How nonprofits can make the most of Slack and Salesforce

Optimizing Your CRM


The world’s #1 CRM platform has officially adopted Slack, the most innovative enterprise communications platform, creating the operating system for the new way to work. What does this mean for nonprofits, and how can you make use of the powerhouse duo?

Why Salesforce and Slack for nonprofits?

Slack is a messaging app for business that connects people to the information they need. Think of it as workplace texting or Facebook messenger or a more organized version of WhatsApp. It promotes collaboration, streamlines communication, and is a downright lifesaver in the remote world. Combine this with the power of Salesforce, and you’ll see why they’re calling it the new way to work.

Each tool has its own strengths, that when combined create a powerful, cohesive workflow.
Get familiar

To start, nonprofits can use Slack to connect teams by sharing messages, ideas, and files in dedicated “channels” or private messages. Your channels can be organized in whatever way suits your organization. For example, by project, team, geography, area of expertise, etc. Beyond messaging, Slack can also streamline daily work tasks through simple workflows that ensure the right information gets into the right hands at the right time. You can automate welcoming new channel members, sending alerts when major donors make an online gift, and so much more.

So now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dig a little deeper into how you can make the most of the new partnership between Salesforce and Slack.

Improving internal engagement with Slack and Salesforce

Tired of so much email? Frustrated by the lack of communication between your fundraising and marketing teams, or the gift officers and the finance team? Hoping to find more efficiencies in the processing of donations? Slack is here to help. It will replace the over-dependency that we all have on email with real-time texting and collaboration tools. Through simple automations, nonprofits will be able to streamline processes, speed up collaboration, and more effectively manage change by building and connecting new workflows across all aspects of their business—from vacation requests, to project updates, and everything in between.

  • Sending Salesforce notifications in Slack for things like large donations opportunities in public channels, case updates in private channels, and shout-outs from badges getting awarded to employees. This is an easy way to keep your teams updated, excited, and collaborative no matter where they sit in the organization.
  • Creating Salesforce records directly from Slack because it’s too easy to chat and forget. By turning unstructured information from Slack conversations into structured data in Salesforce, you can capture ideas or requests directly in conversations via Slack message shortcuts and take advantage of all the automation, AI, and analytics capabilities of Salesforce.
  • Searching Salesforce records in Slack so your team doesn’t have to go through the inefficiency of opening yet another app when they don’t have to. Simple, but effective. Using custom slash commands, individuals can quickly find results for Salesforce searches while still in the context of their conversations in Slack.

When paired with Salesforce, Slack can also be your organization’s top employee and constituent engagement tool. Think onboarding, leadership engagement, education and training, sentiment tracking, and more—Slack will help organizations drive user adoption of new solutions and build deeper employee and constituent connections.

Grant management with Slack and Salesforce

Grant managers are communication gurus! They’re responsible for liaising with program managers to align on program goals, coaching grantees on their applicants and supporting them with their awards, enabling finance on processing grant disbursements, and helping legal review grant contracts with special conditions. No doubt these super-powered grant managers need a better way of communicating while their work is streamlined with cutting-edge technology. Enter Slack for Salesforce!

  • Grantseeker Slack community: Slack isn’t just for internal teams, you can also set up channels for external individuals or teams. For grantseekers, this Slack channel acts as a community forum, where applicants can ask questions and you can share documentation, best practices, deadline reminders, etc.
  • Grantee collaboration: Once a grant application is approved, you can create a private channel for the grantee so you can easily answer questions about disbursement schedule, award letter, and any other post-award related activity. You can also collect simplified progress reports easily using Slack Forms Workflows.
  • Streamlined review process: Slack is a great place to collaborate on decision-making. Create a channel to gather all board members so you can coordinate and facilitate the board review, provide support to board members, share application-related documents, send reminders for when the reviews are due etc. You can also build a simple custom workflow for grant approvals, that ensures records are updated in Salesforce as soon as the grant is approved in Slack.
  • Finance automations: Often when a new grantseeking institution is awarded, their organization needs to be set up as a vendor in the grantmaker finance system. This manual process can be simplified with an automated workflow that when the grant is approved, institution details such as bank name, legal name, EIN, ledger codes can be shared in the finance channel to be processed and marked as done using emojis.
Volunteer management with Slack and Salesforce

Volunteers are the unsung heroes of programming and fundraising events, your best brand and mission ambassadors, and one of your most valuable resources—saving your organization an average of $24.14 per hour. So ensuring they feel connected, and engaged (especially in today’s remote world) is essential to your ongoing success. So how can Slack and Salesforce help?

  • Volunteer communication: Create a volunteer channel in Slack, where your volunteers can connect, ask questions, coordinate shifts, etc. The channel can act like a hub, where you post the latest news, events, opportunities and more.
  • Volunteer engagement: Leverage the real-time messaging of Slack to send mission messages and other organizational announcements to your non-paid workforce of volunteers to ensure they feel connected, appreciated, and truly understand the impact of the work they’re doing.
  • Pipeline Development: Leverage the functionality of creating new Salesforce records directly from Slack to ensure all new volunteers are added to your Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) system. As we all know, volunteers often become your best donors and truly understanding the "six degrees of separation" (think Kevin Bacon!) of all of constituents is invaluable as we map our relationships and look to maximize the lifetime value of our donors and constituents.
More on how your YMCA can turbocharge operations with Slack

We know what your most burning question is, “So how much is this going to cost me?”. Great news! The Slack for Nonprofits program offers free or discounted plan upgrades to eligible organizations. We've pulled together more on how YMCAs can turbocharge operations with Slack (and how you can sign up your organization with a discounted plan).

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