A group leader encouraging members to engage with their alumni.

How Alumni Managers Can Encourage More Engagement

Last Updated: Mon, April 8, 2024

One of the main reasons rehab centers need to have an alumni program is to encourage more patient engagement. Engagement is essential when it comes to things like referrals, feedback, and improving treatment programs. However, getting engagement can be one of the more challenging aspects of running a rehab center.

Alumni managers are often responsible for fostering more engagement with patients who have gone through treatment. They run the alumni program, which helps them keep in touch with patients so that they continue to be part of the rehab community. Even with this program in place, engagement can still be challenging, which is why there are a few tips and tricks alumni managers can follow.

Keep reading to find out how alumni managers can encourage more engagement and get patients involved.

Use Online Platforms

Engagement comes in various forms depending on how you interact with patients. In the age of digital tools, one of the best ways to foster more engagement is to use online platforms. Some examples of this include social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook or platforms like the rehab center website.

Online platforms often allow you to communicate and send information to patients to get more engaged in educational materials. For instance, if you post on social media, patients have the opportunity to leave comments, like, or upvote that post. Not only does this increase engagement and get more patients involved, it can put the material in front of more eyes.

One thing you have to remember as an alumni manager is to keep engagement natural. You do not want to come on too strong or engage patients on online platforms in a way that doesn’t apply to them. One way to avoid running into these issues is to create an open conversation where engagement is more natural. Patients are more likely to interact with these kinds of posts since it makes them feel like their opinion matters.

Have Regular Phone Calls

One very important aspect of your job as an alumni manager is fostering relationships with each patient who has gone through the rehab center. A common way this is done is by keeping a database of the patients and calling them on a regular basis. For some, this may mean calling patients weekly or monthly or even sending them text messages.

Keeping in touch with patients is the best way to encourage more engagement since they will feel valued. It also helps to keep them closer to the recovery community so that they have the opportunity to get involved with different activities and functions.

You need to do this in a natural way that does not feel as though you are intruding on their life. To do this, ask each patient what their preferences are when it comes to how you communicate with them and how frequently.

Diversify Alumni Events

An alumni program has a lot of opportunities regarding activities people can participate in. This is one of the reasons why an alumni program is so beneficial since it gets patients involved and encourages relationships. But you also have to consider that everyone is very different and will have other interests, which is why it could be hard to get everyone engaged.

As the alumni coordinator, you are responsible for planning, hosting, and choosing the different events. When you are doing this, it is a good idea to create a diverse range of event ideas that will appeal to different groups of people. For instance, some events can include sports like bowling or baseball for those who enjoy more active events. You can also plan events like book clubs, parties, and other more laid-back settings that will appeal to a more extensive range of patients.

Have an Alumni Schedule

Hosting alumni events is one of the best ways to encourage engagement and get patients involved and excited about what the program has to offer. But this isn’t something you want to spring on people since those in recovery still have other responsibilities and plans. That is why having a schedule is so important so that everyone knows what is happening and can plan around it.

If possible, you should have a monthly or yearly alumni event schedule that you can share with patients. Not only does this help them attend more events since they are aware of them ahead of time, it could also help to get them excited about what is coming up.

Send Newsletters

Alumni managers have a lot of tasks on their plate, and you may start to feel overwhelmed if you try to manage too many things at once. That is why you should prioritize tried and true engagement methods that have been shown to work. One of those methods is sending out monthly newsletters that get patients involved in the alumni program.

Patients are more likely to look at newsletters since these arrive directly in their email box, and you can add engaging subject lines. You can also include interesting visuals to keep their attention and have different sections to cover all the information you want them to know. Newsletters can also be interactive with polls and surveys to help patients become more involved in what is happening.

Newsletters are also the perfect opportunity to give each patient a voice by asking them for feedback. Feedback can include anything about the rehab center or the programs, as well as anything they would like to see from the alumni program. This is a great way to get patients involved in creating something that is beneficial and enjoyable for everyone.


Even though the alumni program is all about engagement, this can still be quite challenging for alumni coordinators. Patients may be busy with other things in their lives or may not be as invested in the program as you would like. The good news is that you can increase your engagement in plenty of ways, especially if you are equipped with the right tools.

Try out our tools and get started now.

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

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