Convenor Support

Page Index:  Definition The Convenor’s Home Base * What can the Service Center do for me, the convenor * What can I, the Convenor, do for the Service Center * Who can I talk to about convening * What is a Meeting Starter Kit * What resources can I get online * About insurance * What else may I need for  a new meeting * About Money * About meetings online

   Definition

 

LifeRing convenors are ordinary people in recovery from addiction with at least six months clean and sober who do something extra: they help bring people together in recovery. Convenors are the ones who start and lead meetings, and who perform any of the numerous other services, foreground and background, that it takes to maintain and grow a volunteer organization. Convenors facilitate sober connections and thereby make it possible for people to transform themselves from scattered, isolated individuals into members of a coherent recovery network. Without convenors there would be no LifeRing organization and no LifeRing recoveries.  If you want to “give something back,” become a LifeRing convenor.

The Convenor’s Home Base

The convenor’s home base is the LifeRing Service Center.  Here is the contact information in brief:
LifeRing Service Center
1440 Broadway Suite 312
Oakland CA 94612-2023
Toll Free 1 800 811 4142
Fax: (510) 763-1513
service@lifering.org
Click here for more information about the Service Center.

What can the Service Center do for me, the convenor?

Among other resources, the Service Center can:

  • Send you a customized Meeting Starter Kit with all the literature and supplies you need to get going.
  • Send you a LifeRing meeting charter for your meeting.
  • Sign you up for the LifeRing convenor email list.
  • Post your meeting on this website and keep your listing updated as you provide new information.
  • Provide you with contact information of other LifeRing meetings in your area.
  • Do mailings to treatment professionals and programs in your area to let them know about your meeting.
  • Keep you posted about events and publications of interest to LifeRing convenors.
  • Refer people from your area who call or email the Service Center to your meeting.

What can I, the convenor, do for the Service Center?

The Service Center is an important nexus in the LifeRing network.  What you contribute to the Service Center goes out, directly or indirectly, to the whole organization.

  • Always keep your contact information current with the Service Center.  If you change your address, phones, or email addresses, let the Service Center know ahead of time if possible.  We will not list a meeting on the website unless we have current and complete contact information for at least one convenor.
  • Promptly let the Service Center know of any change in your meeting.  Moving to a different time, or room, or address?  Adding or closing a meeting?  Email or call the Service Center ahead of time so that the information can go out to the world.
  • When you pass the baton to another convenor, or if you recruit a co-convenor, provide the Service Center with full contact information.
  • Send your requests for printed schedules, brochures, books, and other items as early as possible.  The Service Center gets busy and your request to have the items delivered yesterday may not always be possible.
  • Send the Service Center the proceeds of your basket collection, over and above your meeting’s expenses.  See About Money, below.
  • Help with the annual LifeRing Expo/Congress.  The date and place of the next event is usually announced at least six months ahead of time.  Please connect with the Service Center regarding your meeting’s choice of a Delegate to the Congress, and other Congress issues.

Who can I talk to about convening?

Convenors who isolate from other convenors tend to develop problems of leadership style and morale. Generally, successful and happy convenors are those who connect with other convenors on a fairly regular basis. There’s a lot to be gained — information and emotional support — from convenor-to-dialogue.

You can connect with other LifeRing convenors several ways:

  • Join the LifeRing convenor email list.
  • Participate in the weekly Convenor Conference Calls. Contact the Service Center or check the convenors email list for details.
  • Participate in local area Convenor Meetings. Contact the Service Center or check the Convenors email list for details.
  • Participate in the annual LifeRing Expo/Congress.

Meeting Starter Kit

Once you have a meeting room and a meeting time that can be posted on the LifeRing Meeting List which is located on the top of the home page of this website, the Service Center will provide you with a Meeting Starter Kit which contains the following books and brochures:

***This is special pricing for convenors only

  • How Was Your Week, A Convenor’s Handbook $20.00
  • Empowering Your Sober Self $15.00
  • Recovery by Choice, A Workbook $25.00
  • A sample collection of brochures (8 ea.) Free
  • Shipping Free
  • California Sales Tax Free

Other items that can be included in the starter kit:

  • A packet of 50 brochures $6.00 each (see brochure list).
  • A LifeRing rubber stamp for stamping attendance slips $18.00.

Because the Starter Kit cost money we ask you to pay for the cost of these materials. You can make arrangements with the Service Center to pay for these items over time, if needed. An invoice for the cost of the Meeting Starter Kit will be provided once the Kit is shipped. LifeRing will pay for all shipping and California sales tax if applicable.

What resources can I get online?

Please see Convenor Resource Page

About Insurance

A few meeting space providers require proof of liability insurance before they will allow use of their room for a recovery meeting.  LifeRing has the required insurance.  To obtain a copy of an insurance coverage certificate, send an email with details to service@lifering.org.

What else may I need for a new meeting?

  • Box or briefcase. If your meeting space provider allows you to store stuff at the meeting site between meetings, you’ll want a box.   If the provider won’t let you store things at the meeting place, you’ll need a briefcase or some other way to carry things back and forth.
  • A few file folders: one for blank signup sheets, one for filled signup sheets, one for the opening statement, one for spare leaflets and miscellaneous. Some rubber bands will be useful to keep the bundles of handouts together.
  • Clipboard. To circulate the signup sheet.
  • Pen or pencil. For the signup sheet.
  • Collection basket. Almost anything will work in a pinch, but a nice collection basket can be bought cheaply from import stores or from many variety stores.
  • Money book. Some little notebook to record and add up the weekly basket collection amounts. It needn’t be fancy.  You need to track basket money and book money separately.
  • Envelopes.  For holding the money that you collect in the basket. Write the date and the amount on the outside of each. That way you won’t mix meeting money up with your own money.   When it comes time to send the surplus to the Service Center, you can put the meeting money together with your own money and write a personal check for the meeting money to LifeRing and mail it to the Service Center.
  • Sheet protectors. For the opening statement, the door sign, and any direction signs you may post.
  • Surgical tape. Neater than masking tape and reusable many times, for posting door and directional signs indoors. Available at any drugstore. Avoid regular Scotch tape, it’s messy.
  • Coffee pot … oops, almost forgot a coffee pot. Actually, most of our meetings don’t serve coffee. No big reason, they just don’t. Just think how big an organization we would be if we served coffee and cookies …

About money

LifeRing is a free-standing organization.  No fiscal sponsor, no corporate grants, no foundation behind it.  All directors, officers, and convenors are volunteers.  Nevertheless, we have expenses.  There is a paid Office Administrator at the Service Center.  There is rent, telephones, postage, printing, copying, office supplies, web sites, chat room, social network, online forum, the annual Expo/Congress, exhibit tables at professional conferences, and more.  Therefore we need to watch our expenses very carefully, and we need to have revenue.

Meetings, as a rule, always pass the basket.   Where meetings have rent to pay, that comes first.  Any surplus beyond the meeting’s own expenses, and a reasonable reserve (to cover two months’ rent, approximately), is forwarded to the Service Center to benefit the whole LifeRing network.  The Service Center can supply you with pre-addressed green envelopes for the purpose.

When a new meeting starts up — when it has a room and a time and is listed on the schedule — the Service Center will, on request, send the convenor a display copy of each of the LifeRing books and other media.  These items are expensive, and need to be paid for when there is enough money collected in the meeting basket.  If the meeting folds, the display copies need to be returned to the Service Center.  OK?

More information about meeting money is in How Was Your Week?, Chapter 6.

About meetings online

Most LifeRing email lists and other online venues qualify as meetings in the LifeRing Bylaws, on a par with face-to-face (f2f) meetings.  If you want to start an online meeting — an email list, a new chat hour, a conference call, or another online venue, the same guidelines apply as for f2f meetings.  Of course, you won’t need a box or a signup sheet or a stamp or other paperwork.  But you’ll still want to be listed on the website, and the Service Center will still need your contact information, just as if your meeting had people sitting in chairs in a circle.  And you’ll still want to be connected with other convenors, and participate in the LifeRing organizational process.

Page Index: Definition * The Convenor’s Home Base * What can the Service Center do for me, the convenor * What can I, the Convenor, do for the Service Center * Who can I talk to about convening * What is a Meeting Starter Kit * What resources can I get online * About insurance * What else may I need for a new meeting * About Money * About meetings online