Author: Andrew Ramadan   |   Published: December 1, 2021

Nonprofits use communications platforms for a variety of reasons. Whether these organizations need help reaching their audience with options for remote communications or require assistance handling questions and donations, it’s important for nonprofits to have a reliable and intuitive solution for their users and employees. 

Industry trending towards mobile and SMS communication is another driving factor behind the push for nonprofits to invest in communications platforms, showing a 26% mobile audience growth in 2020 compared to only a 3% average increase in email list size according to the M+R Benchmarks 2021 Report. Nonprofits running social impact programs to tackle community issues through communication channels can take advantage of Twilio’s suite of tools geared towards providing flexible communication options.

Twilio is a cloud communications platform that allows you to programmatically send and receive calls and texts, set up a contact center with live agents or bots, and communicate across multiple channels such as voice, SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Email. 

As a preferred partner of Twilio.org – Twilio’s social impact arm dedicated to positive change on a local to global scale – Vision Point Systems has been fortunate to help many of these social impact organizations transform their communications for the better. Throughout these projects, we’ve been able to track the positive impact of Twilio on our nonprofit partners’ organizations consistently by looking at these 5 areas:

1) Metrics

How can you assess your organization’s performance at reaching your audience without gathering and organizing data about your interactions with them? One of the key issues nonprofit organizations face is a lack of organized data that provides insight into how well goals are being met as these goals are often qualitative in nature and sorting through the data can be labor intensive. Twilio provides a wealth of measurable information at your disposal about the individuals who are calling, texting, or chatting into your system. For example, it’s possible to understand when people are most likely to call in, or how many calls you’re getting in a day.

Additionally, Twilio Flex’s comprehensive communications platform allows your agents to take survey information in real time. This information can be aggregated within Twilio, using Flex Insights, to help your organization measure outcomes to determinate the impact of your efforts. Measuring outcomes will help quantify your mission’s goals, such as how likely a mental health hotline was at diffusing a caller’s distress or seeing how many callers inquiring about a food bank actually go visit.

2) Automation and Self-Service

Nonprofit organizations must employ tools that empower people in need and community members looking to donate or volunteer their time. Self-service tools that provide value to users outside of the organization free up staff members to focus on higher value initiatives. Twilio opens the door for your nonprofit to build self-service tools that work to benefit everyone.

Through an interactive voice response (IVR) or chatbot, donors can enter their zip code to find the easiest way to provide help, such as the nearest donation center. Furthermore, if a visitor was a person in need, they could be directed to a food bank, vaccine distribution site, shelter, or other related help center. 

Twilio’s platform creates a lot of opportunities for self-service. VPS has created self-service payment capabilities both on websites and through an IVR, creating a more user-friendly process that can eliminate the need for users to have to contact representatives at nonprofits.

3) Integration Capabilities

It can be daunting to invest in a new technology if you have concerns about how well it will integrate with the tools your nonprofit already has in place. With flexible integration technology, Twilio can integrate seamlessly with common nonprofit specific backends like iCarol and AuntBertha for example. Furthermore, Vision Point Systems has experience developing many unique solutions combining Twilio with Salesforce, Appian, Hubspot, and even custom systems. Twilio Flex allows you to show these integrated platforms right on the dashboard for agents as well.

4) Scalability

Twilio gives you the flexibility to scale up and down as your business needs evolve and change throughout the year. For example, if your nonprofit is often busier around the holidays, Twilio provides options to scale up when you need additional agents and scale back down when you return to a slower flow of communication. Within Twilio Flex, agents can be added or removed to adjust your organization’s workload and the platform can be expanded to be able to handle more calls without making changes. The best part is, Twilio will only charge you for what you use every step of the way.

5) Omnichannel

With broad communities that often don’t have access to the latest technology, nonprofits must be able to offer communication options that are flexible for users to allow access for people in need. Using Twilio Conversations, VPS has helped deliver mobile applications that are dual-native, working on both Android and iOS phones. Additionally, we’ve helped create unified campaigns that connect many different platforms such as SMS, WhatsApp, and email–allowing nonprofits to utilize a variety of channels for communication. 

If you’d like to learn more about Vision Point Systems and our nonprofit project work, visit our nonprofit page. We help nonprofits attain these benefits through unique solutions that fit your organization’s needs.

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