Northern Ireland cancer charity chooses CHARiot

Electronic Point of Sale (EPoS) specialist, Nisyst has rolled out its market-leading charity retail EPoS system into retail shops of Cancer Focus Northern Ireland.

The CHARiot system has been installed in six of the Belfast-based charity’s shops and Head Office. Cancer Focus NI has moved to the CHARiot system with aim of increasing its Gift Aid, having previously used a manual till system.

Cancer Focus NI

Angela McGrath, Head of Retail at Cancer Focus NI, said: “Before the CHARiot installation, we were only able to claim Gift Aid on cash donations and subsequently made the transition to utilise this revenue from all Gift Aided items in our shops. The management reporting systems also encourage us to be more commercially aware, helping us to raise much needed funds to keep our cancer support services running.

“We considered other EPoS providers but in the end it wasn’t just the technology that helped make our decision. We chose Nisyst because of its people; the company is approachable, friendly and always on hand to provide support. The software itself has been greatly received by staff and volunteers.”

Bob Chunilal, managing director at Nisyst, said: “Research shows that charities across the UK are claiming less than a half of the total Gift Aid available to them so it’s always exciting to introduce new not for profit organisations to our software and help overturn these statistics.

“Our system is designed to maximise revenues and we don’t take any commission of the Gift Aid collected, enabling charities to benefit on the full return of 25% for each eligible item from HMRC.”

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Charity Digital News Reveals Favourite Productivity Tools

Time is particularly valuable when running a charity or charity shop. With this in mind, Charity Digital News recently reported on the best productivity tools for charities as investigated at a NetSquared London Meetup. Below, we take a look at a few of these tools as well as others that can prove to be incredibly useful for charities and charity shops.

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Wales Air Ambulance rolls out CHARiot

WP_20170411_08_04_58_ProWales Air Ambulance relies entirely on the public’s support to raise £6.5million annually in order to continue running its four aircrafts and saving lives. Its 16 shops are a vital part of this fundraising effort but in a bid to generate more revenue, the charity recently rolled-out CHARiot, Electronic Point of Sale (EPoS) system by Nisyst, in its stores.

Andrew Lawton, head of retail and trading at Wales Air Ambulance, says: “Prior to the roll-out across the board, my predecessor had introduced CHARiot in six of our stores and when I joined the charity I could really see the impact it made to those shops. Our other ten stores were operating solely on old-school cash registers but as the HMRC Guidelines changed and the benefits of Gift Aid became more apparent, I was set on installing EPoS in every store to ensure they all perform to full potential.

“Out of the competition, CHARiot offers the best value and it’s easy to use. From a retail perspective, the detailed reporting allows us to monitor individual store performance much closer and manage their profit and loss more accurately.”

Leaving the old cash registers behind, has meant that the charity has experienced increase in average till income, tells Andrew. “Our retail teams have become far more efficient and we’ve since taken tens of thousands of pounds in Gift Aid. Just being able to take a payment in a way that our customers want to contribute is amazing. Features such as contactless payments and Android or Apple Pay has let us operate just as any other 21st century retailer, regardless of the fact we’re a charity.

“Our regional managers are able to scrutinise performance of individual stores or celebrate successes of others which helps us to engage teams and set clear goals.  Our annual stock take is also made much easier and twice as fast as the software is really accurate. Instead of having to triple count our stock and enter all the data manually, we can just scan once and check against the figure provided by the system.”

Since CHARiot’s installation, Wales Air Ambulance has seen a significant increase of Gift Aid penetration and the charity is hoping to raise this even further by the end of 2017. The team is also looking to introduce Gift Aid on Rags in the future but at the moment, the system’s Furniture Delivery & Collection module is being trialled in one of its stores, says Andrew. “Fifty per cent of what we turn over in our stores comes from furniture donations but we’ve been using a manual system which can be quite challenging to track and understand. CHARiot doesn’t allow you to continue with a transaction unless all information is inputted accurately which creates a robust error free process.”

Talking about how the software has been received by staff and volunteers, Andrew adds: “A large proportion of our volunteers are retired or being rehabilitated back into workplace so we had to convince people to make the transition and change their perceptions in terms of efficiencies and behaviour. Although some may have been a bit apprehensive at first, everyone has now become far more productive.”

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New Technology for Charities

Charities are constantly evolving in their commitment towards life-changing goals. Whilst progress has played a big part in their success, there are still many improvements and changes that could be made to achieve an even better outcome for charities.

We are now seeing more and more people coming together to work towards achieving these improvements. Collaboration in this way has meant better and varied ideas in the different ways a charity could operate. Technology is a huge part of today’s world with most things accessible at your fingertips. We’ve rounded up just a few new technologies that have been created for charities: Continue reading

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Big Data is Helping Charities

According to Microsoft, Big Data is “levelling the playing field” for charities, allowing them to obtain important information that offers similar insights to their customers as international businesses. This announcement was made at Microsoft’s first-ever digital skills conference in Edinburgh by Steven Grier, Microsoft’s manager for Scotland. Continue reading

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Would a Gift Aid ‘Allowance’ Encourage Giving?

Research consultancy nfpSynergy has released a paper which looks at how the Gift Aid system can be improved in order to generate more income for charities. It suggests that if people knew that a tax break would automatically be added to their donations, giving would be encouraged.  This would involve assigning an annual sum of money to every person over the age of 16 from which donations would be treated as tax-effective.

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Charity Tax Group Calls for Simpler Gift Aid Rules

The Charity Tax Group has backed changes to benefits that charities can give to donors whilst still claiming Gift Aid.

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The Digital Challenges That Charities Face

A Charity Today report, published by ACEVO, the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), the Institute of Fundraising and CharityComms, provides an insight of what charities do, how they operate and how they improve people’s lives. It also looks at how charities in the UK are changing and the digital challenges they face. Continue reading

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High-tech innovation at Keech Hospice Care

Keech Hospice Care has deployed new EPoS technology across its 33 charity stores to boost revenue through maximising Gift Aid contributions.

“Gift Aid is a huge revenue stream for us as we raise more than £300,000 each year through its capture,” said Angela Burgess, head of retail at Keech Hospice Care. “But with research showing that charities claim less than half of Gift Aid available to them, we wanted to take steps to make sure we’re not missing out. So Keech is thrilled to roll out this new EPoS technology.”

Keech Hospice Care charity storeKeech Hospice Care is the adult hospice for Luton and South Bedfordshire, and the children’s hospice for Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Milton Keynes, supporting patients with life-limiting illnesses – and their family and friends – both on site and in their own homes. The charity depends on donations from its community for 70% of its funding which means it needs to raise £14,000 a day to continue making the difference when it matters the most.

In August 2016, Keech switched its old till system to CHARiot, a charity EPoS system developed by point of sale specialist Nisyst. The software captures 100% of converted Gift Aid through Full Scan Mode (FSM) and Nisyst doesn’t take any commission.

Angela continued: “Three companies presented to our team but we bought into Nisyst as a business; we also liked its people and their personable approach. CHARiot appealed to us because of the time efficiencies, security and Gift Aid solutions it offers. After a presentation to our shop managers, three stores were needed to pilot the new system, yet a dozen hands went up when we asked who wanted to try the software first.

“Since the CHARiot roll-out, our revenue has increased by thousands of pounds. The new technology has ensured our staff and volunteers can effortlessly capture Gift Aid at every sale. We’re now able to monitor how different stock departments are performing and what product groups are selling well, which guides us in laying out our stores to increase sales.

“Staff and volunteers picked up the new processes quickly – everyone wants to be at the till now and loves how quick cashing up is. We plan to introduce its use for our lottery, furniture collection and delivery services in due course.”

Bob Chunilal, managing director at Nisyst, concluded: “CHARiot has been developed through collaboration with our customers and we’re constantly introducing new features to offer new opportunities to improve their Gift Aid contribution. We’re delighted to work with Keech Hospice Care and provide the charity with a solution that brings significant business benefits.”

For more information about Nisyst’s CHARiot system, visit www.charityretailsystems.co.uk and follow Nisyst on Twitter – @NisystEPoS

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5 ways to use social media to promote your charity store

 

Last year, we touched on the different ways you can use social media to promote your charity shop. You can read all about it here. In an age where your social media feeds update quicker than you can say “hashtag”, it’s important to stay in touch with your followers. To get you social-media savvy in 2017, we’ve put together five more tips to help you boost sales by utilising your social media following to drive people offline and into your stores.

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