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The Makaton Charity

The Makaton Charity provides in-depth Makaton Training that reaches learners all across the globe. They have over 1,100 trainees, 40 volunteers and 20 + employees. Their aim? To give people with learning or communication difficulties the tools and resources they need to understand and be understood.

Makaton Charity Digital Asset management
About

The Makaton Charity pivoted into the digital space within just five months. Discover how Asset Bank enabled them to increase members and bring the power of Makaton to a wider audience.

 

Head office

Frimley, Surrey, UK

 

Team locations

Cyprus | France | Germany | Gibraltar | Greece | India | Japan | Kuwait and the Gulf Region | New Zealand | Pakistan | Poland | South Africa | Switzerland

 

Reaching a wider audience 

A significant increase in members of 30,000 and rising  

 

One central hubs for members and students 

The Asset Bank Hub hosts over 65,000 assets, with over 250,000 asset downloads in 2021

 

Recognition across the industry

The Makaton Charity's digital transformation earned them the IMIS Great Things Award 2021

INTRODUCTION

Makaton is a method of communication made up of signs, symbols and speech which empowers people with communication difficulties to communicate and connect with the world.

Makaton is based around signs from British Sign Language, with over 1,500 different concepts and 10,000 users accessing their platform. This has led to half a million individuals learning how to use Makaton.

In addition to children and adults with communication and learning difficulties, Makaton is also used by teachers, health professionals and public service bodies. In this case study, we’ll explore how Makaton is now increasingly being used by the general public to aid communication - all through the help of a digital transformation.

It’s a life-changing communication method, and one you may have seen promoted on CBeebies by the popular TV character, Mr Tumble.

the challenge 

Pivoting into the digital space

Makaton Charity DAM solution

Up until 2020, The Makaton Charity had been primarily focused on face-to-face learning. 

Getting into local communities and educating people about The Makaton Language Programme was a core part of what the teams did on a daily basis.

However, as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic hit in February 2020 and lockdown restrictions were suddenly enforced across the globe, in-person teaching was no longer an option. Like most charities, the future was looking uncertain and aside from DVD distribution, The Makaton Charity had no way of getting their lessons out to their members and the wider public. This was problematic and quickly saw the charity lose 95% of their revenue.

They had to come up with a new strategy fast. Digital felt like the natural way forward.

Onboarding

We worked closely with The Makaton Charity team to give them the platform they needed. Because The Hub was going to be opened up to a variety of users, it was important to establish user permissions and understand what each user group needed.

  • Tutors needed upload and download permissions

  • The marketing team needed a way to quickly resize images for social media

  • Learners needed a space to search for signs and symbols, together with watching videos online.

We were able to help them onboard all of their current members and tutors, set permissions and give admins the freedom they needed over the system.

"It wasn’t hard for the users to get on board with our DAM platform; the one collective response being: “This is an excellent solution”!


“The onboarding team was fabulous. There were no issues that they couldn’t solve. We give them an 11/10 in terms of the support they offered.“

 

THE SOLUTION

Enabling users to access content, wherever and whenever they need it

 

The Makaton Charity Asset Bank

One of the most important things to ensure a successful launch was to get a variety of users involved during the onboarding and configuration conversations.

Asset Bank played a key part in helping The Makaton Charity offer a subscription model to its members. This was achieved by integrating Asset Bank with iMIS, the Membership Management Software utilised by Makaton. This system is built for non-profits and membership associations and gives them a 360° view of their members, allowing them to control sign-ups and manage subscriptions.

 

The Asset Bank Team worked closely with IFINITY (the iMIS solution provider who works with Makaton). They’ve created an integration that allows members to log into iMIS and, based on their level of subscription, click a link to seamlessly log into Asset Bank with the correct user permissions, dynamically creating a new user or changing subscription levels if required.

This means that, in addition to offering in-person training, via Zoom and face-to-face, learners can now access all of the content online, wherever and whenever they want.
The Makaton Charity offer a freemium access model, with Users able to opt for the access package that best fits with their needs. The Makaton Charity’s Tutor network also benefit from the individual user uploader. This means they can upload their own content and share with fellow tutors as well as the wider community.

What’s more, social media sharing is now super-efficient because users can convert images at download according to the requirements of the platform. Spreading the word about Makaton couldn’t be easier.

THE RESULTS

A significant increase of 30,000 new Makaton members. They now have 60,000 and rising 

Non-profit DAM

It took just five months for the Makaton Charity to launch their brand new digital Hub with Asset Bank.

Since launching in August, they've seen a member increase of 30,000. They now have 60,000 people using their platform and are expected to reach 80,000 by the end of August 2021.

The Hub hosts over 65,000 assets, with over 250,000 asset downloads this year.

Makaton Charity’s hard work has not gone unnoticed. Their digital transformation earned them the IMIS Great Things Award 2021. And, since losing 95% of their revenue at the start of the pandemic, they’ve already managed to gain 90% of it back.

Next Steps

The Makaton Charity are now looking to expand their Asset Bank, aka The Hub, to their member countries including France, Canada, South Africa and Kuwait.

Since going digital, they’ve invested £70,000 in digital marketing. This is not only fantastic news for their teams, but will help them move further along in their mission to spread the word about Makaton and provide even more people with the skills they need to understand and be understood.

 

 

“We have been impressed with Asset Bank's intuitive, flexible platform. Working with experts in the field of Digital Asset Management, along with the onboarding team and our account manager has been incredible. The customer support team always replies to any of our queries in double quick time and we have found them to be enthusiastic and proactive. The platform is also incredibly good value for money.”


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