Nonprofit Launch Guide

An admin's guide to planning for and launching Workplace to your non-profit organization.

Nonprofit Guide to Launching Workplace

Workplace is proud to donate work tools to registered nonprofits and staff of educational institutions to help teams connect, collaborate and build meaningful communities around the world. Already today, thousands of nonprofits are using Workplace. Based on their feedback, we have compiled this guide to get you started with Workplace. It is meant for up to a 250 person staff and should take you no longer than 4 weeks. If you have more people in your organization, we recommend you follow the launch articles here to ensure a successful launch.

Download the launch checklists to make sure you stay on top of launch requirements:

Launch Workplace to your nonprofit in 4 simple steps

Prerequisites to get started: Your leadership team is on board, you are aware that launching Workplace is more a change than a technical project, you have defined 2 things that Workplace will be able to do that you can't do today.

1. Sign up and connect your Workplace

1. Sign up and connect your Workplace

2. Build your Workplace

2. Build your Workplace

  • Get buy-in and Identify your Workplace project team: include a leader from each team at your organization and add them as an Admin on Workplace.
  • Go to "Admin Panel" in the lefthand navigation bar > Go to "People" in the Admin Panel > Invite Workplace project team members by clicking the "Invite" button next to their name.
  • Create your first project group with this team called “Workplace launch” where you and each team member will share updates on how the launch of Workplace is progressing.
  • To create a new group, go to "Home" on the lefthand navigation > select "Create Group" from the drop down menu > Select "Teams & Projects" > name the project "Workplace Launch" > add your Workplace project team members to the group. Note: it's by default a "closed" group. Content is only visible to members.
  • Agree and create your core set of groups on Workplace. Consider if the groups should be open, closed or secret. Here's some inspiration to get you started:
  • Top down - bottom up feedback groups
    Move company-wide email communications to an announcement group. Create a social group for all questions that are not directly work related. You can also create announcement and social groups in each of your office locations.

    Examples: 'All Employee FYI', 'London Announcements', 'UK Social', 'Company Wiki'

  • Team communication groups
    Create a group for each team in your organization and make the manager an admin of the group. This allows teams to communicate regularly, manage projects, and stay updated in between meetings.

    Examples: 'Fundraising Team', 'HR team', 'Executive Team'

  • Cross functional collaboration groups
    Collaborate across regions, languages and teams with open discussion groups to gather ideas and share feedback from everyone in your organization.

    Examples: 'Festival Fundraising Project', 'Volunteering Opportunities', 'IT Helpdesk', 'Marketing XFN'. Also think about having a feedback group for each team so everyone knows exactly how to reach out to them such as 'Marketing Feedback', 'IT Feedback', 'Workplace Tips & Tricks'. Ask the manager of the the respective team to pin a post with all the key information and links to documents at the top of the group.

  • Volunteers and partner groups

    Use Multi-Company Groups (MCG) to collaborate with volunteers and partners who are not a part of your organization but you work with regularly. Create the group as type 'Multi-company' and invite volunteers/partners with their work email. They don't need to have a Workplace account yet. You can share in the same way in these groups but external members won't have access to your internal groups.

    Examples: 'Volunteers FYI', 'Japan Volunteers', 'EasyJet/Unicef partnership'

3. Prepare your organization

3. Prepare your organization

  • Set up the accounts for all employees on Workplace. Be sure to include as much information about them as possible, especially the manager email as this will inform functionality such as the org chart on Workplace. Once all employees are setup, they can be added to the respective groups.
  • Go to the "Admin Panel: > go to "People"> Select "Add People" from the top right-hand corner > choose your upload method, e.g CSV file > select "Invite when I'm ready"
  • Choose a launch date and build excitement. Set a date for your launch. We find Tuesday thru Thursday are the best days for launching. Start communicating about it to your organization to build excitement. The launch of Workplace will be the start of a different way of working, so take this time to plan fun events and a video or live message from your CEO to mark this milestone.
  • Build your plan on what work will move to Workplace on launch day. We recommend moving all email list communications to Workplace groups exclusively. Be sure it is part of your communications plan to encourage employees to claim their Workplace accounts on launch day so they do not miss out on important information only shared on Workplace.
4. Launch Workplace

4. Launch Workplace

  • Officially launch Workplace to your whole organization!
  • Go to the "Admin Panel" > Select "People" from the navigation bar > click "invite all" and personalize the message you send
  • Celebrate your launch! Everyone should be excited to join Workplace and celebrating the launch is a great way to build that excitement.

Photos of people celebrating their Workplace launch

  • Start communicating and collaborating with your employees on Workplace
  • Post your first organization-wide post in your FYI group and build excitement for Workplace by having your leaders go live to share updates and to celebrate major milestones.
  • Schedule a member of your leadership team to go Live on Workplace the week of launch to build excitement and encourage each member of your organization to claim their Workplace account. Start promoting this in your pre-launch communications so no one misses the event.
  • Before sending an internal email, ask yourself if this would be relevant for others. If so, post it on Workplace instead.

For more information on how to successfully launch Workplace, join the Workplace Multi-Company group Launching Workplace to your organization. Here you will learn more in-depth best practices to launch Workplace.


FAQs for nonprofits

Workplace FAQs for nonprofits

  • Am I eligible for free of charge usage of Workplace? And how many users will be free?
  • All nonprofits that are registered with TechSoup and are not identified as a governmental entity or organization are eligible for a Workplace without charge. Some types of organizations are excluded, e.g. political or lobbying agencies; labor unions; government agencies; and certain types of educational institutions. There is no limit on the number of users.
  • Can I add people from a different email domain?
  • Yes. If your organization uses multiple email domains you can add these to Workplace.
  • To collaborate with people from other organizations, use a multi-company group. This will allow volunteers and partners to communicate with you without getting access to your internal groups.
  • How many groups should I create?
  • Create a base set of the core work groups and a minimum of social groups. For an organization of around 50 people 15 groups is a good ballpark figure to start with.
  • How can I onboard volunteers?
  • Create an multi-company group (MCG) and invite volunteers via email. Add a pinned post to the top of the group with important onboarding information along with a link to other Volunteer MCGs they should be a part of. Encourage them to ask questions in this group.
  • Alternatively, you can include the volunteers directly in your Workplace community. This will mean that they will have access to all staff content in open groups. To do so, follow the same steps to 'add people' as you would for your staff.
  • How do I keep engagement high on Workplace?
  • Remember what you were trying to set out to do when you started this project. Revert back to this to ensure that the value of Workplace to the organization remains high.
  • Moving all email lists and internal communications off of email is a great place to start. Take advantage of rich media formats, such as photos, videos, 360 videos and live broadcasts.. Share exclusive communications on Workplace only to encourage employees to claim their Workplace account and to regularly login to Workplace. Managing projects with project groups in Workplace is another way to bring the work you used to do in other tools and email onto Workplace exclusively. Consider with every email that you write and receive if the content could be relevant to others. If so, post on Workplace instead.
  • Many organizations start with top down communication from executives. People managers can also help boost engagement on Workplace when they commit to using Workplace for all team communications. This could include general team updates, team meeting notes and weekly “top of minds” to share what everyone plans to work on that week.
  • Connect Workplace to the tools your use everyday to streamline workflows and cutdown on the need to work out of many tools. Workplace integrations help streamline your workflows so work is getting done more efficiently. Learn more on our Integration Directory.
  • Will Workplace always be free to nonprofits?
  • There is no intention to charge nonprofits for Workplace. In June 2018, we launched Workplace for Good and renewed our commitment to donate Workplace free to nonprofits and educational staff.
  • How can I get additional help to launch Workplace?
  • The Customer Resource Center (you're here now!) has a wealth of turnkey resources to help you prepare for your launch and strategies to keep engagement high.
  • Workplace partners are also available to help you. Find a partner in your region here.
  • Do you have a community where I can connect with other nonprofit organizations on Workplace?
  • Yes! You can join the Workplace for Good MCG with more than 2,500 people who work in and are passionate about nonprofits.
  • What level of security does Workplace provide?
  • We are are serious about Security and you can learn more here.
Nonprofit guide to launching Workplace
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