Tickbox

Post from

info@tickboxmarketing.co.uk

All posts by info@tickboxmarketing.co.uk

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.

 

Attack of the botnets – what can you do to keep your WordPress site safe

wordpress logoIf you have a WordPress site, its probably being attacked by hackers right now. In fact industry research suggests that there are more than 3,300 automated bots attempting to access any given WordPress site at any time.

Does that mean WordPress isn’t secure? No – WordPress is simply the world’s most popular website development platform. Sites build on other platforms will be attacked too, but the sheer number of WordPress sites means the figures add up.

Botnets are a network of infected computers that can be controlled remotely by hackers. The number one reason for trying to hack your site will be to use it distribute malware to other computers or to send spam emails. If your website is hacked, it can lead to you being blacklisted and removed from search engines or completely blocked from public view

While WordPress is generally a very secure platform, with the number of attacks happening, its important that you make sure you do everything you can to ensure you don’t become a victim. There are a number of security methods you can use.

What can you do about it?

1: Password and Username

This is probably the most important – and simplest – barrier to botnet attacks, and often the biggest weakness in sites that get hacked.

One of the main ways to break into a site is to use a program to “guess” usernames and passwords – trying hundreds of combinations a minute.

The default username for a WordPress is “admin”. If you do anything, you should change this. This will be the first username the hackers try. Call it something that can’t be guessed – for instance if your company is called John Doe Llama Sanctuary, don’t use John_Doe (or anything similar) as a username.

Similarly with your password – you’d be surprised how many users still have password1234 or similar. The best bet is to use a random password generator (eg passwordsgenerator.net) to create something complex that will not be guessed.

2: Check your site for vulnerabilities

There are online tools to check your site to ensure it is secure. Tools such as Hacker Target can show you how hackers see your site – they will highlight vulnerabilities and tell you when things like out of date plug-ins might be compromising your security. You can then fix these yourself, or contact your web company to help

3: Talk to your web company and/or hosting provider or talk to us about our Tickbox Support-Extra Packages

There are plenty of things your web company and web hosts can – and should – do to keep your site secure. At a minimum you should check that they are:

Using security and monitoring tools such as WordFence to make sure plug-ins are up to date and to monitor any attempts to hack
Making regular back-ups of your site to ensure
Are using secure hosting – ask what steps they have taken to secure your server
Are regularly updating your site to make sure you have the latest versions of WordPress and any plug-ins you use. Out of date software is particularly vulnerable

Provided you take these measures, WordPress is an extremely secure platform – but vigilance is alway recommended. Stay safe out there!

 

Tickbox awarded “Best Arts & Heritage Marketing company in the UK”

CorporateVisionAward

Tickbox Marketing’s “good with digital” ethos and strong community based record in finding tailor-made technological solutions for a wide range of clients has been recognised with an industry award.

The Bristol-based digital marketing agency has been recognised in Corporate Vision magazine as the Best Arts & Heritage Marketing company in the UK.

Tickbox works closely with a range of clients from the art and heritage sector, as well as other charities and businesses nationwide.

MD Claire Sully says their approach has always been based around close co-operation with clients, mutual learning and anticipating demand in order to be “ahead of the curve” rather than trying to fit square pegs in round holes.

“We are focussing increasingly on producing digital products that address gaps in the market discovered through understanding what our clients need and where there can be improvements in delivery or where needs are not being met,” says Claire.

Tickbox develops websites and apps, provides API solutions and delivers digital strategy consultation for customers in a way that links similar organisations together in order to spread costs and maximise the learning experience.

“We grow the client supplier relationship in partnership and develop a community of like-minded organisations, sharing creativity and ideas to raise standards and produce good results,” Claire explains.

“It’s a pleasure to develop good technology for organisations that do good for society,” she adds.

Among Tickbox’s recent innovations for the arts and heritage sector has been Volunteer Makers – a challenge app that helps organisations grow their volunteer communities.

The firm has also developed Hummingbird 3, a powerful content management system built specifically for use by charities and arts organisations.

Awards co-ordinator Laura Hunter comments, “The 2016 Technology Innovation awards only reward the very best from across industry. Being recognised is a real achievement.”

Tickbox rolling out museum volunteer engagement programme nationally

hanfdsBuilding on an extensive digital museum training programme in the South West and a pilot volunteer engagement programme, we are looking to roll-out a national Volunteer Makers Engagement Training and Support Programme.

Tickbox will be building on the Volunteer Makers training and development pilot programme we ran from Jan-April 2016.  This proved demand for our volunteer engagement development model and follows a successful 3-year digital engagement project run for the SW Museum Development Programme where we worked with over 40 museums across the South West to help them create a digital engagement strategy.

It also builds on extensive experience working with Luton Culture to create the technology behind the Museum Makers initiative, which helped build a substantial and transformational volunteer community for Wardown Park Museum.

Tickbox is now looking to roll out the programme to museums nationally from October 2016.

Museums in the the volunteer engagement programme benefit from:

  • Increased collaboration with communities and business
  • Increased diversity and skill-sets in the volunteer base
  • Increased sustainability from volunteering
  • Increased organisation-wide understanding of targeted digital engagement strategy, supported by appropriate tools
  • Sharing best practice in latest volunteer engagement thinking<

Volunteer Makers – a development model for engaging volunteers – is a model for bringing volunteers together in teams and communities to support a museum in a way that suits the volunteer as well as the museum.

It is taking into account changing demographics, affecting how and why people volunteer – along with reduced funding in the sector. The model also looks to widen and diversify the volunteer base for museums, as well as increasing the impact and effectiveness of volunteering and the ability for museums to measure this impact.

Tickbox’s national volunteer engagement programme supports demand in the sector evidenced in their pilot programme, which is summarised below:

  • Museums need support in growing the volunteer offer from purely operational or ad-hoc event-driven activities into a model that offers support, interaction and sustainability across the whole range of museum activities
  • There is a need to develop strategies and models to target specific volunteer profiles and demographics
  • Museums faced challenge to effectively strategise relationship building with their volunteer
  • All organisations felt they had lower than optimum numbers of volunteers
  • Volunteer engagement strategies were not embedded organisation-wide, and tended to be centralised and carried out ad-hoc
  • Museums found it difficult to  measure the value of volunteering to their organisation
  • Museums found it challenging to match volunteer skills with specific strategic needs in order to get the most out of and improve the experience of existing volunteers and increase opportunities and appeal to a more diverse range of potential volunteers.

Volunteer Programme Director, Claire Sully said,

“Already we have had 3 major museum networks interested in working with us.  We hope our work will put museums at the forefront of innovative volunteer engagement, which could work also for other sectors, such as arts and charities.”

For further information, http://volunteermakers.org/.

Volunteer Makers Training Programme

The Volunteer Revolution – Volunteer Makers

Volunteer Makers Training ProgrammeToday we are launching Volunteer Makers (VM) pilot training programme.  This is a training and technology programme for arts, heritage and charities that is a rethinking of how organisations are working with volunteers.

It is driven by the principles of the digital revolution, but taking this virtual engagement into the reality of real-world working together.

From January to March we are running a pilot programme, giving free support and training to a limited number of organisations to create or build on their volunteer engagement and work with the Volunteer Makers online platform.

This is part of a Volunteer Makers pilot project to inform demand for the platform before a national roll-out from July 2016. Our results will be shared with the sector.

Our first three workshops this week are with Frome Museum, Royal College of Music and Corinium Museum.

As a new model of volunteer engagement, Volunteer Makers is presenting the value of volunteering in perhaps a different way, which is making some organisations shift their thinking about how they work. It is based on research and development work we have carried out during the past 4 years.

It is necessary to think this way because of significant challenges for organisations with their future sustainability threatened due to funding cuts, while we also have significant changes in demographics – simply that the pool of people who volunteer have changed. Both factors are having a huge impact on organisations in arts, culture and heritage. No longer can there be a one-size-fits-all model of working with volunteers, instead organisations have to understand who is volunteering and how they want to get involved and how this will work best for their organisation.

The VM training programme follows a three-year digital engagement programme working with 40 museums which we ran for the South West Museum Development Partnership. Many of the tools we are using were developed during this programme.

Volunteer Makers App is the technology behind Museum Makers and was developed for Luton Culture as a standalone web platform nearly four years ago. The results were phenomenal, driving volunteer numbers up from 50 to over 1000 for one museum in Luton. 50 businesses also became Volunteer Makers providing valuable support to this museum. It has transformed the museum into a Peoples Museum and provided sustainability.

We are currently developing a cloud-based version to allow wider accessibility to the VM system for all organisations. Along with the technology, we are rolling-out bespoke support and training, which we are using during our pilot programme.

Volunteer Makers is making organisations think about their own needs and then consider the potential of volunteers from specific demographic profiles. Two examples of important volunteer profiles are Young People and Baby Boomers. Baby Boomers are a significant demographic for arts, heritage and charities and need to be understood, here is why:

• Over 50s hold 80% of the nation’s wealth
• Increased giving by Boomers forecast to eventually double annual charitable bequests
• Boomers and Matures are the single largest consumer group and spend more than £5bn a year online (US)
• Nearly 33% do voluntary work (and its growing)
• Potential monetary value of over 50s’ voluntary work in UK is more than £5bn
Volunteer Makers is particularly useful for engaging Babyboomers as it is designed to let them take control and ownership of their volunteering while supporting the organisations overall strategy.

This rethinking of working with volunteers does present exciting opportunities. The Volunteer Makers vision is to galvanize communities of volunteers to make a real difference by getting them involved with organisations in ways that helps long-term sustainability of organisations, but maximise a volunteers’ potential.

Our work with our partners during the pilot Volunteer Makers programme will include:

- Analysis of the organisation’s current volunteer engagement
- A telephone interview with key staff
- A workshop with teams involved in volunteer engagement
- Provide a volunteer digital engagement annotated template
- Review Volunteer Digital Engagement Plan – after 6 to 9 months of implementation
Volunteer Makers enables organisations to maximise the potential of existing volunteer community and build on that. It does this by empowering volunteers to help drive an organisation’s vision. It increases the scope of what volunteers can do, whilst engaging them in a way that suits them. This increases the diversity and range of your supporter-base through greater access to volunteer opportunities, while widening the opportunity for participation – allowing you to target specific skillsets and demographics.

For further information please visit VolunteerMakers.org.