12 Step group logistics
10- 12 Step Group Logistics
This page provides facilitators with suggestions on how to find a suitable venue, pay the rent and raise awareness of your upcoming 12 Step group.
1. Find a venue
2. Sort out expenses
3. Raise awareness
1st – Find a venue
- A suitable place to hold your 12 Step group is where Fellowship meetings are held. Such venues usually have the advantages of being in the proximity of public transport, while also being familiar to those most likely to participate in your group.
- Try and not hold your 12 Step group in someone’s home – including your own — because doing so invites complications. For instance, the person whose home you are using may half way through decide they no longer want the Group meeting there. In that case, you will be scrambling to find a new space. Second, if you meet in someone’s home, there is the risk that your Step Study Group will be identified with that person. It might then come across to some group members that the Step Study Group belongs to that person. Such a situation will then contradict the whole ethos of 12 Step groups, which is an independent forum open to anyone interested in working their Steps. You may as a facilitator decide to host the 12 Step group in your home, but experience has shown that having strangers in your home – even if they are there working on their Steps – opens up issues of boundaries and the problems of the facilitator becoming over identified with the Step Study Group. It is therefore highly recommended to hold your 12 Step group in an independent venue. Apart from the potential issues that may arise as stated above, this will encourage group participants to treat it more formally and more like a classroom. The academic atmosphere brought about by having your 12 Step group in an independent venue will encourage them to observe its rules and treat it as a place to study and work their Steps. They will be more likely to take it more serious, show up on time and focus their attention on the work at hand.
- In finding a suitable venue for your 12 Step group, it may be good idea to find a place in an area where you believe most of the group participants interested in joining live, as this will lessen their travel time and encourage them to attend.
2nd – Sort out Expenses
- Look at various places and find out how much they cost to rent. Contact the management of the venue to enquire and then to decide whether it is feasible. Although at this point you may not have a definite indication of how many will attend your 12 Step group, find a venue which you believe best suits the approximate size of your group and one that you can manage to pay its rent.
- Whatever the rent for the venue, it has to be divided and paid equally between you and your group participants. For example, if the group is scheduled to meet for 24 weeks and there are 6 of you in total, then the total sum for 24 weeks is divided in 6 – and each pays one-quarter of the total cost. Then, depending on the venue’s management requirements for payment, the facilitator responsible for rent collection needs to devise a system to collect rent from everyone and make payment. It may be a good idea to collect the rent for one or two months in advance – and hold that money in reserve, such as is done at Fellowship meetings. Doing it this way you do not waste too much of the group’s time over money matters in every session. The facilitator in charge of seeing that the rent is paid may also want to enquire regarding any additional possible charges, such as may occur due to damage to property, etc.
- The money collected in advance for the monthly rent then becomes the property of the 12 Step group. Group participants should be made aware that what they have already paid will not be refunded, even if they decide to drop out of the group or are asked to leave due to failure to observe the rules.
- For a sample of how to keep a record of rent payments, please refer to: 12 Step Group Worksheets
3rd – Raise awareness
- Now that you have sorted out the venue and the rent, you want to raise awareness of your upcoming Step Study Group.
- Please Remember:
1) 12 Step groups are separate entities and not affiliated with any 12 Steps Fellowship. Promoting them in any Fellowship meeting will violate Tradition 6 (“ A (Fellowship) group ought never endorse, finance or lend the (Fellowship name) to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.”) Most probably you have decided to facilitate a Step Study Group as part of your 12th Step and as a way of expressing gratitude for the new lease of life given to you by these Fellowships. So please be mindful and respectful of their Traditions as this is what helps keep them and us alive.
2) Please be careful in making a flyer for your upcoming 12 Step group not to use any Fellowship logos on it. Fellowship logos are copyrighted and it is illegal and dishonest to use them for any purpose other than Fellowship committee approved literature.
Here are some suggestions on how to raise awareness of your upcoming 12 Step group:
1. Word of mouth
let people know outside your meetings of your new 12 Step group and ask them to pass the word around. Addicts in search of recovery usually get attracted to those working their program and a mention of your intention to start a 12 Step group will get them curious and interested.
2. Flyer outside Fellowship
Create a flyer and distribute it outside your meetings. Give plenty of copies to everyone and request that they pass them to others. Be careful not to use any Fellowship logos on your flyer; they are copyrighted and it is illegal and dishonest to use them for any purpose other than Fellowship committee approved literature.
3. Flyer at facilities
You can post and distribute your flyer at facilities that have potential addicts seeking recovery. These places would include doctors’ rooms – including therapists — hospitals, rehabs, detox facilities, refugee centres, etc. Please make sure you obtain the permission of management before posting or distributing your flyers within them.
4. Flyer common places
You can distribute your flyers in any place where you believe your target group participants will see them. For example, if you are planning to start a Farsi speaking 12 Step group on the 12 Steps of NA, then maybe the coffee shop or the grocery store or community centres where you know they hang out. Or you can post your flyers in facility / venue billboards where Fellowship meetings are held. Please make sure you obtain the permission of management before doing so.
- As way of your reference a sample of a 12 Step group flyer is shown below. For the Word version of this flyer to use or amend according to your criteria’, please refer to: 12 Step Group Worksheets