It’s not every day that you find groups like American Public Media, Center for Community Change, The Humane Society of the United States, Reform Immigration for America, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops speaking together on an issue. However that is just what is happening with text messaging. They, along with a number of other nonprofits, are getting together to tell the FCC that it is time to realize that people use text messaging to communicate.
These organizations care about text messaging because they want to use text messaging to advance their mission. Text messaging could be a great way to reach out to supporters, tell them what is going on, and even raise a little money in the process. Unfortunately, today the world of text messaging is bogged down in layers of obscure, interlocking bureaucracy that can make it hard to innovate, hard to communicate, and hard to connect.
The rest of the nonprofit world is learning what Catholic Relief Services found out the hard way – text message campaigns can be fickle, and arbitrary carrier rules are not helping.
That is a big part of what our text messaging petition is all about. We are asking the FCC to make sure that everything you can do with a voice call you can do with a text message. No nonprofit (or anyone else for that matter) should worry that their text message program to, say, help runaway teens find a safe place, or protect endangered species, or promote volunteering is going to be shut off because some carrier decides they aren’t comfortable with it.
So that’s where we stand. Businesses want the FCC to fix text messaging. Nonprofits want the FCC to fix text messaging. The public wants the FCC to fix text messaging. What’s the FCC waiting for?