#MoreGoodTogether: Leaning into our community

Box.org's mission isto power how the world does more good together. We do this by offering 7,000 nonprofit organizations and our corporate peers the capacity-building resources they need to innovate and fulfill their social mission.  Youth well-being, inclusion in tech and humanitarian aid are Box.org's impact focus areas.  In addition to offering donated or discounted access to Box’s cloud content management software, Box.org builds nonprofit capacity through employee-led volunteering and giving programs, coalition building and good business practices. 

My role at Box.org, with the help of our committee, is to mobilize and enable our Boxers to discover and fulfill their social missions. We do this by providing programmatic support and enthusiasm for volunteering and donating, and establish connections between our Boxers and the nonprofit community. Our values are ACT10x: 10x'ing our social impact through Altruism, Community & Technology. 

About two months ago, I stumbled across an online course provided by Accumen+ focused on social impact analysis. The goal of this course was to introduce people to frameworks and practical tools for measuring the social impact of their company, organization, or initiative. It was a chance for me to learn how to articulate short-term outcomes and long-term goals, and connect them to quantifiable metrics that support our decisions. But the best part of this course, was that it was a team-based course and everything we would learn would have to be applied on the field. 

I posted the class on our Box.org committee Slack channel and two amazing new Boxers (Sara Naegele & Sarah Sohn) reached out to me and asked to join the team and work on this project together. When we got together as a team we were having the toughest time trying to figure out what type of impact we wanted to have in our local community. All the examples we saw posted in the class were beyond ideas we could imagine us doing. From setting up clean water in Nigeria, to creating mobile clinics in Botswana, all the way to sustainable farming in rural villages in the Middle East. However, we decided to focus our first project on something more practical for folks that have a full time job, that was minimal effort yet had high impact. We ended up choosing  a nonprofit customer of Box and focus on helping them use our Cloud Content Management Technology in a more efficient way. 

Our hypothesis was that if we can help transform nonprofits into the new digital age of work, then we should see an increase in productivity and efficiency for all their workflow capabilities. If productivity for nonprofits increase, then they will be able to impact and have more time to serve more folks in their community per year. We choose to partner up with our customer IfWhenHow.org, a nonprofit that takes thoughtful action and strategic activism: acknowledging the intersection of identities, collaborating across disciplines, and working toward a critical transformation of the current legal system to achieve reproductive justice. The reason why we choose IfWhenHow.org, was because they were given this amazing technology, however training of the program was not handed down throughout the entire company, so they lacked full usage of the product. 

More Good Together Box.org

After meeting with Melanie Anguay, IfWhenHow Director of Finance & Operations, we slowly uncovered that they needed help with two major issues. First, a better way to set up their folder structures so that certain individuals in the organization did not have permission to access classified documents. Second, sharing content with external collaborators without having a Box account. 

As a team, we went back and brainstormed on how we can accomplish these two tasks, but most importantly, figure out a way to best train Melanie on how to implement it and teach others in her organization. We asked Melanie to meet us at BoxWorks, our annual conference where thought leaders and professionals from every industry come together to share best practices on empowering team collaboration, drive effective processes and keep the most critical data safe, so that we could show her what our key findings were. After an hour consultation session with Melanie, we were able to show her things she did not even know existed in our platform, and helped her set up a whole new folder structure that would make her life more efficient and productive. Seeing the look on Melanie's face on how excited and thrilled she was truly made our day and reminded us why we choose to do this project in the first place. 

"Reducing the number of clicks to find a document will be incredibly helpful to staff so that we can focus on providing services to the community." 

Melanie Anguay, IfWhenHow Director of Finance & Operations

However, in my opinion the best part of this whole journey was not our success story, but rather me witnessing two new Boxers, whom have been at the company for only 4 months, leaned in and gave up their time and skills to help out others in need.  I was truly amazed by their willingness to dive right in and help a client whom for starters, they did not know anything about and they were new to our product themselves. Yet they took this assignment and were able to accomplish more then I could have imagined in the little time we worked on it. Their example is exactly what the Box.org Committee strives to achieve every day, to enable Boxers to discover and fulfill their social missions.

"As a member of the Product Analytics team here at Box, my everyday job centers around quantifying the impact of our product on our customers," said Box's Sarah Sohn. "I was interested in the Acumen workshop because I wanted to learn more about how I could extend this type of work into measuring social impact, both within and outside of Box. Working with Melanie at If/When/How alongside Fadi and Sara really reiterated to me the importance of the qualitative side of data - talking to the customer, listening to their pain points, and understanding their specific needs and use cases - and showed me that putting in even a few hours of extra time can make a huge difference!"

As a society, we’re seeing everything being disrupted and changing. It’s the right time for people to be experimenting and thinking deeply about how we can grow the coalition of helping those less fortunate and creating a greater good for the world.