Charity Digital – Themes – Using digital tools for internal communication

Communicating internally is just as important as communicating with your external audiences. Keeping their colleagues up to date with news from across your organization will make them feel engaged, boost morale and keep them motivated.

Internal communication is especially important in times of uncertainty, such as organizational restructuring or the appointment of a new CEO.

Charity communications teams have a wide selection of digital tools they can use to share information with colleagues. Here we explore some of the most popular internal communication channels available to charities.

Newsletters

Internal newsletters are a effective and inexpensive way to obtain non-emergency information to staff. From MailChimp to Campaign Monitor, there are different platforms you can use to design and send newsletters. You can schedule a newsletter to go out on a specific day of the week and at a certain time.

Some staff members do not always open the newsletters if they are busy with work. This means that information could be missed. To make sure people read newsletters, keep them short and include photos and videos that engage people.

intranet

For larger charities, an intranet is a useful internal communication tool. It’s a trade repository where you can share important updates, documents, and reports. It allows staff working from home to keep up to date with organization news and events.

Collaboration and project management tools

Effective internal communications help staff share information with colleagues and work together. It doesn’t just involve the CEO and management team passing information to the organization.

Project management tools like Trello, Asana, and Base camp allow colleagues to work together across different locations and time zones. They are a good way to follow the progress of the different tasks involved in a project.

Slack is another collaboration tool that allows charity teams to share messages, tools, and files in “channels.” These channels can be organized by teams, projects, or anything else relevant to your charity.

Video conferencing tools

The pandemic has increased the popularity of video calling software, like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Both tools can be used for large-scale meetings or smaller team meetings.

The free Zoom plan offers unlimited call duration between two people. For groups of more than two, there is a 40 minute break. Paid plans give charities more leeway to host events and meetings without worrying about time.

Microsoft Teams has the advantage of also offering instant messaging, file sharing and storage tools. This means you have a single platform that you can use to effectively communicate messages to staff. You can either use a free version of Teams or pay for a package.

For a discussion around Teams v Zoom, check out our recent pod:

Instant messaging tools

Instant messaging allows staff to ask each other questions and exchange ideas. Microsoft Teams, Google Hangout, Zoom and Slack all offer instant messaging tools.

Instant messaging has many advantages. This is faster than sending e-mails to your colleaguesYou can receive instant feedback from other staff and share documents. Most people too feel comfortable with this fast-paced style of communication because they use it outside of work. For example, instant messaging tools such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

Online surveys

Good internal communication should support two-way communication, so staff can provide feedback to management teams. You could, for example, conduct surveys to get people’s views and perspectives on different aspects of the organization. These views could be used to change and improve things.

It’s important to take into account what people say in polls because if people don’t feel heard, they may not want to take future surveys.

Video

The video is a useful tool to include in your internal communication strategy. You could:

Forums

Online forums provide staff with the opportunity to discuss and collaborate on ideas. Forums can be integrated into an intranet or be separate spaces, like Slack.

Forums can be used to share updates, To ask questionshelp people from other teams and departments and encourage staff to get involved in the work of the association.