email protected]
Robin A., Public Information & Outreach Committee Chair, [email protected]
Jeanne H., World Service Conference Committee Interim Chair, [email protected]
Heather C., Central Eastern Canada Regional Trustee, [email protected]
Annette H., West Regional Trustee, [email protected]
Pam M., Southwest Regional Trustee, [email protected]
Pam S., Midwest Regional Trustee, [email protected]

We are looking to add more members to our roster! Could this be the year that you step up to service as a member of the Board of Trustees?

According to the BOT Bylaws, the BOT is intended to be composed of 20 S-Anon members but only 15 positions are currently represented, and many are set to roll-off in August 2020. Below are the current vacant BOT positions:

  • Archives Committee Chair
  • Western Canada Regional Trustee
  • Northeast Regional Trustee
  • Northwest Regional Trustee
  • Southeast Regional Trustee

Over the years, some have shared that a tipping point in deciding to serve within the S-Anon fellowship started with the realization that “someone” must have written our literature or answered the newcomer’s phone calls and from there, came to a humbling understanding that the goal of carrying the message of recovery is entirely dependent on an organized structure. How else would we ensure that S-Anon will continue to be available for the years to come?

Would you like to know more information about the responsibilities, requirements, and qualifications to serve in a Trustee position?

If you are interested and would like to further discuss this opportunity, please reach out to Fatima B., the BOT Chair, at [email protected]. We greatly appreciate your consideration!

The Role of Regional Trustees

The purpose of the Regional Trustees is to represent a designated Region on the Board of Trustees (BOT) meetings and to help to ensure that our BOT is as responsive as possible to the needs and desires of the groups they serve. Regional Trustees serve as a resource to groups, individuals and Intergroups sharing experience, strength, and hope utilizing the Traditions and Concepts of Service, and actively encouraging service work in their Region.

Qualifications to serve as a Regional Trustee include at least 5 years in S-Anon, service experience, having a sponsor, and attending meetings regularly. It is recommended that a candidate be willing to learn to apply the Traditions and Concepts of Service as they relate to the challenges of service. It is also recommended that the candidate be willing to become familiar with the S-Anon/S-Ateen Service Manual and have time and energy to serve in this capacity.

If you are interested in serving as a Regional Trustee, please contact your current Regional Trustee about this service position. If a Regional Trustee is not available in your Region, contacting the WSO with intent to serve will start the process. The WSO will contact the available Regional Trustees who will facilitate an election in the Region of interest. Votes from at least 50% of the groups in a Region are needed to elect a Trustee or the Region is considered not organized enough. If that happens, the candidate can then apply to the Board of Trustees who will decide to appoint or decline the candidate. A candidate is elected for a 3-year term and may serve one additional consecutive term of 3 years with a 6 consecutive years maximum to serve as Regional Trustee.

One of the best ways to determine if this level of service is right for you is to talk to members who have experience in the role. Current Regional Trustees as well as many members who have served in this role are happy to share their experience, strength and hope with interested members. Feel free to contact a current Regional Trustee to inquirer about the position:

Heather C., Central Eastern Canada Regional Trustee, [email protected]

Annette H., West Regional Trustee, [email protected]

Pam M., Southwest Regional Trustee, [email protected]

Pam S., Midwest Regional Trustee, [email protected]

 

The following regions currently need representation:

Western Canada Regional Trustee

Northeast Regional Trustee

Northwest Regional Trustee

Southeast Regional Trustee

For more information on the selection process, qualifications, and responsibilities of Regional Trustees, please visit the Member Site.

Celebrating a Successful International Convention!

Over the course of three days in January, 183 S-Anon & S-Ateen members gathered together in Nashville, TN, for a weekend filled with sounds of healing! During the convention, members participated in a community gratitude list which was compiled together by the S-Ateens to create a beautiful mosaic sunset picture titled One Day at a Time. 

If you weren’t able to make the convention, you may be interested in purchasing the speaker and meeting recordings. The message of hope in the S-Anon program can travel with you! Wherever you go, you’re only a play button away from connecting with members worldwide.

Purchase Convention Recordings

Welcoming the Newcomer

Did you know that a Newcomer’s first interaction with a local S-Anon group typically starts on the S-Anon World Service Office website? There are many ways S-Anon groups can ensure a welcoming hand is extended to a Newcomer, and especially with the many recent updates to the S-Anon website and Meeting Posting Policy, S-Anon groups have more options now than ever before on how meeting information is presented to inquirers.

The WSO publishes the following information provided by S-Anon groups on www.sanon.org:

  • Meeting Name
  • Meeting City and State
  • Meeting Day and Time
  • Meeting Email Address, Information Line, and Website
  • Meeting AddressMeeting Additional Information

To find out what the Newcomer is seeing for your group, look at the Meeting Map and the Find a Meeting page on the S-Anon website. When considering the Newcomer’s journey to an S-Anon meeting, here are some suggested questions for the group to review:

  • Can you list off the steps a Newcomer must take before being able to show up at your specific meeting?
  • Is there anything your group could do to help streamline the process for a Newcomer wanting to attend your meeting?
  • Does your group annually update the WSO with accurate meeting information?
  • If your group wants to publish the meeting location, has permission been provided to the WSO to do so?
  • If your group has a generic email address or information line, does the member monitoring these accounts respond in a timely manner?
  • Is the Contact for Inquirer listed at the WSO still attending the meeting and responding to inquirers in a timely manner?

Since the WSO now publishes meeting locations, we ask all groups to consider allowing the WSO to distribute the meeting address on www.sanon.org. The intention of publishing meeting locations was to help create a straighter path to an S-Anon meeting for the Newcomer, but we understand that groups have different preferences and needs so what may work for one group may not for another. Has your group held a group conscience in deciding whether to publish the meeting location?

The WSO greatly appreciates when groups stay up-to-date with meeting information. Providing accurate information to a newcomer is just one way the WSO can do its part in carrying the message of hope and recovery. For more experience, strength, and hope on welcoming a Newcomer, feel free to reach out to your Area Delegate or Regional Trustee for support.

Submitting a Motion to the World Service Conference

As we begin a new year, you or your group may be considering submitting a motion to this year’s World Service Conference (WSC). Motions are due by March 1, so it’s time to get things on the road. We’ve made great progress in defining the process, so the experience doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Here are some tips and steps to help you.

1. Motions are made to address issues that affect S-Anon as a whole. They may be about policies, procedures, or administrative approaches and should call for a concrete action or change.

2. Let your Area Delegate or Regional Trustee know you’re planning to submit a motion. They can help you get questions answered. They also need to be in the loop because they are the ones who will actually make the motion at the WSC. If you don’t have an Area Delegate or Regional Trustee, contact the World Service Office for help in finding a member of the Board of Trustees to assist you.

3. Don’t hesitate to contact the World Service Conference Committee with your questions. This committee will help you make sure the motion is complete and in order. They process all the motions, so the more time you can give them to review your motion and help you finalize it, the better.

4. Keep it simple, precise, and limited to two pages. Our Motion Form will help you organize all the information WSC members will need in order to vote. State the intent – provide supporting principles and background. If more than one action is suggested, break it up into multiple motions. Answer the question: Why are we bringing this motion to the WSC now? A short summary of the history and current status of the issue will give WSC members valuable context. Include arguments pro and con. If you need help with the “con” arguments, the WSCC can help. Finally, include specifics about what happens if the motion passes. Will it become a part of the S-Anon/S-Ateen Service Manual, the Charter, or the Board of Trustees’ bylaws? Will other follow-up actions be necessary?

5. All motions must be “authored.” Anonymous motions are considered out of order. There is a place on the form to include your name and contact information.

6. Email your motion to the S-Anon World Service Office by March 1 ([email protected]). Once submitted, WSCC will review the motion and stay in touch you regarding the progress of the motion. When the motion is determined to be in order, it will be forwarded to the Treasurer of the Board of Trustees to add the financial impact on the fellowship.

7. Before you begin writing, check out the following resources:
• S-Anon/S-Ateen Service Literature: “Writing a Motion to the World Service Conference”
S-Anon/S-Ateen Service Manual – World Service Conference Policies and Procedures, and the How Motions Come to the World Service Conference flow chart
S-Anon Motion Form

The process doesn’t have to be mysterious or onerous. If you get stuck or confused, help is available. Just ask! The more we work together during the pre-conference process, the better the whole consideration and voting on your motion will be.

S-Anon/S-Ateen Service Manual

The S-Anon/S-Ateen Service Manual has recently been updated with clarifying language regarding how groups are registered. To guard against the dilution of the S-Anon program, the S-Anon Board of Trustees has developed language specifying the use of S-Anon Conference Approved Literature during meetings:

To guard against the dilution of the S-Anon program (Tradition Four), the group will use S-Anon published literature as the primary recovery tool. S-Anon literature is written by S-Anon members, addresses the S-Anon “program” as experience by the group conscience of S-Anon members, and addresses the S-Anon “solution” as experienced by S-Anon members using the S-Anon Steps, Traditions, and Concepts of Service. We also ask that other S-Anon Conference Approved Literature be used in meetings only as a compliment to S-Anon published literature.

S-Anon/S-Ateen Service Manual, “How Groups are Registered”

You can read the entire section of “How Groups are Registered” in the S-Anon/S-Ateen Service Manual here.