Posts

The charity retail sector today is vastly different to what it was B.C. (Before COVID). We’ve all realised just how quickly the world as we know it can change, and how vulnerable charities in particular are to these massive shifts.

The charity sector has declined at a compound annual rate of 2.7% over the five years through 2021-22, dropping to £49.4 billion. And even as gradual recovery and progress is made, we’re still a long way off from pre-pandemic momentum. In November 2020, 69% of charities predicted it would take more than twelve months to reach pre-crisis income levels. And 29% thought it could take over two years to do so. And that’s even before we entered the early 2021 extended lockdown.

As the industry continues to evolve, it’s important that charities are open and able to change alongside. Otherwise, they run the risk of being left behind. Which is why we’ve developed CHARiotWeb. We think there should be a solution that better serves the charity retail sector and helps you keep up with emerging trends and industry changes. So how can it help you start 2022 right?

Flexible payment options

One of the biggest impacts of COVID on the charity sector was financial. Shops shut down, large-scale fundraising events were cancelled or postponed, and income and donations became few and far between. It’s understandable why organisations never want to be in this touch-and-go situation ever again.

Hence why we want CHARiotWeb to add greater flexibility and reduced financial burden to your charity. Available as CAPEX or a monthly subscription model, charities can spend the money if they’ve got it, or spread the cost if they don’t. This gives extra peace of mind that you’re always covered and won’t have any surprise extra fees.

Having your software, hardware, operational support, and cyber security in an all-inclusive package gives you one less worry when you’re trying to grow your charity in the post-pandemic landscape.

A customisable, growable solution

Much like the charity sector as a whole has evolved, your individual charity will have grown in countless ways in response to challenging times. You might be diversifying your revenue streams, looking at alternative ways to bring in the necessary income. If so, you need to consider whether your existing systems will be able to support this growth.

With CHARiotWeb, when a charity chooses to expand into new areas, any new functionality is covered under their existing arrangement. Meaning no extra fees for new features or implementation costs. It’s never been easier to trial new activities or income streams. We empower you to introduce new modules as you grow and evolve to constantly tailor your system towards the individual needs of your shops.

Forward-thinking support

While we’re all hoping for some more stability, change is always going to be around the corner. Even though it might not be as sudden or extreme as a global pandemic, the sector will keep reinventing itself. And you want the kind of support that will help you keep your finger on the pulse, ready for whatever is thrown your way.

Our dedicated development team ensures the CHARiotWeb software continues to meet changing market conditions. Regularly introducing new features and software updates, you benefit from peace of mind that you’re growing alongside the wider industry, not against it. And that you can grow in an affordable, resilient way that doesn’t increase your risk or outgoings.

It’s time we stop viewing COVID recovery as returning to a previous moment in time. Instead, let’s view this as a wonderful opportunity to reimagine what charity retail could and should look like. Is it time for a shake-up in your charity?

We understand the immense pressure charities are under to build back momentum post-COVID. And this formed the backbone of our approach to building CHARiotWeb, a cloud-based EPoS system that’s feature-rich and fully flexible. If you’d like more information, or would like to book a demo, get in touch on 01204 706 000.

So you’ve decided to set up a new charity shop. It can be a stressful time. You need to recruit new staff and volunteers, set up the shop floor, order stock in, and handle any other challenges thrown your way. And then you need to choose an EPoS provider.

This can be a daunting process all of itself, never mind when you’re in the middle of setting up a new shop. There are many providers and systems with various features. But it doesn’t have to take up all your time. Here are some questions to think about when finding the perfect EPoS provider for your new shop.

What’s the support like?

We’ve all been on hold for what feels like a century at some point in our lives. It isn’t fun. The music alone is enough to make you regret phoning in the first place. It’s even more frustrating when you realise that time could be spent running your shop and generating money for your cause. 

New shops often have teething problems, so it’s important you can get the support you need. Is the support in-house? Can you access help on weekends? Is it closed on holidays? These are just some questions you might want to ask a potential EPoS provider.

Are they trying to improve their system?

When you choose an EPoS, you want it to be the best it can be. It should help your shop remain HMRC compliant, make claiming Gift Aid a breeze, come with a great stock system, and simply support your shop. You may also want to consider what it means for your cyber security

Once you have that ensured, it’s always a great idea to choose an EPoS provider who is constantly trying to improve their system. As you’ll likely be with this provider for a few years, you want them to be creating new, exciting features that will help your shop grow. New features can help you transform your shop and generate further funds for your cause. 

Do they give demos?

Demos are essential when choosing an EPoS system. Aside from assuring the system does everything you need it to, it’s also the perfect time for your staff to get acquainted with the system. A demo will also reveal whether or not it’s volunteer-friendly and presents the perfect opportunity to ask questions to find out if it’s the right fit for you, your staff, and your shop.

We understand that setting up a new shop can be a difficult time, so why make it more stressful than it needs to be? What’s important is that you find an EPoS provider you’re comfortable with; one that will allow you to be the best you can be for your cause.

Our innovative, HMRC-recognised EPoS solution – CHARiot Web – can help you transform your charity and make the most out of Gift Aid. If you’d like more information, or if you’d like to book a demo, get in touch on 01204 706 000.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of any charity. In fact, 91% of charities rely solely on the work of their volunteers. More than 21 million people are giving their time to help these charities raise as much money as possible for their great causes.

So what can you do for them in return? After all, you want them to work to their best ability and have a stress-free time doing so. There are plenty of ways you can make their lives easier and also benefit your charity. Here are our top picks…

Streamline their day-to-day

A big part of making their role simpler is to streamline what they have to do. If one quick job ends up taking them multiple steps, there might be room to improve it. There’s also the added benefit of making it a more pleasing experience for your donors, especially in shops.

For example, can you make the Gift Aid sign-up process quicker? Some systems integrate Gift Aid into the buying process, making it streamlined and automatically reminding volunteers it needs to be done. If you have a tablet-based EPoS system, you can also beat the queues by allowing staff to serve people from anywhere in the shop.

Provide support

This is two-fold. It’s both support for them as a person and ensuring they have support as a volunteer. For them as a person, make sure wellbeing is at the top of the agenda. These people are giving you their valuable time, so ensure they aren’t getting burnt out in the role. This goes double for people who canvas on the streets, as a lot of rejection can take its toll on a person.

Then there’s technical support. Their job is going to be that much harder if EPoS systems are constantly crashing. Make sure they have the most up-to-date software and that you have access to 24/7 support if anything goes wrong. The sooner they can get back up and running, the better.

Convenience

We’d all love it if our jobs were more convenient, and your volunteers will be no different! So ask yourself how you can make using certain tools simpler. Some EPoS systems allow you to pick them up and use them anywhere – like the tablet-based ones we mentioned earlier. And we mean anywhere. It’s a lot more convenient to use on the street or at a car boot sale than working with paper forms or cash.

You can also look at making the system more convenient for them. Some let you customise their tablet dashboard, meaning they have access to only what they need, when they need it.

Value security

Your volunteers shouldn’t feel at risk on the job. Put a lot of attention on your system’s security to keep them (and your donors) safe. If your system is hacked into, cyber criminals could gain access to their personal details. Ensure everything is up to date with the latest patches and, similar to the last point, work with someone who can guide you through any security concerns.

Volunteers will likely be working with you because they’re passionate about the cause. So make sure they have everything they need to run a tight ship and bring in as much money as possible. Our new CHARiot Web EPoS system has all of the above and so much more. If you want to find out more, get in touch with our team.

CHARiot Web has been designed with your charity in mind. This innovative and versatile SaaS solution is all you need to take your charity to the next level and build back better. To find out more, reach out to us on 01204 706 000.