Get Addiction Help (888) 804-0917

The Structure of A.A.

The Pat Moore Foundation offers its residents access to on-site and off-site meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous and 12-Step Programs. Following is additional information on these programs, courtesy of Alcoholics Anonymous. For more detailed information please contact Alcoholics Anonymous directly.

Click here to return to the first part in the series, “Introduction to the A.A. Recovery Program”.

The Structure of A.A.

Alcoholics Anonymous is not organized in the formal or political sense. There are no governing officers, no rules or regulations, no fees or dues.

The need for certain services to alcoholics and their families throughout the world has, however, been apparent from the beginning of the Fellowship. Inquiries have to be answered. Literature has to be written, printed, and distributed. Requests for help are followed up.

There are two operating bodies:

1. A.A. worldwide services, directed by A.A. World Services, Inc., are centered in the General Service Office in New York City, where 79 workers keep in touch with local groups, with A.A. groups in treatment and correctional facilities, with members and groups overseas, and with the thousands of “outsiders” who turn to A.A. each year for information on the recovery program. A.A. Conference approved literature is prepared, published, and distributed through this office.

2. The A.A. Grapevine, Inc., publishes the A.A. Grapevine, the Fellowship’s monthly international journal. The magazine currently has a circulation of about 106,000 in the U.S., Canada, and other countries. The Grapevine also produces a selection of special items, principally cassette tapes and anthologies of magazine articles, which are spinoffs from the magazine.

The two operating corporations are responsible to a board of trustees (General Service Board of A.A.), of whom seven are nonalcoholic friends of the Fellowship, and 14 are A.A. members.

A General Service Conference, consisting of 93 delegates from A.A. areas in the United States and Canada, and trustees, A.A.W.S. and Grapevine directors, and staff from the General Service Office and the Grapevine in New York, meets once a year and provides a link between the groups throughout the U.S. and Canada and the trustees who serve as custodians of A.A. tradition and interpreters of policies affecting the Fellowship as a whole.

At the local group level, formal organization is kept to a minimum. The group may have a small steering committee and a limited number of rotating officers — “trusted servants” whose responsibilities include arranging meeting programs, providing refreshments, participating in regional A.A. activities, and maintaining contact with the General Service Office.

The principle of consistent rotation of responsibility is followed in virtually all A.A. service positions. Positions in the local group are usually rotated semiannually or annually. Delegates to the General Service Conference traditionally serve no longer than two years and alcoholic trustees of the General Service Board are limited to a four year term.

Click here to return to the first part in the series, “Introduction to the A.A. Recovery Program”.

The above information is from “A.A. Fact File”, prepared by General Service Office of Alcoholics Anonymous. This information is also available on G.S.O.’s A.A. Website:

If you have any questions about Alcoholics Anonymous or alcohol treatment, please call us 24-hours at (888) 426-6086 or if you’d like us to contact you, send us a confidential e-mail by filling out our online form.