Customers Stories

How a Non-Profit Saved Thousands of Dollars on Monthly Phone Bills by Switching to Zello


  • Instant voice communications are vital for outdoor summer camps
  • Needed a more affordable PTT service than current carrier solution
  • Saved 64% in monthly phone bill by switching to T-Mobile and ZelloWork
  • Transition and on-boarding went smoothly with little downtime
  • ZelloWork’s easy-to-use interface required little training to use
  • Flexible subscription plan and non-profit discount were selling points

The 92nd Street Y is a non-profit cultural and community center in New York City. For 145 years, 92nd Street Y has been serving its communities and the larger world by bringing people together and providing exceptional, groundbreaking programs in the performing and visual arts; literature and culture; adult and children’s education; talks on a huge range of topics; health and fitness; and Jewish life. Maintaining a fiscally sound budget while offering member services at an affordable cost has always been a major priority for 92Y.

Several years ago, an internal audit revealed that communications expenses seemed excessive for their summer camps. The camps used a carrier data plan with a push-to-talk (PTT) service on flip phones. They liked the flip phones, which were similar to the Nextel PTT phones they previously used.


Jackie Ramos, IT Manager, Services & Support, and a 32-year veteran of 92Y, was tasked by the executive team to find an alternative PTT solution to the current carrier solution. The new PTT service had to be less expensive, yet still reliable, high quality, and easy to use. Two-way radios were not an option because they were even more expensive than their existing flip phones.

The carrier PTT service is only used for their summer camps, which lasts eight weeks. After camp season is over, the phones are shelved until the following year’s camp. The main users of the phones are camp directors and counselors. The campground covers a vast area and is comprised of several camp sites that are located miles from each other. Instant voice communications is vital to ensure everyone is up-to-date on planned activities and to report any emergencies.

Though they liked the previous PTT service, the cost to maintain the 60+ phones for 2 months seemed high at $3300/month. The IT team started to investigate other options that could provide the same function at lower cost.


A T-Mobile representative first introduced Zello Work, a new mobile PTT app, to Ms. Ramos in 2012. The IT department signed up for the free trial to use as an evaluation tool. After two months of testing, the team concluded Zello provided the PTT function and features they needed, plus more. It was easy to use and the entire campground was able to use ZelloWork on the T-Mobile network without any lapse in coverage.

A big selling point for the team was Zello’s flexible and economical subscription plans. The IT Manager could adjust subscriptions at any time by reducing or adding the number of users from the console. This was perfect for them, as camps were seasonal. When the camps started, the number of users could be increased. At the end of camp season, the users could be decreased, or the subscription could be paused. Also, there were no contracts or cancellation fees. As a non-profit, 92Y also qualified for discounted pricing. This meant huge savings for the organization and extra money that could be allocated elsewhere.


By changing to T-Mobile with Zello Work PTT, the monthly expense for camp communications went from $3300/month to $1200/month – a savings of over 64%. Even though carriers were changed, the roll-out using Zello went very smoothly. Since Zello runs on any carrier network or WiFi, and on any mobile or Windows PC device, it allows a high degree of flexibility and scalability. There is no downtime associated with a change in carrier or devices. As long as there is Internet service, Zello works.

Onboarding users is also a simple process. By using the User Import feature on the Admin Console, all 60+ users could be added at once by using a .csv spreadsheet. Zello’s intuitive user interface allows users to learn and use Zello in a matter of minutes. Most of the teen camp counselors required very little, if any, training.

Along with instant voice communications, Zello Work offers standard messaging features such as text, images, and location sharing. Zello Work provides reliable, high-quality voice communications at an affordable cost, without sacrificing quality or functionality.

92Y anticipates using ZelloWork for many years to come, and we are proud to be involved with their organization. We commend the community service that 92Y provides by enriching people’s lives through their many services and activities.

Explore ZelloWork for your Non-profit or NGO

If you need instant voice communications for team or event coordination, please contact our Sales team for a demo of ZelloWork, or start a free 30-day trial. We look forward to helping you explore the ways Zello Work can help your non-profit organization operate more efficiently while reducing costs at the same time.