Technology: it can be more than just the tool that helps your organisation tick along. Technology can be the thing that moves it forward – makes your organisation more profitable, or gives your charity greater reach and appeal. This is why at Tickbox we put what we call Technology for Good at the heart of what we offer clients.

In 2012, we developed a Content Management System (CMS) called Hummingbird and in close-collaboration with clients and driven by their wishes, we unveiled the latest version, Hummingbird 3, in 2015.

HB3 is more than an easy-to-manage interface, it incorporates scores of features and allows bespoke plug-ins and Apps to enhance sites. Read more about it here.

We spoke to Stephen Poole, Fundraising and Communications Manager at HorseWorld about how Hummingbird 3 helps his organisation.

“HorseWorld is a major equine rescue charity at heart. We categorise our work as three Rs: rescue; rehabilitate and rehome.

“It’s intensive work – many animals are in terrible physical and psychological condition when we remove them from harmful environments. Where possible we work to rehome them with suitable new owners and we closely monitor their ongoing progress.

We currently have 100 horses on our 200-acre site on the outskirts of Bristol. We also work with the public raising awareness of equine welfare issues and work with disadvantaged children, giving them an introduction to caring for animals – this has led to a career in equine care for some.”

So how is HB3 used by HorseWorld?

“I have to say it is absolutely crucial to our fundraising – we rely entirely on donations from the public – and it is also essential for our rehoming work. New horses come in and rehabilitated ones go out all the time. Hummingbird’s CMS means we can manage these pages easily and keep track of all the data on our equines.

“We also use it to recruit volunteers. We couldn’t function without volunteers, so, again, the site and its responsive, easy-to-use CMS is very important to HorseWorld.”

What do you particularly like about HB3?

“Hummingbird 3 puts us on the cutting edge. It gives us the flexibility and responsiveness to work in a rapidly changing sector.

“Content changes all the time, and it’s built to cope with rapid changes and evolving usage.

“I like the way it can be used to handle data. The sifting and sorting for horse rehoming, for example, was hitherto a very time-consuming chore, but now HB3 does it and that frees up welfare workers’ time.

“We have six members of the team here who regularly use HB3 and we’ve seen it help us grow our supporter base considerably, particularly in the younger demographic. And that’s important for any charity’s long-term viability.”

Other than the support-base has HB3 helped you to any notable successes – and what is the future?

“HB3 makes setting up a linked microsite easy. We used this to great effect on a bespoke site we set up to campaign against the long-term tethering of horses on road verges.

“It helped the campaign get real traction. The petition on it was widely shared and helped us to more than double our database of supporters in 10 months.

“The campaign led to a question being asked in the House of Commons and now we’re working with Defra, local government and other charities to come up with an action plan to tackle this major welfare issue.

“Development work never ceases here and our next big project is a fundraising platform plug-in.  Hummingbird gives us the flexibility to adapt like that. We’ve worked with Tickbox over 11 years and are looking forward to continuing this relationship as we move onto our site’s next phase.”