INSPIRED IMPACT is an ongoing blog series that gives voice to passionate leaders of mission-driven organizations who are making an impact in their communities and industries.

 



 

Frederick Hutson is the CEO / Founder of Pigeonly. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube and learn more at pigeonly.com.

 

WHAT DO YOU DO?
Pigeonly makes it easy to search, find and communicate with an inmate at any federal, state or county jail. Our technology cuts the cost of expensive prison calls by 80% and allows people to send their inmate printed photos, greeting cards, and more right from a cell phone, tablet or computer. With subscribers in 88 countries we’ve built Pigeonly into one of the largest low-cost inmate services provider, focused solely on disrupting the highly predatory prison communication industry.

 

WHY DO YOU DO IT?
Our mission is to make it affordable to search find and communicate with a loved one at any federal, state or county jail. Research that goes back 40 years has proven that isolation is the worst thing that can happen to an inmate and how communication with the outside world leads to lower recidivism rates.

 

WHAT IMPACT ARE YOU MAKING?
We save families more than $4M a year in communication costs, significantly lowering the rate of high cost prison phone calls.

 

WHAT (OR WHO) INSPIRES YOU TO MAKE THIS IMPACT?
It was my personal experience. I was sentenced to five years in federal prison for distribution of marijuana – and it was during those long five years I became aware of this enormous population of people no one else was paying attention too.

 

WHAT’S YOUR BIG DREAM FOR THE ORGANIZATION AND THE IMPACT YOU WANT TO MAKE?
We would like to be the global leader in leveraging technology to provide access to low-cost inmate goods and services, passing the savings back to the families of inmates. We believe this will result in lower recidivism rates.

 

WHAT RESOURCES DO YOU NEED TO MAKE THOSE DREAMS COME TRUE?

The Pigeonly team.

We have a creative collaborative culture built on hacking ideas, code, and business models. We’re always looking for people to join our team who enjoy creative and collaborative processes while also disrupting archaic industries.

 

WHAT IS (OR HAS BEEN) YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
Navigating the fundraising process and recruiting top talent on a startup budget.

 

WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER LEADERS LOOKING TO MAKE AN IMPACT?
Focus on building or creating a solution for a problem you are passionate about and understand. Work on things that scratch your own itch.

 

HOW CAN OTHERS SUPPORT YOU OR YOUR CAUSE?
We’ve already closed $5M in funding but have opened up a smaller round to engage the community who would like to support our mission. To do so, visit https://republic.co/pigeonly to learn more.

 


Orapin Marketing + Public Relations is an award-winning communications agency that generates awareness, engagement, and, ultimately, support for mission-driven organizations. We tell their stories, connect people to their causes, and help them communicate with their stakeholders in consistent and meaningful ways. If you would like to be featured on INSPIRED IMPACT, reach out to hello@orapinmarketing.com.