Bringing a fleet together to achieve your overall goal

Fleet

Bringing a fleet together to achieve your overall goal

For a charity to operate, each moving cog has to work independently and in sync. From the volunteers in your shops to the fundraisers on the streets to the van drivers on the road, everyone has a part to play in your well-oiled machine.

You might have a different idea of which is most valuable, but we believe the core of your charity is your fleet. You could say we’re biased, but the fleet is the only way to get donated items from shop to customer or vice versa. If you want to achieve your goals, you need your fleet to work fluidly and flawlessly – every van and every driver.

Organising your staff

Let’s start with the drivers. Their job will be different every day. They’ll go to new places, meet new people, and who knows what strange items they’ll pick up along the way. Unfortunately, they’ll probably experience the same problems far too often. Traffic, road works, delays – all too frequent for their liking. It’s enough to put anyone in a sour mood.

But you need them at their best to deliver the best possible service. You can’t have them meeting donors with a foul attitude. There are ways you can make their lives easier (more on that in a minute) but you can still work on their morale.

Remind them why they’re doing what they’re doing. Whatever your cause is, it’s something worth fighting for. And don’t give them a vague notion, such as “you’re doing this to fight cancer” or “you’re doing this to help starving children”. Find an actual case study – an actual human being – they can connect with. A human face that shows what they’re doing matters.

Organising your fleet

If you want your drivers to be in a better mood, you can always give them the tools to get their job done right. A modern, efficient, environmentally friendly fleet is what you need. We know in charity, it can be tempting to save money by going for older models. But there’s a reason they call Euro 5 vehicles “dirty vans”. They are out of date and if you’re caught in a clean air zone operating one, you could be looking at a £1,200 fine.

It might seem like an expensive upfront cost, but choosing a Euro 6 van now will save you the hassle in the future. They are cleaner and more efficient, so you’re doing the right thing for your wallet and the environment.

You can also equip it with the latest technology with a host of tools your drivers will be grateful for. Even a simple GPS unit can help avoid unnecessary traffic delays. It can also help you at HQ keep track of where each vehicle is, who’s driving it, and what they’re upcoming stops are.

The greater good

It might seem counter-intuitive as a charity to spend money on your fleet. But it will actually help you bring in more money so you can help your cause. It comes back to what we were saying at the start – every cog needs to work smoothly. To meet your goals, you need to work at the most optimal. And to do that, your fleet needs to be the best it can be.

At Charity Fleetcare, we understand how important your fleet is to your operations. That’s why we’re dedicated to making it great. If you would like to discuss your fleet needs, feel free to get in touch on 0800 014 9797.

How to improve the charity donor experience

charity donor experience

How to improve the charity donor experience

It’s a good time to be a charity if the numbers are to be believed. Overall charitable giving is on the rise and 60% of people claim to have donated to a charity in the past year. Whether they’re donating cash, goods, or taking part in fundraisers, people love to help out for a good cause.

But is something holding them back from donating to you? Maybe you haven’t seen this same rise in generosity, or maybe you feel there’s more you could be doing. The answer might be in the donor experience. Is it a pleasant one or are your staff hurting your chances? Let’s go through the various touchpoints of your charity and see where we could improve.

In-store

Most people will meet your staff in one of your high street stores. With vintage fashion all the rage these days, plenty of people are scouring charity shops looking for a rare find. So you might see more in-store custom than you’re used to.

For many, your shop workers and volunteers will be the only point of contact. When training your staff, it should be like any other retail store. You want them to be friendly, cheerful, and helpful to make the donor experience better. Thankfully, volunteering attracts altruistic types so your staff should already be good-natured. If that’s the case, work on their efficiency and speed, so people don’t become fed up with a shop assistant who can’t work a till.

On the streets

Collecting money on the streets is a delicate act. Some people have a bad reputation on the streets and nothing turns potential donors away like a pushy salesperson. The key here is finding the staff with the right level of enthusiasm and personable skills. They need to be able to approach people with ease and have thick skin to not be offended by a “no”.

To make their lives easier, supply them with clear, bold signage. This way passersby can see what they’re donating to and don’t need to be given the sales spiel. Also find them a good location to collect, organise a fair rota so people don’t get tired, and get the right permits in order.

On collection

Another key touchpoint is when you send drivers to pick up donations. For many, this might be the only time they see someone from your charity. If they have the good grace to donate their unwanted clothes or furniture, the last thing you want to do is turn them off donating again with a moody driver.

You don’t want them to turn up late, unenthusiastic, grunting at the donor. You can help this by making their lives easier. Give them the fleet technology they need to get from A to B in a fast and stress-free manner. It’s also worth reminding them of why they’re doing this. Appeal to their human nature and remind them of the good cause they’re contributing towards.

This goes for all your staff. During a hard day’s work, it’s easy to lose sight of why we’re doing what we’re doing. Remind them of the people, animals, or causes you’re helping. By bringing that back into the forefront of their minds, you’re already well on your way to building the perfect team and the perfect donor experience.

At Charity Fleetcare, we know how important the donor experience is. And we care how your fleet performs, for the sake of your charity and your drivers. If you want to talk about your charity fleet solutions, get in touch on 0800 014 9797.

How updating your fleet technology can increase your efficiency

Fleet technology

How updating your fleet technology can increase your efficiency

It’s the early hours of the morning. Your driver has turned up for his next shift. Another day, another set of deliveries to pick up. So far, so normal for your charity fleet driver. Throughout the day they’ll hit traffic, barely make pick-ups by the skin of their teeth, and – hopefully – make it home in time for the news.

But it doesn’t have to be such a hassle. This doesn’t have to be a normal day for your drivers. If you invest in new technology for your fleet, you’ll recover from the short-term loss of cash in no time at all. Here’s what your driver’s day could look like with some simple technological improvements.

Before they leave

Before they set off, the first thing your driver does (after their morning brew, of course) is complete a simple DVSA-compliant vehicle safety check. Thanks to the on-board TomTom device, recording their checkup is effortless. A copy of the check is sent to management so you have everything you need.

Speaking of management, they’ll easily be able to see who’s in which vehicle, during what times, and where they’re going. Everyone is on the same page, meaning no time is wasted on chasing up vans or drivers.

Hitting the road

Pre-checks done, the driver can hit the road and pick up their deliveries for the day. Thanks to the TomTom Live Traffic, they can see where there are traffic jams in real-time. The GPS will guide them down a quiet, alternate route so your driver can get to where they need to be faster and safer.

While they’re driving, you know they’ll be safe. Front and rear cameras record everything that happens so if there’s an accident, you can back them up if it’s not their fault. And their GPS data feeds everything back to you. You can see where they are at all times. Need to send them an update? You can send them a message and the text-to-speech program will read it to them so they don’t get distracted.

Picking up deliveries

When your driver gets to their stop, even signing for the delivery is simple. Everything is signed for digitally so no paper is wasted. And once it’s logged on the system, you know where it is at every point until it’s dropped off.

And we would be remiss to not mention Gift Aid. The same tablet they sign will also automatically prompt donors to sign up for Gift Aid. This will bring in more vital Gift Aid donations; it could even double the amount you get!

Then it’s onto the next delivery. And the next one. And the next one! Because you’re saving so much time thanks to the GPS, you can pick up more donations than you used to. More donations mean more money for your cause, which you can’t complain about. Then it’s back to the depot and your driver is done for the day. With such an easy-to-use van, they won’t be able to wait for their next shift.

Technology is there to make our lives easier and our operations more efficient. If you’re looking for a simple way to add value to your charity, consider upgrading your fleet today.

At Charity Fleetcare, our focus is on making your fleet the best it can be. Whether you’re leasing or hiring, we can upgrade your fleet technology so you can increase your efficiency and bring in even more donations. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch on 0800 014 9797.

Do you believe in second chances?

Second chances

Do you believe in second chances?

They say you can only make a first impression once. If you meet someone for the first time and accidentally spill a drink over them, then it’s not a good look. That person probably won’t like you for a while. But, over time, when they get to know, they might come to like you and realise that person who spilt a drink over them was actually pretty okay. You get a second chance.

But not everyone does. There is a subsection of the British public who go overlooked and underappreciated, judged on their past actions and not their true selves. We’re talking about ex-offenders. We’re not here to say you need to replace your entire staff, but rather discuss the merits of giving someone who needs it a chance.

What does it mean to be a charity?

What is charity if not an opportunity to give unwanted items a second home? In an effort to support our worthwhile causes we collect others’ discarded things and sell them to a good home. It’s good for the environment and makes sure nothing is disposed of before its time.

If we give that level of care to inanimate objects, can we not do the same for other human beings? We wouldn’t think twice to do it for an animal. Yet do the same for a human and we become some sort of pariah.

Not all crimes are equal yet we treat them the same. We judge them on their conviction, not their actions, failing to see the context behind the situation. But it’s this attitude that leads to high levels of recidivism. Almost 30% of convicted adults go on to reoffend; in juveniles, it’s over 40%. This reoffending costs the UK £15 billion.

But if we gave them a chance, the likelihood of reoffending lowers dramatically. But only 17% of ex-offenders have a job within a year of release. They live in a world where they don’t feel wanted – they can’t even vote, no matter what they’re crime. Is it any wonder they turn to crime again after feeling so discarded? Is that not the antithesis of what charities are about? Shouldn’t we be the first to open our hearts?

The benefits

Luckily, the general attitude towards ex-offenders is changing. More big high-street names are starting to employ ex-offenders. Greene King, Pret A Manger, Boots, and Barclay’s are just some to open their doors. And two-thirds of companies who take the leap say they have no regrets.

There is even a charity revolving around this very issue. The Clink gives prisoners an environment to practice their culinary skills before their release and offer them opportunities on the outside. You could even have them cater your events. 

By employing ex-offenders you can fill your skills gap and reduce your recruitment costs. By giving a chance to someone who wants it, you also fill your ranks with loyal employees you can trust to turn up on time. You also give them the confidence boost they need and the means to become financially independent.

The world is cruel enough – this sector knows that better than anyone. We shouldn’t be putting that negative energy into the world. These ex-offenders are people’s brothers, partners, husbands, and sons. They are people who were a key part of society up until the point we told them we didn’t want them. By ignoring their pleas, we indirectly contribute to recidivism rates and maybe even homelessness.

If it was you or I, we would want someone to give us a second chance. Shouldn’t we do what’s right?

At Charity Fleetcare, we wholeheartedly believe in second chances. We could not be here if not for second chances. If we sound like the sort of company you would love to work with, we’d like to hear from you. Get in touch with us on 0800 014 9797.

Why a monitoring system is just what your fleet needs

Monitoring system

Why a monitoring system is just what your fleet needs

If you’re running a fleet and not monitoring it, then what are you doing? You’re missing out on so much useful information! By now you’re probably used to the routine maintenance and health checks, making sure it can make it from A to B and back to A again. You might think you’ve got enough to think about without an entire monitoring system. Not to mention the fact you’re trying to run a charity.

But a telematics monitoring system can actually make those other jobs easier. You can monitor every aspect of your vans and use that information to adjust your operations for the better. There are many benefits to such a system; let’s take a look at some of them.

It can help you cut down on fuel

One of the key points of a telematics system is it helps you drive more efficiently. Depending on how deep you analyse the data, you can see which speeds use the least fuel and how braking practices affect overall fuel consumption. By cutting down your fuel usage, you benefit in two ways.

Firstly, you save money. The less fuel you use, the less frequently you have to refill the tank. Also, better driving habits that lead to less fuel consumption also put less strain on your vehicle, meaning you spend less on repairs.

But it also has the added benefit of being environmentally friendly. As a charity, you always want to do what you can to better society. But cutting down on fuel, you’re putting fewer toxins into the environment, leading to a cleaner, greener world.

It can help make your drivers better

We touched on it in the last point; telematics allows you to see how your drivers can be better at their job. You don’t need to reprimand them – it’s constructive feedback on how they drive. Harsh driving – which can include sudden braking or wild veering – can take its toll on your fleet, using more fuel and decreasing its lifespan.

You can use your monitoring data to show your drivers where they’re going wrong and roll it into a larger driver training programme. It also shows your staff you’re invested in their training, making them feel more appreciated in the team.

It can help with your operations

The main point to use a monitoring system is to help improve your wider operations. And it does this in many ways. At the centre will be the GPS system, which will let you know where your vans are at all times. This means you have real-time access to where they are on their route and can see where the drivers are losing time.

More than this, you can also use this GPS data to help them avoid traffic. Most modern systems will integrate with traffic updates and guide your drivers down a quieter route. This means they can hit more stops, meaning you benefit from more donations.

Ultimately, all of this will help your drivers stay safe. By encouraging better driving and keeping track of them at all times, you can ensure they make it back to their families safely. There are no downsides to monitoring your fleet, so why not finally make that jump?

At Charity Fleetcare, we have state-of-the-art fleet solutions that can help you make the most of your vehicles. Our Connected Van service can equip your fleet with the latest tech or help you find the perfect vehicle for your fleet. If you would like to know more, feel free to get in touch on 0800 014 9797.

How can you increase donations to your charity?

increase donations

How can you increase donations to your charity?

The UK public has been feeling generous. We’ve seen levels of donations increase across the last few years, with a majority of people donating in the last year. But with so many charities to choose from, how does the public know they should pick you?

Even though you’re a non-profit organisation doing what you can to help others, you have to play the game of business. If you want to increase the number of donations you’re seeing, we have some ideas that could help you.

Run an advertising campaign

The simplest way is to run an advertising campaign. What form this takes is up to you: posters, leaflets, TV adverts, and email campaigns are just some of the options. They’re all ways of getting your name out there, which might be especially useful if you’re a smaller, local charity.

Whichever method you choose, there are some key rules to remember. The first is to pinpoint your target audience. Women donate more than men so will you target them? Also, what is your goal with the advert? Always go in with an idea of what you want to achieve as it will help focus your attention and make for a more effective advert.

TV adverts might not be the best bet. If you’re a smaller charity, it might fall out of your budget. But even if you do have the money, many people feel negatively about TV ads. That’s just something you might want to consider as it won’t help you increase your donations.

Run a fundraising event

If you’re strictly looking for more cash donations, then a fundraising event might be the simplest option. Fairs and raffles are always popular choices. Or you can have a bake sale or some themed fun run. They are probably all ideas you’ve heard before. This can be combined with a good advertising campaign to bring more people to your event.

If you’re looking for donations for your shops and need more items, you can organise a donation drive. Again, this can be themed to maximise bringing in what you want. A book drive, clothes collection, or electronics drive are all themes you could use.

Make sure to give people a good reason to donate. Let them know exactly what your charity is trying to accomplish. What will their donation do to help the cause? And giving them an excuse to clean out their attic is an acceptable reason too!

Increase your efficiency

Sometimes, a lack of donations comes down to a lack of manpower. Maybe you’ve got a flood of donations you just can’t process right now. Or maybe people have donations but no way of getting them to your store.

There are ways to still capitalise on these donations though; you don’t have to give up on them. You can make your fleet more efficient, meaning they can pick up more donations throughout their day. Technology is a key player in this tactic; live traffic systems can keep you on the move and a digital schedule means everyone knows where and when they need to be.

These investments can pay their own way in no time. They could even increase your Gift Aid donations, bringing in even more money for your charitable causes. There are plenty of ways you can increase your donations but none are as effective as working on your own efficiency. Once you’ve fixed that, there’s no telling where you can go next.

At Charity Fleetcare, we know how important your fleet is to your daily operations. That’s why we’re dedicated to making your fleet the best it can be. With our state-of-the-art technology, you can increase your efficiency, your donations, and your reputation. If you would like to find out more, visit our website or call us on 0800 014 9797.