A critical IT overhaul for Creation Theatre.
Creation urgently needs an updated box office and IT system and equipment. Its current IT is badly out of date, pushed to capacity, and in many cases equipment is second-hand, having been donated by supporters. This costs the charity time and money that could be spent on producing inspiring theatre.
August 2011 - January 2012
Creation Theatre Company
Creation has never received regular funding and operates on a shoe-string. Its IT infrastructure is weak and badly out of date, adding strain to the charity's ability to produce shows and communicate with audiences, costing money and damaging ticket sales. Faults are common and processes are slow. Old equipment is less eco-friendly and wastes power, costing more money to operate. The charity's server is at imminent risk of failing, with potentially disastrous results in terms of loss of data.
A new IT infrastructure will enable Creation's team of hard-working staff to be more efficient. It will be better suited to our present needs, facilitate multi-tasking and allow us to respond faster to opportunities. Moreover our current Box Office system is outdated and does not allow effective integration of our education and donor databases. Replacing the current system will improve the booking process for customers and enable us to target marketing and fundraising messages more effectively.
Install new Box Office by spring 2012, with the aim of improving customer service & data management.
Activities» We will launch an appeal to donors, Friends of Creation, audience members and parents of our drama club and workshop students to help raise funds.
Success will be improved customer service through better online booking and fundraising, which we will measure by surveying individuals before and after the system is in place.
Install a new server, 4 laptops and 8 PCs by spring 2012, with the aim of improving efficiency.
Activities» We will appeal to past donors, Friends of Creation, audience members and parents of our drama club and workshop students to help raise funds.
» We will contact trusts and foundations that have supported us in the past to see if they are able to help.
» We will contact potential new funders and business sponsors to secure funding.
Success will be improved efficiency, measured by analysing time spent on tasks before and after, and quantifying the cost savings. We will also monitor energy savings.
By speeding up processes, a new IT system will enable staff to spend more time on producing, marketing and fundraising for shows and educational workshops. We will be able to record attendance at workshops more securely and use laptops for sound editing and workshops. It will free up time to source new venues and artistic teams, and allow us to prepare marketing materials and messages more effectively. Success will be demonstrated by time savings and increased box office & fundraising income.
There is a risk that initially some income could be lost during the installation of the new software if we go offline during opening hours. To reduce this we will carry out as much of the installation as possible out of hours. We will also minimise disruption to staff working by phasing in new equipment in stages, planning workloads to allow non-computer based tasks to be carried out, and arranging for full training of new software and equipment where necessary.
Funders will receive a monthly email detailing the progress of the fundraising campaign, forthcoming activities and any changes required. Once the new infrastructure is in place we will report on what impact it has made on efficiency and service delivery.
Budget - Project Cost: £19,471Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £1,904 New server Necessary to provide a reliable IT infrastructure £1,756 4 laptops Laptops to support education workshops taking place at venues across the city. £4,613 8 PCs To minimise office downtime and maximise service availability. £1,858 VAT & delivery VAT & cost of freighting equipment £3,180 NEAT ticketing software new box office software package (cost in first year) £1,035 extra software E-marketing & fundraising software (per annum) £5,125 Service & support customisation, report set-up, data transfer etc (one-off cost)
Creation produces shows and workshops in venues all over Oxford, from an island, to a car factory, to a rooftop. The combination of unusual venues and fast-paced, accessible shows attracts people of all ages. Workshops take place in some of the most deprived areas in the city, where 50% of people have no qualifications. A new IT infrastructure will facilitate better running of remote workshops and front of house at shows, and will free up staff time to find and develop new show/workshop venues.
By freeing up staff time, this project will enable Creation to continue producing innovative theatre for wider audiences, source new venues, secure more funding for shows and workshops, and develop more educational projects for children from all backgrounds in Oxford. These provide opportunities for children to work together to express themselves imaginatively, develop confidence, social skills and an appreciation of theatre. Improving our IT resources would help support this valuable work.
Creation is Oxfordshire's largest producing theatre company and has a reputation for original shows and inclusive workshops in exciting and unusual venues. This reputation attracts diverse audiences and participants: in 10/11, 2194 young people saw a show with their school, and 721 took part in a workshop at their school, among which are included the most disadvantaged schools in Oxford. By improving its IT infrastructure, Creation can do even more to develop audiences and improve accessibility.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Rebecca De La Bedoyere
Rebecca is Creation's Fundraising Manager and is in regular contact with supporters, donors, Friends of Creation and business sponsors to raise funds.
Cheryl is Creation's Marketing Manager. She has researched the best ticketing system for our needs and will oversee its implementation.
Katie is our Administration Manager. She oversees IT for Creation and will manage the installation and smooth running of the new IT infrastructure.
Pink Connect provides external IT support for Creation. They will install and monitor the new IT infrastructure and provide extra support as required.