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Partners sought for volunteering programme

volsWe’re looking for partner organisations to receive free training and support during a pilot programme for a new and innovative model for engaging and growing volunteers for arts, charities and museums.

From January to March 2016 Tickbox are providing free support and training to a limited number of organisations to create or build on their Volunteer engagement.  This is part of our Volunteer Makers pilot project to understand demand for the new Volunteer Makers platform before a national roll-out from July 2016.

Volunteer Makers is an online volunteer engagement platform that helps organisations to harness the creative, social and intellectual capital within a volunteer community – adding economic, social and creative value for any organisation, as well as long-term sustainability.

The platform operates as a challenge database, automatically matching volunteer opportunities with skills and allowing extremely flexible levels of volunteering activity to encourage a wider volunteer community. It actively encourages volunteers to take ownership of their own volunteering activity and to help drive and support volunteering across the organisation.

For more information visit the Volunteer Makers website.

To take part in the programme, or to find out more, contact us here.

Farming, not hunting: why charities need to rethink engagement

Sowing-seeds-460“Charities need to do more farming and less hunting” – this quote from the son of a man whose personal details were sold on more than 200 times by charities very neatly sums up the changing landscape for fundraisers in a more connected world.

After a spate of bad publicity over the aggressive approach taken by some charities in their fundraising, tougher rules and a new regulator could be introduced to try to curb some of the more controversial practices.

At the heart of the scandal is the idea of aggressive and invasive targeting of individuals – of charities stepping in uninvited to people’s homes and personal spaces and applying pressure to get money.

While the practices highlighted in the media – and their outcomes – are extreme, the issue is much more than a few charities stepping over the line.

Building engagment

In a more connected world more data is available and more “hunting” is possible. But at the same time, people are choosing more than ever to engage with charities strictly on their own terms, and to call charities out if they don’t respect that.

The result is that charities who aggressively target may be seeing short-term gains at the long-term cost of their brand, reputation and relationship with donors.

We highlight in our workshops that the biggest donor demographic – baby-boomers – is more likely than any other to check out your reputation online before engaging with you. And the younger demographics are more likely to share bad experiences with charities.

The best engagement works when charities let the donors come to them. The people they are “hunting” can just as easily be “farmed”. They are out there,but rather than using data to track them down charities can use that data to sow the seeds of engagement and nurture people to grow them into long-term supporters.

Value exchange

Engaging with potential donors through conversation on their platforms and on their terms; being open to questioning; enabling donors to find you because you meet their needs rather than finding them because they meet yours – these are the approaches charities will need to take in future.

Donors increasingly look for value-exchange with charities. Its much less the case now that people give money to support a charity’s work, rather they are giving money so that charities can support their work. They want to make a change and the best way to fulfill their personal goal is to pay a charity to do it for them.

It’s a subtle difference – but a big one: more than ever, donors want control.

And this includes control over how, where and when charities communicate with them.

The charities that understand this are those that will survive the evolution in giving from hunter-gathering to joined-up communities.

Facebook (almost) rolls out donate button

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Currently only selected charity partners can take donations directly through Facebook

For the last two years, Facebook has allowed a small number of charity partners to collect donations directly through their pages. Now the are rolling the service out to all non-profits – but not fully.

Charities will be able to add a Facebook-native Donate Now button to their page – however, unlike the partner programme charities, you won’t be able to directly donate to the charity through Facebook.

The button is more of a call-to-action, taking users off to the charity’s own donation platform. It’s believed this has been done by Facebook to avoid accusations that it is endorsing donations to unpopular or controversial causes.

Despite this, the feature may still be helpful in driving users to donate, as up until now having a static, permanent and clear call to action to donate on your Facebook page has been a bit of a challenge.

The idea of sending users away from Facebook to continue their engagement with an organisation goes against a lot of what Facebook has been trying to do recently in terms of making Pages the core of user interaction with an organisation. So it will be interesting to see how the button develops and if Facebook extends full integration to all sometime in the future.

Tickbox launch partnership with Bristol orchestra

Tickbox Marketing  is sponsoring Bristol Metropolitan Orchestra’s (BMetO) programme throughout 2015 and 2016.

We are bringing together business, arts, community to help reach new audiences for the orchestra.

As part of our partnership, we are establishing a community project called Open to Orchestra where we reach out to people who often find it difficult, – financially or logistically – to access live classical music.

For Open to Orchestra, BMetO will give access to their rehearsals and concert preparations – a chance to go behind the scenes of a working orchestra.

We will also be providing free places to BMetO concerts to those people involved in this community project. For more confident musicians they could get a chance to rehearse with the orchestra.

We will mentor the people involved in our project to help them fulfil their potential, developing talent wherever it may come from.

Bristol Metropolitan Orchestra is a flourishing amateur orchestra with a well-established reputation for excellence, regularly packing out both the Colston Hall and their principal home, St George’s Bristol, with appreciative audiences.

The players come from across the Bristol area. BMetO has a reputation for nurturing and encouraging new talent as these musicians flourish into their respective professional careers.

Tickbox provides advice on digital engagement for charities, arts and business and is providing the orchestra with a Tickbox digital app called Volunteer Makers for free.

The app, which allows charities and community organisations to manage, engage and develop their volunteers, will help BMetO grow their supporter base and turn this into something useful for the orchestra – also a registered charity.

Conductor William Goodchild creates a trusting and engaging connection with his audience during BMetO performances, giving the opportunity for people to think about the music in a way perhaps they haven’t before. William is also a successful film and TV composer.

We believe it is mutually beneficial for business and arts to partner in this way with both BMetO and Tickbox reaching new audiences especially with the use of social media and digital tools. It’s simply a win win partnership for all involved.