Volunteer Kansas Wins Twilio Goes Green Netbook Contest!

Logo (1) Congratulations Michael Cantrell and Volunteer Kansas, you are the winner of last week’s Go Green with Twilio netbook contest! Michael has won a netbook and $100 in Twilio credit.

Volunteer Kansas is an organization that exists to match up people with volunteer opportunities. These opportunities run the full gamut of volunteer work, including work for numerous environmental causes and groups.

Using Technology to Inspire Action

Each year, more than one-third of all Kansans volunteer in some way. Many others remain on the sidelines because they don’t feel empowered to get involved or they don’t think they have enough time. Others have a tough time finding the right opportunity for them.

Volunteer Kansas makes it easier to volunteer by matching visitors to the site with opportunities at respected, well-established organizations throughout the state so they can spend less time looking for a place to volunteer and more time volunteering.

Their goal is simple: add 70,000 volunteers per year in the state of Kansas making it the #1 state in the country for volunteerism.

Michael Talks About Utilizing Twilio for Volunteer Kansas

Michaels-mugWe asked Michael a couple questions about his experiences using Twilio.

How Was Volunteer Kansas Started?

The Downing Foundation in Wichita Kansas approached me to build a social media application to connect volunteers with volunteer organizations with the goal of driving Kansas to the number one state in the country for volunteerism.  We are currently ranked 8th but believe that this app will make the difference in helping people know who and what they can do and then actually commit to volunteer all in one place!

We were excited to integrate digital communications to expedite announcements and site communication.  We chose text-messaging and e-mail campaigns to do this.  We weren’t sure the best way to integrate text message communication but once we checked out the Twilio API the choice was easy.  We are already thinking about unleashing two-way communication on the day of the volunteer event to allow for communicating reminders, delays, changes, weather, etc.  It is so exciting to think about all that we can do to change peoples lives through volunteerism and communicate digitally instead of sending a post-card or letter.  Thanks Twilio!

The project started in January 2010, is currently in beta-testing and is set to launch on August the second just over a week away!

It’s exciting that Twilio will help Kansas become the #1 state in the country for Volunteerism! Watch for press releases, TV, radio (NPR), and you can’t see it unless you’re in Kansas, billboards promoting VK all across the state!

What technologies are you using to build/support Volunteer Kansas?

PHP, MySQL, Javascript, AJAX, Twilio, Campaign Monitor and Site5′s new scalable cloud servers!

How did you get started developing with Twilio?

@chadmith, one of your previous winners turned me onto Twilio over lunch one day.  I  went back to the office checked out the API and realized it was perfect for our app.

How was the experience of integrating Twilio with your chosen tools and technologies?

EASY.  We were laughing in the office about how simple it was to integrate with the site and are already brainstorming on how to take the integration to the next level.

Anything else you’d like to share?

We are working on our next app now completely centered on Twilio.  All I can say is it will be the hub of communication for day-care centers serving the Wichita area.


Congratulations again Michael on winning this week’s contest! Enjoy your netbook :)

Want to win a netbook of your own?

NetbookmondaysFor this week’s contest, we’ve tasked you to create the best Firefox extension that uses Twilio. Extensions are easy to create and can be made completely within your web browser using Mozilla JetPack and Builder. We’ve got links to resources for getting started and complete contest information available on the contest page.