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  • By Jacob Talbot
    Giving Families a Financial Lifeline with Twilio SMS rohan upsolve

    Photo: Rohan Pavuluri, CEO, Upsolve

    During high school, Abed was kicked out of his home by his father. His mother helped with rent, but when she died in a tragic car accident, Abed became homeless. Like millions of Americans, Abed had no savings, so he turned to the shelter system. While there, Abed tried several times to get a job, but faced discrimination due to his financial circumstances. When a credit card company sent him a pre-qualified loan offer, he accepted it, seeing a way out. His debt mounted, and Abed felt trapped.

    In December 2017, Abed attempted suicide. His reason? $50,000 of debt.

    Every year, millions of low-income families fall into debt as a result of layoffs, predatory loans, and medical bills. This debt can lead these families to end up hungry, homeless, and in poverty.

    Debt can lead people to feel powerless, but CEO Rohan Pavuluri and the …

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  • By Jacob Talbot
    Nonprofit Tips: How to Engage Volunteers, Donors, and Constituents Via SMS with Twilio for Salesforce Copy of Generic Blog Header 3-3.png

    At Twilio.org, we’ve seen first hand how communication technology can enable nonprofits to reach people in transformative ways. Yet harnessing the right tech isn’t always straightforward.

    Let’s face it - engaging a diverse mix of volunteers, donors, and constituents is complicated, and it’s even more challenging when people have different communication preferences. Some people use email while others live by text. If you manage to reach people on the right channel, tracking and reporting on outcomes is also a chore when you need different tools and platforms for each communication channel. Whew!

    That’s why we built Twilio for Salesforce. More than 40,000 nonprofits rely on Salesforce to get a 360 view of their constituents, and with Twilio SMS they can now supercharge their communications on the platform they already know. In just a few minutes, a Salesforce admin can install and configure the app and start talking with people over …

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  • By Jacob Talbot
    Fight for the Future Defends Net Neutrality with Programmable Voice and SMS fftf-header
    Did you know that Twilio.org offers credits and discounts for nonprofits and social enterprises? Learn more today.

     

    “It’s the free speech fight of our generation.” Evan Greer, Deputy Director at Fight for the Future, doesn’t mince words about the importance of net neutrality. “We see [the rollback of net neutrality] as something that will determine not only the future of what the internet looks like, but what the future of what our society will look like.”

    Battle for the Net

    Net neutrality is a deceptively simple concept with broad implications. Essentially, it’s the principle that internet service providers (ISPs) should treat content equally. Without net neutrality, ISPs can treat the internet like T.V., where the voices you hear are those that can afford to pay for access, whether that’s your latest Netflix binge, a startup’s homepage, or independent journalism. “Net neutrality protections are not just about how fast our …

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  • By Jacob Talbot
    The Bike Project Delivers Critical Mobility to Refugees in the UK Bike-Project-Shop
    Did you know that Twilio.org offers credits and discounts for nonprofits and social enterprises? Learn more today.

    Jem Stein is on a mission to get every refugee on a bike.

    Each year over 13,000 people seek asylum in London. Many arrive fleeing war, religious persecution, and government oppression. Once in the UK, asylum seekers face new challenges adapting to their new home. Among these, a lack of affordable transportation creates a virtual wall between refugees and basic resources like food shelters and health services. Led by founder Jem Stein, The Bike Project is breaking down this barrier, two wheels at a time.

    The Difference a Bike Makes

    Jem’s mission began after he witnessed the importance of transportation to refugees firsthand. “I mentored a Darfuri refugee named Adam at university and saw the difficulties he faced getting around London.”

    Government accommodations for asylum seekers typically reside on the outskirts of London, …

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  • By Jacob Talbot
    Notifica provides Urgent Support for Immigrants with the Touch of a Button uwd-phones-blog
    Did you know that Twilio.org offers credits and discounts for nonprofits and social enterprises? Learn more today.

     

    In deportation events, every minute counts. Immigration enforcement raids can happen at any time, anywhere. When an arrest occurs, family members get separated without being able to tell loved ones what happened, or let their employers know where they are. And connected to each person directly affected by a deportation are communities around the country that lose friends, family members, coworkers, and teachers.

    There are approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States and 800,000 who are at risk of losing legal residency status currently provided under the DREAM Act. For these people, connections to their communities, families, and attorneys are essential to ensure that they receive fair treatment during and immediately following an immigration raid. Through their bilingual mobile app, Notifica, technologists at United We Dream seek to ensure that …

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  • By Jacob Talbot
    Celebrating Women Who Drive #Tech4Good womens-history-collage
    Did you know that Twilio.org offers credits and discounts for nonprofits and social enterprises? Learn more today.

     

    To celebrate Women’s History Month and the awesome work of women in the Twilio community, we wanted to take a minute to recognize some of our personal heroes. This is in no way an exhaustive list, but a small cross section of amazing developers, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and all around badasses that are building the future of social impact through communications technology.

    All of us here at Twilio are grateful for the opportunity to work with such inspiring people and look forward to seeing the history each of them continue to make every day.

    Atma Connect
    Led by CEO and founder, Meena Palaniappan, Atma Connect enables people in Indonesia to share real-time information about issues affecting their communities, including floods, fires, jobs, and education. With a text-based alert system, users can stay connected with …

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  • By Jacob Talbot
    Age UK fights loneliness among older people with a telephone befriending service olderPersonOnPhone
    Did you know that Twilio.org offers credits and discounts for nonprofits and social enterprises? Learn more today.

     

    Nearly 1.2 million older people in the UK say they’re chronically lonely. Roughly 3.9 million say that TV is their main form of company. And some 200,000 haven’t had a conversation with a friend or family member in more than a month.

    London-based charity Age UK set out to reduce chronic loneliness in 2005 with its Call in Time service. Once a week for 30 minutes, Call in Time connected older people with volunteers over the phone, providing companionship, advice, and support to the people who needed it most.

    Although Call in Time had helped thousands of people, the service’s manual call system was labor intensive and couldn’t scale to reach the number of people Age UK wanted to help. It plateaued at 3,500 calls per month—a small portion of what Age UK …

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  • By Jacob Talbot
    Band Together Bay Area concert to support North Bay relief efforts band-together-2

    This year has witnessed an onslaught of natural disasters around the world. Here in California, we’ve seen our neighbors in the North Bay sustain the most destructive and deadliest firestorm in California history. The fires have burned an estimated 200,000 acres and 6,000 homes in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Lake Counties, displacing thousands of residents.

    In response to damage wrought by these fires, Twilio is joining Tipping Point and a coalition of Bay Area business and community leaders to launch Band Together Bay Area, a fundraising initiative to support relief efforts and long-term recovery in the region. The funds raised by Band Together Bay Area will go into an emergency fund established by Tipping Point Community and will be directed to North Bay community foundations, service providers, and government partners supporting the low-income communities hardest hit by the fires.

    We’re kicking off this effort with a benefit concert on …

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  • By Jacob Talbot
    Top 5 Peer to Peer Fundraising Tips with Team Rubicon and Twilio.org Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 11.20.43 AM-6417
    Did you know that Twilio.org offers credits and discounts for nonprofits and social enterprises? Learn more today.

    Recently, fundraising trailblazer, Matt Scott of Team Rubicon, joined up with Twilio.org for the Peer to Peer World Virtual Conference to discuss best practices for creating sticky fundraising campaigns that drive big results.

    As the resident fundraising guru at Team Rubicon, a nonprofit that deploys US veterans in support of disaster relief efforts, Matt helped grow Team Rubicon’s annual revenue from $250k to over $15 million – $9 million for Hurricane Harvey alone. So it’s safe to say Matt knows a thing or two about creating successful fundraising campaigns.

    During the conversation, Matt offered his top 5 tips for peer to peer fundraising campaigns that generate strong conversions and create long term relationships with supporters:

    1. Make Your Fundraiser Time-Bound

    As a rule of thumb, Matt finds that 4-6 weeks is an effective …

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  • By Jacob Talbot
    TxDOT Cuts Down the Commute with Traffic Updates via Programmable SMS and Notify my35-screenshot
    Did you know that Twilio.org offers credits and discounts for nonprofits and social enterprises? Learn more today.

    Can a text message create a safer, shorter commute? Researchers at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) think so, and they’re proving it to thousands of Texas drivers each day through a support contract with TxDOT to bring innovation and best practices to a major highway reconstruction effort.

    Some 60,000 to 132,000 vehicles travel the hundred-mile stretch of I-35 from Hillsboro to Salado daily. An eight-year, $2.1 billion project is currently underway to increase mobility and facilitate economic development along the corridor, as well as make commutes safer for Texans. During construction, getting timely, accurate information to travelers about slow-downs and traffic incidents has been a primary goal.

    As part this communications effort, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) recently implemented real-time alerts about construction-related issues via text. The system notifies drivers about …

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