Over the past five years, we’ve trained 12,000+ people to demonstrate empathy and compassion in conversations with people in crisis. And they’re great at it! Our self-reported texter satisfaction rate is 85%. Crisis Counselors tell us they use these skills in other ways too–in their family life, work life, etc.
Along the way, we started hearing from companies and organizations who want to apply our training to their challenges. They’ve asked us to teach their people with the skills and confidence to navigate hard conversations.
At the same time, we’ve been thinking: “How can Crisis Text Line continue to grow at its current pace, without relying entirely on individual donors or (*shudder*) a chicken dinner fundraiser?” How can we fundraise in a way that helps us further our purpose of putting more empathy in the world?
The answer: a subsidiary for-profit venture called Loris.ai, named after a deceptively adorable venomous lemur native to Southeast Asia. (Communication skills are often categorized as soft, yet these challenging moments make-or-break a career or company. Same with the slow loris – it looks cuddly, but one wrong move and it can kill you.)
Loris.ai is a mission-driven social enterprise teaching people to have more empathy, cultural competency, and hard conversations. It turns what Crisis Text Line does best – empathy and innovation – into a means of keeping Crisis Text Line sustainable and free to users. We’re leveraging our data-informed training to build a new training that will make companies more compassionate. Maybe it’s a start-up cliché, but Loris.ai actually will make the world a better place.
Crisis Text Line is the majority shareholder in Loris.ai. We literally own it. (And we share a Founder/CEO – Nancy Lublin – so it’s all in the family.)
Beyond its future impact on its corporate clients and the potential impact on Crisis Text Line’s financial future, we foresee Loris.ai changing the not-for-profit space as a whole. We’re modeling a new path to sustainability for not-for-profits. Simply put, why sell t-shirts when you can sell the thing your organization does best?