Behind the scenes: An inside out approach to making a collective impact 


Connectivity and access are close to our hearts at Box. Our product is built on the foundation that our customers and those they collaborate with will have access to devices and connectivity to do their best work. We recognize that we were able to seamlessly move to remote work with the onset of the pandemic, and to host our annual BoxWorks conference virtually because of the technology we have access to. We know that this was not the case for all industries, and especially not for many of the beneficiaries of our nonprofit customers and partners. 

Each fall, we run a company-wide back-to-school fundraiser that is typically focused on getting school supplies and backpacks to underserved communities. However, we knew that school supplies would look different this year with COVID-19 pushing instruction to hybrid or fully virtual. Knowing that 82 million Americans lack access to a computer with internet in their home, we wanted to dive more deeply into our community focus area of digital transformation for nonprofits and their beneficiaries. With BoxWorks happening around the same time as back-to-school, we saw an opportunity to pair our internal fundraising with our annual conference fundraiser. This launched the theme of our fundraiser with human-I-T, to shrink the digital divide for students, and our approach in partnering with our Box community, inside and out.

With everything going on this year, we felt the need to get even more creative to meet our fundraising goal, and we want to share a behind the scenes view of the ways we were able to leverage our partnerships, resources and communities in hopes that it can be helpful for others.

Community Inside: Tags for Good, Zoom Backgrounds, and Yo-yoing

We kicked off September with our internal back-to-school drive, focused on raising $15K through employee donations. Given the amount of fundraising campaigns we had run already in response to the enormity of need in 2020, we felt the pressure to get extra creative in our approach. In addition to running a matching campaign, we found additional ways to use our funds to drive engagement with our Boxers:

  • Tags for Good: We went viral internally! After each donation, we encouraged Boxers to go into our Slack channel and tag other Boxers, encouraging them to join them in contributing to the campaign. Our Committee Leads also donated $5 for every @mention in Slack. 
  • Zoom backgrounds: We also created an exclusive Zoom background that employees would receive once they contributed to the campaign that had the human-I-T logo and stated, "I donated to help shrink the digital divide" with a QR code to the campaign so others could scan it in meetings. 
  • Executive engagement: Our executives joined in as well. Steph Carullo, Chief Operating Officer, creatively used her yo-yoing skills to activate an auction that was matched by other Box executives and raised a few thousand in just a few minutes.
  • Employee highlights: Throughout the fundraiser, our team created spotlights of some of the Boxers who contributed to the campaign, with a photo of them in school and a quote to why they donated to the effort. It was inspiring and encouraging to hear from other Boxers!
  • Fireside chat with human-I-T during our company all hands: Each Friday, we have our company all hands, and we were honored to have human-I-T join us for a fireside chat with one of our Committee Leads, Ashley Fernandez, to educate our employees more about their mission and work, and the importance of shrinking the digital divide. 
  • Volunteer pledges: Along the theme of education, we also invited Boxers to take a volunteer pledge in which they committed to volunteering with an education focused nonprofit sometime during our current fiscal year. This was another way for us to engage employees without asking them to open their wallets.

In less than two weeks our Boxers contributed more than $33K to human-I-T! 

Community Outside: BoxWorks Digital, Partners, Magic Johnson, and Tweets for Good

Our campaign momentum continued into BoxWorks Digital. Ahead of the event, our partners, Cisco and Okta, graciously contributed to our campaign, deepening our partnerships and collective impact. We're grateful to partner with these amazing companies who share our values and allowed us to do #moregoodtogether. At BoxWorks Digital, human-I-T and our fundraising goal were embedded throughout the event. Given this was our first digital experience, we went all out in a number of different touch points:

  • Welcome video: Our CMO, Chris Koehler, welcomed everyone in an intro video which included a callout to our goal and fundraiser with human-I-T and our Tweet for Good campaign.
  • Fundraising page: human-I-T set up a custom fundraising page, in addition to providing a form for companies to commit their refurbished devices. As a company, Box matched $35K through
  • Tweet for Good: On social media, we launched a Tweet for Good campaign, where Box contributed $5 for every tweet that included #BoxWorks. 
Tweet for Good
  • DJ Asha event during lunch: We were thrilled to have DJ Asha entertain us during the lunchtime break, and in her background we had a callout to our goal and links to the fundraiser.
  • Speaker gifts: In lieu of our normal swag, we made donations on behalf of each of our speakers to support the work of human-I-T. This aligned with the message of the conference and our speakers had great feedback. One of our speakers said that "it was "truly something special!" to have a donation made on his behalf.
  • Swag alternatives: CIOWorks happens the day before BoxWorks, and attendees had the option of choosing a piece of swag, or donating the cost to human-I-T. We're still waiting on the numbers but heard great feedback on having the option!
  • booth: At our booth, we highlighted a video that shared more about human-I-T's work, and included a QR code and link to the fundraiser. 
  • Fireside with Magic Johnson: Our conference ended with a fireside chat with our CEO, Aaron Levie, and Magic Johnson. Magic Johnson is an inspiring athlete, entrepreneur, and philanthropist and the conversation with Aaron ran the gamut from business to diversity and inclusion, to the importance of investing in communities and addressing the digital divide. It was amazing to hear more about Magic's accomplishments, his commitment to the community, and the importance in investing in our youth.

The Result

Our goal for the conference was to drive awareness to the amazing work of human-I-T and to provide more than 800 students with connectivity and access by raising $100K. Through all of the channels mentioned above, we were able to exceed our goal! These funds will be used to provide devices and connectivity to the students who need it most.  

Thank you again to human-I-T for the amazing work you do, and to our partners, Okta and Cisco, for joining us in support. 

Okta and Cisco