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United Way 2-1-1

United Way 2-1-1

The United Way of Greater Atlanta had a traditional call center with individuals calling 2-1-1. Calling 2-1-1 connects people, via the phone, to the assistance they need to address everyday challenges of living as well as those that develop during times of community emergencies.

2-1-1 is a 3-digit number that anyone in the metro Atlanta area can dial from either their landline or cell phone to get connected to the services they need. 2-1-1 is available 24/7/365. It’s free and confidential. 2-1-1 services are available in over 140 languages.

So, who are you going to call? Well, you don’t have to call any more. Services have now expanded from just calling 2-1-1 to live chat, email support, a downloadable app available from Apple iTunes and Google Play.

This is a powerful case of nonprofit business transformation. Not content with reaching individuals the “traditional way”, United Way has implemented a vision of service not seen by many call centers. The vision starts with a strong desire to educate and empower the community.

So why the change? United Way of Greater Atlanta has a goal to utilize technology to empower those in need. They have realized that this is more effective way to engage millennials. Their 2-1-1’s database is a valuable “RESOURCE HUB” for local and statewide services and this change allows for Information to be accessible in a variety of ways.

The United Way is focusing its relationships with individuals being at the center of all we do. An example of this is how we have transformed our 2-1-1 call center to a multi-channel contact center. The service provided as a result of this change has been stunning.  —  Milton Little, CEO, United Way of Greater Atlanta

What are the benefits the United Way of Atlanta is seeing as a result of this transformation? It has created additional points of connectivity to the community. People in need no longer just have to connect by the phone. They have seen increased staff productivity: LIVE chat allows communication with multiple customers at the same time. A huge plus is enhanced communication with their disabled population through text, email referrals and Live Chat. Promoting online capabilities increases their exposure and awareness of all aspects of United Way. And, in fast pace, every change world, 2-1-1 remains relevant.

So here is what it means to one individual. Cris Taylor who was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and grew up in a middle-class family. After his second year in college he found himself struggling with an addiction to drugs and alcohol and became homeless for more than three years. Cris came to Atlanta with $3 in his pocket and through United Way’s 2-1-1 Contact Center was able to get into a treatment facility at St. Jude’s. You can read his story here.

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