Find out how the Donate Life NC team earned the trust of multicultural communities through text-to-join keywords.
Donate Life North Carolina is a collaborative group of organizations that promote eye, organ and tissue donation.
The Donate Life team was struggling to gain enough trust within multicultural communities and they had difficulty getting folk to share their contact information as a result.
Once they found that community members were comfortable texting, they started to average 30 new registrants per event.
Even the largest football stadium in the US couldn’t fit the number of patients on the national transplant waiting list.
On any given day, about 110,000 men, women and children are waiting for lifesaving organ transplants.
Almost half of those in need of organ transplants are minorities, specifically 1,961 since July 31st, 2020
While organs aren’t matched by race or ethnicity, everyone who is waiting for an organ transplant has a better chance of receiving one if there are large numbers of donors from their racial and ethnic background.
This means the efforts from the diversity-focused team leaders Tanise Love and Katherine Ramirez Campbell over at Donate Life NC are crucial.
This month is National Minority Donor Awareness Month, and together Tanise and Katherine are on a mission to reach further and wider in the communities they serve with texting as a primary tool to communicate.
Tanise and Katherine take on a lot of different projects for Donate Life. One of their most challenging is their work with The Decision Project, or TDP.
The Decision Project is all about empowering people to make an educated and inspired decision about organ, eye, and tissue donation and then share that decision with their family.
TDP began in 2018 and its grassroots approach toward organ donation education has required boots on the ground in communities who have a deeply rooted distrust in many institutions, healthcare being one of the biggest.
At first, Tanise noticed how difficult it was to encourage community members to share their contact information.
But when our team helped her set up a keyword (MYCHOICE) that folks could text in their short code 56525, she saw a spike of 30 subscribers from just one event.
“Texting has been awesome for TDP. It’s just such a different way to communicate with our market. People find it a lot easier to trust when they’re not filling out any kind of forms,” notes Tanise.
"When we target and focus on multicultural audiences there’s just a lack of trust in institutions all across the board. They’re apprehensive to give their personal information but having a keyword was so helpful for making it more approachable."
Today, Tanise and Katherine use texting to get the word out about a variety of events within the community.
From Zoom yoga, meditation, and cooking classes to organizing hand sanitizer drops offs at local community health centers.
For Katherine specifically, texting has helped increase her confidence in event turnout thanks to the tracking and analytics SMS provides.
Being able to see concrete proof that her subscribers received the invitation and clicked on it leaves her with a greater peace of mind that folks will actually show up.
“We’re very intentional with what we’re linking in texts because we can really track it and get an idea of who’s seeing it. With social media, you can doubt the reach and wonder if anyone is actually seeing our posts, but with texting you know they’re getting it.”
Carrying their team’s momentum from April’s Donate Life Month into a rather tumultuous social summer hasn’t been easy.
Without a strong communication foundation, the chance of their message being lost in the mix is higher than ever.
“There’s so much noise out there right now, but having the ability to text people who we know open our messages…that’s when we know that we are increasing that chance that someone learns more or listens to information that can save lives,” notes Tanise.
The Donate Life NC team will continue their work daily to gain the trust of the community and continue to host educational and, most importantly, fun events!
Pending COVID-restrictions, Tanise and Katherine plan on bringing their keyword along with them on their college homecoming tour across North Carolina’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
They’ll use texting to host giveaways and share information with student-run groups to register as many new donors as they can within their organizations.
Is your nonprofit looking to connect with the community? Take a page out of Donate Life’s book and start texting free for 14 days.
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