Posts

Something we can always count on in life is change. While planning for the future is a useful exercise to help shape your charity’s decision-making, strict plans are asking to be ruined. The charity sector is constantly changing. We’ve all seen what a sudden shift can look like and how it can affect us.

However, across many industries – including the charity sector – time and resources are still being wasted trying to avoid the inevitable. Trying to avoid the changes that are always lurking around the corner. That’s not the way, we think. Here are some simple ways your charity shop can better embrace the exciting world of change.

Technology

The simplest way to stay abreast of any massive industry shifts is to stay up to date with the technology. At this point, after a rough pandemic, we wouldn’t be surprised if the focus is on making any investment worth its value.

So how does that factor into your tech choices? Are you looking for the solutions that let you take advantage of as many sources of revenue as possible? For example, you might want something that works seamlessly with your online store (if you have one). Or it might allow you to secure as much Gift Aid revenue as possible by streamlining the sign-up process.

These kinds of features make all the difference. If it’s not about money, then it can be about productivity. What solutions will allow your team to pick up any new software with ease? Or allow your head office staff to access need-to-know info at any team, even on the go?

Diversified revenue

We just briefly mentioned it, but it’s worth a point all of its own: diversifying your revenue streams. There’s no knowing if we’ll ever see another lockdown. But if we do, are you prepared for it? What lessons did you learn from 2020? There’s value in exploring what other opportunities are out there.

Let’s look at The British Heart Foundation (BHF) as an example. During COVID, they decided to reform their online retail services. As a result, in 2020, they saw a 12% increase in eBay sales.  A more robust, online sales process means the charity bounced back quickly from its pandemic losses and is in a stronger position to embrace online markets in the future.

Not every charity has the size and reach of BHF, but what can you take from their situation? Do you have an online store people can use? If there was a lockdown, do you have a click-and-collect system to make sure people can still shop with you even if they can’t enter the store?

Diverse businesses are stronger businesses. The more you can spread your revenue across a number of independent streams, the more likely you are to bounce back from any unforeseen challenges or industry shifts.

Creating a one-, five-, or ten-year plan can be great for brainstorming innovative new ideas and opportunities. You do want to look to the future. But don’t forget about the short-term. Change is how the charity sector will continue to thrive and give back to all the incredible causes it supports.

Isn’t it time your charity embraces it?

Nisyst’s HMRC-recognised CHARiotWeb empowers your charity to always stay one step ahead of the curve. With innovative functionalities to add as you grow, including online sales, and harnessing the power of technology to streamline your day-to-day operation, we’re here to help you. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch today on 01204 706 000.

It’s no secret that the pandemic had a serious impact on the world. But the charity sector, in particular, suffered some huge blows. And to make matters worse, the demand for their services skyrocketed. To get back on track, it’s crucial that charities stay productive and continue to generate funds for their cause.

But the sector lost thousands of volunteers and income from trading is expected to drop more than 17%. The sector is struggling, but tech could just be what the sector needs to get back on its feet. One such example is the cloud. But what could it do for your charity?

Increased security

As you’ll have sensitive data such as personal information about staff, customers, and donors, ensuring it’s secure is essential. With cloud-based solutions, your charity benefits from an additional layer of physical security as it’s stored on robust, well-protected servers. Depending on the provider, they would have much more money to invest in security – something you might not be capable of with your own servers.

Many of us are also guilty of putting off updating our tech. But this can, unfortunately, leave our devices vulnerable to cyber criminals. A cloud system is more likely to update automatically, keeping you as safe as possible. This also saves you from having to wait for the help of a technician to update systems manually, which could result in significant downtime in your shops. 

Boost funds

One of the key benefits of the cloud is portability. With it, your staff are no longer confined to your brick-and-mortar stores. They can access important systems while attending events, pop-up shops, and more where they can continue to raise funds for your charity in new ways.

The cloud makes donating easier too. Your staff can go directly to donors’ houses to pick up donated items and attend events such as car boot sales where attendees can give to your cause. As the cloud is portable, staff can then sign up donors for Gift Aid to make the most out of their donation. 

Improve your shop’s performance

With the cloud, many charities can benefit from improved performance in their shops. The head office team can monitor their store’s performance – checking sales, stock, and more – wherever they are. Reporting features are crucial to driving improvement and can help take a shop from strength to strength. So having access to this at all times makes it more convenient and means you can make important decisions whenever.

The cloud can also improve the customer experience by decreasing queue time. A sudden rush of customers is commonplace in retail. But it can be stressful for both staff and customers. Let’s say a customer is signing up for Gift Aid. Usually, this would hold up the queue. But with a portable system, your staff can move elsewhere, freeing up a till, allowing the queue to keep moving.

From increasing security to helping your staff raise more funds for your cause, it’s clear the cloud has a lot to offer the charity sector. And as the world shifts towards a digital-first approach, it’s essential charity retail can stay ahead of the curve.

Nisyst’s cloud-based EPoS system, CHARiotWeb, can help your charity stay ahead of the curve while making your staff and volunteers lives easier. For more information, or to book a demo, get in touch today on 01204 706 000.

When you’re running a business, you want everything to go as smoothly as possible. This might go double for charities. Not only do you want to work at your best, you want to earn as much money as you can for your cause. So it’s imperative you have every leg-up you can get. In today’s world, that’s tech – it can improve everything from sales to monitoring the performance of your stores.

One piece of tech you can’t underestimate in your charity is your EPoS system. Like many other services, combining it with the cloud can provide so many benefits. Since technology evolves so fast, it can seem like a constant race to keep up. But by embracing the cloud, you can stay ahead of the curve.

Let’s take a look at three ways a cloud-based EPoS system could improve your charity operations.

Streamline your operation

An amazing aspect of a cloud-based EPoS system is that it’s much simpler to set up and get going.

From here, it’s easy to oversee the performance of all your shops. For example, a cloud-based system could sync all the tills with the server, giving you near real-time sales data. The tills continue to run offline even if the connection drops. So staff can keep making sales until they can connect to the cloud again.

For head-office staff, they can monitor activity no matter where they are. Whether in the office or on the go, the benefit of a cloud-based system is that you can make important decisions for your charity no matter what, driving continual improvement.

Maximise your revenue

That portability is great for volunteers too. Being cloud-based, it can be accessed from any internet-connected device. So if they’re out on the street or at an event, they can still connect to your system, bring in donations, and show you how it’s going.

This works wonders for Gift Aid. This is such a vital source of income for every charity, so you don’t want to miss out on any opportunities.

A cloud-based EPoS system will also save you money in the long-run. Since it’s online and remote, you have no expensive costs associated with on-premises hardware. No costly installation or long-term physical security.

Greater security for your data

Unfortunately, no one is safe from a cyber attack. For example, just last year, over 100 charities were targeted in a single ransomware attack. Now, a cloud-based system will not prevent cyber attacks in and of itself, but combined with a cloud-backup service, you can keep yourself that much safer.

So whether you’re a victim of an attack or if your data is corrupted at any point, a cloud backup will be able to get you back up and running. On-premises software might be at risk because it’s attached to the same network. But off-premises it’s separate and much easier to keep safe. It’s a nice extra layer of peace of mind.

Cloud-based EPoS systems are how you can keep up with the changing world. Technology is only going to keep evolving faster and faster. With a solution like this, you can get started quickly and work on making a difference to your beneficiaries. We know these qualities are important to charities, which is why we designed CHARiot Web with all of these amazing benefits in mind.

We’re excited to announce this service will launch at the Charity Retail Association Conference on the 9th of September. For our existing customers, CHARiot Web will have the same PoS design as CHARiot 7, so anyone familiar with that will be right at home. We’re sure you’ll love what we have in store!

Curious to see how CHARiot Web can help your charity? Come by our stand at the CRA conference on the 9th and 10th of September with your questions. Or feel free to reach out to us on 01204 706 000 for more information.