10 Ways for a Nonprofit to Use Chatter

By Salesforce.org | March 13, 2013 | , , | Products and Services

urlby Alicia Schmidt, Director of Online and Adoption Marketing

Chatter is a social tool that helps people and organizations collaborate instantly in context and get more done. It’s one single, secure environment that connects you to everything you need to better achieve your mission. But what exactly do you do with it? Here are our top 10 ways to use Chatter as a nonprofit. How is your organization using Chatter?

1. Get Answers (not emails)

So long silos! Next time you have a question for the program team, development, or any other department, don’t send an email — post the question to Chatter and get crowd sourced answers from people you might not expect – answers that become a resource as others view it. You can even set up a poll in Chatter to get feedback from your staff on a particular question.

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2. Brainstorm Ideas

Use Chatter to test ideas with your coworkers, give feedback on new initiatives or “like” posts to show support or appreciation. You can even use #hashtags (like Twitter) to group together related conversations or topics.

3. Share Files IN CONTEXT

Big files clog everyone’s email inbox, and version control is impossible. But it’s easy to share files with Chatter—just drag and drop, and your collaborators see updates instantly. Plus, they can make comments right on the file and you can see the file in context. For instance, you can share an LOI or grant report right on the grant opportunity record so you can quickly find and collaborate on documents related to that specific opportunity.

4. Share updates, sites, articles, links and videos

Whenever you find something relevant to your mission, share it instantly via Chatter. Just post and update in your feed to circulate. Plus you can follow discussions, “like” posts and even bookmark them to review later.

5. Keep up-to-date on all your prospects, pending donations, grants and clients

Rather than searching for updates, have that information pushed to you on your Chatter home page. You can get updates on opportunity stages for instance. Wouldn’t it be nice to know when a grant payment has posted? Or when a grant application or report has been submitted without having to search for that information?

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6. Solve client issues

If you work with clients, Chatter is a great way to work with people across your organization to solve issues and collaborate efficiently on client care. Loop in your staff experts instantly to solve the issue, get solutions fast – and keep your clients healthy and happy.

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7. Manage projects – together (including Board, Committees and Advisory group projects)

Even the smallest projects can involve a lot of people and moving parts. Chatter allows you to make either public or private working groups so everyone stays in the loop and has one place to go for what’s happening. You can even invite external participants like Board members, volunteers or other key supporters to collaborate in a private group. They can post updates, follow people, and share files in a secure group internal to your org. Imagine sharing Board agendas and reports in one place. Or being able to poll your Advisory Board members or solicit ideas inside your Salesforce org.

8. Collaborate from wherever you are

Chatter is available via desktop and mobile devices and you can access Chatter anywhere you can access the internet. You don’t even have to be logged into Salesforce since there are apps for Chatter desktop and Chatter mobile.

9. Work with confidence, confidentially

Departments like HR, finance, development, and others need to discuss sensitive information in a secure, private setting. Chatter’s private groups ensure these conversations remain confidential without stopping the flow of ideas.

10. Prepare together, meet less

Instead of spending time in endless meetings working on customer presentations, post your slides, questions, and feedback on Chatter to save time so you can focus on meeting your mission. Chatter users report having 27% fewer meetings.