AFG, Inc. Strategic Plan & Bylaws

Working within the framework of Al‑Anon’s Legacies, the Board, Executive Committee, and Senior World Service Office Staff have developed the AFG, Inc. Mission Statement, Envisioned Future, and Strategic Goals to assist the World Service Office in the work it carries out on behalf of Al‑Anon Family Groups.

As a non-profit organization, AFG, Inc. operates in accordance with its Bylaws, which represent the Board’s legal agreement with our members.

Mission & Strategic Goals

Letters from the Chairperson of the Board

Letters containing information about the most recent Board, Policy, and Finance Committee Meetings.

Chairperson of the Board Letter – Section View

Dear fellow Al‑Anon members,

The purpose of this Chairperson of the Board (COB) Letter is to share with you some of the highlights from the October 2020 Board Week. You will also find Updates from our Policy Chairperson, a Finance Update from our Treasurer, and a Conference Leadership Team (CLT) Update.

I want to start this letter as I did the July letter by giving a big thank you from the Board of Trustees to all of you. We are grateful and overwhelmed by how Al‑Anon members have stepped up and continue to send in contributions to the World Service Office (WSO). Your support is truly appreciated.

After the decision was made in July to conduct the International Al‑Anon General Services Meeting (IAGSM) only in an electronic format, the ICC started working toward making the first virtual IAGSM a reality. The 2020 IAGSM was held October 3 through 10. There were a record breaking 40 Delegates who attended, which included three first‑time participants, two from Nicaragua and one from Slovenia. Due to the participating Delegates living in 12 different time zones, the 2020 IAGSM was held entirely online through AFG Connects. A 2020 IAGSM AFG Connects Community was created specifically for this event. Some of the agenda items included four general session discussions (two of the topics were “Public Outreach” and “Leadership Skills as Tools for Conflict Resolution”), a Business Meeting, a Big Question conversation about the topic of “Electronic Meetings” [similar to the World Service Conference (WSC) Mega Issue], Keynote and Spiritual speakers, reflections, and questions and answers. The Delegates adapted to the new format quickly which led to many lively discussions. This electronic format allowed more time for non‑English‑speaking Delegates to be able to translate the presented material into their native language and then translate their responses back to English. Many Delegates shared their gratitude for the electronic IAGSM and that they would not have been able to participate if it were not for the electronic format. The very first electronic IAGSM was a huge success.

The organization chosen to conduct a Competitive Analysis for AFG, Inc. presented Board members with information from their study of other organizations who offer options for recovery from the family disease of alcoholism. The hour‑long presentation gave Board members extensive information on how these organizations are attracting members and what they offer. Afterwards, the Trustees, Executive Committee members, and WSO Staff brainstormed priority opportunities. Staff will now take this information and develop an action plan for 2021 (see Strategic Plan Update below). The Board will continue its discussion of the competitive analysis results.

At the July 2020 Board meeting, Board members prioritized the Strategy Options presented by the WSO Staff Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) for completion in 2021. The SLT met several times between the July and October Board meetings to discuss the anticipated outcomes of the proposed Strategies as well as the steps and resources needed to complete them. At the October 2020 Board meeting, the SLT presented their recommendations for the 2021 Strategies. Board members approved the SLT to move forward with the following 2021 Strategies:

  • Commit targeted spending on LinkedIn advertising to raise awareness in the professional community
  • Evaluate barriers to the international structures attending the WSC
  • Apply the competitive analysis results

WSO Staff have done a great job moving the 2020 Strategies forward. Some Strategies from 2020 that will be ongoing into 2021 are upgrading the WSO online store, adding Alateen chat to the Al‑Anon Family Groups mobile app, and improving Conference Approved Literature (CAL) availability across structures. The Board of Trustees is working on prioritizing Goals and Objectives for 2022 and those priorities will be presented to SLT at the January 2021 Board meeting.

Board members held a heart level discussion around the topic of diversity. The discussion was difficult but necessary, and at times tears were shed. The Trustees discovered they have much to learn on this important topic as we move forward toward our Goal of a more global structure. The Board is committed to continued discussion in the near future.

To help Board members and Executive Committee members better understand their roles, the Roles Presentation Task Force gave a fun, interactive presentation regarding the roles of the Trustees, COB, Executive Director (ED), Executive Committee (EC), Chairperson of the Executive Committee (COE), and the WSO Staff. The presentation explained the role of each of the entities listed above. The interactive questions in the presentation served to help clear up any Board member confusion.

Members have been asking for an Electronic Newcomer Packet for months. I have some very exciting news to report—at the October Finance Committee meeting, Finance Committee members, after lengthy discussion, approved an electronic version of the Al‑Anon Newcomer Kit (K‑10) to be offered and priced at $2.99. Staff will also be implementing a previous Literature Committee recommendation to eliminate duplication in the Kit. More details will be coming in the next few weeks

The Board continued its discussion of the TEAM event replacement. Some of the discussion centered around Board member and WSO Staff capacity as balanced with other Strategic Plan priorities. The Board will continue this discussion.

In August, the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee members received Trademark and Copyright training. The training consisted of the difference between a copyright and a trademark, what is considered a copyright or trademark violation, and how to report violations. At the October Board meeting, Trustees were able to get answers to specific questions on trademark and copyright violations. This training has helped Board members become more aware of the importance of protecting our copyright and trademark.

The Board and Executive Committee have not met face‑to‑face since April of this year. Although not having to travel gives all of us more time and lets us sleep in our own beds during Board Week, there are feelings of not getting to know each other and not being connected. Yet considering uncertainty regarding COVID and its impacts on WSO finances, a decision was made that the Board and Executive Committee members would not travel to Virginia Beach through July 2021.
The Board of Trustees wants Delegates to know that your opinions, comments, and insights are important to us. We do take them seriously. During our discussion of Delegate Concerns we realized that even though it appears to us that we are communicating clearly, we are not always being successful. The Board will continue to discuss and develop solutions that will help all of us work together to fulfill our primary purpose of helping friends and families of alcoholics
The EMWG developed the Big Question presentation for the 2020 IAGSM. The presentation allowed the EMWG to gather useful information from the attending IAGSM Delegates regarding electronic meetings. Using some of the information gathered from the IAGSM, the EMWG brought to the Board ideas of ways to incorporate electronic meetings as groups into the service structure. The Board gave approval for the EMWG to move forward with the ideas presented. I cannot give you any specific information at this time because recommended changes may require discussion and approval by the Policy Committee, approval by the Board of Trustees, and will need to be considered by the 2021 Conference members. More will be revealed on this topic.

Two weeks following the posting of this letter, the Trustees will begin contacting their assigned Delegates. The purpose of this contact is to allow Trustees to offer clarification of information contained in this letter. If Delegates prefer not to be contacted, they can let the Trustee know when the initial contact is made.

I want to close this letter with a virtual hug to the Panel 58 Delegates who will be finishing their term as Delegates. We are grateful for your service and commitment to Al‑Anon Family Groups. We wish you all the best in whatever your Higher Power has in store for you.

With gratitude,

Lynette K.
Chairperson, Board of Trustees
Al‑Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.

Board Letters and Committee Updates

Chairperson of the Board Letter
Finance Committee Update
Conference Leadership Team Update
Policy Committee Update
Chairperson of the Board Letter Archives