Monday, March 15, 2010 and Timeraiser

“We live by ‘create it once, distribute it widely, access it anywhere.’ Box makes doing so easier than ever.”


Timeraiser is a comprehensive volunteer engagement program run by Canada’s Framework Foundation. Timeraiser connects people with charitable organizations across the country, making it easier for them to find relevant volunteer opportunities. Its events are part volunteer fair, part silent art auction, and part night on the town. The big twist is instead of bidding money on artwork, participants bid volunteer time to agencies that need their skills and energy. Since 2004, Timeraiser has generated 51,000 volunteer hours, helped more than 250 non-profit organizations, and generated more than $330,000 for emerging artists.

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Timeraiser operates with the following mantra: “Create information once, distribute it widely, access it anywhere.” With a distributed workforce, extensive use of contractors, partnerships with hundreds of non-profits, and interactions with the many local artists included in each Timeraiser, the organization spends a lot of time sharing information with a wide range of people and organizations across Canada. To ensure that it does so as efficiently as possible, Timeraiser sought a flexible, open, accessible Cloud Content Management solution.


Before choosing in 2009, Timeraiser explored options including Microsoft SharePoint, but selected Box because of its functionality and ease of use. Now Timeraiser stores and shares all its content on Box, from documents, spreadsheets, presentations, videos, logos, and other creative files, to operational documents like expense reports and invoices. It also uses Box as a repository for contracts from artists who have been selected to be part of the Timeraiser. Says Amanda Grainger, Civic Footprint Online Organizer at Framework Foundation, “Box made the most sense when it came to sharing information via the web, so our partners, contractors, and team can all access what they need no matter where they might happen to be.”

What really sold Timeraiser on Box was the way it works with other cloud services, like Google Apps, which the organization was already using extensively. With Box, Timeraiser can create Google Docs and Spreadsheets within its Box folders, enabling the organization to centralize all of its files, regardless of format, in a folder hierarchy online. It can also use Box to embed files and folders directly into Google Sites pages, reducing redundant file sharing and document storage. “ and Google Apps together allow us to leverage Google Docs for working files, like ongoing expense forms, while taking advantage of Box’s enhanced features including unlimited storage, website embed tools, and advanced user permissions,” says Grainger.


In all, Timeraiser estimates it saves more than 300 hours per year by increasing productivity and providing fast, agile access to the organization’s content. “Box is our Cloud Content Management system,” says Grainger. “We live by ‘create it once, distribute it widely, access it anywhere.’ Box makes doing so easier than ever.