In times of need people help each other. People respond.
We’re building a tool to help.
It’s not fancy – it’s very simple. It’s purpose driven and designed to work with local phone numbers across the planet (we’ll deliver messages to local numbers in nearly 200 nations).
There are two jobs it can do:
– It allows an organization’s key people to make one call and the system works down the responder list itself until it finds a qualified responder who confirms they’re available.
– Organizations can send text alerts to quickly get the right information to the right people (whether that’s a few select people or everyone).
That’s it. Very simple. …but in emergency operations with regular, old fashion, cell phones, simple is good. We want volunteers and workers scattered across the planet to save time when it counts.
It has to be solid and robust so it can be counted on in an emergency. We have medical care and relief groups waiting to use it. It has to easily be used by people that speak a wide range of languages intuitively.
Low cost is important too. As you can imagine, running a sexual-assault response line in rural Oregon or an orphanage/response center in Ethiopia means a ‘technology’ budget of zero.
As of June 15th, 2016, our estimated need to finish the platform and having it running on redundant, geographically separate, servers, is down to $3100.
Once running, each organization should have an average cost to run of just $3 a month for a something like a rural clinic, to $15 a month for an organization making a 1,000 calls/texts a month.
Durable, simple, fast, open, and cost effective.
We want to invest in that. We hope you do too.
Ok. Make a donation or send us an email if you’d like to help. If the next 100 people gave $30, we’ll basically be done. It’s not an expensive project. …just an important one.
All financial support is tax deductible (check with your tax planner to be sure if you’re not).
Want to read more about why we need to build this instead of use something else? Here you go. : )
“What’s this replace then? How does it save them time?”
Have you ever seen a ‘call tree’? It’s a list where you start at the top and call each person to get them a message of where they are needed, or where to get information, or check availability to help with a need.
While they can be effective, they are slow and keep the callers stuck to a phone instead of anything more useful. They are easily broken, and it takes much longer to reach the last person than the first. A major problem if you’re trying to get urgent help somewhere and need the first available responder.
Our platform makes it so they place one call, and it can either send a text to everyone in the group, or it can call each person automatically until it gets a live human on the other end. All with just one call – and all for pennies.
“Why even make this? There’s lots of other solutions out there.”
So what else is there? Group email. WhatsApp. A major group text from your cell. Software tools.
…None of these really work.
In an emergency ’email’ doesn’t come to mind as a fast way to reach people. Especially if the emergency is in Mongolia.
WhatsApp isn’t built for the task so it’d be a real bear to setup and everyone would need a smartphone. Not going to help many people in Haiti that way.
A major group text from a cell is just chaos. What happens when people reply and it gets cc’d around? Everyone has 23 new texts to deal with and has to look at them to figure out if they are still needed or not (and the phone keeps chirping long after they got the info they needed from the first text).
Other software tools (or webapps). There are commercial solutions that work in some nations, but they are expensive (most are in the $50-$100/mo range to do what is needed… and while that’s fine for a business using it to make money, it’s way too much for most non-profits – and what we’ve looked at wasn’t build on a redundant enough framework to be counted on.
What we’ll be doing is building on the back of well made, open-source, software. This means we’re saving a bunch on the initial development, and providing improvements that other organizations can freely use. In turn, others can improve and expand our work too. Everyone benefiting and helping get more done more easily.
Read all this too? Shoot us an email to let us know what you think, if you have time and skills with AWS, OpenPBX, you’d like to help with translations, or you’d like to contribute if you think good technology can help people do good.
Thank you. : )