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New year, new sites, for busy Tickbox

Bristol A.R.C. care for 1000s of animals every year

Bristol A.R.C. care for 1000s of animals every year

It may have been a cold January, but there was no hibernating for the busy bees in our development team with two new sites launching in the month.

First up, we sprinkled some digital magic with an upgraded site for the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum (FOWA).

Westonbirt, near Tetbury in Gloucestershire, is the national arboretum and its 18,000 trees across 600 acres are managed by the Forestry Commission. Support from the Friends organisation is vital to maintaining and improving the beautiful and much visited site.

The new FOWA site helps them achieve their goals by incorporating innovative, specially designed online tools to allow supporters to fundraise for the organisation directly via the site.

FOWA members can now enjoy a clearer, more comprehensive interface with the organisation via the site, and there is now an online version of their magazine.

The site was developed using Tickbox’s collaborative approach. FOWA have been satisfied customers now for many years and appreciate the agency’s ethos.

The second major project also reunited Tickbox with an organisation they have worked with in the past – Bristol Dogs and Cats Home. The Bristol animal charity had launched a comprehensive rebranding exercise of its Animal Rescue Centre in the city.

As well as a press and advertising campaign, they commissioned Tickbox to provide a new responsive site.

Among the benefits of the new site is a new comprehensive and interactive animal rehoming section, and a fundraising platform that enables the Centre to set up and manage appeals.

The work will help the RSPCA in Bristol continue its work, caring for 12,000 animals annually, and rehoming 2,000.

There’s a certain symmetry in working for people who care for dogs along with people who care for trees, but we’re not reflecting on that, as we push on with a busy schedule in February.

Volunteeer Makers workshop_Snapping the Stiletto

Volunteer Makers start the year with stilettos, armour and dreaming spires

If 2017 was a busy year for Claire Sully and the Tickbox team as Volunteer Makers caught imaginations up and down the country, so 2018 has continued to build on that momentum.

Claire led Volunteer Makers workshops at the Royal Armories Leeds and with  Snapping the Stiletto, an Essex County Council inter-museum project.

These popular workshops explore how organisations can tap into the micro-volunteering revolution and how they can use the Volunteer Makers platform to achieve this for free for 6 months, followed after by low monthly fees.

Royal Armories is the home of the national arms and armour collection and is a must for militaria buffs as well as all those with an interest in our nation’s history.

Opened in 1996, the Leeds museum complements other Royal Armories’ sites at the Tower of London, and Fort Nelson, near Fareham.

From the weapons of yore to destroying the stereotypes of “Essex Girls”, the next assignment could not have been more different!

Snapping The Stiletto is a project that helps rebuff the “white mini-dress and high heels” cliché attached to Essex, by bringing the county’s museums together to uncover the real stories of strong and pioneering women.

Bringing these hidden stories to the public involved many volunteers, and this is where Volunteer Makers came in.

Museum Project Officer Pippa Smith said: “The training was really useful in bringing together the partners and giving us the time and space to reflect on where we all are with volunteering in our various organisations and how we can move forward.

“For me personally it showed me how the platform can work really well to provide a framework for what is quite a complicated project with a lot of partners.”

Another January highlight was when the Museum of Oxford launched its Volunteer Makers’ platform.

Its volunteer challenge scheme is designed to gamify working with the museum and encourages volunteers to fulfil a number of different roles and engage more closely with the institution’s work.

Cllr Dee Sinclair, who is on the board that runs the museum, summed up the Volunteer Makers’ ethos succinctly: “This is the perfect opportunity to expand volunteering to those who may not be able to regularly be involved. Volunteering can be flexible and can easily fit around your life.“

For more information on Volunteer Makers workshops with free use of the Volunteer Makers technology, get in touch.

We have moved…

Its business as usual, but from a new home!

Exciting things are happening at Tickbox and we wanted to share the news with you. Our existing client base has fuelled our growth and with Volunteer Makers expanding very quickly we have made the decision to be one step ahead and move into some new, slightly warmer and larger, offices. Snazzy eh!

We’ll still be based in south Bristol but in the comforting offices of the Tobacco Factory.

New officesFeel free to drop by for some freshly brewed coffee or for some lunch in the Tobacco Factory Café. It’s not an excuse to just go to the bar – we promise!

From November 18, 2016 we will no longer be operating from our old address (Baynton Road, Bristol, BS3 2EB).

Now pass me the scissors, lets get unpacked!

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


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/.