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Volunteer Makers National Conference

Riding the wave of the volunteering revolution

Volunteer Makers ConferenceTickbox has long been involved in creating innovative technology ideas with organisations for and with arts, heritage, charities and community organisations.

As a marketing and technology company we strove to create a digital platform along with innovative training tools that could harness the know-how of hundreds of thousands of volunteers – many “baby boomers”,  rich in time and expertise, millennials with a sense of purpose looking for skills and experience and the missing middle (Generation X) who want to support through giving their time.

Volunteer Maker evolved from these efforts working collaboratively with our partners from the heritage sector – a bespoke tool for expanding organisations’ volunteering base and connecting with their supporter community.

In 2017, Tickbox’s “baby” expanded from small, local networks and – with the involvement of Arts Council England – has taken off across the country. We have even picked up our first interest from Wales and Scotland.

This year we saw over 60 organisations, including councils, museums and galleries take part in our Pioneer Programme for Volunteer Makers, breaking the target we were set, in a total of 20 training workshops held up-and-down the country.

We also delivered 9 seminars and made 4 presentations to regional conferences, and at the sector’s national conference, we hosted a fringe event for 58 delegates.

Interest has never been higher and it is growing, with local government now joining the heritage sector in making enquiries about VM.

For Tickbox founder Claire Sully, it has meant a year on the road, traversing the UK to speak to museums as far apart as Falmouth Art Gallery and the Tyne and Wear Museums group.

Working with Royal Navy Museums even gives VM a Pioneer in Northern Ireland in the shape of HMS Caroline.

For Claire, spreading the world on the smart use of volunteering, has meant the opportunity to visit museums as diverse as the National Holocaust Centre, the World Rugby Hall of Fame, the Fleet Air Arm Museum and the Museum of London (to mention just a few).  Claire says:

“It’s been a year of spectacular growth for Volunteer Makers, with organisations all over the country seeing its value, buying into the ethos and spreading the word.

“And the good news is 2018 looks like being even bigger with networks of organisations expressing a keen interest in the programme training, model and technology”.

For more information about the Volunteer Makers model, training and tech click here.  For our Volunteer Makers Pioneers community, click here.

Tickbox launches largest national programme on Future of Volunteering for museums

The programme launches at the Museum of London in January

The programme launches at the Museum of London in January

A two-year Arts Council England-funded programme to help museums attract the next generation of volunteers is launching with two regional seminars in London and the North West in January.

Volunteer Makers is a pioneering model developed with museums to meet the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly changing volunteer landscape.

It blends volunteering with public participation, audience development, marketing and digital to grow, manage and inspire a wider, more diverse and active support community for your museum.

The programme will engage with over 500 museums over the next 18 months, including 30 one-to-one workshops and a series of regional seminars.


All programme activity is free to participating accredited museums in England.  A Volunteer Makers Pioneers programme – will measure impact and research of volunteering in the 21st Century – is working alongside the national training programme and is partnering with larger museums and museum networks.

The Volunteer Makers programme launches in January with a Future of Volunteering seminar for London and the South East, held at the Museum of London on 12th January.

This will be followed by the North West seminar at Lancashire Conservation Studios in Preston on January 23rd.

The seminars are aimed at museum leadership, marketing, curators and volunteer managers. Further seminars are to be announced.

Tickbox MD and Volunteer Makers programme director Claire Sully said: “The Museum sector is leading the way in developing innovative models for engaging their communities and we are delighted to be at the heart of this, working across the national Museum Development Network.

“We believe this work will help museums as they connect with and grow a wider, more diverse, support base that will help sustain and grow the sector going forward, and will also prove important for other sectors too”.


Matthew Hick, Chair of the Heritage Volunteering Network said: “HVG is delighted to be running this event with Volunteer Makers. Both our organisations share the same values and we see the Future of Volunteering workshops as an opportunity for volunteer managers within our sector to network, share best practice and develop new ways of working. We also hope that this event will be the first steps towards establishing a support network for our regional Heritage Volunteering Groups.”

“Museum Development North West is pleased to be working alongside Volunteer Makers on this event. Our regional volunteer development programme complements the work they do and we’re looking forward to seeing how we can continue to work together in the future.”  Alex Bird AMA, Sector Development Officer.

Further info for London and South East seminar: http://volunteermakers.org/national-volunteer-engagement-training-programme/volunteer-makers-london-south-east-seminar/

To book NW seminar: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-future-of-volunteering-volunteer-makers-north-west-seminar-tickets-30041949279

Full details of the Volunteer Makers, and how to book, visit http://volunteermakers.org or contact hello@volunteermakers.org @VolunteerMakers.


We are recruiting: Web Developer/Software Engineer

Web Developer / Software Engineer

We are in the process of launching a major new API-based web application that has already attracted national recognition, government funding and partnerships with major arts and heritage organisations and we need to find the right people to come on board as we grow the company and roll out this exciting new project.

You’ll be joining us at a transformational time for the business and we need someone who can match our ambition and deliver exceptional quality work, to deadline and with attention to detail.

About Tickbox 

We are a Bristol-based development agency, founded in 2006 and specialising in the volunteer, charity and arts and heritage sectors.

Our clients include major international charities and national arts bodies. We’re a small, friendly team of specialists, but looking to expand as our core web application continues to gain investment and recognition.

This is an opportunity to join a business as it expands and we’re looking for someone who can grow with us and be in at the start of what promises to be an exciting and rewarding journey.

What we are looking for

We’re looking for a mid-level PHP developer to help deliver regular support work and PHP development. Experience of working with PHP frameworks such as Laravel and Symfony would be a significant advantage.

The job would involve supporting existing clients’ websites as well as web development (mainly back-end but some front-end coding may be required).

We’re looking for someone who is self-motivated, creative and an excellent communicator within a team. We encourage you to share and help develop creative ideas and are looking for someone who has the ambition to develop themselves and their role to match our plans for growth over the coming years.

As a small team at a point of significant growth, we need someone who thrives in a fast-paced environment and embraces the challenge of playing a key role in helping make something special happen.

What we offer:

  • A competitive salary
  • Flexible working hours, including home working (by agreement)
  • 25 days paid holiday
  • Structured career development

Job Requirements

  • Minimum 2 years of professional software development experience with a focus on PHP and LAMP.
  • Knowledge of web technologies, including CSS3, HTML5, jquery, Javascript, responsive web development and other front-end frameworks.
  • Strong test-driven approach to development.
  • You must also have experience with version control (we use Git).

If this sounds like you, please get in touch and tell us more about yourself by emailing your CV and a brief profile to jobs@tickboxmarketing.co.uk


Technical Project Manager – Charity Sector Software Project

Pro-rata rate £45k.  2-3 days per week. Initial 18-month contract with option to extend. Flexible working. All terms negotiable


The Project

We are in the process of launching a new API-based web application that will help transform volunteering.

The project has already attracted national recognition, government funding and partnerships with major arts and heritage organisations and we need to find the right people to come on board as we grow the company and roll out this exciting new project.

About Us

We are a small, specialist agency dedicated to doing good with digital. We work in the charity, voluntary and arts/heritage sectors and focus on technology that supports organisations that make a positive difference to the world.

We encourage fully flexible working and can negotiate hours and home working arrangements to suit your circumstances.

What we are looking for

We need an experienced and mature project manager to manage the delivery of the project and oversee the technical team.

Responsibilities include:

  • Preparing and agreeing detailed project plans
  • Putting in place formal project reporting
  • Managing the change control process
  • Managing project risks & issues
  • Managing time recording and project billing
  • Managing the technical team
  • Ensuring quality of the deliverable

To be considered, you must be an experienced project manager of client facing projects and have experience of implementing high value package solutions. Experience and understanding of LAMP stack coding an advantage.

Experience of, and a passion for, working in the charity and voluntary sector would be a benefit.

Pioneering Volunteer Makers goes national with Arts Council England support

Volunteer Makers, Good TogetherInnovative volunteering programme Volunteer Makers has been given Arts Council England backing to deliver its programme to museums across the UK.

The company behind Volunteer Makers, Bristol-based Tickbox, have been awarded £100,000 from the Museum Resilience Fund to deliver training, support and a national conference to support more than 300 museums in adopting a new model of management and relationship building with their volunteers.

The Volunteer Makers model helps organisations engage, manage and grow their volunteer community, opening up volunteering to a wider demographic and connecting with the “long tail” of volunteers. Changes to traditional funding models mean volunteers are becoming increasing important to organisations and shifting demographics have meant that the traditional model for volunteering management and engagement is proving to be challenging for organisations.

Volunteering is seeing a boom with over 23 million of us volunteering at least once a year (13 million volunteering regularly), creating an annual economic value of 43 billion pounds (ONS figures).

Organisations are understanding that there is a real value to creating a community of volunteers, but it requires effective engagement and strategies.

The Volunteer Makers model is supported by the Volunteer Makers digital platform, which helps co-ordinate, target and manage wider volunteer engagement.

The Volunteer Makers programme is already working with museum networks across the UK representing more than 600 museums and the Arts Council grant will allow us to engage museums in all regions to help them develop a model of 21st century volunteering that promotes diversity in volunteering and helps sustain this vital sector.  Volunteer Makers, Good Together

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, said: ‘This is an innovative project that will deliver tangible benefits to the museums sector and we are delighted to be supporting it.’

Claire Sully, MD of Tickbox, said: “We have worked with museums for 5 years delivering digital training programmes. This has given us an in-depth understanding of the challenges museums face in the 21st century. We have seen the impact of Volunteer Makers in our pilot programme and we are excited about the prospect of taking it to a national platform. What we learn from working with museums we know will benefit other sectors.”

For more information contact: Hello@volunteermakers.org, website: Volunteermakers.org
Claire Sully: Claires @ tickboxmarketing.co.uk.