Non-profit teams up with Tech Startup to throw better events

Carmelo Mannino

Recently the Fort Collins Non-Profit Homeless Gear teamed up with PurpleSlate, a Denver based mobile application, to help reach more individuals in need. Founded in 2008, Homeless Gear’s mission is to empower individuals and families who face homelessness to survive, move forward and thrive. Among its programs, Homeless Gear hosts quarterly service events for children and families through which it distributes basic-need supplies and invites other agencies/organizations to provide a wide range of services (e.g. haircuts, legal advice, resource referrals, etc.). PurpleSlate is a text based event management app that was founded by Neha Mohta in 2015 after she struggled to find an easy way to invite friends and family to her child’s birthday party without having to juggle with emails or Facebook, and was left with the only option of group texting and manually managing her guest list.

A month ago, Homeless Gear and PurpleSlate crossed paths and started brainstorming about how the organizations may be able to work together to spread awareness about Homeless Gear’s future events. The two organizations decided that PurpleSlate would collect the phone numbers of the families that attended the February 25th event, then send the families text messages regarding the next event.

Homeless Gear shares a common problem with many organizations. Organizations struggle to spread awareness around events. They promote by using traditional methods such as Facebook, flyers, and calling upon partner organizations, but they cannot track the effectiveness of this outreach. PurpleSlate offers them a unique way to send out invitations to events via text messages that have a 98% open rate.

During the event PurpleSlate was able to sign up over 90% of participants, many of which jumped at the chance to be notified about upcoming events through text messaging. Homeless Gear had a very successful event with over 300 individuals in attendance and numerous organizations working together to provide those in need with valuable resources. Homeless Gear and PurpleSlate will be notifying event attendees in May to let them know about their upcoming event, so stay tuned for the results. 

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