Guest blog: Updating systems during the lockdown

There’s absolutely no question that Covid-19 has had a negative impact on all face to face charity retail operations – shops having to close means less donations coming in, and much less revenue from the sale of donated goods to fund the great work that charities all over the UK are doing.

Having to pause retail operations does however give a rare opportunity to take stock of systems and processes – to consider cost-saving by changing the way you work, and to take advantage of the absence of customers in your retail outlets to make improvements that would otherwise be complicated, or require a planned shut-down to implement.

When you’re busy dealing with customers, and making money from donated items, it can be easy to ignore systems and processes that are not as good as they should be, or that are costing more money than you need to spend. However, usually changing systems and processes costs money up-front – and it can seem like a crazy time to be spending, when income streams are being reduced.

There are options out there to help with this – for one, all UK registered charities are eligible for 0% interest free finance on new charity retail systems from Tengo Software – meaning you can benefit from a tried and tested Gift Aid EPoS solution to help you boost sales once you re-open.

In addition, Tengo also offer a free online donation platform, whereby you can receive online donations for your shops whilst you are closed, for a fraction of the cost of the traditional websites (see pricing comparison here). Your supporters can even sign up to your donated goods Gift Aid scheme online, meaning items dropped off during lockdown or brought in when you re-open are pre-processed and labelled up, ready for your charity to sell with the bonus of an additional 25% for Gift Aid.

I would like to wish you all the best during these challenging times, if you need any help or advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us at