Slate leverages a "train-the-trainer" model of implementation. A core team from each institution—the Slate Captains—will attend Slate Launchpad and ultimately oversee the project. The Slate Captains will actively take responsibility for creating sustainable business processes within Slate—and provide training to other users within the office.
We recommend limiting the number of Slate Captains to two to three individuals.
Selecting Slate Captains
Slate Captains should be experienced advancement officers who have a solid understanding of current processes and how they intersect, such as: gift processing and acknowledgements, reporting and analytic requirements, stewardship and engagement tactics, and record management.
Captains should be organized individuals who can clearly articulate current business processes. They should be creative and willing to re-imagine new business needs. They should also be able to commit adequate time to focus and go through the necessary build-out and training along the way.
Perhaps most importantly, Slate Captains should be empowered to make decisions throughout the implementation of Slate without consistently relying upon outside support.
Possible candidates for the Slate Captain role include the following: Director of Advancement Services, Director of Alumni Engagement, Director of Individual/Annual Giving.
Other essential staff will be involved at key moments during an implementation—including leadership and IT staff—but the Slate Captains will ultimately be making decisions and building out the process. It is important to carefully plan and delegate projects throughout implementation.
Much like an advancement office itself, Slate is an integrated system. And, as such, different team members may be called upon to support particular phases during the transition to Slate. Potential roles in Slate and the associated for team members are outlined below:
|Role in Slate||Candidate|
|Integration Team||IT Staff|
|Leadership Team||VP of Advancement, VP of Alumni Relations|
|Outreach Team||Director of Marketing|
|Superusers||Prospect Research Staff, Advancement Services Staff, Operations|
|As Needed||Consultants (optional)|
Slate is not a conventional IT project. Slate has been designed and built for those who will be the primary users of the system - advancement and alumni staff. 95% of the tasks related to implementation will be focused around business processes and can be completed directly by Slate Captains - without the need for intervention on the part of IT staff.
IT staff will play an important role with regards to integrating with other external and campus systems.