Nonprofit and Government Guide to A2P 10DLC Text Messaging

How to register your organization to send compliant SMS messages over 10-digit phone numbers using Twilio 

About this guide

Sending SMS and MMS via local 10-digit long codes (A2P 10DLC) in the U.S. now requires that you register your brand and use case(s) with U.S. carriers if you are sending more than 3k messages per day or from more than 5 phone numbers. This guide walks through the key things you need to know as a nonprofit or government registering for A2P 10DLC.

This guide is broken into two main sections:

  1. An introduction to A2P 10DLC and benefits provided to nonprofits and governments through registration.
  2. A detailed walkthrough of the registration process that describes exactly how nonprofit and government organizations should approach each of the three steps. This walkthrough is a companion to our A2P 10DLC registration docs. We recommend the docs for the step-by-step registration process and using this guide as a reference for the specific details for nonprofits and government.

For more information about A2P 10DLC, we invite you to watch our webinar, U.S. A2P 10DLC for Nonprofits and Government.

 

Nonprofit and Government Guide to A2P 10DLC Text Messaging

About this guide

Introduction to A2P 10DLC for nonprofits and government

A2P 10DLC registration process

Getting Started 

 

Introduction to A2P 10DLC for nonprofits and government

Application-to-Person 10-digit long code (A2P 10DLC) messaging is a new system to facilitate text messaging between organizations and people using 10-digit long code phone numbers in the United States. A2P 10DLC builds trust in the U.S. messaging ecosystem by providing transparency into sender identity and messaging use case, and ensuring that recipients have consented to receive messages for that use case.

All businesses and organizations sending more than 3,000 messages per day or from more than 5 phone numbers must register for 10DLC by October 1st, 2021 to avoid carrier penalties, including fees and the risk of increased levels of message filtering. This includes Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) that operate platforms used by other organizations to send SMS messages, such as Peer-to-Peer messaging platforms that facilitate direct connections between two individuals.

Organizations using their own brand (Direct Customers) and sending fewer than 3,000 messages per day from fewer than 5 phone numbers will not be required to register for A2P 10DLC until exceeding this threshold. If you are an ISV that has customers sending below these thresholds, you will still need to register them using ISV Starter Brands, but will not need to pay Brand or Campaign registration fees. 

To support nonprofit organizations and government entities that use SMS messaging, U.S. carriers are providing specific cost and messaging throughput benefits as part of A2P 10DLC. By registering your organization and use case, you can access improved delivery using the same phone numbers you have always used, while improving transparency and trust across the messaging ecosystem.

How A2P 10DLC builds trust in the SMS messaging ecosystem

Just a few years ago, it was uncommon for people to receive text messages from a business or nonprofit organization. Today, we’re on track to hit nearly 3 trillion messages sent by organizations annually by 2022. For many nonprofits, SMS is now an important communications channel for providing critical resources, personalized support, and delivering urgent information.

With the growth in A2P messaging, consumers have also experienced an increase in unwanted messages. Just as a well-timed message on an important subject can build trust, an unwanted message can erode consumer trust in the entire channel and impact the ability for all senders to reliably deliver important messages to end users.   

A2P 10DLC creates a trusted messaging experience for consumers by verifying the identity of the sender and the nature of the SMS messaging use case. This trust is critical to preserving the value of the SMS messaging channel in the long-run — both for businesses and nonprofits — and is the motivation driving the A2P 10DLC transition now.

How A2P 10DLC improves your SMS messaging program

After your organization is verified as nonprofit or government during the A2P 10DLC registration process, you will become eligible for several benefits provided by U.S. carriers, including improved deliverability, increased messaging throughput, and in some cases, reduced carrier fees. Benefits of A2P 10DLC registration include: 

  • Improved deliverability: Customers who have onboarded to A2P 10DLC and are sending compliant messages are seeing up to a 90% reduction in filtering. This improved deliverability results from carriers having greater transparency into message senders.
  • Increased throughput: Nonprofits will receive increased message throughput based on the type of registered messaging use case. 
  • Reduced carrier fees: Verified nonprofits are eligible for reduced carrier fees that will be charged for long-code messaging traffic. The specifics of the discount your organization can receive is based on the sender’s specific nonprofit tax designation (e.g. 501(c)(3), 527) and the messaging use case. See Special Use Case Throughput and Fees below for more details.

A2P 10DLC registration process

A2P 10DLC registration for Twilio customers is managed directly through the Twilio Console or via Twilio APIs for Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). Twilio facilitates your A2P 10DLC registration with all of our carrier partners at no additional cost to you. In the following sections, we discuss key distinctions in the registration process for nonprofit and government organizations.

There are three main steps for any Twilio customer to fully register for 10DLC:

  1. Create a Business Profile: Create an identity for your organization with Twilio which is used to unlock A2P 10DLC as well as other Twilio communication services.
  2. Register your A2P Brand: Create an identity with the carrier ecosystem to enable you to send messages on A2P routes.
  3. Register your messaging campaign use cases: Share with carriers what kinds of messages your organization will be sending to determine final throughput and pricing.

If you are a nonprofit or government customer and want to register your organization for A2P 10DLC messaging, you should follow the guidance for Direct Brand registration below.

If your organization is an ISV that uses Twilio as part of a software solution that other organizations use to send text messages through your Twilio account, you should follow the guidance for ISV registration below.

While these resources are directly linked to throughout this guide, it may also be helpful to review Twilio’s general A2P 10DLC onboarding documentation:

Direct Brand registration overview for nonprofits and government

The diagram below provides an overview of the A2P 10DLC registration process for nonprofit and government organizations.

unnamed.png

This registration is called the Direct Brand registration process. As depicted in the diagram, certain elements of the onboarding process are customized for your organization type. For example, once verified, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations will gain access to a reserved campaign use case called Charity that offers discounts on carrier fees associated with registered 10DLC messaging.

You can complete Direct Brand registration using the Twilio Console. There, you will be able to onboard using a UI-based wizard in the Trust Hub, Twilio’s centralized Know Your Customer (KYC) platform. More information about navigating each of the three main steps can be found below.

When you are ready to begin registration, you can START A2P REGISTRATION IN THE CONSOLE.

ISVs registration overview for ISVs with nonprofit and government clients

The diagram below provides an overview of the A2P 10DLC registration process for ISVs that have nonprofits and government clients.

unnamed-4.png

This registration is called the ISV registration process. If you’re unsure whether this process applies to you, this support article describes how to determine if you should register for A2P 10DLC as a direct brand or ISV.

As an ISV, you will need to register both yourself and your clients. As depicted in the diagram, certain elements of the onboarding process are customized for your organization type, as well as the organization type of your nonprofit and government clients.

Note:Before registering for A2P 10DLC as an ISV, you should determine which ISV type best aligns with your Twilio account configuration. Depending on your type, familiarize yourself with the information architecture and the registration process and take all required prerequisite steps before beginning registration (e.g. creating a Messaging Service for each customer).

Given that ISVs complete the registration process for each of their clients, most ISVs choose to register using Twilio’s ISV APIs. This will allow you to programmatically register for 10DLC, which can help with automating tasks related to onboarding many customers. However, there are some parts of the onboarding experience that require use of the Twilio Console. More information about navigating each of the three main steps can be found below.

1. Create a Business Profile

First, you will need to create a Business Profile in the Twilio Trust Hub. Your Trust Hub Business Profile is your organization’s identity with Twilio and is necessary to begin A2P 10DLC registration.

For specific details on how social impact organizations should register their Business Profiles, please see the Direct Brand 10DLC Onboarding docs:

Note: It is important that the information that you provide for your organization during Business Profile creation is accurate and matches the information associated with the provided EIN / Tax ID. In particular for nonprofit and political organizations, the EIN / Tax ID must match the legal company name available in registration sources for tax-exempt organizations or registered political organizations. If this information is provided incorrectly, your ability to send messages on long-codes will be degraded and you will need to work with Twilio support to resolve the issue. We strongly recommend accuracy in entering accurate Business Profile information the first time to avoid issues. Learn more

Considerations for ISVs

ISVs will need to create a Twilio Business Profile for both their organization as well as for each one of their nonprofit and government clients. The Business Profile for your organization (the ISV) is referred to as the Primary Business Profile, while the profiles for your clients are called Secondary Business Profiles.

Primary Business Profiles

You will create your Primary Business Profile using the Trust Hub UI in the Twilio Console.

Your Primary Business profile should reflect your organization type. 

    • If you are a nonprofit ISV that serves nonprofit and government clients, you should choose Non-profit Corporation as their Business Type and Not-for-Profit as their Business Industry .
  • If you are a for-profit ISV that serves nonprofit and government clients, you should choose the most appropriate Business Type for your company (e.g. Corporation, LLC)  and Business Industry (e.g. Technology). 

Note: Before creating Secondary Business Profiles for your clients, you must first register a top-level A2P 10DLC brand as an ISV. This is completed in the Trust Hub UI of the Console as part of the 10DLC Onboarding Wizard.

Secondary Business Profiles

You will also need to create a Business Profile for each of your clients.

There are two paths for registering your customers:

  1. Starter Brands (now available): If you have customers who send fewer than 3,000 daily SMS and MMS messages over 10-digit long codes AND have fewer than five 10-digit long codes, Starter Brand registration is now available to complete onboarding. 
  2. Standard Brands (available): If you have customers who send more than 3,000 daily SMS segments and MMS messages over 10-digit long codes or have more than five 10-digit long codes, complete onboarding now using the Standard A2P 10DLC APIs or Twilio Console. 

For more information on determining if the Starter brand type is right for your customers, please see Twilio’s ISV 10DLC starter brand guide

If you are using the ISV Standard Brands API to complete your client registrations, complete Step 1 in the ISV API Registration Walkthrough to create Secondary Business Profiles for each one of your clients.

The specifics of the attributes of the Secondary Business Profile should reflect your clients’ organization types.

  • Nonprofit clients should have their Business Type set to Non-profit Corporation and their Business Industry set to NOT_FOR_PROFIT when calling the API in Step 1.3
  • Government clients  should have their Business Type set to Non-profit Corporation and their Business Industry set to GOVERNMENT when calling the API in Step 1.3

If you are using Starter Brands to complete your client’s registrations, complete Step 1 in the Starter ISV API Registration Walkthrough.

2. Register your A2P Brand 

The next step is to Register your A2P Brand with carriers. Your A2P 10DLC brand registration tells carriers who you are, and what specific entity type of which your organization is incorporated.

Your specific U.S. tax exemption status, e.g. 501(c)(3), will be associated with your brand automatically during brand registration. Your tax exemption status determines your access to Special Use Cases that can offer lower costs and higher throughput than Standard Use Cases. Therefore, it is very important that you provide accurate, consistent information when creating your business profile and registering your brand. More on this in the next section on use case registration.

For specific details on how social impact organizations should register their A2P Brand, please see the Direct Brand 10DLC Onboarding docs:

Note:It’s especially important to select the appropriate Company Type that best matches your entity during A2P brand registration, because this selection determines the types of messaging use cases available to you in the following use case registration step — and in turn which pricing and throughput benefits your organization will receive.

 START A2P REGISTRATION NOW.

Brand registration for non-U.S. organizations sending messages to people in the U.S.

If you represent an organization based outside of the U.S. and you send messages to people who reside in the U.S., you should consider the following two options for brand registration:

  • If you have a U.S. branch or subsidiary, we recommend registering your business profile and brand through using the EIN, legal name, and address of that U.S. entity. 
  • If you do not have a U.S. branch or subsidiary, you can still register with the Tax ID of your non-U.S. entity. However, you must choose ‘private’ or ‘public’ as your Company Type because only U.S. based organizations will be correctly verified as a nonprofit brand. If you register your non-U.S. entity with the ‘Nonprofit’ or ‘Government’ entity type, you may experience issues with your registration.

Considerations for ISVs

Similar to Twilio Business Profiles, ISVs will need to register an A2P brand for both themselves and each one of their clients.

PRIMARY A2P BRAND

Registration for the Primary A2P Brand for your organization as an ISV is also done using the Trust Hub UI in the Twilio Console. 

  • Go to the Trust Hub to create your Primary A2P Brand as an ISV
  • See these docs for more information on how to register your Primary A2P brand as an ISV.

Your Primary A2P Brand should reflect your Company Type.

  • Nonprofit ISVs should choose Nonprofit as their Company Type when registering their Primary A2P Brand.
  • For-Profit ISVs should choose Private (for private companies) or Public (for public companies) as their Company Type when registering their Primary A2P Brand based.

SECONDARY A2P BRANDS

A Secondary A2P Brand will also need to be created for each one of your clients. If using the Standard Brands ISV API Walkthrough, complete Step 2 and Step 3 to create Secondary A2P Brands for each one of your clients. 

Your Secondary A2P Brands should reflect your clients’ company types.

  • Nonprofit clients should have their Company Type set to ‘non-profit’ when calling the API in Step 2.3.3
  • Government clients should have their Company Type set to ‘government’ when calling the API in Step 2.3.4

If you are using the Starter Brands ISV API, complete Step 2 and Step 3 to create Starter A2P brands for each one of your clients

3. Use case registration overview

The third and last step of 10DLC onboarding is campaign use case registration. Use case registration indicates the types of messages you will send. Your organization will be eligible to register only for specific use cases based on the entity type associated with your brand registration. Each use case will have specific pricing and throughput characteristics associated with it.

The diagram below provides more detailed information on campaign use case registration for nonprofit and government organizations:  

unnamed-6.png

Most nonprofit organizations will register campaign use cases as special use cases. Special use cases are a classification of A2P 10DLC message campaigns that are unique or sensitive in nature, are provided carve-outs for throughput & carrier fees, and have special registration processes when compared to standard use cases. However, there are also scenarios in which a nonprofit or government entity will register with standard use cases.

Note: Government entities will receive unlimited daily message caps on the T-Mobile network, regardless of use case. Throughput on AT&T will be determined as normal, based on the selected use case. Standard Twilio platform messaging rate limits still apply. 

Use cases for nonprofits and governments at a glance

There are four main campaign use cases that nonprofits and government agencies will use to register with:

  1. Charity / 501(c)(3): Communications from a registered 501(c)(3) aimed at providing help and raising money for those in need.
  2. Political: Part of an organized effort to influence decision making of a specific group.
  3. Emergency: Notification services designed to support public safety/health during natural disasters, armed conflicts, pandemics, and other national or regional emergencies.
  4. Standard: Any of the standard 10DLC use cases defined here. E.g. 2FA, Account Notifications

Charity / 501(c)(3), Political, and Emergency are special use cases that come with pricing and/or throughput benefits. The table below provides guidance on messaging throughput and carrier fees for each use case, as well as what types of organizations are eligible. 

In this chart, MPS throughput represents the messaging rate available across all three major carriers, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verzon. Visit this support article for more information about A2P 10DLC messaging throughput.

 Campaign Eligibility and Throughput

Campaign use case

Description

Eligible Organizations

MPS throughput

Charity / 501(c)(3)

Communications from a registered 501(c)(3) aimed at providing help and raising money for those in need.

501(c)(3)s

120

Political

Part of an organized effort to influence decision making of a specific group.

501(c)(4), 501(c)(5), 501(c)(6)


527s - coming soon

225

Emergency (coming soon)

Notification services designed to support public safety/health during natural disasters, armed conflicts, pandemics, and other national or regional emergencies.

All

225

Standard

Any of the standard 10DLC use cases defined here. E.g. 2FA, Account Notifications

All

3-180

based on Trust Score

 

 Campaign Fees

Campaign use case

T-Mobile daily message cap

AT&T per message fees

T-Mobile per message fees

Campaign registration fee

Charity / 501(c)(3)

2k-200k

based on Trust Score

SMS: $0.0000

MMS: $0.0000

SMS: $0.0030*

MMS: $0.0100*

$5/mo**

Political


Without Campaign Verify token

2k-200k

based on Trust Score

--

With Campaign Verify token

Unlimited

SMS: $0.0020

MMS: $0.0035

SMS: $0.0030

MMS: $0.0100

$10/mo**

Emergency (coming soon)

2k-200k

based on Trust Score

--

Government

Unlimited**

SMS: $0.0000

MMS: $0.0000

SMS: $0.0030*

MMS: $0.0100*

$5/mo**

Standard

2k-200k

based on Trust Score

--

Government

Unlimited**

SMS: $0.0020 (declared); $0.0030 (mixed)

MMS: $0.0035 (declared); $0.0050 (mixed)

SMS: $0.0030

MMS: $0.0100

$10/mo**

*T-Mobile offers a per-message carrier fee waiver ($0.000 instead of $0.003) for qualifying organizations that apply for a special business review. Learn more about qualifying use cases and the special review process.

** Plus one-time $50 T-Mobile registration fee beginning on October 1, 2021 

***Twilio’s standard messaging rate limits still apply

 

501(c)(3) Organizations

501(c)(3) organizations will be able to register for the following A2P 10DLC use cases:

  • Charity / 501(c)(3): Communications from a registered 501(c)(3) aimed at providing help and raising money for those in need.
  • Emergency Coming Soon: Notification services designed to support public safety/health during natural disasters, armed conflicts, pandemics, and other national or regional emergencies. Additional post-approval by carriers is required for this use case.

A majority of 501(c)(3)s should register using the Charity / 501(c)(3) special use case, unless your messaging meets the definition of Emergency above. Charity / 501(c)(3) is a dedicated campaign type for 501(c)(3) organizations that provides significant carrier fee discounts to support nonprofit messaging. Details on pricing and throughput can be found below.

All standard use cases will be disabled for 501(c)(3)s and will not appear in the “Available A2P campaign use cases” dropdown in the Console during campaign registration. This is to ensure that 501(c)(3)s can take advantage of carrier fee discounts associated with the Charity special use case.

See our support article for detailed information on fees and throughput for special use case types. 

501(c)(4), 501(c)(5), and 501(c)(6) Organizations

501(c)(4), 501(c)(5), and 501(c)(6) organizations will be able to register for the following 10DLC use cases:

  • Political: Part of an organized effort to influence decision making of a specific group.
  • Emergency (Coming Soon): Notification services designed to support public safety/health during natural disasters, armed conflicts, pandemics, and other national or regional emergencies. Additional post-approval by carriers is required for this use case.
  • Standard: For all other messaging that doesn’t meet the definition of Political or Emergency.

Any advocacy-related messaging should be registered using the Political special use case. Political campaigns will receive increased messaging throughput on A2P. 501(c)(4)s, 501(c)(5)s, and 501(c)(6)s will not be required to provide a Campaign Verify token to register with the Political special use case. 

All non-political messaging should be registered either using standard use cases or the Emergency special use case.

See our support article for detailed information on fees and throughput for special use case types.

Other 501(c) nonprofit designations

All other nonprofit designations should register their campaigns using standard use cases, except if your campaign meets the criteria for the Emergency Coming Soon special use case.

  • Emergency Coming Soon: Notification services designed to support public safety/health during natural disasters, armed conflicts, pandemics, and other national or regional emergencies. Additional post-approval by carriers is required for this use case.
  • Standard: For all other messaging that doesn’t meet the definition of Emergency.

Government entities

Government agencies should register their campaigns using standard use cases, except if your campaign meets the criteria for the Emergency Coming Soon special use case.

  • Emergency Coming Soon: Notification services designed to support public safety/health during natural disasters, armed conflicts, pandemics, and other national or regional emergencies. Additional post-approval by carriers is required for this use case.
  • Standard: For all other messaging that doesn’t meet the definition of Emergency.

Note: Government entities will receive unlimited daily message caps on the T-Mobile network, regardless of use case*. Throughput on AT&T will be determined as normal, based on the selected use case.

*Standard Twilio platform messaging rate limits still apply.  

Use cases not yet available for registration

527 political organizations and those organizations sending emergency messaging should register their A2P brand with Twilio now, but wait to register your campaign use cases until further notice. More details on these use cases and actions you can take now follow.

527 Organizations

527 political campaigns, parties, or action committees will be required to register your organization with Campaign Verify (CV) and provide a CV token during A2P registration to register campaign use cases. 527 organizations will only be eligible to register for the Political use case. Support for this registration is coming soon.

We recommend that 527s take two actions now:

  1. Register with Campaign Verify now to receive your CV token as a verified political sender
  2. Register your A2P brand with Twilio now, and return to register your campaigns when support for 527s registering with the Political use case is launched. We will notify you via email when this happens.
Emergency Special Use Case 

The Emergency Special Use Case is intended for notification services designed to support public safety/health during natural disasters, armed conflicts, pandemics, and other national or regional emergencies. The Emergency use case offers higher MPS than most other use cases and reduced carrier fees.

In order to receive these benefits, there is additional campaign post-approval required after submitting your use case registration. Support for the Emergency use case registration and managing additional approvals is coming soon. For those sending emergency messaging, you should register your A2P brand now and return to register your campaign when support for the Emergency use case is launched. Twilio will notify customers via email when this happens.

ISV Considerations

If you are an ISV registering campaigns on behalf of your clients, it is important to note that the use cases you will qualify for are based on your client’s A2P brand, not your primary A2P brand for the ISV itself. Based on the entity types that your ISV has as clients, you will have access to the use cases that each client’s brand qualifies for based on their nonprofit designation and/or government agency status. When registering campaigns on behalf of your clients, you will associate them with each individual client’s A2P brand.

 

Please note, however, that ISVs are not only limited to sending messages on behalf of their customers. As an ISV, you can also register campaigns to send messages for your own company's brand, in addition to your clients’.

If you have registered your low-volume customers using ISV Starter Brands, you are allowed a single campaign per-brand that has a limit of five 10-digit long code numbers and supports a Mixed Campaign use case. A Mixed Campaign covers multiple use-cases — for example, notifications, announcements, and security alerts.

4. How to register campaign use cases

Campaign use cases can be registered as part of the 10DLC Onboarding experience in the Twilio Console.

Each registered campaign is linked to a Twilio Messaging Service. You’ll need at least one Twilio Phone Number inside of a Messaging Service to complete use case registration. After connecting your campaign to a Messaging service, you’ll select your campaign use case (described in detail above), and provide some additional context on your campaign including a description and two sample messages.

When selecting your campaign use case in the Console, you will only be able to see and select the use cases that your brand qualifies for. This is to help ensure that you choose campaign types for which your brand is approved to register.

An A2P brand may have one or more campaign use cases. However, the registration process is the same for each campaign use case that you create.

ISV Considerations

You will need to register campaigns for all of your clients to complete 10DLC registration on their behalf. If using the Standard Brand ISV API Walkthrough, complete Step 4 and Step 5 to register campaigns on behalf of your clients.

When calling the API in Step 5.1 to Fetch possible A2P campaign use cases, note that the use cases returned will only be the use cases for which your client’s brand qualifies. This will help you ensure that you select a use case that will be successfully registered in Step 5.2, Create A2P Messaging campaign use case.

Be sure to use the correct Brand Registration SID of the target brand that you’d like to associate the campaign with when querying possible A2P campaign use cases, and creating the use case. 

If you are creating a campaign for a Starter ISV Brand, complete Step 4 and Step 5 of the Starter API registration walkthrough. Note that you will only be able to create one campaign with the STARTER use case with a limit of five 10-digit long code numbers. For more information, please see the ISV Starter Brand guide on the docs.

Getting Started

Now that you’ve reviewed details about how nonprofit and government organizations should complete A2P 10DLC registration, it’s time to get started! You can visit the guides below for the complete step-by-step instructions.

For additional guidance, we invite you to watch our webinar on A2P 10DLC registration for nonprofit and government organizations. 

START A2P REGISTRATION NOW












Have more questions? Submit a request
Powered by Zendesk