A woman exercising by running up the stairs

Crisis Text Line Builds Equitable Benefits Program With Benepass

“We have equity at the center of everything that we do when it comes to benefits. We wanted to look at our employees as holistically as possible, recognizing everyone is in different stages of their careers and lives.” - Megan Schulze, People Operations Partner, Crisis Text Line
Phone Icon


centralized benefits platform
Card Icon

Card-first and reimbursement-free

Clock Icon

2 to 3

hours of admin time saved per week
People Icon


HR partner

Key Results

A green check mark icon
Eliminated reimbursements
A green check mark icon
Seamless platform
A green check mark icon
Excellent customer service
A green check mark icon
New tool for retention and recruitment
Benepass App "Explore Wellness Benefits" Screen


Crisis Text Line is a nonprofit organization that provides free, 24/7, high-quality text-based mental health support and crisis intervention in English and Spanish. Since its launch in 2013, Crisis Text Line has engaged in more than 8 million crisis conversations and trained over 55,000 volunteers to support people in their moments of need. Crisis Text Line is committed to creating an empathetic world where nobody feels alone. Individuals seeking confidential support can connect with Crisis Text Line via text and WhatsApp. To be connected to a live, trained volunteer Crisis Counselor, text HELLO to 741741 or 443-SUPPORT in WhatsApp or text HOLA to 741741 or 442-AYUDAME in WhatsApp for Spanish.

Building equitable benefits 

“We have equity at the center of everything that we do when it comes to benefits. We wanted to look at our employees as holistically as possible, recognizing everyone is in different stages of their careers and lives.” - Megan Schulze, People Operations Partner, Crisis Text Line

Crisis Text Line grew exponentially over the last few years to over 200 employees and was ready to expand its benefits offerings. However, like many growing organizations, building a flexible benefits program had its challenges. The initial program lacked trackable metrics to measure success and required employees to submit expense reports for reimbursements. Reimbursements are an administrative headache for employees and administrative teams alike. They also present an awkward situation where an employee who may not have great financial means is required to front a cost. 

"We have a lot of Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) initiatives, and asking someone to pay $650 upfront for professional development is a big blocker to being able to use their perks,” said Megan Schulze, People Operations Partner at Crisis Text Line.

A recent survey from CNBC and SurveyMonkey found that 78% of employees said it’s important to work at a company that prioritizes diversity and inclusion. Employees want to work at organizations that will invest in the well-being of their employees and understand that team members have different financial, personal, and health circumstances.

In 2020, Crisis Text Line made the decision to move away from a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) and partner with a benefits broker in order to provide a more intentionally crafted employee benefits package. The organization began to seek new partners and invested in employee benefits with a flexible perks program run by Benepass. 

Offering comprehensive perks 

“These stipends have been really impactful, especially when it comes to hiring or retaining staff.” - Megan Schulze, People Operations Partner at Crisis Text Line

Today, eligible team members receive a virtual and physical Visa card to use for their perks program. With Benepass, employees simply download the app and begin to spend their benefit dollars. HR policies are enforced at the point of sale; the spend is either a go or no go, and the employee is immediately notified on their app. The pillars of a perks program are customizable, and Crisis Text Line worked with Benepass to outline a few key perks categories: 

  • Professional development: Online courses, educational materials, coaching, etc. 
  • Mental health: Traditional therapy or counseling services 
  • Wellness: Physical and mental health items like meditation apps, fitness memberships, and athletic apparel 
  • Internet: Monthly internet bill 
  • Work from home: Office supplies 

As a growing nonprofit, Crisis Text Line may not be able to offer the highest salary to candidates but has found that flexible benefits resonate greatly with current and prospective employees. 

“I was interviewing for an open position within the organization, and I had a candidate cry in our interview because they didn't get such robust benefits from their current employer,” Megan shared.

Partnering with Benepass

“I know I’ve informed your customer support team that I wish all of our vendors had customer support like Benepass.” - Megan Schulze, People Operations Partner at Crisis Text Line

Crisis Text Line didn’t want to jump into a new platform that would require extensive training. However, the Benepass platform is easy to set up, implement, scale, and change as needed. 

“It's been a fantastic experience. Your customer service has been so supportive of us and our employees. Anytime there's even been a minor hiccup, your team has jumped in to fix it,” Megan said.

Megan noted that her favorite features of Benepass were how seamless it was to get it up and running, the customer support, and the administration time saved by eliminating reimbursements through a card-first approach. She estimates that she saves at least two to three hours per week on the perks program by using Benepass, and the finance team likely saves even more. 

The Crisis Text Line team is looking forward to doing a deep dive into Benepass’s analytics dashboard this year to discover what new pillars could be added to their program and learn more about how employees are using the perks. 

“Seeing the utilization and being able to forecast what our spending would be is important for our finance team,” Megan said. With Benepass, companies can easily download reports and raw usage data to analyze the effectiveness of a benefits program and scale appropriately.

Key results

“Benepass acts as an extension of our Crisis Text Line team. I know they make amazing decisions and help us to make amazing decisions.” - Megan Schulze, People Operations Partner at Crisis Text Line
  • Eliminated reimbursements: A card-first approach has led to greater utilization, increased engagement, and created a more equitable benefits program.  
  • Seamless platform: Benepass is easy to implement and use. It is a cost-effective solution for providing large-scale benefits to a small company. 
  • Excellent customer service: The Benepass team acts as a trusted partner to Crisis Text Line and is easily accessible to address questions and concerns. 
  • New tool for retention and recruitment: The company’s ability to deliver flexible benefits has been a great tool in a difficult and competitive recruiting market.
Download Icon