Navigating the Slate for Advancement Interface
  • 22 Nov 2023
  • 8 minute read
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Navigating the Slate for Advancement Interface

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  • PDF

Article Summary

Slate provides various ways to navigate through the user experience, including the omni-search feature, the user profile, and the Slate navigation bar available on most pages. Icons appear on the Slate navigation bar to access the main components of the Slate environment. The components are the Slate home page, Records, Query, Reader, Deliver, Inbox, Forms, Events, Scheduler, Database, and user profile settings.



The omni-search provides a partial word search across multiple sections in the database, including records, datasets, queries, forms, and imports.


The default data points used by the search are the record name, email address, phone number, social security number, and the Slate Reference ID. You can customize search data points to include more options (Banner ID or Raiser's Edge ID, for example).

When a record is returned in the search area, additional information from that record will appear. The standard appearance of the information includes the Slate reference ID and date of birth, but the displayed information can be customized if desired.


Current User Profile

The user profile is where a user can adjust some settings in the database that is specific to them. This includes links to manage some of their profile settings, toggle dark mode on or off, open the user's Home Slate page, list devices used to access the database, manage the user's notification settings, and log out of the database.


Slate Home Page 

The Slate homepage (available by clicking the Slate logo) includes two sections.


The top section of the page displays information from the Slate community. This includes announcements from Technolutions, a community social media feed, a link to the Slate Spirit Shop, the most recent community forum posts, the most recent Slate feedback posts, and service status information.


The second section of the page can display information specific to your database, including custom reports, graphs, and static content.


Navigation Bar Icons


The Records tool is used to search for existing records and to create new records in the database.


The tool includes four main components: the search bar and filter tool, the search results area, the record creation tool, and the list of the datasets in your database.

The search bar provides a free-text search of records in the selected dataset. The filter tool, used with or without the search bar, enables applying limits to the database search results using specific values.


The search results area displays the records returned from the partial match search and filter tool (if used). You can customize the table providing the search results to display various information, such as the class year.


The New Record tool (labeled New Person when using the person lookup dataset) creates a person or dataset record.  


By default, adding a person record in the database includes email, First Name, Last Name, and birthdate values. You can create a custom form to replace the default person creation options.


By default, adding a dataset record in the database includes values for Name and Key.


A list of datasets appears on the right side of the Records tool. The Person (also called Lookup) dataset is for person records; the rest are custom datasets that can be edited or deleted. Note that the Organizations dataset links to the school widget found on the person record and to relationship records in the database.  


Queries / Reports

This section of the Slate database includes four components: Queries, Reports, Voyager, and Widgets.


Each component provides an option to create a new item (query, report, voyage, or widget), a search bar, and a folder structure.


Clicking the corresponding icon in the upper-right corner of the page switches between the components.


Use the Queries tool (also called the query builder) to isolate records that meet specific criteria. Some of the queries created in Slate are used repeatedly to accomplish business processes, while others can be used only once to accomplish a non-recurring task. Clicking New Query opens a popup with two options: New Quick Query and New Query. A quick query provides quick, temporary access to information stored in the database. Quick queries last roughly three days before being deleted from the database, but a quick query can be saved as a new query at any time before it expires. A new query is saved until it is specifically deleted. Query templates can also be created and saved to start future queries.


In contrast to the query builder, the Reports tool (also called report builder) displays data in Slate in the aggregate. For example, you can create a report to answer questions such as, “How many donors have made a gift over $100 in the current fiscal year?"

The Voyager tool is used for geospatial mapping in Slate. This reporting differs fundamentally from what is available in the query builder and report builder tools. Beginning with a map of the United States, Voyager allows superimposing additional layers of data, providing visualization of information such as records, events, organizations, and American Community Survey (ACS) data.


The Query section uses widgets to create basic graphs and display static text.  


The Reader tool in Slate enables viewing multiple data points about a record in a single location. This includes field data, materials, form registrations, and event registrations.




The Deliver tool provides tools for managing outgoing emails and SMS messages from the database. 


This section includes a search bar; you can customize the view to meet user needs.


Several tools in Deliver involve sending and receiving messages from and to the database. You can find these tools on the far right side under Mailings

  • Calendar: Displays the scheduled but unsent emails.

  • Email Campaigns: Used for creating email campaigns. 

  • Outbox: Holds mailings to be approved before sending. 

  • Library: Provides a single location to manage uploaded images used in HTML content blocks.

  • Content Blocks: Used to insert HTML content conditionally into Deliver mailings. 

  • Designer: Use to create components. You can include a component in an email template that is not editable by a user accessing the template.  

  • Gateway Inbox: Forward incoming emails from Database to a person email account. 

  • SMS Inbox: With SMS Inbox, you can manage bi-directional SMS communication by directly associating a text conversation with the appropriate constituent record based on the mobile number and allowing for automation and pre-written response options.


Use Inbox to assign incoming emails and text messages to your database email address or phone number or to process messages, either manually or through a rule, to users in your database.


The Inbox component includes three additional tools, Inbox Live, Snippets, and Switchboard.  

  • Inbox Live: Displays any active chat sessions with users in the database. 

  • Snippets: Inbox Snippets enable quickly adding often-used text content (such as a message signature) to messages without recomposing the text with every use. 

  • Switchboard: Using Slate Voice, switchboard provides a live overview of all active calls in your database, along with a list of recent calls that have been made.


A form is the primary way of entering data into Slate.


Forms are used for entering external data, such as on a giving form where a donor provides a gift to the institution. You can also use forms for internal data, such as when a gift officer submits a report about a constituent.

The Forms tool provides a folder structure for organizing content and a search bar to perform partial-word searches against the titles of forms in the database.


Events can be created and managed with the Events tool. 


The Events area of Slate provides a folder structure for organizing content and includes options to display events by status, to perform a partial match on the event title search bar, to select events by user, and to view events in a list or calendar view. The calendar view is the default view for events. You can change the calendar view to display by month, week, or day. The list view shows all events in chronological order, with an option to sort the list as desired. 


Events can be archived (rather than deleted), and the calendar or list of events can optionally appear with or without archived events included.


Along with the option to create a new event is the option to create an event template. Event templates save time and effort by enabling the configuration of events in a central location. You can use event templates to add recurring events in groups without needing additional configurations.


The Events tool provides two other associated tools: Resources and Trips

A user's available time displays in the Resources tool. This helps determine available users for associating with an event.  

The Trips tool is used to plan travel for users in Slate. With a trip, users can manage their itinerary with details such as planned stops, flight information, and hotel bookings. A user can also manage expenses incurred during the trip. A map detailing the user's stops is also available, and this map can be overlaid with Voyage-created content using the Query tool.  



Scheduler is ideal for one-on-one appointments and is used for meetings with a registration limit of one. his is in contrast to events, which enable multiple registrations to the same occurrence.


Like in the Events area of Slate, Scheduler provides a folder structure for organizing content, along with options to display sessions by status, to perform a partial match on session title using a search bar, to select sessions by user, to view sessions in a list or calendar view. The default view for Scheduler is by calendar, and you can change the view to display by month, week, or day. The list view shows all events in chronological order, with an option to sort the list as desired.  

Like event templates in Slate, session templates save time and effort by enabling the configuration of session components in a central location. For example, you can use session templates to batch-create interview slots without needing additional configurations.

Likewise, as with the Events tool, Scheduler sessions can be archived (rather than deleted), and the calendar or list of sessions can optionally appear with or without archived events included. 


Also included in the Scheduler tool is the Active Scheduler tool. With Active Scheduler, you can use a portal to create on-the-fly timeslots for specific sessions based on a schedule you define. This schedule includes three essential parts:

  • General availability of timeslots for a given timeframe (including overrides for specific days).

  • Existing external appointments are defined by an iCal feed shared as free or busy. For detailed information regarding iCal configuration, refer to the Slate External iCal Integration for Google Calendar Knowledge Base article.

  • Instances of timeslots are created either manually or on the fly through the scheduling tool in a portal. 



The Database tool is where Slate administrators can create, manage, and maintain many features and business processes in Slate.


The Database page is divided into sections. The best way to access the desired tools is through the search bar at the top of the page. Then the Database page appears, the focus defaults to the Search Database search bar.


The search bar functions as a partial-word search to return the tools that match the entered search text.  


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