Learn what Slack is, how it works, how nonprofits use it, and how Mightycause’s new Slack integration works.
The pandemic in 2020 brought about big changes in the workplace for the nonprofit sector. Nonprofit employees found themselves transitioning to full-time remote work for the first time ever. But, thankfully, adapting to change is what not nonprofits do best. So, all over the country, nonprofits quickly adjusted to working in makeshift home offices, juggling children and pets with strategic meetings and fundraising, and rising to meet the needs of communities in crisis while social distancing. They also had to adapt to using new tools to communicate and collaborate, since in-person meetings became actually dangerous. (And not just because of heated internal disagreements!) One of those tools that nonprofits came to rely upon is Slack.
In this post we’ll be diving into what Slack is, how nonprofits are using it, and how our integration works.
What is Slack? An Explainer
Slack is a chat program that is designed for workplace communication. For those of us old enough to remember IRC chat rooms, Slack will feel very familiar. Ongoing live chats are organized into rooms (called “channels” on Slack) based on topics. Users can also engage in private chats, group chats, video calls, and file sharing.
How Slack is Used
The appeal of Slack isn’t its basic functions. There are, after all, a lot of chat programs on the market. What Slack does that makes it appealing for workplace communications is twofold:
- Slack provides easy organization and threading so you don’t lose important information shared in a chat. You can search rooms, pin things you want to be able to refer back to at a later time, take more detailed conversations into threads, and the channels essentially organize the more chaotic aspects of group chats
- As a program, Slack pays special attention to fostering user interactions, so workplaces using Slack can feel like they’re having a casual, friendly water cooler chat, even if they’re in different countries. Users can react with emojis, share GIFs (there’s a GIPHY add-on), and chat with one another in an immediate, friendly way that you just can’t get through an email. This is the primary reason Slack took off so quickly with remote workplaces. It’s hard to have connections with your coworkers when you’re not in person, and Slack provides that feeling for remote workers.
Most people who use Slack at work simply keep it open all day as they work. So, since your boss can’t stop by your desk to tell you something important when you’re working from home, she’ll ping you in Slack instead. If a colleague has a question they need a quick answer to, they’ll use Slack to ask it instead of firing off an email and waiting for a response. Many remote workplaces use being signed onto Slack as a signal to coworkers than they are “on” and available, which comes in handy when schedules (and even time zones) vary.
How Nonprofits Use Slack
Nonprofits caught on to Slack pretty soon after tech companies and remote workplaces did. Slack was very well-suited to how many nonprofits work, because they’re often all about immediacy. If you’ve gone to any nonprofit-centric conferences in the last three years, you’ve probably sat through a panel with people on each side of you on a laptop with Slack open. And during the pandemic, when in-person communication simply wasn’t possible, it became an even more valuable tool.
Collaboration on issues and projects is usually what nonprofits are doing on Slack. For instance, if a nonprofit has an upcoming capital campaign in the works, they might create a channel specifically for that campaign. Development coordinators might use a Slack channel to collaborate outreach or coordinate responses to donor inquiries.
There are a lot ways to utilize Slack that can lead to more effective and productive communications between employees at nonprofits. (And, yes, they do provide a nonprofit discount.)
Pitfalls of Slack
So, in general, Slack is awesome. And we use it at Mightycause! But because Slack is a mobile app and you can easily pull it up on your phone, it must be used with thoughtfulness and intention. Or else, you run the risk of blurring the lines between work and personal time. The ability to remain plugged into work is one of the reasons Slack is so popular with nonprofits (whose employees can be, ahem, a little prone to overwork and burnout already.). But that’s also what can make it a contributor to the problem of employee burnout.
To help combat this, we recommend using it only for collaboration during work hours. You can turn off notifications on your phone, or even better yet, avoid installing the app on your personal phone in the first place!
Mightycause’s Slack Integration
Slack is the newest addition to our growing list of integrations available to Advanced subscribers on their admin dashboards.
One of the cool things Slack can do is allow you to set up alerts through automation tool Zapier. (And just as a reminder, Advanced subscribers on Mightycause can use Zapier to connect Mightycause to thousands of apps!) Mightycause’s Slack integration makes that easier by allowing you to connect your Slack account to Mightycause.
We’ve pre-loaded an alert for donations made to your Mightycause page. So, with this alert, you’ll receive an immediate notification in Slack when a donation is made to your nonprofit on Mightycause. (We recommend setting up a dedicated channel for this!) This allows your staff to coordinate a quick response, and ensure that each donor receives a quick, personal thank you. For large donations, you may want to follow-up with a phone call. Slack’s threading feature makes it easy for multiple people to coordinate a response, so that you’ll never have to send an email about who will be email which donor, or deal with the embarrassment of having two people reach out simultaneously to one donor.
So, if you’re a Mightycause user who has been using Slack (or have been thinking of trying it out), this is a can’t-miss integration!
Ready to Start Collaborating?
Our Slack integration is available to Advanced subscribers only. Existing Advanced subscribers can find the integration right in their dashboard. Just connect your company’s Slack account and start collaborating!
And if you’re not yet an Advanced subscriber, Slack is not the only benefit of a subscription. Our MailChimp, Salesforce, Google Analytics, and Zapier integrations are all unlocked with a subscription to Advanced. You’ll also gain access to our Events product, embeddable custom donation forms, Text-to-Give, our CRM tool, advanced analytics and donor data collection, and more.
Get started by setting up a demo to see all that Mightycause Advanced has to offer, and how it can fit in with your fundraising strategy.
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