2016 has been a year where we have seen social platforms move to help charities. With a new fundraising platform recently launched and Facebook introducing a donate button, it has become easier for charities to embrace digital tools. We were therefore pleased to see that Facebook is going even further to helping charities with internal communications.
Formally known as Facebook at Work the new tool called Workplace by Facebook aims to break down silos and bring people together. In a nutshell, it is an internal communications tool that acts exactly the same way as Facebook with groups, trending stories, reactions, live video, voice calling and a newsfeed. There are also additional features such as a dashboard with analytics tools and integrations with single sign-on.
While breaking down silos, the aim of these tools is to bring people together regardless of title, department or location and to encourage collaboration to make their organisations stronger. The tool will work separately from personal Facebook accounts and is also free from promotions and advertising. It is available as an app, meaning you can access it on the go.
Charities including Oxfam, Save the Children and the RNIB have already tested the products and are seeing the benefits:
Clive Gardiner, group head of digital and content at the RNIB, says:
"For the first time, all RNIB employees can collaborate, participate and share ideas. We’ve never had this level of flexibility and accessibility for our blind and partially sighted staff. Workplace has unified different parts of the organisation, cutting through hierarchy."
Dianna Langley, digital workplace manager at Oxfam is also seeing the benefits of collaborations after rolling the tool out to most of its staff worldwide:
"The fact that the platform is heavily based on ‘normal’ Facebook made the barriers to adoption much lower than other similar tools," she says. "Most of the help queries we receive focus on the best way to get the most out of this kind of tool, not on the basics of its operation.
"Until now, successive iterations of our intranet have been strongly focused on documents and their management. But with the addition of Workplace to this traditional idea, we have enhanced the ‘people’ element of our collaboration. People, with their networks of relationships – which are not restricted to current roles and locations – do not fit neatly into the boxes and hierarchies that documents do. Workplace gives us a way to increase and utilise these valuable people networks."
One of the key successes of this new tool is the fact the majority of people who will be using it will already be familiar with how Facebook works. Workplace is free for charities and is easy to set up so, it is recommended that charities test how it will work for them before utilising it across their organisation.