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February 1956

. . .To Carry This Message to Other Alcoholics. . .

A Report to Our Friends

YOUR Grapevine has long been a useful and rewarding instrument for Twelfth Step work.

Many of us have passed along our copies or made gifts of yearly subscriptions to friends or to newcomers.

Others have carried AA's message by contributing articles or art work to The Grapevine.

Then there are the many within the groups who do the important Twelfth Step job of getting The GV to meetings and, thus, into the hands of those who have not yet made AA's monthly journal a regular part of their lives.

And, of course, over the years there have been many who have worked hard in the Editorial and Business offices to produce a better and more widely circulated magazine.

These are the people who have made The Grapevine the big part of AA life it is today and who have reaped the reward of giving. Every twenty-four hours more and more are becoming Grapevine conscious and are helping us to grow and increase our effectiveness on a world-wide basis.

Recently, we have tried to launch a more vigorous effort to assist normal growth-by-attraction and we thought you would like to know what we have done and how well it has been received.

First, we noted that seven out of ten groups in the United States and Canada did not have the magazine on sale at their meetings. . .which meant that a great many AAs were not being given a chance to read single copies and thereby make their own decision as to becoming regular subscribers. So, we started writing to some 3500 such groups, nudging them a bit. The response was magnificent. About 900 groups--or close to 26 percent--placed orders for about 3400 copies on a monthly pay-as-you-go basis. This lowered the percentage of non-Grapevine groups from 70 percent to 60 percent and it now looks like we might even it out at fifty-fifty someday soon.

Secondly, we took a look at the recent downward curve of individual subscriptions and tried to level off or reverse that trend. In December and January, we offered reprints for framing of our Christmas painting "Came to believe. . ." to all individuals entering a new or renewed one-year subscription or a gift subscription. AA came through again. As of December, this year's gift subscriptions, plus the new and renewed subscriptions for December, were running about 25 percent ahead of last year. The reprint offer has been extended one month. (For details see page 36.)

The next step was to set up a direct line of personal communication with the groups. To accomplish this we naturally turned to the seventy-six delegates to the General Service Conference and asked them to go directly to the groups in their regional areas with The Grapevine story. The delegates have begun to respond with typical AA enthusiasm.

Along with this liaison at the delegate level, we hope soon to make personal contact between the GV working headquarters and the groups themselves, by suggesting that each group establish a new group job: that of Grapevine representative. We will be writing the groups about this in the spring.

Finally, we set about to spread the message of AA through The Grapevine to AA groups in prisons and hospitals, to reach members especially in need of the benefits of AA's monthly meeting-in-print. At present, there are approximately 450 AA groups in institutions and only 104 of them have Grapevine subscriptions! This month we are launching our Group Sponsorship plan to fill this need. We are asking some of the larger outside groups to sponsor The Grapevine into institutions near their home towns.

All of this adds up to good in every direction. Our total increase in circulation this year--3,000 copies--is twice as great as that of any year since 1951. In addition to strengthening the magazine itself, this contributes to AA's primary purpose of helping other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

The better than 33,000 AAs who now have The Grapevine habit every month keep us just about solvent--which is our only financial concern. The more than 120,000 who are without this contact with world-wide AA thinking are our real concern. We know we can reach many more of them--with your help. It is heartwarming to see that we are well on the way.

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