We had been using Remind, but for a school of 1800 students, it will now cost too much.  We looked into Bloomz, but that only handles 300 contacts.

Is there a service through tech soup that can help?  I've done a quick perusal but don't see what I am looking for.  We really just need a way to send only outgoing text messages to a large contact list.

TIA

I know it's been more than a year since you posted this, but this is a really hot topic among a lot of nonprofits and schools right now - did you come up with a solution? Are you still looking for a solution?

We are looking for something along this line with having to conduct virtual meetings that we can use for reminders to respond to voting emails for < 50 participants.  Too much commercialized software for commercial markets/sales, but not any selection that appears appropriate for small non-profits.  

I went back through TechSoup to see previous threads on this subject. This is one I found that had a lot of responses - all are a few years old. I haven't reviewed which software is still available. 

Texting From a Computer: "We are a nonprofit in San Francisco working with adolescents. I would like to be able to send and receive text messages from our computers so my staff doesn't need to use their own cell phones. Is there a program that can do this easily without linking to a smart phone?" Lots of platforms got suggested. 

Other TechSoup threads that talked about various texting tools:

Might WhatsApp or Telegram be an option for you? Both of these platforms are free. Each requires a user to download the platform to their phone. Each is based on a person's phone number - they are meant to be used for text messaging between phones. And they both allow you to set up distribution groups.  

George Weiner, my brother from another mother (and father), wrote about ways nonprofits are using text messaging:
https://www.wholewhale.com/tips/5-ideas-for-nonprofits-to-use-text-messaging/ 
It includes some vendor links.

In the case of using SMS for reminders, that seems to be a decent niche. Try searching for
reminder text app
I found tools like Appointment Reminder, GoReminders, ReminderCall, SimplyBook, and TextReminders (Caveat: I haven't tried any of them).

1. ClassDojo

2. ClassTag

3. Edmodo

Thanks, jkerr. Have you used any of these tools? If so, what are the pros and cons of the ones you've tried?

Also, do you work in a school or nonprofit? It would be helpful to have a context for your recommendations. This article talks about how to introduce yourself and create a profile.

Having been a baseball coach and board member for 15 years, we use RainedOut.

https://www.rainedout.com/pick-a-plan

Do NOT let the name fool you- it is simply an easy tool to send text messages- regardless of your nonprofit's focus- and costs 4 cents per text message.  So to 50 people at a time, it costs $2.00.  That's it.

No hidden fees, I have no relationship to the company/owner, other than I used it and it works great to communicate in real time with a list of cell phone numbers that you can easily download.  Recipients don't need to download anything or give consent (since you already collected their info and got their consent to send text messages).

minga.io is pitched as an alternative to Remind.

simpletexting.com is mass texting platform with lots of features, which is campaign-style.  I believe it starts at $25/mo and there are different plans.

duplie.com is a non-profit platform for volunteers/users which you can mass send out SMS or Email.

textedly.com is mass text platform which has a free trial.  Super nice UI/flow.  Starts at $29/mo.

I've helped various non-profits with technology in the past and have experience with simpletexting and duplie.  You probably won't find much freemium software, since sending SMS/text costs money.  Hope this helps!