Google Apps Domain Migration Case Study: Clean Coalition

 Domain Migration

A nonprofit decided to swap from its alias under Google Apps to its main domain and used ShuttleCloud’s data migration services in order to facilitate the process. SummaryIn an attempt to better convey their vision, Clean Coalition made the decision to change their name. Previously, the organization was called FIT Coalition and their email domain was With the name change to Clean Coalition, the organization also wanted to move their email to the domain. As part of the move to a primary “.org” suffix, Clean Coalition was also able to take advantage of the Google Apps pricing breaks afforded to non-profit organizations. The company relied on ShuttleCloud to assist with making the transition simple and easy for its end-users.


Client BackgroundClean Coalition is a nonprofit that works to make clean energy accessible in local markets. They do this primarily through the implementation of policies and programs aimed to raise awareness and influence energy providers to take action towards this goal. The organization was started in 2009 as FIT Coalition but in January 2011 decided to make a change to Clean Coalition. This was done to better communicate their goal of policy work and programming and better set forth their vision for the long run.

Client ScenarioTo best promote Clean Coalition’s principles of promoting renewable energy resources, they made the decision to change their branding. To save money they decided to enroll in the Google Apps for Nonprofits program, which offers the basic Google Apps for Business platform to qualifying customers for free. For some time after they changed their branding, they simply used the domain as an alias under their existing Google Apps domain, This became problematic, however, because users were still logging in with their old accounts.

They also had to deal with the limitations that come with using an alias in Google Apps for their primary branding. Google lists the technical limitations that this can cause a domain. Since that configuration was less than ideal, Clean Coalition reached out to ShuttleCloud to help them switch their Google Apps account to the domain, while also switching over to a Google Apps for Non-Profits designation.

clean coalition migration

ShuttleCloud’s SolutionA managed migration was proposed, which was accepted by Clean Coalition. This involved ShuttleCloud performing a migration of Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Docs and Google Sites data from to for 26 users. During this time, Clean Coalition worked through the process of gaining approval for Google Apps for Nonprofits.ShuttleCloud used a forwarding process during the time it took to get the approval for nonprofit status from Google, enabling Clean Coalition to continue to operate business as usual until the switch was complete. Using ShuttleCloud’s proven migration methods, the organization saw little impact and tremendous upside, eliminating technical limitations and better executing their long-term vision for the organization.

The goal of a ShuttleCloud managed migration is to utilize the expertise of a project manager to aid the transition process. Since the ShuttleCloud project manager has done a number of managed migrations in the past, they can make the entire experience much easier for an organization that might not have experience with cloud data migrations or other technical issues that come with Google Apps.

In this specific example, MX forwarding was a key element to pulling off this migration. The account switch from Google Apps for Business to Nonprofit status is a bit more involved than other domain-to-domain cloud migration. Using ShuttleCloud’s managed migration process included extended MX forwarding in order to cover for any downtime that might occur during the switch and subsequent Google Apps for nonprofits approval procedure."ShuttleCloud was a great asset in our organization's Google Apps domain migration. They made a complicated process very clear and manageable.” - John Bernhardt, Manager, Operations and Communications at Clean Coalition

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