As originally published on Finance.Yahoo.com
SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–
Initiative will enable communication efforts by nonprofits supporting individuals and communities in times of crisis
Establishes crisis response technology network to help nonprofits expand the number of people they serve via communications
$5 million in grants available to nonprofits for communications technology supporting people in crisis
Twilio (TWLO), the leading cloud communications platform, today announced that the company’s social impact arm — Twilio.org — has launched its Crisis Response and Prevention Initiative. The announcement was made at SIGNAL, the company’s annual developer and customer conference held this week at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
As part of the initiative, Twilio.org has established the Crisis Response Technology Network (CRTN), intended to help nonprofits develop communications technology to serve individuals and communities in times of crisis. The CRTN will bring together organizations that have the greatest capacity for delivering crisis response communications at scale via technology. Members, including engineers and program specialists, will identify barriers and opportunities for nonprofits to utilize technology to decrease response times for providing help to people in crisis. The CRTN will also work to make sure that nonprofits are receiving enhancements to and maximizing the functionality of the Twilio technology they are currently using. The CRTN reflects Twilio.org’s vision that one day, everyone who is at risk will get the help they need, right when they need it.
Meetings will be held quarterly, with costs covered by the Twilio.org Impact Fund. Charter members of the Crisis Response Technology Network were announced at SIGNAL, including:
- Child Helpline International – a collective impact organization with 175 members from 145 countries and territories around the world coordinating information, viewpoints, knowledge and data from child helpline members, partners and external sources to help and support child protection systems globally, regionally and nationally.
- International Rescue Committee – established in 1933 by Albert Einstein, the IRC responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic well-being, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster.
- Partnership for Drug-Free Kids (Center on Addiction) – the only national nonprofit committed to supporting the whole family as they address every aspect of substance use and addiction, from prevention to recovery.
- Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) – the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, operating the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE) and carrying out programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.
- Save the Children – founded 100 years ago, Save the Children is devoted to providing children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm and has changed the lives of more than one billion children.
- Trevor Project – the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.
“More and more nonprofits are using Twilio’s technology given the important role of communications in life and death situations,” said Erin Reilly, vice president of Social Impact and general manager of Twilio.org. “Nonprofits want to deliver the right message at the right time to the right person, all at the scale of the problem they’re tackling. They are the experts in changing people’s lives, and we want to help them expand their reach to even more people. We’re looking forward to working even more closely with leading organizations that have been supporting people in times of crisis for decades.”
To support the effort, Twilio.org announced that it will provide a total of $5 million in grants from the Twilio.org Impact Fund by the end of 2019 to nonprofits in the United States and globally that leverage innovative communications technology to address the following areas:
- Domestic violence
- Substance abuse
- Sexual assault
- Suicide prevention and mental health
- Natural disasters
Nonprofits can submit applications for the grants at the Twilio.org website.
An initial round of $1.2 million in grants was announced at SIGNAL, awarded to the following recipients:
- Child Helpline International
- International Rescue Committee
- Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)
- Save the Children
- Trevor Project
These grants were made through the Twilio.org Impact Fund, which has provided over $3.75 million to social impact organizations since the start of 2019. These grants are part of the company’s Pledge 1% initiative to support social impact.
Keeli Sorensen, vice president of Victim Services at RAINN, provided a keynote address at SIGNAL about the critical role that communications technology has played in their efforts to help individuals survive and recover from sexual assault. “Twilio’s Programmable SMS allows our hotline staff to safely share resources across the globe, whether that’s with a survivor in rural Alaska, or a NOAA scientist in the Arctic. Twilio’s Programmable Voice also helps RAINN connect with people worldwide. Together, these technologies have made it possible for our staff to provide survivors with emotional support, develop safety plans to leave abusive environments, and learn ways to report their assaults to law enforcement,” said Sorensen.
For more information on the Twilio.org Impact Fund, visit twilio.org/impact-fund.
Twilio.org works with nonprofits and social enterprises to fuel communications that give hope, power and freedom. By connecting social impact organizations, passionate software developers and the full power of the Twilio platform, Twilio.org ignites positive change on a local and global scale. To date, more than 3,000 charities and nonprofits have used Twilio to send more than a billion messages for good.