The Textizen Blog

JAN 07 2015

Philadelphia LISC Embraces Text Surveying for Community Building

LISC header image

Starting December 2014, Philadelphia Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a nonprofit community development organization and catalyst for community change, has adopted Textizen to support its work with community partners to strengthen neighborhoods and improve the lives of residents for a better Philadelphia.

As LISC brings people and organizations together to revitalize neighborhoods, Textizen will serve as a robust community engagement tool, improving each community partner’s capacity to reach and engage residents. LISC’s community partners have more than 25 planned uses for text message outreach and communication in 2015, including programs already underway in West Philadelphia and Eastern North Philadelphia.

Although the planned uses vary widely, there is a common theme: text surveying will streamline the delivery of services, while also establishing a platform for continued engagement. The ability to reach out to entire groups of program participants at once will not only make routine communication easier, it will also help organizers develop new programs or refine existing ones in response to community interests or needs.

APM food buying club

APM’s Food Buying Club will use Textizen to keep the community informed about resources and programs.

Building Engagement, Transforming Neighborhoods

One planned use for Textizen is APM’s Food Buying Club in Eastern North Philadelphia, which helps families save money on healthy foods through bulk purchasing. The Food Buying Club will use text messaging to simplify the enrollment process and provide notifications to members. Letting participants know that it’s time to place their next order, or that their food is ready for pickup, will be an automated process, saving staff time for program improvement and face-to-face outreach.

Another example is The Collaborative’s Home Preservation Initiative, which educates homeowners on home repairs and maintenance, and helps coordinate repair services. The Collaborative will use Textizen surveys to follow up with home repair participants, track program outcomes, and evaluate the program for customer satisfaction and potential improvements.

Community organizers within each organization will also be able to use text surveys to assess resident interest in other programs or services, and provide referrals to other partner organizations where applicable.

CDC talking to business owner

Textizen will help CDCs engage business owners and customers to help support local businesses and improve business corridors.

Sustained and meaningful community engagement has always been central to LISC’s mission, and Textizen is a natural extension of that effort. With text messaging being the most widespread and accessible communications medium across all ages and income levels, text-based engagement offers a great way to help people access resources and get involved in their communities.

LISC’s approach to strengthening neighborhoods relies on community engagement, follow-up, and follow-through. We see Textizen as an innovation that will help us increase people’s access to information and resources and improve the lives of residents.

— David Ferris, Program Assistant, Philadelphia LISC

As the various uses of Textizen roll out in 2015, we look forward to seeing the impact accessible technology has on local communities, and reporting on the outcomes here on the Textizen blog.

If you’re interested in using mobile engagement to help build your community, get in touch: