When it comes to running a charity shop then volunteers that give of their time to sort donations, label tag, sell and administer Gift Aid donations are the Rock Stars of the Charity World.
Tirelessly receiving donations from generous donors who are often in a rush to drop and go as they are probably double parked on a double yellow line!
Rushed donors, as generous as they are, often don’t realise that your charity can benefit from Gift Aid claims on the sale of their donated items – they see Gift Aid as a benefit only on cash donations.
There is a communication need for all charities to get this message ‘out there’ to increase revenue income for charities.
Once the message starts to sink in with donors, they will be very happy (even if double parked) to help you gain your extra income from Gift Aid.
At this point there comes a potential hurdle, the stumbling block is not just the technology available in Charity Shops, but also the fear factor based on a volunteer’s perceived lack of IT knowledge.
Let’s be honest, Technology is a scary word for many volunteers many of whom freely admit that they are ‘IT adverse’. A computer screen can bring out the equivalent of ‘White Coat Syndrome’ during a visit to the GP!
Digital skills in the UK particularly in the charity retail sector that includes higher levels of retirees, are significantly lower than other sectors at around 29% on average – See Digital
If the process of using IT for the bedrock of the charity retail sector is not simple and appropriate for the end user, then training that user and enthusing them to adopt technology presents a barrier in itself.
Intuitive, user lead solutions are the way to ensure that volunteers not only learn quickly and improve income and donor engagement, but will quickly become advocates of the system rather than detractors.
So, what should you be looking for in a Charity Shop management software application or Gift Aid claim software?
It should be:
- Technically Brilliant – written for the user not the developer!
- A user lead experience (not software lead)
- Simple at the interface and Intuitive
- Administration Easy, with clear dashboards and reporting
There are many software applications that are shoe-horned in to work in the retail charity shop sector, but few focus on the ease of use as well as the necessary administration.
Perhaps now is the time to review your charity shop management software.