A person creating a new recovery alumni group.

How to Get Your Recovery Alumni Program Started

Last Updated: Thu, March 28, 2024

Every recovery center should have an alumni program in place as an aftercare option for patients. This is something that should no longer be an option but a necessity since it has proven itself to be beneficial. 

Unlike other treatment programs, an alumni program helps patients to continue on their recovery journey. It provides them with the community and the friendship they need, so they do not feel alone or isolated once they have completed recovery.

Starting an alumni program from scratch can feel a bit overwhelming, especially if you don't know where to start. So, keep reading to find out how to get your recovery alumni program started from the ground up.

Find an Alumni Coordinator

The very first thing you should do when creating an alumni program is find a coordinator who will head over the program. Many alumni programs are able to run with one person in charge who handles the tasks of keeping in touch with everyone and creating the events. Although, it is a good idea to add on more staff later so that all the responsibility does not fall on the coordinator.

You need to choose someone who does not already have responsibilities in the recovery center. They will be very busy with the alumni program, and you do not want them to split their priorities between two jobs. It is also ideal if they already have some experience with alumni programs or keeping up with patients during their recovery.

The alumni coordinator will need certain tools to help them do their job and keep everything organized. This includes things like an online database for keeping track of patients, event planning tools, and an alumni budget.

Have In-Person and Online Tools

Living in the digital age comes with many benefits, especially when it comes to alumni programs. Something your alumni program should provide is both in-person and online resources for patients. Not only is this convenient for everyone, it makes it more accessible for those who may not live locally or have the time for in-person activities.

Just about every aspect of the alumni program can be adapted both in person and online. For instance, you can have resources like pamphlets and books in person with e-books or articles also available online. If you have in-person events where patients get to socialize and do fun activities, you can also adapt this online. You can create online chat rooms or game rooms where patients can interact with each other from the comfort of their own homes.

Another aspect of having your alumni program online is making sure you keep up with the recovery centers' social media platforms. These will be one of your main ways of advertising the program and communicating with the members.

It is also a good idea to ask for feedback from the alumni members as the program takes off to see what they would like to see from the program.

Provide Written Recovery Resources

One of the most important aspects of an alumni program is the resources you provide for the patients. Besides being a part of a community and socializing, this is a huge reason why the alumni program is so beneficial.

Some of the best kinds of resources are written resources that are easily accessible to all of the patients. This can include things like e-books, pamphlets, blog posts, newsletters, and social media posts. You also want to make sure your resources are suitable for people who are in all kinds of recovery. To do this, you may need to have different categories so that everyone can find the resources they need on their journey.

Get the Community Involved

The alumni program is centered on creating a recovery community where everyone feels involved and in a like-minded space. A big part of accomplishing this goal is getting the community involved to help spread awareness and create more inclusivity.

There are also many practical aspects to getting the community involved that are important for this program. For instance, you need somewhere to host in-person events and activities with the group members. Public spaces are great places to do this since they are often free and provide large enough spaces for gathering.

You may also want to eventually include activities such as volunteering at places like soup kitchens, elderly homes, and hospitals. Starting off by connecting with the community early on is a great way to build your alumni program from the ground up.

Spread the Word

Once you have hired an alumni coordinator and set up the basics of the alumni program, you want to start advertising. Like any kind of program in the recovery center, you will have to advertise what this program provides so people become interested.

The reason why you need to hire your alumni coordinator first is that this will be their job. The alumni coordinator will find most of the program members by simply keeping in touch with patients who have already gone through their main treatment programs. When they call to see how they are doing, they can bring up the alumni program and the kinds of things it provides.

The alumni coordinator can also reach out to patients who are still in their main recovery program. This way, they can seamlessly move from that program to the alumni program to continue their aftercare.


Starting an alumni program for your recovery center is easier said than done since it will require some time and effort. You need to make sure you hire the right coordinator and have the tools they need to manage all of their tasks.

Like most things, an alumni program involves a learning curve where you may need to make adjustments later on after getting it established. This is completely normal and allows you to get feedback to cultivate an alumni program that meets the needs of your patients.

Are you in the first phase of starting your recovery alumni program? If you'd like to try out our tools, you can get started now.

I Am Sober provides alumni tools to help you do your job more efficiently.

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