Collaborate with Chatter

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Recognize the collaborative possibilities Chatter offers.
  • Share and follow information with Contacts, Groups, and records.
  • Identify who can see your Chatter content.

Donor Cultivation is a Team Sport

Ideally, the people who best represent your nonprofit will be connecting with your donors in various ways over the months (or years) leading up to a major gift solicitation. Your team will be working together to create an emotional connection with a donor which will lead to a successful ask.

Chatter is a Salesforce platform that lets teams collaborate easily in real time. It’s like the social media platforms that you use in your personal life, but built for work. 

With Chatter:

  • Everyone can post about what they’re working on or comment on other people's posts.
  • You can join public or private Groups, where you can get the latest on topics or solve problems together.
  • Teammates can collaborate right on an opportunity or household account record, so the information is stored right where everyone needs it.
  • And, like on familiar social platforms, Chatter surfaces the content that is the most interesting and helpful to you.

Chatter is a great way to share insights, comments, files, or links that aren't best tracked as tasks or activities. For example, NMH Director of Development Aniyah Thompson just read a news article about Cloud Kicks Sales Manager and recent capital campaign donor Jose Figueroa. Aniyah shares the article in the Chatter feed on Jose's contact record and anyone who's following that record or anyone who opens the record can see the article and use it to inform their relationship building with Jose. Aniyah also @mentions her Executive Director in the post to make sure she sees the article as well.

Chatter Feed on the Contact Detail Page

Chatter is a great way to collaborate and have a conversation about a specific Contact or Opportunity and keep that conversation in context right on the record itself.

Follow Contacts, Groups, and Other Records

“Following” is the way to get updates on the information that is most important to you. You can follow contacts, groups, and even records (like household accounts and opportunities). Each item or person you follow has their own feed, and when you follow a feed, you get notified about activity on that feed.

Chatter Feed Notification

You can receive notifications via email and through the in-app notifications. To review your Chatter feed, go to your Chatter tab. If you want to adjust the frequency of Chatter email notifications, you can go to your Settings and then Chatter Email Notifications.

Chatter Settings Page

Salesforce follows a few things for you to get your feed activity under way. You automatically follow your manager and team and possibly others, depending on the size of your organization. You can keep these defaults or stop following by navigating to their profile pages, hovering over Following, and clicking Unfollow.

How do you follow someone? There are lots of ways. For example, wherever you see a name in a feed, hover over it to open a quick view of that person’s profile. Click Follow.

Avatar Hover Highlighting Chatter Follow Button

You can follow a person from their profile page or you can follow a record by opening it and clicking Follow.

Opportunity Detail Page Highlighting Chatter Follow Button



You can follow any person or record you have access to. If you do not have access to a record, you will not be able to follow it.

Fundraising teams have a lot of information to share. At the same time, they need to process a ton of data to get their jobs done. This information overload can lead to email burnout (or lost emails), so here’s a tip: Avoid email fatigue by keeping all that must-share information in a team Chatter group.

To join a group, click the Groups tab or navigate to the Groups menu item, and click +Join Group.

Group Detail Page Highlighting the Join Group button

At NMH, they have a group for their capital campaign planning that includes all the documents, links to videos and articles, and other resources that their fundraisers might need to support their relationship building. They also include board members in the group so that all the key stakeholders in their campaign have easy access to the answers and materials they need. This also allows the group members to learn from each other and celebrate their successes together.

Collaborate on Opportunities

When you have a team of people focused on one opportunity, like a major gift solicitation or grant proposal, there’s a lot of activity and information to track. Everyone has a different role, which means each person can have their own ideas, updates, files, and more to share. Fortunately, everyone can share with the group directly on that opportunity record’s Chatter page, so the info is archived in context and is easy to access when and where they need it.

Aniyah, for example, follows key opportunity records in the NMH org so she gets notified when a prospective solicitation or grant opportunity moves into a new stage.

Chatter Home Detail showing record updates

Who Sees What

Here are some guidelines to help you know who can see what in Chatter, using Aniyah, our Director of Development, as our example. Imagine that you follow Aniyah. Depending on where she posts, let’s see what appears in your What I Follow feed.

Where Aniyah posts
Do you see her post in What I Follow?
On her own profile
  • In orgs where all users are public, you see Aniyah’s posts to her own feed if you’re following Aniyah
  • In orgs where users are default private, you see Aniyah’s posts to her own feed if you are following Aniyah
  • If you have access to the feed of the original post, you can see posts that are cross referenced to Aniyahs profile feed through @mentions
On another person’s profile
If you are following the other person
In a public group
If you follow the group by joining it
In an unlisted, private, or customer group
If you’re also a member of the group
On a record page
If you have access to the record and you’re following it

Aniyah is a Chatter pro, so consider her best practices when using Chatter in your own org:

  • Mention people in comments. When it’s likely people will share her post, Aniyah knows to place any mentions in the post’s comments. Why? Placing mentions in comments prevents anyone or any group that’s mentioned from getting notified repeatedly whenever the post is shared. (Remember, the post is shared but not the comments.)
  • Use mentions thoughtfully. You could make every name you enter a mention, but you may end up like the boy who cried wolf. Try to use mentions where they will be truly meaningful.
  • Make mentions count. Where your post lives can impact whether the person or Group you mention is notified or has access to the post.

Chatter Feed on Opportunity Detail Page

In this module, we've learned the ways in which you can use NPSP to identify prospects, track them as they move through your cultivation process, and work together on moving donors up the engagement ladder. In the next module, we'll take a look at how you know if your efforts are actually working by using Reports and Dashboards.