Salsa Blog

4 Nonprofit Organizations That Are Making Innovative Use of Mobile

How Should YOU Be Using Mobile? Let These 4 Organizations Be Your Guide

Everybody knows that mobile is the best platform to reach the most people. But sometimes, the medium can seem so vast and powerful, that it can be hard to get specific about what, exactly, your organization should be doing.

We at Mobile Commons wanted to highlight the work of four institutions that are making innovative use of mobile. These four groups are doing very different things – but all are having a huge impact on their constituents. We thought you might be able to take some inspiration from their work!


1) Keeps Teens Informed & Stress-Free

do_something_stress_text.jpg is a global organization that helps young people bring about social change. As part of their mission, they also want to help their young members take control of their own lives. saw that stress was a huge problem for teens today. In fact, their members told them that they were stressed out around 2/3 of the time. So launched “Less Stress Text,” a campaign to send teens practical tips over text that could help them reduce their stress levels and manage their anxiety.

Every day, focused on a different strategy to help stress – including meditating, writing prompts, and time management. They texted their young constituents simple tactics, like this one message that focused on breathing:

Place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your abdomen. Breathe in and out deeply. Do this for 5 minute, focusing on your breath.

The campaign reached over 50,000 young people, who had an overwhelmingly positive response.  

Thought starters: Text messages are a great way to send advice. They’re like the perfect pocket reminders. And like any reminder, they can be targeted to the perfect time. sent their texts at 9 pm, because that’s when teens are most stressed.

Read more about’s campaign here!


2) WWF Sends Reminders & Quizzes Around A Global Event


Earth Hour – a global movement organized by World Wildlife Fund – encourages people around the world to do something simple: turn off their lights. Every year, towards the end of March, Earth Hour asks people and organizations to join together for one lightless hour as a symbol of their commitment to the environment.

This year, WWF wanted to make sure that environmental advocates around the country were inspired to participate in the moment, and armed with the information to know the stakes. They launched a text message climate change quiz that helped educate their constituents on some of the common misconceptions around climate change. They then sent text message reminders to thousands of advocates for Earth Hour itself, to ensure that people participated.

On March 19, millions of people from a record-breaking 178 countries and territories united for climate action by turning off their lights for Earth Hour. It was the most far-reaching Earth Hour to date.

Thought Starters: Text message quizzes can be an interactive way to engage your constituents, and time-sensitive reminders can help raise turnout for any of your events.

Read more about WWF’s campaign here!


3) The City of Chattanooga Uses Mobile To Keep Citizens Informed & Safe


The City of Chattanooga wanted a way to keep in touch with its citizens. When issues like severe weather or transit problems threatened, Chattanooga wanted to keep people informed and safe. They realized that mobile messages could help them reach out to people with emergency information, and also keep citizens engaged around local issues.

Chattanooga sends citizens updates about road closures, heavy rain, and flooding. They also keep their citizens informed around civic issues like transit proposals, meetings, and town halls.

Thought Starter: A mobile message is a great way to communicate timely information. What information do you have to share with your constituents?

Read more about Chattanooga’s campaign here!


4) Three Consumer Groups Drive Phone Calls to Congress & Stop the DARK Act in Its Tracks


Consumer groups have been fighting for years to make labeling of genetically engineered foods (GMOs) mandatory for manufacturers. Over the past year, however, Big Food Corporations have been trying to pass a bill that would ban state GMO labeling laws. Labeling proponents commonly refer to this bill as the “Denying Americans the Right to Know Act” or DARK Act, since it would keep consumers in the dark about whether their food contains genetically engineered ingredients.

The DARK Act passed the House in July of 2015 and was making its way quickly through the Senate. In response, Food & Water Watch, the Organic Consumers Association, and the Environmental Working Group set up a call-in campaign using Mobile Commons Advocacy. The campaign targeted the key swing votes in the Senate. Ultimately the campaign drove 70,000 phone calls and defeated the DARK Act. Perhaps most impressively of all, every swing senator they targeted voted against the act.

Thought Starter: If your organization has upcoming legislation that matters to you, targeted phone calls can give your constituents a voice in the process.

Read more about the consumer groups’ campaign against the DARK Act!


Topics: Marketing