Twilio: Announcing the Twilio.org Impact Fund

By: Kyle Kelly-Yahner

It’s hard to see how something as simple as a text can serve underrepresented communities, save lives, or encourage financial stability. That is, until you see communications in action.

Twilio.org is committed to supporting and empowering the organizations that use communications to deliver impact. Twilio.org works with nonprofits to maximize their impact by giving them the communications tools they need serve their communities and cut through noise.

At SIGNAL, we announced the launch of the Twilio.org Impact Fund that provides funding for nonprofits and social enterprises. As part of the announcement, we shared that the first $1 million is going to fuel eight nonprofits’ success.

We want to do even more to deploy capital and provide access to communications that will scale impact. Twilio.org has partnered with impact venture firms including Omidyar Network, Kapor Capital, Village Capital and Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, as well as Fast Forward Accelerator and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Investors and accelerators see the challenges their portfolio companies face across the board, and are looking for technology solutions that can solve those problems. Twilio’s platform is a critical tool companies use to better connect with the people they serve. Now that Twilio.org is partnering with these investors and accelerators, more companies will have access to services that can scale impact.

Twilio.org will also be working with each of these partners to source and collaborate on investment opportunities.

  • The inaugural Impact Fund recipients tackle social and economic challenges of all sorts. We’re humbled and happy to work with these organizations.CareMessage uses Twilio SMS to make underserved populations healthier. CareMessage plans to use funds from the Twilio.org Impact Fund to expand its go to market model using mobile messaging and voice to reach over 3 million people.
  • OpenGov Foundation makes it easier for citizens to see, shape and understand their government while helping elected officials meaningfully engage at scale with their constituents, delivering digital democracy with open-source tools that will now include Twilio-powered phone calls with Congress.
  • Mission Asset Fund helps those in need gain financial stability and build credit by offering zero interest lending. To maximize their impact they will reach out to current and prospective clients via Twilio SMS.
  • Fast Forward gives tech-based nonprofits the infrastructure they need to tackle global and social problems. They will accelerate their training, funding, and mentorship programs using the Impact Fund grant.
  • Democracy Works ensures that everyone has the opportunity to vote. They use Twilio’s messaging platform to send their community reminders about election dates, polling places and registration information to get them to turn out and vote.
  • Trek Medics sets up emergency communications systems in developing countries using the Twilio communications backbone. Where there is no proverbial 911, they build a 911. Their work has saved lives and increased emergency response rates in countries across the globe. 
  • Lesbians Who Tech increases representation of queer and gender nonconforming persons in the tech community with their annual conferences, local events, and mentorship and scholarship programs. Using the Impact Fund grant, they will provide over 50 scholarships for their members to learn how to code and grow their careers.
  • #YesWeCode is on a mission to help 100,000 young women and men from underrepresented backgrounds find success in the tech sector. Using their Impact Fund grant, #YesWeCode will embark on a national effort to recruit underrepresented minorities to participate in coding bootcamps with the goal of being hired by tech companies for a technical apprenticeship.

The work that nonprofits do inside and outside of the Twilio ecosystem continues to surprise and inspire us. We are grateful to be able to support the efforts of these organizations everyday, and will continue to do so on a mission to unlock hope, power, and freedom.

For more information on the Twilio.org Impact Fund, visit twilio.org/twilio-org-impact-fund.