In the first half of 2021, we saw a net decline of over 5,000 shops across the UK as all retailers felt the impacts of pandemic restrictions – charity shops included. But while this might not be as bad as 2020, the next year or so will continue to be touch and go for many retailers.

So, with the added pressure of such important causes relying on your donations and revenue, how can your charity get back in its best shape in this retail landscape? Let’s look at three common retail challenges that could be slowing your charity down.

Till errors

Charities of all sizes rely on their dedicated volunteers. But since this is an unpaid role, it’s not unusual to have a higher staff turnover than you might like. So you’ll have volunteers coming and going, all of whom need training with your EPoS system. This can lead to some mistakes as they get to grips. Now, a single cash discrepancy isn’t going to spell disaster for your charity, but every little bit of lost revenue will add up.

To make up for this, you want an EPoS system that’s quick and easy to pick up and use. A reliable, straightforward interface will mean fewer mistakes and more money going to your cause.

Unstable overheads

The world of charity retail is never going to be as predictable as we’d like it to be. While, fingers crossed, we won’t see disruption like we’ve seen over the last two years, it’s unrealistic to assume the landscape will be smooth sailing from here on out. Meaning you’ll need to continue to be cautious with your finances.

Nothing adds pressure quite like the fear that something could break and you’d be left to foot the bill at any given moment. Charities are only just beginning to find their feet, meaning a broken till or two could add unnecessary strain and pressure.

Instead of having this fear looming over your head, a subscription-based EPoS model means you can cut any sudden costs. You keep paying the same monthly fee, confident everything will be quickly fixed when it needs it. 

Convoluted processes

One of the most valuable assets your charity has is your staff and volunteers’ time. But how much of this is getting tied up in convoluted processes?

Whether it’s spent processing Gift Aid submissions that could be completed automatically, or having to wait until end of day to see daily reports, how much time and effort are you wasting on tasks that could be streamlined and simplified? How much extra revenue could you capture if hosting a raffle or enabling sale round-ups became effortless for your volunteers? How much more stable would your finances be if online sales were easily integrated into your stores?

These are just a few examples of where outdated processes might be slowing you down. And ways that technology and innovative tools could begin to impact your operations and revenue for the better.

The retail industry hasn’t had it easy over the past few years. But, with your valuable cause to think about, now is the time to look at ways to build back better and stronger than ever before. The right technology and tools will help you increase productivity, boost revenue, and streamline operations long into the future.

Are you ready for an EPoS solution that helps your charity lead from the front and stop playing catch up? Nisyst’s HMRC-recognised CHARiotWeb helps streamline your daily operations, reducing till errors with a straightforward interface, and boosting visualisation with real-time reporting. Available in one easy monthly package, it means you don’t have to break the bank. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch today on 01204 706 000.

Social media certainly has a way of stealing away our attention and turning us into zombies as we scroll through. But every now and then, social media comes through in brilliant ways, from raising awareness of diseases and the charities that help them, to encouraging donations that result in billions.

It’s safe to say that, when used correctly, social media fundraising can be an extremely powerful, invaluable tool for the charity sector. People love taking part in crazy trends for a good cause as it lets them take centre stage in front of their friends and make a difference in the world. If you’re not taking advantage of this as a charity, you’re missing out! So here are our top three social media fundraising campaigns that changed the game for the better. 


Movember is always good fun for everyone when November rolls around. You might know someone who can’t help but take part – that might even be you. Growing a moustache is now probably one of the most well-known activities for fundraising alongside marathons and bake sales. 

But Movember wasn’t always about charity. When the idea first came to fruition in 2003, Movember was an attempt to “bring back the moustache”. But after realising its potential, the founders made it all about raising awareness for men’s health issues. 

That first year, only 30 people participated, and it raised no money at all. But the two founders kept at it, and soon it became a global household name. Now when November comes around, you can find moustaches painted on something no matter which direction you look. 

Since their humble beginnings, they have raised over £1 billion, accumulated 195,000 followers on Instagram, and in 2017 the Movember Foundation was ranked 49th out of 500 NGOs around the world. An amazing result for such a simple, fun idea.

ALS ice bucket challenge

In the summer of 2014, out of seemingly nowhere, people began dumping buckets of freezing-cold water and ice over their heads and uploaded the video to social media. As it turned out, it was to raise money for the ALS association in America and the MND Association in the UK. Both charities help those living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also called motor neurone disease or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The campaign came under some fire after people accused those participating of not donating or doing anything to help the charity, instead just doing it for the trend. But whether or not that was the case, it can’t be denied that it went viral and likely raised awareness of a disease many may not have heard of before. 

This trend raised over $115 million for the ALS Association in America, a dramatic increase from the $2.7 million donated the year before. A huge success. 

No makeup selfie 

In March 2014, a woman posted a picture of herself without makeup in support of actress Kim Novak, who was criticised for attending the Oscars without any herself. When many women joined in, a young girl noticed the potential for this trend and used it to raise awareness for cancer.

In less than a week, over £8 million was raised for Cancer Research UK. The charity also saw a massive boost in website visits and increased engagement on social media. It was an easy trend to jump on and even if you couldn’t donate, your no-makeup selfie would help spread awareness.

These campaigns all started with simple ideas that blossomed on social media. It’s amazing to see just how big of a change we can make when utilising the power of social. And as new apps release, it’ll be interesting to see what strange new trends and challenges will be born to lend a hand to the charity sector. 

Our modern world revolves around our mobile devices, so why not make them a part of your charity too? With Nisyst’s mobile dashboards feature, you can see how your store is performing live, no matter where you are. If you’d like more information, get in touch on 01204 706 000.