Q# 7:  Do new members stick with us, or does the turnover seem excessive?
If so, why?            What can we as a group do to retain members?


18 Responses

I see about the same percentage of visitors stay with e-AA that I do in my F2F group.  I believe that new people that want a real solution seem to stay, those that are looking for a way to stay sober that does not require applying the Big Book do not stay long. We can not compromise substance in order to attract members.

So long as we're sharing AA's alcoholism recovery message rather than treatment-center-isms or "outside issues", we needn't be concerned about quantity.  I'd much rather have a "real" AA meeting between 2 members than something like a "my job sucks" meeting between 20.  The trick is to keep discussion on-topic as an AA meeting, particularly amongst newcomers who are either disinterested in recovery, trying to see what benefits it offers, or still living in the relative drama of dry-yet-untreated alcoholism.

However, the turnover of the business meeting is high. I believe more could be done to make the business meeting more relevant to the group as a whole, and/or less emotive / combative in substance. We need to be open to new ideas to help the business meeting become more attractive and less red-tape, whilst still retaining the principles of AA Traditions and Concepts.

Keep discussion on AA topic and put principles BEFORE personalities. I feel that has really made many people leave or consider leaving. I am one of those that has felt this at times.

I believe, as with any F2F meeting, there are folks that come & go. I don't think it is excessive. I think that we just need to remain open & positive to attract new folks to stay. Those who want what we have will stick around. Those that don't, won't.

I'd say our turnover is 'bout the same as in f2f.
However, I'd add that on TwelvenadTwelve and Safetyvalve, we do get a lot of people who sign up, and then are immediately appalled that they received a bunch of mail, so they unsub.  So, watching that happen you could think that newcomers aren't sticking around, but a big percentage are people who just don't bother to read the description of an e-mail meeting.

I think that the style/format of on-line meetings isn't for everyone. so, they come, check it out, and stay or go. 

I think this is fine as it is.

Speaking only for myself, I have only been around e-aa for maybe five months. I do not feel like I have enough experience here to respond to this question.

people come and go it is part of A A whether f2f or online. Some come back, some don't, not all who come into A A whether online or f2f will stay

Far too excessive.  That is because we don't tolerate outside ideas.  We are insular.  We are self righteous.  We are sure our program is the only way to achieve and retain sobriety.  

Hence people come and go w/ great rapidity. So we are left with a core of true believers who feel its our way or the highway.

About the same as f2f in my experience

No I do not think it is excessive at all.  

We as a group do a good job of carrying the message given the medium we are using to do so.

The only way to judge "turnover" is to keep statistics, something AA does not do. I ain't got the faintest idea if our turnover is good, bad or indifferent.  

I do know we sure do have a lot of miracles running around.

I think the turnover is fairly normal ... same as f2f .. what is the tool to measure against here ?   Why is there turnover ? 

We are asking drunks to stop drinking.  Show of hands ... how many of y'all got this the very first go around in the real world much less the first time you logged onto a chatroom or wrote an anonymous email ? 

C'mon. Drunks drink until they get ready to stop. Some come to AA, and get sober by the grace of GOD. <----period
E-AA, those of us fortunate enough to be sober are just vehicles to help out when the drunk is ready to stick.

The turn over seems a little excessive but not a lot.  

I try to compare it to the rest of AA and frankly the turn over in AA itself seems excessive. That's only because I want to see people make it and so many don't. I don't think we can do much more about it.

It's just the nature of the alcoholic to come and go until they are sick enough to stay.

I don't think the turnover rate is excessive. In the local F2F AA, there is the same turnover.  

Considering we are dealing with a disease with a low rate of recovery, of course we will have this turnover. Sadly, there are many who never find recovery. I still believe that "attraction rather than promotion", has brought us this far in the growth of AA....and it is still working!

To be a member one must have a desire to stop drinking.
If you want what we have then this is what we did...........

Many I hesitate to guess join f2f groups.
An AA meeting is where two or more alcoholics sit down and discuss alcoholism.
As long as e-aa follows the 12 step then there is naught else to do.

Some will stay some will go that is their choice,

I think the 1st comment pretty well sums it up.  There's no way of knowing how many find AA here, and "graduate," to f2f meetings where the vast majority are un-familiar with what we do here and nay-say it.   I hear it all the time in my local groups here in NY.

People that have never been to an online meeting all the time saying it's not real AA and that f2f are the only "real," meetings. What can I say?   Some of those same people think there shouldn't be AA meetings in the prisons or treatment centers either. 

Of course, there are those that listen to those people. One that comes to MY mind right away is my friend Gerry, who's been sober for 38 years. Maybe one day he'll actually log on here and see for himself what REALLY goes on here.

No turn over doesn't seem excessive.  Perhaps no less turnover than one might see consistently at f2f meetings.   We are also often a conduit to f2f meetings, e.g. the first point of contact with AA anywhere.

As to retaining members, some thoughts: whether the internet works as a medium, whether the format they are involved in works for the member, whether they were just passing through to a f2f or not ready to stop drinking. 

Additionally in retaining people it can come down to involving people. Perhaps we ought have 'outline' that initially goes out to people which details the volume of traffic within different formats and meetings so that someone can tailor their involvement. For example 12by12 gets on average a couple of emails a day, versus NB which might easily get 20 emails on most days.

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