Whilst our new lottery software helps to generate additional revenue for charities, our interactive management dashboard functionality has now been rolled out, free of charge, to all of our customers – with outstanding results.

Updated automatically to existing CHARiot software systems overnight to ensure no disruption, the new dashboard has added management functionality at shop level without altering the navigation for staff and volunteers.

In addition to this, an android and iOS app linked to the dashboard software will be launched before the end of the year, which will enable store and regional managers to access reporting functionality in store using their phones or portable devices.

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The additional functionality from the new dashboard includes:

  • See average customer spend and sales figures
  • Trend graphs & information breakdown on Gift Aid, new donor sign-ups & bag drops
  • Refund tracking
  • Budget and target monitoring and amendment
  • Access to reports in store and at head office
  • Information can be viewed by store, region or company

 

Head of retail at St Catherine’s Hospice, Rachael Hewitt, comments: “Working with Nisyst has been so easy and the new dashboard update was completely seamless.

“The real-time visibility of store performance and operational activities means we have the right management information to make informed decisions.”

At Nisyst, we believe that CHARiot is the best charity sector EPoS system on the market and we’re constantly investing in product development based on user feedback to ensure that it continues to offer users the most advanced functionality.

Managing director of Nisyst, Bob Chunilal adds: “The feedback we’ve had from users is that they love the CHARiot system but they’d like more management capabilities at the point of use.

“Our new dashboard provides that, giving customers access to head office reporting at a local level and enabling business decisions to be made.

“CHARiot users will not notice a difference in the day-to-day navigation of the system but, if they do need any assistance, our in-house helpdesk will be there to support them as always.”

The team at Nisyst has been extremely busy in the last few months developing our new lottery function software for customers.

The easy-to-use added functionality to the existing CHARiot Full Scan Mode (FSM) EPoS system will help increase revenue for charities and hospices, as well as providing another way for customers to donate.

Designed with staff and volunteers in mind, the software update is seamlessly integrated into existing systems. In store, a lottery sale is completed with minimal key strokes and links simultaneously with the back office, ensuring easy and quick reporting.

St Peter’s Hospice has the lottery function installed in 47 of its sites, and we’ve received great feedback already.

Ed Smith, corporate fundraiser and lottery manager at St Peter’s Hospice, commented: “The lottery function is fantastic – it’s extremely easy to use and caused no disruption to our current system when it was updated.

“As another source of revenue generation, the return on investment is set to be substantial.”

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Whether you’re running a charity shop, a hospice or even just a one off fundraiser, spreading information about what you do is one of the best ways to ensure that you can actually start helping people – after all, if the community doesn’t know that you’re there (or why you’re there!) then the donations and support aren’t going to appear by magic. Read more

 

October isn’t just the month of ghouls, ghosts and witches. It doesn’t just bring the expectation of pumpkins and colder days either; October, in all of its glory, is the month of National Bullying Prevention, National Down Syndrome Awareness, National Depression Awareness, Breast Cancer Awareness, ADHD Awareness, Stoptober and Oxjam.

With such a big month in the year, we’re here to tell you a little bit more about the weeks you can dedicate to your specific charity (Heads up, World Animal Day is on the 4th!) Read more

As prices in shops continue to rise, it’s not surprising that charity shops are becoming a lot more popular. People are now turning to these types of stores to get original and unique items.

Many still have a negative opinion about charity shops, brushing them off as being nothing but second hand cheap clothes and old tatt that nobody wants. We’re not going to lie, a lot of the time you will walk into a charity shop and find nothing that appeals to you. However, there is plenty of opportunity to find something brilliant.

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If you’re a newbie to the charity shopping experience – don’t worry! Here are some of our best tips for having a successful shopping trip and grabbing yourself a real bargain.

Take Your Time

Shopping in a charity shop takes time and effort – you really need to hunt out the good stuff. It isn’t going to be like walking into your local Topshop or River Island in which you automatically see hundreds of things that you want to purchase.  If you’re rushing, you’re unlikely to find anything you like. So go in when you have a bit of time, and spend time browsing the rails and looking at individual items.

Try Things On

Many charity shops don’t accept returns so you definitely need to be trying items on. Things look different on the hanger than they will on person, so don’t be afraid to spend a little bit of time in the changing room.

If it’s not exactly your size, still try it on! Different brands vary with sizes and you never know what something looks like until you have put it on.

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Use Your Imagination

Don’t be put off by the fact that you’re in a charity shop – this will impair the way that you view an item. Use your imagination to picture the cute dress you’ve found in the window of your favourite shop, bet it looks more attractive now right?

You can also use your imagination to choose items that you wouldn’t normally go for. Picture wearing it with your favourite pair of jeans or layered underneath your new leather jacket. Step away from things you are comfortable with – be daring!

Visit The Shops Frequently

People are always donating items, which means that the stock in charity shops is often updated pretty regularly. Therefore, if you don’t find something that you like on one day, you should keep checking back as you might find something another day.

You should go in without any expectations – this is often the time when you find something you really like.

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If you’re thinking of opening up your own charity shop or you’re looking to improve business in one that you already have – you are in safe hands with us here at Charity Retail Systems.

We specialise in helping you find the right charity epos system for your specific store, giving you full training so that you get off to the best possible start. We have worked with both local and national charities and we guarantee to not take a penny from you.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can give us a call on 01204 706 000 and a member of our team will be happy to help.

Note: You can check out part 1 of our guide to opening a charity shop right here.

Although we specialise in providing efficient and reliable charity retail systems, we’re also here to provide assistance and support wherever you need it! Last month we kicked off a series on setting up a charity shop for the first time – hopefully by now you’ve got everything sorted and you’re ready for an incredible shop launch which will get the public aware of, and more importantly excited about, your new presence in their town. Read more

 

There are hundreds of charities all over the world with hundreds of different and similar goals. From world peace to world protection, child education to animal care and safety, as the International Day of Charity swiftly approaches (September 5th for those of you who don’t know) we thought we’d reflect on some of the charity giants and their fantastic achievements!

 

Children in Need

Spanning the decades, Children in Need has become a greatly anticipated national entertainment programme! Set up with numerous entertainers, from nationally beloved actors to singers far and wide, one of the BBC’s greatest charity events (closely followed by Comic Relief and Sports Relief) has raised thousands of pounds since its beginning.

The charity, set up to raise money for disadvantaged children and young adults right here in the UK, last year reached a staggering £32,620,469, the largest sum they’ve been able to raise so far! Perhaps this year we’ll be able to come together and raise even more to help children and young people in our own communities live happier lives!

 

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Greenpeace

We’re sure you’ve heard of the Guardians of the Earth; Greenpeace. Spreading their influence across the globe, Greenpeace have successfully stopped, prevented, irritated, agitated, negotiated and motivated companies large and small to put a stop to their destructive ways and to help protect environments and animals alike.

They’ve successfully executed a global ban on nuclear weapons testing  and persuaded Facebook to become a greener company amongst other things.

From us at Charity Retail Systems, keep it up Greenpeace, you’re doing awesome!

 

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RSPCA

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is by far one of the most well known charities we have here in the UK. RSPCA officers work tirelessly morning and night to protect wild and domestic animals from the cruelty of people.

Recently one of the greatest achievements the RSPCA has undertaken is adding their voice to the enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 which reinforces the 1911 Act and granted the RSPCA and the police to arrest people on suspicion of animal cruelty!

 

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The Ice Bucket Challenge

Do you remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? The charity event that took the world by storm last year? Over two million people were tagged in the Facebook phenomenon  which included dowsing yourself in icy water. It may have turned slightly dangerous towards the end with people leaping into icy lakes but it definitely paid off! The social media challenge raised over £142 million pounds, that’s over $220 million dollars!

Amyotrophic  lateral sclerosis is a nerve damaging disease in the brain and spinal cord. Before the Ice Bucket Challenge there was said to be no cure but thanks to all of your freezing cold people out there, you’ve raised enough money to help the ALS research make an monumental breakthrough!

Congratulations Ice Bucketeers, you’ve helped take a huge step towards finding a cure for ALS!

 

 

For your charity shop, we’d like to do a little something to help you collect as much money as possible to help make sure breakthroughs happen again and again! Our charity EPoS system can help you safely secure sales and can keep track of what you’re selling for your cause!

For more information, contact us today on 01204 706 000!

If you have a cause that you’re passionate about then setting up a charity is an incredibly worthwhile endeavour, and we certainly don’t want to see anybody put off simply because they’re not sure about the process involved! That’s why we decided to put together this handy guide, with details about how to register a charity, as well as other handy tips that you might need in the early days of your charitable endeavours.

Step 1: Know when it’s the right time to register

Although you’re probably eager to get started, there are a few things you need to take care of before making things official. Crucially, the government’s guidelines list a few things you need to do to set up before your charity is ready to be registered:

  • Decide on the purpose or purposes of your charity (these must be entirely charitable), and be prepared to run your charity in a way which is consistent with this mission. Put this purpose into words with a clear phrase that captures both the intended outcomes, and how you’ll be able to achieve them.
  • Choose a structure for your charity: charitable incorporated organisation, charitable company limited by guarantee, unincorporated association or trust. Your choice is essential since it governs how your charity must operate in the eyes of the government, so check out this guide to make sure that you choose wisely.
  • Write a governing document that lays out all of the key facts about your charity, such as its name, objects or goals, and information about the trustees.
  • Find trustees – the people who will govern your charity. At this point, you will want to make sure that the people you choose have a wide range of skills to bring to the table.
  • Now it’s time to start raising funds!

Once your charity has set up, you will have to register it once there is an income of over £5,000 – or immediately if it’s a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO).

Step 2: Complete the online registration form

It’s easier than ever to register your charity with the government’s online system, but there are a lot of supporting documents, facts and figures needed – so it can save time if you’re prepared. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Your charity’s name, bank or building society details and contact details.
  • A PDF of your governing document.
  • Information about your charitable purposes and how you run your charity.
  • Trustee’s names and details.
  • Proof that income is above £5,000 (unless you’re a CIO) – this can be in the form of a scanned recent bank statement, a scanned formal offer of funding, or a PDF of your most recent published accounts.

Step 3: Avoid Common Pitfalls

Complete applications are generally registered within 5 days, however if you make any errors in your application, or need to clarify details, it can take up to 45 days. Avoid the long wait by getting it right first time:

  • Governing documents should be written using the government’s approved model.
  • State purposes clearly, with a viable strategy for carrying them out.
  • Give explicit reasons that these purposes will be for the public’s benefit.

And that’s it – not as tricky as it first sounds! Once you’re all set up, you can use our charity retail systems to make raising funds easy and efficient; find out more online, or talk to our friendly and experienced team by calling 01204 706 000. You can also keep up to date with our work over at Facebook or on Twitter – we hope to hear from you soon!

 

With charity shops recently becoming more popular than ever, it’s not surprising that a lot more people are beginning to realise that it’s a brilliant way to increase donations and raise awareness for their charity. However, charity shop owners are constantly thinking about different ways that they can raise the bar and bring in even more funds.

Do you know how you can make the most of your donations and make more money for your charity? Here are some of our very best top tips to help you out.

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Getting Your Window Display Spot On

It’s important that the window display of your charity shop is perfect, as this will be people’s first impression of your store. The aim is to get customers into the shop; therefore you need to attract them by having a brilliant and attractive window design. As well as bringing in more customers; you also want to attract donors and volunteers.

It should be smart and not overcrowded, and everything should be clearly priced. It’s a good idea to make your display seasonal – so it should be changed regularly to fit in with different periods and times of the year. We also think that a display should be colourful so that it’s more likely to grab attention.

Create an Online Store

A good way of making money for your charity is to create an online store where you can sell all of your high value goods. A lot of charities, whether they are big or small, have found a number of benefits in starting an online shop. The main thing is that it reaches a wider audience, as it’s accessible to people outside of your local area. It also allows you to raise more awareness for your charity and therefore hopefully raise more money. You can also target specific audiences if the products that you are selling are specialist items.

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Use Gift Aid

Gift Aid is a brilliant way of raising money for charity without actually paying any more money. Your customers can choose to add Gift Aid to their donations/purchases, as long as they pay income tax. They fill in a short declaration that confirms they pay this, and then 25% more value is added to their donation which can then be claimed by the charity.

Here at Charity Retail Systems, our charity EPoS system makes collecting Gift Aid really easy for you. It has an automated system which processes Gift Aid easier and makes sure that charities benefit from it a lot quicker.

If you would like more information on how you can use one of our systems in your store, please just get in touch. You can give us a call on 01204 706 000 and a member of our team will be happy to answer any questions.

Note: You can check out part 2 of our guide to opening a charity shop right here.

Opening a charity shop is a great idea for any charity as they’re an effective way to increase awareness and donations. Setting up your own isn’t an easy job though and can be even more difficult than opening up any retail store. You’ll be faced with the issues any small business is such as marketing, security and health and safety as well as tasks specific to charity retail like sourcing stock and volunteers. From our experience in helping charity retail shops with their retailing we’ve picked up a few tips on how to set up and operate a charity shop and we’ll happily share these with you in a new series we’re running.

 

This part will focus on what you need to do before opening your shop…

 

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Things to know about before opening a charity shop

 

There are a few boring things to think about before you set up your charity shop that concern the business side of things. They’re not too much trouble to go through but they’re essential for every charity shop.

 

  • Of course only charities can set up a charity shop so make sure you’ve registered as one with the charity commission before doing else.
  • There are a few statutory obligations that are involved with being a retailer that you should know before opening a shop.
  • Charity shops aren’t taxed like regular businesses. They’re exempt from things like corporation tax and VAT, but you should be familiar with which taxes exactly you will be paying in your local area.

 

Setting Up The Shop

 

Firstly, you need to set out a budget for the start up of your charity shop. Just like with any other retail store you’re going to need some capital to start with to pay for the space rental, staff recruitment and any fitting that needs to be done. If you can’t fund the shop yourself then there may be loans or grants available to help you.

 

Once you know how much money you have available you can create a budget that will tell you how much you have available for a retail space and how many staff you can hire.

 

Find a location in line with your budget and consider things like footfall, area demographic and rent. Make sure the space has plenty of storage for all the stock that you will have.

 

Once you have found the location and signed the lease, get the shop ready for retailing with shelves, railings a counter with a till and adequate storage facilities. You’ll need a sign for the outside as well as display materials for the inside to help you attract customers in and sell your goods.

 

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It’s also recommended that you install some security equipment too, such as CCTV cameras and alarms, to keep your stock and your staff safe.

 

Hiring staff is also important for a charity shop; you’ll at least need a shop manager to take care of stock, volunteers and cash handling. Choosing one with experience will help you to make more money in the long run.

 

Finding volunteers is the next step; depending on how often your shop is open, you’ll need around 20 volunteers to allow for 2 to be working in the shop at any one time.

 

 

So that’s all for this part of the series. You should now have a few ideas of the things you need to do before you open your charity shop. In the next part we’ll be looking at what you need to do leading up to launch day to put you on the right tracks for success.

 

Of course, no charity shop will get very far without an effective retail system. We have been supplying charity retail systems for many years and that’s why we can serve all our customers so well. For more information about what we can deliver, feel free to contact us on 01204 706 000.