We support all kinds of customer-facing charities from heritage trusts, through event organisers and to retail chains. As such, our flagship software Merlin 8 offers a unique combination of features to help our customers to make the biggest impact to their causes.
The Children's Trust operate a chain of charity shops across the UK. Because of the nature of their business, they largely rely on volunteers in-store. The retail operations of the Trust were more complex than the typical store, in that items would usually be one-of-a-kind, and as such, presented challenges when implementing an EPOS system.
Most unique to The Children's Trust is that items donated could be given on the proviso that a portion of the items' value could be claimed back through HMRC's Gift-Aid scheme. Part of the Gift-Aid process meant that letters must be sent to the donor once the item was sold to ensure the donor was still willing to opt-in to the scheme, now that the value of their item had been realised.
To combat these unique needs, we introduced processes to automate and simplify the process. For regular goods, items could be sold within Merlin EPOS as a broad stock type, where prices per item would be entered at point of sale. This had the advantage of mitigating lengthy stock booking in times without impacting reporting.
Where items had been Gift-Aided, they would be scanned at point of sale and linked to the donor, automatically sending a donor letter, and ensuring that Gift-Aid claims could be processed in a timely manner using Merlin Back-Office.