Today only a forum or a mailing list is not enough to manage a community.
A chat is a perfect way to share fast feedback and also to do a meeting or talk with people.
I am evaluating to move the new volunteers/fsa to an internal chat with channels for cities or thematic so irc is not enough (also not so much attractive for non-tech people), mailing list is too much and telegram is a chaos (so much off-topic stuff).
The mainly problem is create thematic channels to split the discussions and prepare the new volunteers to use right the tools that we have.
For that reason I evaluated Slack (the plan with unlimited messages is only with payment) but for non-profits is easy to get it but you have to show that you are a real non-profit association (american based) so it is a complicated step…
So I chosen a free software alternative (yeah!), rocket chat (after tested it, have many useful features) the problem is the hosting of that software, sandstorm.io (is free) is not enough (limit the bot support).
Mattermost and Let’s Chat are interesting but don’t have all the features of Rocket Chat.
I think that I am the only one that need something like that, for people that don’t know slack and similar I suggest to you to try because are not easy to explain but the principal point is that with a single website you have access to everything without turn on your brain to understand how works and find stuff.
Someone have suggestion or a similar experiences?
PS: Telegram is not enough, I don’t want create 20 channels and remember every ones.