Slack is a workplace communication tool, where participants can message each other, create channels/discussion groups, and share tools and files. Slack also integrates with other apps/add-ins and other workplace tools.
You can integrate other apps and services into Slack, making it a versatile team communication tool. Using Slack can increase communication and collaboration, facilitate project management, and allow you to learn how to use a tool that is popular in many workplaces today.
Current known uses in the sector
- Public community groups and discussions on specific topics for larger projects.
- Used as the messaging component for online conferences.
- Internal team meeting, project management, and discussion tool.
- Mainly an internally focused tool, Slack can be used to coordinate with Newcomers and communities as well. Slack allows for public and private channels, restricting access to internally focused channels and discussions, while allowing for external partners/clients to share and discuss. In that way, Slack can be used in Citizenship Preparation, Community Connections, Employment-related, Information and Orientation, Library Settlement Partnership, Settlement Workers in Schools, Pre-Arrival as a tool to engage with internal colleagues, external partners & stakeholders, as well as Newcomers.
Slack is free to use and will generally be sufficient for most nonprofits. Slack has a number of pricing levels for additional tools and functionality. They also offer nonprofit discounts on those levels.
Ease of use & Accessibility
Slack is relatively easy to use, but there is a learning curve to make full use of it. The above videos as well as time and practice, make it easy to use after the initial orientation. Here is a good example of a Slack workspace guidelines and orientation guide, from Refugee613’s DMSI project.
You can use a screen reader to navigate conversations, read messages, and access information in your sidebar from the Slack desktop app and Slack in a web browser.
Slack has a mobile/smartphone app where participants can access full functionality, including using Slack for audio calls with other users.
Privacy/security features, including data security and message encryption
Slack has a mixed rating on Common Sense Media (which typically rates for safe use of technology with children). However, Slack indicates that it uses strong security protocols, including that it can be can be configured for HIPAA compliance, including electronically protected health information (e-PHI), which is an extremely high security setting.
It is useful and important to note on the pricing page the security features increase and are enhanced with higher priced versions of the tool.
You can display the Slack app in a number of languages. Find out more in this Slack Help Center article.