Box + SONC: How you work, determines your impact

"From a workflow/business perspective, I must say, we could not have timed our move to Box any better. Our staff, as with most of the state, now work from home [because of COVID-19 and the current shelter-in-place]. Before Box - it would have been so painful! Box literally allowed us to move to a WFH environment immediately. Some of our staff work on desktops so once they moved to their homes and personal computers they would not have had access to our main file server."  

- Ilisa Kessler, COO, Special Olympics Northern California and Nevada is committed to enabling nonprofits with the technology resources they need to innovate and fulfill their mission. When it comes to enabling nonprofits with Box, we've learned that one of the biggest hurdles for nonprofits is securing human resources to implement the technology and train staff. This gap in human resources was the birth place of "Box Consulting for Good," which is a pro bono program that leverages the Box Consulting team to work with a nonprofit to transform their content strategy and implement this transformational change to the organization and those they serve. We're excited to grow this program with the goal of better serving our nonprofit customers so they can further their impact. 

Box was thrilled to pilot the first BC for Good project with Special Olympics Northern California (SONC) in late 2019. The SONC team works hard everyday to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Box Consulting committed 80 hours of work to: 

  • 1) Identify where SONC's content strategy needed the most help; 
  • 2) Create a strategy to implement the plan; 
  • 3) Implement this strategy. 

This aligns well with's vision of powering #MoreGoodTogether.


The 80 hours of pro-bono consulting services focused on:

  •  Working with SONC department heads to re-organize their folder structure
    • Box invited the SONC team to an onsite working session, where we white-boarded potential folder structures and talked with them to understand their end goal: How can SONC organize their folder structure to reflect the work of their employees and volunteers?
  • Migrating 1,215GB of content from siloed storage solutions to consolidate storage and collaboration 
    • Storing content in multiple sources makes it confusing for end users to know which tool or data source to use. With confusion, there are security concerns of accidental data leakage. By consolidating SONC's content and re-organizing their folder structure to reflect this, end users know where to put their data and are less likely to accidentally put sensitive content (like Athlete health information) into the wrong data source.
    • Fun fact: It took a total of 1 day 21 hours 34 minutes 13 seconds to migrate their content from two legacy systems to Box!
  • Training their 50 end users with three, one-hour custom trainings (At Box, we like to say that "Box is Easy. Change is Hard".)
    • With any new tool or system, there is always an initial hurdle of end-user buy in. One of the main ways of addressing this change is by relieving their anxiety through trainings - getting employees in the new environment, with the Box Consulting team there to partner and guide them through the new Box environment.  
    • 73% of attendees rated the training a 5/5 with the remaining 27% rating the training a 4/5. Some of the feedback we received was that the SONC employees "enjoyed the interactive feel with the group" and felt there were "great questions for participant involvement!" 

Throughout the engagement, our team emphasized the importance of remembering why Box was being implemented at SONC. It is important to fit the technology your organization uses to your team's workflow, instead of the other way around. We worked together to organize SONC's content and streamline their processes to amplify their performance.

Throughout the engagement, SONC's number one driver was how the tech would help their athletes, the coaches, and the people behind their mission: to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.


What transformed?

The Special Olympics Northern California and Nevada teams now use Box to: 

  • Streamline their collaboration and content storage, while integrating with other critical tools, like Salesforce, Gsuite, and Asana
  • Securely store the most up to date athlete health information, including medications and allergies, by moving the information from static pdfs and paper to Box 
  • Increase the amount time volunteers can spend with the athletes, by decreasing the amount of time spent on paper work
  • Coaches can receive up to date athlete information by accessing content in the Box web app, instead of carrying a binder with paper copies of the athlete’s health information
  • Using Box to keep the coaches up to date with the most recent roster information, instead of email
  • Lowered their IT cost by moving their content to Box
  • Leveraged Box + Salesforce integration, which lowered their cost for Salesforce by storing content on Box, and linking the content to Salesforce

How can you get involved?

To learn more about how to get involved with SONC's work, visit their site:

If you're interested in learning more about our nonprofit programs and initiatives, please visit