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Transform Your Communications & Collaboration With Slack

By August 17, 2021

Now that Slack is part of the Salesforce family, combining the #1 CRM and the trailblazing digital platform, here’s how together we’re creating the digital headquarters for a success-from-anywhere world across the education, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors.

Slack graphic
Slack officially joined the Salesforce family, combining the #1 CRM and the trailblazing digital platform for the ultimate work-from-anywhere world.

Increase Collaboration and Engagement for Students, Faculty, and Staff

Education institutions across the globe are using Slack to enhance engagement and collaboration. Arizona State University (ASU), for instance, needed an easier way for its students, faculty, and staff to communicate, share lesson plans, and gather feedback. ASU found that a significant population of its community were already using Slack, making it an ideal choice for a new collaboration tool.

ASU became the first university to adopt Slack campus-wide, launching it across five campuses and more than 200,000 users, including students, faculty, and administrators. The university now uses the collaboration tool to host classroom discussions, develop new courses, and support students — both on campus and online.

Faculty are engaging with students in real time using channels, which allows a continuous feedback loop to fine-tune courses throughout the semester. Professors are also creating surveys in Slack, allowing them to gauge student interest and retention of new material. Slack has now become a key collaboration and engagement tool for all of ASU.

“Slack has become a really invaluable tool for all the instructors to share ideas along the way,” says Punya Mishra, associate dean of scholarship and innovation at ASU.

Arizona State University sign
ASU became the first university to adopt Slack campus-wide, launching it across five campuses and more than 200,000 users, including students, faculty, and administrators.

Another example is Melbourne-based RMIT University. When RMIT Online students enroll, they automatically get added to Slack through the power of Slack Enterprise Grid and Slack workflows. They receive a welcome email that prompts them to join Slack, where they’re added to several broader student community channels to get acquainted with fellow classmates. In addition, workflows help set up students for success with Slack and other learning tools.

Slack automatically organizes students into smaller course-group channels with industry mentors to help ensure their success. As courses progress, Slack is used as the central channel for all course communications, including peer collaboration, speaker announcements, industry news, and mentor feedback.

“Our students have high expectations of the RMIT Online experience. Slack helps us achieve this,” says Will Calvert, director of technology and enablement at RMIT Online.

“During the pandemic, Slack has been instrumental in helping us scale and service our students and staff 100% online, whilst maintaining industry leading satisfaction scores.”

Learn more about how to keep your school running with Slack.

Create Virtual Headquarters for Staff and External Stakeholders

Nonprofits are using Slack to increase collaboration and drive engagement among staff, volunteers, and other key stakeholders.

People’s Action Institute is a national network of state and local grassroots power-building organizations united in fighting for justice. In the 2020 U.S. election, these organizations — which rely heavily on volunteers to deliver their mission — were challenged by COVID-19 restrictions that made it almost impossible to do traditional door-to-door canvassing. They used Slack to streamline communications across the U.S. with their 35,000 grassroots volunteers as they worked on various campaign tactics targeted at undecided voters in key states.

When volunteers start a shift, they are added to channels relevant to the type of volunteering they will be assigned to, such as answering phones at a phone bank. People’s Action’s volunteer leaders work as moderators of these channels to make sure that any volunteer that needed help received assistance as soon as possible to keep conversations with potential voters going.

And this type of work can be tough — some volunteers can go hours without having a conversation that really moves a voter. But with Slack, they were able to build morale and resiliency. “Every few minutes a volunteer would share a story about an impactful experience with a voter,” explains Brooke Adams, Movement Politics Director at People’s Action Institute.

“Sharing these stories on an engaging platform like Slack made them visible to all volunteers, helped grow team spirit and motivated others to plow through those tougher moments.”

For Medic, a nonprofit organization with a team that’s spread out across six different continents, Slack serves as their virtual headquarters. The technology organization designs, deploys, and supports open-source software for health workers providing care in the world’s hardest-to-reach communities. Collaboration from anywhere is key to their mission.

“From your very first day at Medic, all your work is happening on Slack,” says Alix Emden, operations lead. “And we use a lot of different tools outside of Slack and Salesforce, like Google Suite, GitHub, Asana, and many more. The ability to integrate with many systems and bring organization-wide conversations into one centralized location in Slack is invaluable. We don’t have to spend as much time navigating between different tabs or applications, and we can trust that all our work happens collaboratively in one space.”

When a new team member joins Medic, they’re introduced to the team on Slack and added to relevant channels for their new role. Managers even encourage teammates to have a little fun and create social channels for employees to connect on, including #cooking-with-medic and #pet-pics. Emden shares, “These channels have even become some of our most active as we all try to stay engaged and entertained during this pandemic!”

Hear more from these trailblazers and how they use Slack.

Empowering Social Responsibility Programs

Many companies are eager to drive employee engagement through social responsibility programs, and there’s no better way to do that than by empowering employees to take on their own cause or rally their peers through fundraising or volunteering activities. Slack helps companies bring employees together around a shared purpose.

For the past two years, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Canada has promoted its annual Day of Care on Slack. With the global shift to an all-virtual workplace, BCG Canada has reimagined how they generate awareness for this event, and Slack is at the forefront. BCG’s social impact team communicates and engages with employees in the channels where they are, and together they support their community and the local Canadian charities they care about.

Volunteering plays a significant role in BCG Canada’s social impact program, making the inherent social nature of Slack pivotal for success. The notion that BCG Canada employees would use the same platform to connect around social impact that they are already using for internal communications made perfect sense. By using Slack, the social impact team has made engaging with causes and giving back easier, lowering barriers to participation.

In today’s world, employees bring their whole selves to work, and they need outlets for the parts of them that are unrelated to their jobs. Slack is a powerful tool that has the ability to connect employees to all aspects of work, seamlessly tying in a whole host of productivity apps, including calendars, documents, and spreadsheets, as well as all the people involved in each of them. Slack has enabled BCG Canada to meet employees where they are and build engagement around giving back, and that has been a winning recipe for the company’s social impact programs.

Learn more about how Philanthropy Cloud helps companies put their values into action.

Find out how to get started using Slack for your organization or educational institution.