(Continued from How to Use Web Pages as Outlining Tools II.)
Community transport costs money. For example, BACT, a volunteer group providing transport around Beccles and Bungay, inaugurated a new minibus last April. It cost over £52,000, a figure which presumably doesn’t include tax, MOT, repairs, petrol, and other running costs. I’d been asked to help Oxfordshire Neighbourhoods Partnership with fundraising, and wanted to see how community-transport sites around the UK did this. I also wanted to see what kind of publicity they used to encourage volunteers, and to summarise my findings for other members of ONP.
What I love about these is their sense of community. The language is informal and chatty. Fundraising events are described in a way that makes everyone feel they can take part: Christmas Fairs, the 100’s club, book sales, Easy Giving and online shopping, the Minibus Money-Box Appeal. There are lots of photos of buses and drivers and customers, making the groups seem really active. The sites put the customer into the picture, in both senses of the phrase. BACT has a list of donors. That kind of thankyou is really important. Also BACT’s site, volunteers and passengers have given their own little snippets, and some are touching. As Mrs P. wrote, “The service has helped to get me out from a very dark place. Everyone is so helpful and friendly and I don’t know what I would do without BACT.” And some of the sites explain in detail the benefits of volunteering, including driver training.
Having found these sites, I identified bits of content that I thought we could either imitate for a “how-to-do-community-transport” tutorial site, or that we could use fundraising ideas from. This came to about 1000 lines of HTML. Too much to put in a single document and expect other members of ONP to work through: I needed to structure it. I needed an outlining tool. So I thought of Microsoft Word. I then tried to stop thinking of Microsoft Word.