How to build a Toy Drive bot

This help doc walks you through setting up and editing the Toy Drive bot template.

Tom Gibby avatar
Written by Tom Gibby
Updated over a week ago

Every holiday season, companies around the world rally their staff together and organize toy drives to support international, national and local charities. Running and organizing a toy drive can be a time consuming task, but using our Toy Drive bot you can automate the process of alerting staff, tracking participation, sharing instructions and logging donated gifts. 

So, let’s show you how easy it is to build a Toy Drive bot for Workplace by Facebook.


  • Time to build: 15 minutes 

  • Skill level: Easy 

If you’re familiar with how the Toy Drive bot works then scroll down to the next section, otherwise we suggest taking a look at this short overview video that will show you the key screens and features that make up the Toy Drive bot. 

What you need
In order to build this bot you will need: 

  • Admin status on your Workplace instance so you can connect the bot

  • A computer that, ideally, is running Chrome

  • Some festive cheer. Because it’s the Holidays after all!  

Template instructions
Step 1: Creating an account

Ok, so the first thing we’re going to do is log into The Bot Platform. You can do this by clicking this link. Sign in using your TBP log in details. If you don’t have a TBP log in then you can sign up for a free trial using this link. Once you’ve done this you’ll need to verify your email. As we’re security conscious, we’ll use this as an opportunity to suggest all users enable 2FA too.

Step 2: Launching the template

Once you’ve verified your email you’ll be logged in to your dashboard. If you’re a new TBP user then you’ll see a blank dashboard like the image below. As you build bots they would appear here. 

Click on the blue “Create a new bot” button. 

You’ll then see our template dashboard screen. There are a number of different templates you can choose and each has a ‘Learn more’ button that clicks through to more information about that particular use case. 

For the purpose of this tutorial, we’re going to click on the ‘Toy drive bot’ icon.

You’ll then be asked to name your bot. This is the name for how your bot will appear on The Bot Platform. We will come to what your staff see when they use the bot when we connect it to Workplace in step 4 of this tutorial. 

Type in a name for your bot, for example “Office Toy Drive”, and click the blue ‘Save’ button.

Congratulations - you have just created a bot! This isn’t live on Workplace yet, but you now have a template that you can start editing.

On the dashboard screen you’ll see a description of the bot and an overview video. Clicking on the ? icon will open this Help Doc.

We’ll come back to the orange bar at the top that says “Connect to Workplace” in step 4.

Click on the blue “Customize your bot” button and you’ll be taken to the message menu.  

The message menu contains all the messages that make up a given bot. For the Toy Drive template there are 14 messages of which 4 need editing, but you’re free to edit as many messages as you wish! 

Step 3: Reviewing and editing the template

We’re going to start off with the Welcome Message. Click on the blue ‘edit’ button to open that particular message. 

The Welcome Message is the first message your staff will see when they start using the bot. It is made up of 3 message parts with 2 delays of 2000 milliseconds between each one. If you wish to edit any of these messages then simply click into the text box and change the text or emojis. 

If you wish to click through the bot as if you were a user then you can do this by clicking on the text that says ‘Switch to Navigation’. This will change the blue bar orange and will put you into Navigation mode which means you can click on the various messages to see how the bot is put together. This is a great way of easily seeing which messages you want to edit or change the text or GIFs in. 

For example, clicking the ‘Tell me more’ button takes the user to a message called ‘Message 2’. 

This message contains information about the Toy Drive such as the budget, currency and instructions. This is one of the messages you will probably need to edit.  

In order to edit the message from Navigation Mode, simply click the ‘Switch to Edit’ button in the orange bar. This will then change to a blue bar to show you’re in editing mode. 

Make the relevant changes to the information such as the budget guidelines of the gift, drop off instructions and timelines. 

Once you’ve done this, click the blue ‘Save’ button. 

This will take you back to the message menu. 

The next message you will then need to edit is called ‘Learn about charity’. Find this message and click the edit button. 

This message contains two message parts. It provides your staff with more information about the charity your Toy Drive is in support of. 

To edit this message, simply add in a small bit of information about the correct charity and change any mention of ‘Toys for Tots’ to the charity in question. 

You’ll then need to change the URL in the ‘See website’ button. To do this, click the cog icon by the ‘See Website’ button and you will see this screen.

Change the URL to open to the correct URL and then click save. On clicking save you will go back to the message builder screen for the ‘Learn about charity’ message. 

Scroll to the bottom then click on the blue save button. 

You should now be redirected back to the main message menu. 

The next message you might need to edit is called ‘Gift tips’. 

Find that message in the message menu and click on the blue edit button. 

The ‘Gift tips’ message includes 5 quick tips on how to buy a good gift.

You may need to edit some of the information in this message such as the local currency if you’re not using the £GBP or the budget guidelines. 

You can do this by simply clicking into that message and deleting/adding in the relevant information. 

Once you’ve done that, click the blue ‘save’ button. You’ll be taken back to the message menu. 

The final message you need to edit is the ‘Thanks message’. Click the edit blue button and then scroll down to the bottom section of the message that should look like the below. We’ll come back to the top part of the message shortly. 

The ‘Thanks message’ is the message your staff are sent after they’ve confirmed which gifts they have purchased for the Toy Drive. 

If you want to update the GIF you can do that by clicking the photo icon and adding a new GIF of your choice from your computer files. Try and keep GIFs to less than 3mb. 

The middle section of text includes details on where your staff should send/leave the gift they’re donating. 

You will need to edit this text with the correct instructions for your Toy Drive. For example, perhaps staff need to drop-off their gift in a certain area or room in the office. Or, if you have remote working/frontline staff, the gift needs to be sent to a central office location. 

Add in the relevant instructions for your staff, and then click on the blue ‘Save’ button. 

Now we’re going to edit the ‘Get Started’ screen. On the left hand panel scroll down and click on ‘Get started message’ under ‘Settings’.

You’ll see the following screen. Most staff interact with a bot for the first time via a broadcast message which means they won’t see this message, but for anyone that finds it organically they will see this text. 

Change the text to name the correct charity being supported by your Toy Drive, or change all the text entirely. Once you’ve done that, click the blue ‘Save’ button. Then click the ‘Messages’ button in the left hand navigation menu.

Step 4: Connecting to Workplace

OK awesome, your Toy Drive bot is pretty much finished! We’re now going to connect it to Workplace. 

Click on the ‘Connect to Workplace’ button in the orange bar. 

You’ll see a screen that asks you to connect your Workplace account. Click the blue ‘I am a Workplace Admin’ button. If you’re not an admin, you’ll need to involve someone from your company who is in order to add the bot to your Workplace instance.

Ensure all the boxes are ticked on the next screen giving your bot various permissions and then click the red ‘Next’ button at the bottom. 

You’ll then be redirected to Workplace’s website and asked which Workplace account you would like to use. Click on the correct one. Note, you may only have one account to choose from here unless you have a test or sandbox instance that you have an account for too.

Next you have the ability to customise how the bot will look to your staff and which groups on Workplace it has access to. 

We’ll start off with the bot name, description and icon. 

Click the ‘Customise’ button and enter the name you’d like your bot to appear as in the ‘Integration name’ section. 

Then update the description of the integration. Change it to something short and sweet like “Get involved in our 2019 Holiday Toy Drive”. 

You can change the logo/icon of the bot too. For example, if you wanted the icon to be an image of a Toy, or your company logo, or any other icon - click the ‘Update logo’ button, add one from your computer and resize as appropriate. 

Then click the blue ‘Save button’. 

Now we need to select which groups have access to the bot. You can change this whenever you want, so our suggestion is to start off by connecting it to a test group or Workplace group that you and other Workplace admins or people you might work on the bot with are in. 

For example, you may have created a group on Workplace called “bot testing” or “2019 Toy Drive” that only a few people are a member of. 

Click the ‘Specific groups’ button and start typing the name of the group or groups you want to connect the bot to. This means only people in those groups will be able to find and access the bot. 

Once you’re ready to launch it to the whole company you can add more groups or change the settings to ‘All groups’. 

Once you’ve added the correct groups, click the blue ‘Add to Workplace’ button. 

Wait a few seconds and then you’ll be redirected back to The Bot Platform and you should now see a green bar at the top of your dashboard that says “Success! Your bot has been successfully connected to Workplace”. 

Your bot is now connected to Workplace!! Easy, right! 

Step 5: Connecting to Groups

Now our bot is connected to Workplace, we can add in the functionality such as posting to groups or sending broadcasts. 

Click on the ‘Messages’ button in the left hand navigation menu. 

Scroll down until you find the ‘Thanks message’ and click on the blue ‘Edit’ button. 

We’re now going to add the Post to Group feature into the bot. This means whenever gifts are ready to be dropped off/sent to you the bot will automatically post that information to a certain Workplace Group. 

This could be a private group that only you and the organisers have access to. Or it could be a public group that the whole office or company has access to. 

This could also be the test group that you connected the bot to in the last stage. 

In the top message, which has the saved attributes, click on the text that says ‘Toy Drive Participants’. 

You’ll see a dark blue screen. In the text box start typing the name of the group you want the bot to post this information. If you can’t see the group you want the bot to post to then click the ‘Refresh groups’ button. 

Once your Group is selected, click the blue ‘Save’ button. Then click the other ‘Save’ button at the bottom of the ‘Thanks message’. 

You will now be redirected back to the message menu and see an orange bar with a button that says “Push the changes live”. Because your bot is now connected to Workplace, changes that you make to your bot will only appear to users on Workplace when you click this button. 

Click the ‘Push the changes live’ button in the orange bar. 

Your bot is now ready to use. Click on the name of the bot in the top left of the dashboard. In the image above we would click on the button that says ‘New York Toy Drive’ with the Workplace icon next to it. 

Click on that and your bot will open in a new tab on your computer. Or, search for the name of your bot on Workplace Chat on your phone.

The screen you’ll see is the Get Started message you edited earlier. Click the ‘Get Started’ button at the bottom of your screen to start using the bot.

Your bot is now working! Have a play with it and run through the flow.

Step 6: Sending broadcasts

We’re now going to set up the broadcasts. This allows you to send messages out to your staff. 

You can send broadcasts to all staff, members of specific Workplace groups or custom segments of staff. 

Click on the ‘Broadcasts’ button in the side navigation. You’ll see a screen like the one below. Click on the blue button that says “Create a broadcast”.  

In the section that says ‘Select the message to schedule’ start typing and then select ‘Welcome Message’. 

In the choose a target for your broadcast select ‘Workplace Groups’ and in the ‘Send to group(s)’ section start typing the name of the test group you set up earlier, or a group that has people in that you want to test or use the bot. 

If you don’t see the group when you start typing then click the ‘Refresh groups’ button and try again. 

Scroll down the page and click the ‘Date / time’ section. This will bring up a calendar. Select the day and time you want to send the broadcast. Or, if you want to send it now, click the ‘Set to now’ button. Then press the blue ‘Schedule’ button to save the broadcast. 

You’ll then be redirected to your Broadcasts menu where you can edit, test and delete scheduled broadcasts. 

Once you’re happy that your bot is working the way you want it to work then you can create a new broadcast to the relevant Workplace group or segment of staff by following the same process above. 

And that’s it. You’ve now successfully built a bot that automates the process of telling staff about your charitable Toy Drive, contains information on the charity being supported, provides gift buying and drop off instructions, and saves information on which gifts have been bought by which staff. 


N.B. It is also possible to have your bot post the information to a spreadsheet as well as posting to a Workplace Group or specific person on Workplace. Check out our Help doc on Webhooks to see how you can connect to and auto update spreadsheets on G-Suite and Office 365.  

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