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 organisaton 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 Paul Marshall, head of Digital & Design at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) about how Hummingbird 3 helps his organisation.
“We are a charity seeking to conserve, restore & protect the world’s wetlands. It’s important work – wetland areas have declined by more than a third since 1970 with major impacts on wildlife and the world’s ecology.
“Climate change has made our work more pressing, with some wetlands drying and others becoming more prone to flooding and erosion.
“We are a solutions-based organisation, so we seek to work with national and local government, businesses and other charities, and very importantly with those who live on or near wetlands to safeguard and sometimes rebuild and repopulate these very fragile eco-systems.”
So how is HB3 used day-to-day by WWT?
“We operate 10 sites across the UK and across them and at our HQ we have at least 100 users updating content. Individual wetland sites are responsible for updating their own content, while back at base, our supporter services team use the data input, and myself and the digital & marketing team update the site and use the information it provides us in many ways.
“We aim to enhance anyone’s experience of WWT – be it at one of our sites or from home. The motivator is using it to inspire people; generating an interest in wetlands and turning that interest into active support. The tech sits in the background – but it’s essential.”
Has HB3 helped those goals?
“Very much so. We’ve worked with Tickbox for more than a decade and were early adopters of Hummingbird and we’ve seen a fourfold increase in supporters in that time.
“What I like about it, is it has a good well-build core, and on that solid foundation it allows to expand and develop what we do with it. It has built-in flexibility.
“It’s really helped our membership model. Hummingbird is integrated with our CRM [customer relationship management] allowing us real-time sharing of data between departments. All transactions go into that CRM system.
“Before we used it, we had very inflexible membership pages. I like the taxonomy of the structure of Hummingbird, it allows everything to come together. We can split data and move it around to teams that can utilise it in their work.”
Anything new on the horizon?
“It has huge potential for development and we’re working on using it more on fundraising and other areas.
“It’s an ever-developing platform which allows us to develop an agile workflow. And that’s continually improving.
“I love its ease of use. I am – perhaps – more technically adept than most people, but I’m not a stereotypical “techy”. My background is biology, stemming from an early interest in bird-watching. It was important that any CMS we use not only fulfils our requirements, but is end-user friendly.
“We look forward to working with Tickbox on more in the future. I can’t praise them enough. They’ve helped us put technology to very good use!”