Swing Left Volunteer Slack Guide

👋 Welcome to Slack!

Welcome! Slack is our virtual field office, where much of our volunteer communication will happen. On Slack, you’ll find opportunities for action, training, resources, friendly volunteers ready to help, and opportunities to deepen your engagement.

🚦 Before you begin...

Before joining Swing Left’s Volunteers Slack, you’ll need to read and agree to our community agreements. If you’ve never used Slack before, head to Slack’s video guides page and watch the “What is Slack?” video at the top, then follow all the steps below.

🔑 Step 1: Log in

Join Swing Left’s Slack at swingleft.org/slack and log in. Download the desktop app at slack.com/downloads. You can set notifications for Slack overall or even for each channel in Slack as needed. This way, you stay connected without being ‘over-notified.’ Make sure you indicate that you want to receive email notifications so you can stay updated without being online:

Another great way to stay connected is downloading the mobile app on your smartphone at slack.com/downloads. You can change notifications for your smartphone so you can get support and updates. When you add the app to your smartphone, this is our Slack Workspace: swing-left-volunteers.slack.com


😎 Step 2: Set up your profile

Fill out your profile — be sure to include your full name, your pronouns, and time zone. Upload a photo of your choosing!


🚀 Step 3: Get started

Watch the short videos listed below (and more if you’d like) at slack.com/videoguides. They’re short and full of useful tips. Or if you prefer web instructions, here is the Slack ‘Getting Started’ guide. Our Slack workspace is a safe and respectful place so don’t be shy about trying things out!


🗺 Step 4: Join channels

Channels are subsections of Slack, divided by topic where we communicate with each other and share updates. In our Slack workspace, we have four types of channels—state-based organizing channels, tactic-based channels, informational channels, and fun channels. Below we’ve listed all the channels in the Swing Left Slack, organized by type, and how to join the state-based channel(s) you’re interested in. When you join Slack, they will be listed alphabetically on the left side of the window.

State-based channels

These channels are where the organizing really happens! Swing Left works to protect and expand Democratic majorities in Congress and build Democratic power at the state level to help safeguard our democracy. We do the research to find the competitive races where the outcomes impact the national balance of power, and we make it easy for you to get involved. Every state where Swing Left has worked on a race has a channel. Each state-based channel will have a mix of targeted races at the federal and state level. In these channels you’ll find local volunteer leaders posting events, updates and news on the races you care about, and opportunities to deepen your involvement in the races you care about. Since there are target races in so many states, we won’t add you automatically to state-based channels, you can choose the channels you care about. To join a state-based organizing channel, hover your cursor over the “channels” header on the left side of your Slack window. Press the + symbol, and click “browse channels.” Search for the state channel you are interested in joining, and click on the channel to join. Find out more about Swing Left's strategy for the state you're interested in pinned to the top of the channel. Happy organizing!

Tactic-based channels

  • The #team-letter-writing channel has everything you need to start writing letters via Swing Left’s affiliated organization, Vote Forward.

Informational channels

  • announcements: Important programmatic information. Only Swing Left staff and lead volunteers can post in this channel.
  • help: If you have a question, here’s the place to get an answer!
  • resources: Here you’ll find a handy list of resources that Swing Left staff will keep updated. In order to keep this list of resources easy to find, please do not post in this channel. If you need resources that aren’t listed here, post in #help.

Fun channels

  • shout-outs-thank-yous: Where we give compliments and shout out community members who are living out our values and doing amazing things!
  • club-pet-baby: Post cute pics and brag on your fur babies and/or your human babies!
  • club-political-chatter: For news and chatter on politics not related to Swing Left’s strategy
  • community-board: Post any community events that aren’t directly related to Swing Left’s organizing efforts.

📢 Step 5: Get to know the team

Reach out to Swing Left staff with any questions!

  • Nia Bentall (she/her) - Senior Director, Distributed Organizing
  • Matt Caffrey (he/him) - Senior Director, Grassroots Community Organizing
  • Valé Briseus (they/them) - Organizing Program Manager
  • Madeleine Deisen (she/her) - College & Organizing Program Manager
  • Janna Kaplan (she/her) - Training & Organizing Program Manager

Swing Left Volunteer Slack Norms

In addition to our community guidelines, here’s a few helpful notes on how we use our workspace. Help build our Slack community into a cultural hub of volunteer fun!

@here immediately notifies the active members of a channel, but won’t notify people who are away or have snoozed notifications. We try to use @here sparingly and only for urgent purposes.

When responding to a question in a channel, we try to ‘thread’ to a specific message. This is good when you want to minimize channel clutter but allow others to hop into the conversation thread.

🎉 You're finished setting up Slack!