The charity sector has been in a difficult position in recent years. The pandemic brought a need to pivot quickly in the face of changing threats. But 2022 so far feels like a welcome calm after the storm. A time to settle down, strategise, and think about the future. It’s a time for your charity to build some resilience.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to resilience in charities. It’s an ongoing journey that requires consistent effort and planning. But, to get started, we thought we’d share a few key areas worth some extra attention.
Leading with data
As with any other business, charities should be guided by data. Strong strategies aren’t based on assumptions and estimates, they’re based on facts. But prior to the pandemic, it wasn’t necessarily easy for charity retailers to capture reliable, timely data about sales, profits, Gift Aid, customers, or other KPIs. But this all changed during the pandemic, with some charities fully embracing their digital transformation, potentially for the first time.
With the right tools and systems in place, data can take a more central role in your decision-making. Real-time data and reporting allows for evidence-backed, strategic decisions about your operations. Managers and area managers can visualise a store or area’s performance remotely. Customisable dashboards place the key data right at their fingertips. Head office staff can oversee all profits and sales with ease. While accurate stock data allows volunteers to keep track of the daily flow of donations.
And this is just the beginning of how a more data-focused approach could change your operations for the better.
Tackling digital exclusion
Cashless fundraising, online sales, and digital services were just some of the big changes we saw charities adopt in the pandemic. But these developments also exposed digital inequalities. Increasing gaps in digital skills that charities will have to address moving forward.
Investing in new technology and innovative tools is great. But are you providing corresponding training and support to ensure confidence across your workforce? Are you opting for accessible systems that are quick to pick up for full-time staff and casual volunteers alike? If you do have varying digital knowledge across your charity, can you bring in more training or digital partnerships?
As charities grow more dependent on digital tools, it’s important we’re focusing on building confidence and inclusivity too.
Focus on wellbeing
The pandemic brought conversations about mental health and wellbeing to the foreground. Charities were reminded of the importance of taking care of their staff and being more flexible. In 2021, three-quarters of charity leaders were worried about staff burnout due to pressures brought on by the pandemic. And moving forward, these lessons shouldn’t be forgotten.
Try to welcome any opportunities to make your staff and volunteers’ lives easier. How can you support them more in their day-to-day tasks? This might be investing in an EPoS system that improves efficiency and streamlines everyday responsibilities. Or making technical support easily accessible throughout the working day. This way, you ensure any issues can be quickly resolved and minimise staff stress.
How can you better accommodate the individual needs and circumstances of your staff? Can you offer remote work where possible or create shift patterns that work around individual schedules? How do you create an open and transparent environment?
There’s nothing like a global pandemic to highlight all the ways your charity could be stronger. But now that you know, it’s time to put this insight into tangible changes. And by building resilience now, your organisation will be in a position to bounce back quicker from any future disruption.
Nisyst’s cloud-based EPoS system, CHARiotWeb, helps your charity stay ahead of the curve. With all your hardware, software, training, and technical support available on a rolling monthly contract, it’s easy to build resilience. For more information, or to book a demo, get in touch today on 01204 706 000.