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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 con …

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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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  • By Jacob Talbot
    Good Call Supports Through the Arrest Process When One Call Must Connect good_call_and_legal_aid_lawyers
    Did you know that Twilio.org offers credits and discounts for nonprofits and social enterprises? Learn more today.

    Imagine you’re arrested and your cell phone is taken away. You have only few minutes to make one phone call through a public line to a number you know by heart. Who do you call? Have you memorized their number? Do you have a qualified lawyer available to represent you?

    These are the questions that four social tech entrepreneurs set out to solve with Good Call, a free 24/7 legal hotline serving New York City’s Bronx borough.

    “We heard dozens of stories from people arrested for either really trivial reasons, like hopping a turnstile or forgetting to pay a ticket, or for no reason at all—just for fitting ‘the description,’” explains Gabe Leader-Rose, co-founder and project manager of Good Call. “They all said how hard it was to get in touch with …

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  • By Jacob Talbot
    Atma Connect gets people to safety fast with text-based disaster warnings Atma_Connect_Women
    Did you know that Twilio.org offers credits and discounts for nonprofits and social enterprises? Learn more today.

    Massive floods are common during Indonesia’s monsoon season. Houses and roads are often inundated with floodwaters, and extreme weather sometimes displaces thousands of residents and causes dozens of fatalities each year. Government early warning systems exist but are unreliable, rarely reaching those living in the poorest and most vulnerable communities. However, most Indonesians have a mobile phone, making SMS communication a natural fit for critical communications in the region. Realizing this, Atma Connect turned to text-based communications to deliver locally relevant a …

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  • By Jacob Talbot
    Democracy Works: Helping democracy thrive in a mobile-dominated world with SMS turbovote-phone
    Did you know that Twilio.org offers credits and discounts for nonprofits and social enterprises? Learn more today.

    Turnout in American elections is uniformly low. In presidential election years, roughly 60% of Americans vote, but that number falls to 40% in midterm elections and the low teens for municipal races. Although voter apathy is a factor, the primary culprit is the voting process itself. The majority of non-voters find it complicated and confusing.

    Democracy Works is fighting to shake up the status quo with TurboVote. The online app helps Americans register to vote, track local and national elections, submit absentee ballots, and learn other critical election information. The o …

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  • By Jacob Talbot
    PATH Uses SMS Data Alerts to Help End Malaria in Zambia DSC_1146
    Did you know that Twilio.org offers credits and discounts for nonprofits and social enterprises? Learn more today.

    In Zambia’s Southern Province, the fight to end malaria begins with a knock on the door. An army of community health workers, dedicated volunteers chosen by their communities, are trained and equipped to test and treat their neighbors for malaria.

    A positive malaria cases triggers a targeted response: the community health worker visits the home of the patient and tests everyone there. If anyone tests positive for malaria they are given treatment. Then she expands the search for the malaria parasite out to 140 meters—about the length of a football field.

    Zambia is using this community surveillance approach because malaria infection tends to cluster. It’s the latest step in the country’s long fight to end malaria for good.

    Malaria in Zambia

    Ten years ago, targeted attention to individual malaria cases was not happening. …

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