FAQ – Service Bodies

The OA Program

No. OA is not affiliated with any other organization or group. Our policy is “cooperation but not affiliation.” Over the years, Alcoholics Anonymous has given us invaluable help and guidance, for which we are grateful. AA service offices at the local level have been and continue to be especially helpful to our OA groups and service persons.

Meetings

There are suggested meeting formats for Face to Face, Newcomer, Telephone, Step Study, and Lifeline Meetings that may be found on OA.org – documents – Group Secretary Materials.
The following policy statement defining open and closed groups was adopted at WSBC 1982 and revised in 1989: Open group is a group which is open to anyone. Closed group is a group that is open to anyone with a desire to stop eating compulsively, or anyone who thinks they may have a problem with compulsive overeating.
An OA group as defined in the Overeaters Anonymous, Inc. Bylaws is: two or more persons meeting together to practice the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, guided by the Twelve Concepts of OA Service; all who have the desire to stop eating compulsively are welcome in the group; no member is required to practice any actions in order to remain a member or to have a voice (share at a meeting); as a group they have no affiliation other than OA; and it has affiliated as an Overeaters Anonymous group by registering with the World Service Office. Purchase a New Group Starter Kit from the Bookstore. Once a group has started, it is very important that the meeting location, day and time remain consistent and updated and that at least one member is at the meeting place every week for the meeting.
Go to Change a Meeting or print the Change a Meeting Form and send it in.

Intergroups and Service Boards

 When several groups form in an area, they soon realize that they can better perform together rather than separately. So the groups may form an intergroup that is directly responsible to the groups it serves. Intergroups spring from a need to provide service for a number of local groups and better information about OA in a community (adapted from OA Handbook for Members, Groups and Service Bodies).Typical services provided by an intergroup are:
  • Providing a central telephone number for information about OA and the local meetings
  • Publishing regular newsletters or bulletins to keep groups informed about each other and upcoming OA events
  • Coordinating speakers, public information and contact with the professional community
  • Maintaining a supply of OA literature and OA and AA books
  • Sending delegates to regional assemblies and the World Service Business Conference
National Service Boards (NSBs) are service bodies that provide support for groups and intergroups outside the US and Canada, where the geographic scope within a region and the distance from the World Service Office is vast. NSBs run offices to deal with nationwide mail, meeting lists, newsletters, events, public information, and professional work. In non-English-speaking countries, the NSBs are responsible for producing OA literature in local languages. In some cases, the NSB extends beyond the geographic borders of countries and serves groups and intergroups with a common language. In these cases, the NSB is usually called a language service board (LSB). Virtual Service Boards (VSBs) provide support to online and telephone meetings. Service Boards may also send delegates to the World Service Business Conference.
You can contact your regional or virtual services trustee by emailing the WSO. We will forward your inquiry to the appropriate trustee. Please be certain to specify which region you are in or where you live. Overeaters Anonymous has several documents that may be helpful including: The Strong Meeting Checklist , OA Group Inventory, and the pamphlet OA Handbook for Members, Groups, and Service Bodies: Recovery Opportunities.

Insurance

If a meeting group declines liability insurance, a group conscience vote regarding the waiver is suggested. Although anonymity concerns are common, the meeting group makes the decision.
The group or intergroup should contact a local insurance agent and request information about nonprofit liability insurance. In many cases an intergroup can purchase coverage for all its affiliated groups, with all groups sharing the cost.

Tax-Exempt Status

The Internal Revenue Service is the proper source for official instructions on filing for tax-exempt status. IRS publication 557, “Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization,” and the instructions which accompany the application, FORM 1023, provide information and assistance in applying for and maintaining your tax-exempt status. Note the time restrictions for filing the application. Your state may require a separate application for tax-exempt status, also. Be sure to check with your state revenue service or treasury office for applicable forms and instructions. We suggest you consult an attorney or accountant who is competent in organizational nonprofit exempt status for further assistance.
Unfortunately, the Overeaters Anonymous, Inc. tax ID number is specifically for the corporation (which includes the Board of Trustees, the World Service Office and the World Service Business Conference). If another entity were to use that ID number, it would jeopardize both OA and the other entity (the meeting group).

Board of Trustees

Contact the BOT or an individual board member by email, fax (505-891-4320) or mail (WSO, Attn: Board of Trustees/Board Member Name, PO Box 44020, Rio Rancho, NM 87174-4020); your inquiry will be forwarded to the BOT or the appropriate board member.
  • Trustees are elected at the annual World Service Business Conference for a period of three years and serve no more than eight consecutive years. Qualifications for trustee (OA Bylaws, Subpart B, Article IX, Sections 3 and 4) :
  • seven years in the Fellowship
  • five years of service beyond the meeting level
  • attendance as a delegate to at least two World Service Business Conferences
  • five years of continuous recovery in Overeaters Anonymous as evidenced by five years of current continuous abstinence,
  • current maintenance of a healthy body weight for at least two years
  • emotional and spiritual growth as a result of incorporating into their lives the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions as a new way of living
Trustee nominees must also have worked through all Twelve Steps; declared themselves as practicing the Twelve Steps to the best of their ability; declared themselves as committed to the Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous; and affirmed these additional qualifications on their trustee application forms. Download and complete the trustee application and return by the deadline to apply.

Contributions

Individuals, groups or OA service bodies may contribute to Overeaters Anonymous by sending their contribution in US funds to the World Service Office or donating online through our Contributions page.
Mail donations to your intergroup and region to their offices. Individual or group donations to world service should be mailed to the World Service Office, PO Box 44020, Rio Rancho, New Mexico 87174-4020 USA. You may also contribute online. OA has added new ARC (automated recurrent contribution) system which makes it easy to set up regularly scheduled monthly, or quarterly contributions, please contribute here.
Give what you can afford at every meeting you attend. Give as if your life depends on it! A member may contribute up to 5,000 USD per year to the general fund, up to 5,000 USD per year to any special fund. OA, Inc. will accept a bequest in any amount from the will of a deceased member. (Read the Seventh Tradition of OA pamphlet for more information.)

Literature

Yes. You can order by mail with a check or money order or by phone, fax, or online using MasterCard, Visa or Discover.
All orders must be prepaid so payment must accompany your order.
Allow 10–14 business days for delivery in the US, three to four weeks for delivery outside the US.
Need it sooner? Call the WSO to have your order expedited. The WSO will let you know the expedited shipping cost and will also add an additional $10 handling fee.
Please make any returns of goods within 90 days of your original order date. Include a copy of the invoice. Items returned must be in saleable condition. A credit will be issued to your account which will be valid for one year.
Yes. You can purchase the soft cover version of Alcoholics Anonymous in English or Spanish by phone, fax or online using a credit card or by mailing a check to the WSO.
Conference-approved literature has received the Conference Seal of Approval by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the voting delegates at the World Service Business Conference. All original publications for use by the OA Fellowship as a whole must be Conference approved. Board-approved literature are publications that have been approved by the Board of Trustees, and may be either one or both of the following: Literature that has originated from a Board or Conference Committee and is not intended for the Fellowship as a whole, and literature that has been compiled from existing Conference-Approved Literature or Lifeline magazine. In either case the items are OA-approved literature as defined by the World Service Business Conference Policy 1982b and may be displayed and/or sold at OA meetings.

Copyright

All OA Conference-approved and Board-approved literature is copyrighted by Overeaters Anonymous, Inc. To assist members in carrying the message of recovery, OA groups and service bodies may reprint some items without having to submit a written request to the WSO. Complete and send to WSO the Reprint Permission form or go to Copyright Requests.
Logo permission must be obtained in advance from the WSO for any reproduction or use of the Overeaters Anonymous, Inc., logo. The OA logo may only be used in connection with the official OA business of a registered group or service body. Anytime the OA logo is used, the material must include the name of the service body to distinguish the item as being from a service body rather than from Overeaters Anonymous, Inc. Complete and send to WSO the Logo Permission form or go to Copyright Requests.

World Service Organization

The World Service Business Conference (WSBC) is the annual business meeting of Overeaters Anonymous, Inc. WSBC serves as the collective conscience of the Fellowship of Overeaters Anonymous. Held annually in April or May, this week-long meeting is attended by delegates representing OA service bodies around the world. It is held to elect trustees, amend bylaws, adopt new business policies and provide information to delegates through presentations and workshops on issues that affect OA as a whole. Check the World Service Business Conference page for details.
Delegates from service bodies around the world attend the WSBC to represent the group conscience of OA as a whole.
If you’re interested in past audio recordings, please contact the World Service Office at 1-505-891-2664.
This day recognizes the strength of the Fellowship worldwide. On the last Saturday in February, at 11:30 a.m. pacific standard time, OA members pause to reaffirm the strength inherent in OA’s unity
International Day Experiencing Abstinence (IDEA), celebrated the third Saturday in November, encourages OA members worldwide to begin or reaffirm their abstinence from compulsive overeating.
Celebrated on December 12 (12/12) each year to encourage OA service bodies, meetings and individual members to reach out to those within the Fellowship who are still suffering from compulsive eating behaviors.