Take a look at this great story we got from Fordham University student Ryan Byrne, who’s currently fundraising for an outreach trip to Belize City.
When I found out I would be leading a Global Outreach trip to Belize City over winter break, I had no idea how big the time commitment would be. Although I participated in the project last year, I didn’t realize how time consuming organizing meetings and fundraisers between 11 group members could be.
After my entrepreneurship professor Charlie O’Donnell showed GroupMe to my class, I immediately went home and created a group for my team. At first, a text from a mysterious number which, when replied to, texted everyone on the team with their names attached, really confused some members. After this initial confusion subsided, everyone was in love with GroupMe.
GroupMe allowed everyone to communicate together as a team whenever needed, and has become an important aspect of our team-building efforts. Members have been using it to joke around and contact each other in a less formal matter when needed. When you’re first getting to know someone, it’s a lot less awkward to address that person in a GroupMe group (like a group setting) than it is to text them individually.
Even though helping build community has been important, I think GroupMe has been more important to me in a different aspect—saving me time when organizing. As I mentioned earlier, leading has been a big time commitment, but this time commitment has been rapidly shrinking since GroupMe came into my life. I think this can be best illustrated with a recent example.
One fundraiser we had, a simple 4-hour bake sale at night targeted at students “going out,” ended up taking me a ton of time to organize. I texted everyone on my team and asked them when they would like to work. Too many people texted back overlapping times, and certain time slots were not filled by members. I had to text everyone back and give them an OK, or text them back and ask them to change times. They then responded and said if they could or could not do a different time, and I would have to text other people and try to see if they could switch, etc. I had 11 conversations going on at the same time just to try and set up a simple bake sale, and not even the bake sale itself—just the time slots.
Now, we recently held our first post-GroupMe fundraiser: a raffle for Broadway tickets. I literally sent one text that said “We need someone working at the table today and tomorrow from 1PM to 7PM. People texted the group back when they could work, and since they could see what slots were filled and what needed to be filled, there was no overlap. Plus, everyone knew who was coming to relieve him or her from his or her shift and didn’t need to contact me and ask what was going on. Everything worked so simply and efficiently and saved me enormous amounts of time and effort.
I’m pretty sure I don’t want to go back to a time before GroupMe, and I think my group would agree. Just last week the Global Outreach team for India followed suit and began to use GroupMe as well, and I am sure they too will benefit from it just as much as we have.
Find out more about Ryan by visiting his blog.
Periodically, we share stories from users about how they use GroupMe in their everyday lives. If you have something to share, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re really nice.
Photo via Rick Goldman on Flickr