When Paul Chivers joined Bristol-based charity St Peter’s Hospice to head up their retail team four years ago, his arrival coincided with the charity’s official tendering process for a retail software solutions provider, and very early stage conversations with Nisyst. The charity had one key requirement – a system that was simple for their team to use.
As one of the largest hospices in the UK, St Peter’s Hospice cares for adults with life-limiting illnesses aiming to improve the quality of their living and dying while extending care and support to their families and loved ones. With 51 charity retail outlets within a two-mile radius across Bristol including high street, specialist, boutique and furniture shops, their retail outlets are one of their strongest methods of fundraising.
With the care provided by the charity completely free, each day costs approximately £20,000 to operate, with all the money coming from Gifts in Wills, donations, fundraising and from the revenue generated by the shops. It is vital to the charity that every last penny goes towards the exceptional care the charity provides.
“We required a reliable and robust EPoS system which could grow with our needs,” Paul explained. “A system that our team could get to grips with quickly, and the functionality to bolt on new initiatives as they arose. For example, if we had an interruption to our internet connection, we wanted a system that could run comfortably offline as well. Nisyst’s CHARiot EPoS system offered all of these features.”
One of the most important modules within the CHARiot EPoS system is the Gift Aid module and, since the introduction of Gift Aid on items marked as rag, St Peter’s Hospice has generated an increase in revenue. “Before Nisyst introduced this feature, these items weren’t generating any revenue for the charity,” Paul said. “In the first year after its launch, the revenue generated from rag items paid for more than a full-day of our operations. This revenue has continued to grow year-on-year as our staff and volunteers become more familiar with the process.”
By keeping track of the eligible items, CHARiot EPoS can calculate the exact amount of money which can be reclaimed and the module also meets the strict criteria laid out by HMRC, meaning charities like St Peter’s Hospice don’t miss out on any of the money to which they are entitled.
As well as enabling an increase in revenue for the charity, CHARiot EPoS has improved the retail teams’ efficiency through the introduction of a digitised Single Lotto Ticket sign up process. A common fundraising format in the sector, paper lotto tickets were sold to customers and the retailer would take the customer’s details – a similar process to purchasing a raffle ticket.
While customers who chose to sign up over a longer period would pay a Direct Debit every month, a Single Lotto Ticket customer would have to sign up every week. “The old process was a very manual method which was very time consuming for our team,” Paul said. With the arrival of CHARiot, this is now a completely paperless process in which the team administer the details on a till which retains the relevant customer’s details. “It is far more efficient than before and has made a significant difference to our retail teams,” Paul added.
Since joining forces four years ago to improve efficiencies and revenues in the retail arm of the charity, St Peter’s Hospice have enjoyed working with Nisyst. “We have been very impressed with the help and support offered by the team at Nisyst who we have developed an incredibly positive working relationship with since the introduction of the CHARiot EPoS system,” Paul added. “Their IT helpline, in particular, is excellent and they’re highly proactive visiting us regularly to review our systems and processes. Their services have helped us drive our income forward and we look forward to continuing this with Nisyst in the future.”
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