How to convince your center of the importance of Alumni Services

Spring 2015 Collaborative Session Notes

Resistant Decision Makers: What do I do?

Convener: Shannon Spollen, The Meadows, [email protected]

Scribe: Laurie Cape, The Bridge to Recovery, [email protected]


Dunn, Patrick JourneyPure [email protected]
Foster, Chris American Addiction Centers [email protected]
Obernauer, Lorie LO Group, Inc. [email protected]


List 3 (or more) important ideas offered by the convener.

  1. How to remove barriers to building a successful alumni program
  2. Culture
  3. Climate of center
  4. Attitudes, values of the center
  5. Personalities and politics of leadership

List 3 (or more) great ideas offered by the participants.

  1. Collaborate with other centers
  2. Build relationships within organization in different departments
  3. Collect accurate data on alumni referrals

List 3 (or more) questions or outstanding issues about the topic that everyone wants to know more about.

  1. Changes between interdepartmental communication and priorities

2015 Fall Collaborative Notes

How to get Management to See the Light in Alumni Services

Convener:  Paul Hamblin, The Bridge to Recovery  [email protected]

Scribe: Kaitlin Pickrel, Foundations [email protected]


Ryan Miller, Futures of Palm Beach  [email protected]

Krystle Conner, The Right Step  [email protected]

Andrew Gelinas, Sober Grid  [email protected]

Neena Wilcox, Bridge to Recovery  [email protected]

Jocelyn Weiss, Foundations Atlanta  [email protected]

Megan O’Connor, Valley Hope [email protected]

Mike Holtzer, CeDAR [email protected]

Dick Dillon, Innovations, LLC [email protected]

Jaime Gibbons, Cumberland Heights [email protected]

Nikki Soda, Harmony Foundation  [email protected]

Tamara Jimenez, Anaheim Lighthouse  [email protected]

Heidi Solomonson, Hazelden Betty Ford                  [email protected]

Carol Ricossa, The Oaks at La Paloma  [email protected]


The Bridge to Recovery is a small organization and only Neena reports to Paul

– the main job is to drive revenue

– Before Paul was a CEO he was in marketing

– main job was to make sure people had the money to get things done

 Most grateful fruit in the recovery services world is healthy alumni:


-at a nonprofit: alumni can donate and are a referral source

-cost effective to keep alumni connected

-alumni programs not developed to drive revenue

-there is no better recommendation than an alumni resource

-from a marketing standpoint, people want to shot anonymously on websites, there is no stronger vehicle then saying an alumni had a good experience at a treatment center

The Bridge to Recovery  

-treats alumni like referral sources

-Ask admissions: how did they hear about us? Which alumni? Get a name

-Thank the alumni just like a referral source

-offer an alumni discountà 20% off case by case basis on who is referred

-Ask your company how well they track referrals

Telling every CEO- the most important business practice, produce as many sober alumni as they can- Hazelden does great with this, they nurture their alumni.

What are the challenges?

– they see the referrals, but don’t want to offer the help

– no time with follow up calls

– how do I get people to see it

Neena- The Bridge to Recovery thoughts on CEO- Alumni coordinator relationship:

CEOs need nice reports that prove the program is paying out

– need something short, sweet, and with a budget

– pulled at the data from past 3 years

– put a report down at strategic planning and proved it to the board

– show how much we lost-prove they are drowning

– Marking is stretched thin-need to go the extra mile

– Find out how many referrals come back because of the alumni program

– Giving the fluffy, emotional appeal doesn’t do it, the numbers do!

Alumni Referrals vs. Readmits:

  • myth that one treatment will do it.
  • They will come back

The Bridge to Recovery: sends something from the kitchen to referral sources

-write three letters to the referral, people they would like to thank-gratitude letter

  1. Letter to someone they love
  2. Letter to someone they hurt
  3. Letter to their referral source

CeDAR: asks their alumni would you refer to someone else or will you refer to us?

To function:

-need to have a business stance

-need to understand what your bosses want

-some organizations are toxic, and you need to get out

Client alumni- merge events:

– on campus events

– tell alumni to suit up and show them what it’s like to have fun in recovery

Goals as alumni chapters:

– make referrals

– send referrals

– help people in their community

– helps the business and helps them stay sober

– don’t reinvent the wheel

We need to become professionals, show them their goals, we need a business plan for their department

Sign up for TPAS Newsletter

* = required field

Contact Information

Treatment Professionals in Alumni Services
PO Box 1152
Salida, CO 81201
(757) 784-7550


Your Cart