The 2024 Charity Survival Guide: How to Navigate Challenge and Embrace Opportunity?

Introduction

With more than 168,000 charities, turning over £60 billion and employing 925,000 staff and volunteers, the UK charity sector plays a vital role in supporting vulnerable communities, addressing important social issues, and providing essential services.

However, the current ‘state of the nation’ poses significant challenges for all – a perfect storm of rising demand for services due to the cost of living crisis, declining donations, staff and volunteer shortages, the ‘Covid hangover’, and inflation-wrecked budgets. 

This guide doesn’t just address these challenges. It also offers actionable solutions to help charities better navigate these turbulent times.

Challenge 1: High Demand on Charity Resources

The cost of living crisis has made an already tough job tougher. As social and economic inequalities grow, so does the demand for charity services.

“Almost three-quarters (73%) of large charities and
four in five (81%) medium-sized charities said that demand
  had increased over the last three months.”
 – Pro Bono Economics June 2023

You don’t have to look too hard to find evidence of this increasing reliance on charities. For example, the number of people receiving emergency food parcels from Trussell Trust foodbanks now stands at nearly 3 million – Nearly double the figure from 2018/19.

8 out of 10 food banks responding to a recent UK Fundraising survey said that the reason for this increase in demand is people struggling with the cost of food (82%), with 7 out of 10 citing increasing energy bills. Half put the reason down to mental health issues.

UK Fundraising also reports that 90% of food bank charities are worried they can’t meet rising demand with some even referring their own staff to food banks.

And it looks like things are set to get worse, if not much worse, before they get better, “More than four in five (83%) large charities said they expect demand to grow over the next three months too”.

So what can you do to cope with the increasing demand for your services so that you don’t become overwhelmed?

Here are five areas that every charity should review to help them handle the ever increasing demand on resources.

  • Partnership and collaboration

    Where do you see crossover or duplication? Of resources? Of talent? Of specialisms? Rather than competing with other charities in your sector are there opportunities for collaboration? And what about local organisations or government agencies? Are there opportunities to pool resources, share expertise, and expand service delivery? Or by narrowing your offering down? Would you be better off directing your abilities at a more niche audience and range of services instead of trying to spread yourself too thin – to drill down, specialise and partner with specialists?

  • Performance

    Whether you’re looking internally at your processes, people, services and systems, or externally at your user base, it’s important to understand what’s working and what isn’t. You’ll save a tonne of time, money and hassle by tweaking a challenge before it turns into a problem. Are you being as efficient with your time and resources as you could be? Is there a better way to do something? Can you eliminate wasted time or effort? Is there a quicker, easier, cheaper way to do something that will get better results?

  • Empower and educate

    If people don’t understand you – what you stand for, what you stand against and the change you’re trying to create in the world, how can they help you? How can they donate or volunteer? And why should the people you exist to serve reach out to you if they don’t recognise the value of what you do? Your branding, your value propositions and your messaging need to be crystal clear. Make it easy for people to see the importance of the work you do and the positive impacts you make.

  • Renegotiate contracts and service agreements

    Is it time to take a fresh look at your supplier contracts? Too often they can just trundle along in the background, quickly bleeding resources – all for the sake of a quick review and refresh. Where do you have opportunities to negotiate better terms on rents, phones, utilities and the rest?

  • Explore cost-savings

    How energy efficient is your charity? Your retail outlets? Your offices? Do you even need offices in this new hybrid working world? And what about your fleet? Are you throwing money away on dirty, expensive, old-fashioned vehicles and unnecessary or inefficient travel?

Talk to us today about how Charity Fleetcare Charity Fleet Pro and Driver Training will radically improve the performance of your vehicles and your drivers too – saving you a fortune in the process.

Challenge 2: Donation Fatigue

It’s a slightly mixed picture here. According to the Charities Aid Foundation UK Giving Report 2023, people in Britain donated £12.7 billion to charities in 2022, up from £10.7 billion in 2021. As positive as that sounds, the figures show that this increase is from fewer donors giving more, rather than an increase in the number of people donating.

The report also indicates that almost a quarter either have already changed or are considering changing their charitable behaviours. 5% report reducing or cancelling a regular charity donation, and 10% have quit one-off donations entirely.

The increased value in donations also doesn’t properly reflect the impact of inflation. Based on the OBR (Office for Budget Responsibility) figures, it’s estimated that the charity sector will experience a real-term income drop of £800m between 2022/23 and 2023/24.

It’s a downward donation trend borne out by figures from Statistica

“Two thirds of people in England said that they gave
to charity in 2021/22, compared with 82 per cent in
2013/14.”

With the volume of donations down and heading lower, what can you do to make sure people keep on giving and encourage them to give more?

  • Diversify fundraising strategies

    First things first, it’s time to make an audit of your existing funding channels. By clearly understanding your income sources, donor types, and funding cycles you’ll be able to identify gaps in your funding profile and set realistic goals to fill them.

    For example, what proportion of donations are earned through grants? How about individual donations? Or earned income from services, sales, memberships or property rental? And think about bequests too.

    With 140,000 bequests estimated to have left £4bn to charities in 2022/23 — an annual income growth of 6.5% – legacy donations play an increasingly crucial fundraising role.

    Map out where your funding is already coming from to identify where it can be strengthened and how you can expand your donor base.

    Now consider how you engage with your donor base – the fundraising methods and methods you use. For example, online campaigns, live events, auctions, crowdfunding, email marketing, social media, or mobile giving. And what about partnering with other nonprofits to access fresh networks as well as new resources, and skill sets?

  • Strengthen donor relationships

    Building your visibility and credibility in the local economy – and with donors through strategic partnerships, collaborations and alliances – is also an incredibly powerful way of raising profile and funds.

    Nurture a passionate and committed donor base with great communications. Demonstrate impact, share regular campaign updates, and get people involved in your activities on a personal level. Make it fun.

    Share stories and case studies, share experiences and use the life and love in your organisation to shine a clear light on the great work you do. Turn the rational into the emotional, your mission into an adventure, and invite everyone along for the ride. The more creative and engaging you are, and the more people can ‘feel’ part of what you’re doing, the more generous they become.

  • Embrace technology

    There’s all sorts of great tech these days to help you fundraise. From online donation platforms to donor management software, to social media tools that will streamline and supercharge your fundraising efforts.

    But that doesn’t mean that all charities use technology:

    “34% invest in technology as a priority and 27%
    get the most out of the solutions they use, despite
    66% of charities saying that technology helps them
    improve relationships with their supporters.”
    2023 Status of UK Fundraising Report

    And it doesn’t mean that if they do commit to new technology, they will use it well:

    “A vast majority of respondents have a fundraising CRM in place (82%), only 25% say they get the most out of it.”

    Here’s a simple and incredibly effective way to power up your Gift Aid donations using the latest donor-friendly tech. Charity Fleetcare Connected Technology – a smart new app that with a quick signature and simple tick of a box easily adds Gift Aid every time one of your drivers collects a donation.

    In fact, it’s so easy that we’ve seen many of our charity clients more than double their Gift Aid donations.

Talk to us today about how Charity Fleetcare Charity Fleet Pro can drive up to 70% more in Gift Aid donations for your charity.

Challenge 3: Staff Shortages That Impact Your Ability to Deliver Services

If decreasing donations and increasing demand weren’t challenging enough, recruiting and retaining the talent to ‘do more with less’ has become increasingly difficult over recent years. A combination of factors such as Brexit, the pandemic, and an ageing population have conspired to limit charities’ ability to get enough hands on deck necessary to properly deliver services.

In their Breaching The Dam report, Probonoeconomics revealed that 36% of charities and community groups struggle to recruit the staff they need and are subsequently failing to meet demand – with 41% forced to cut services. Figures that translate into nearly half of large and medium-sized charities and a third of small charities expecting to not meet demand over the next three months.

As well as difficulties bringing on paid staff, there are also challenges when it comes to volunteer recruitment, retention and wellbeing.

40% of organisations have failed to meet their objectives over the last 12 months through insufficient volunteers. Concern about volunteer recruitment continues to grow, especially among small charities.

This trend reflects a wider decline in volunteering across the country over the past decade.

What can you do to attract (and retain) the right people to help your charity deliver?

Perhaps the most important thing any organisation can do to help recruit and retain quality staff is to build a supportive and inclusive workplace culture.

Here are just a few of the initiatives that top performing charities already put in place to encourage their teams.

  • Promote clear, open and honest communication

    It’s important that everyone in your organisation feels heard. With the mechanisms in place to share feedback, raise concerns, and suggest improvements you’ll create a culture of contribution that leaves everyone feeling valued.

  • Encourage ownership and responsibility

    Give your teams ownership over their decision-making. By encouraging them to take the initiative, problem solve, and genuinely contribute to your organisation’s success they’ll feel recognised and invested. Make sure too that success is celebrated. We all love to have our hard work and accomplishments appreciated.

  • Invest in personal and professional growth

    Continuous learning is a powerful motivator and a great way to build value in any organisation. Share training programs, workshops, and mentorship opportunities to help people lean on the job. Support your people to become the best version of themselves with new skills, certification, and the ability to really fulfil their potential.

  • Promote Work-Life Balance and Well-being

    A healthy work-life balance is essential, with well-being a crucial cornerstone of any successful organisation. From flexible work including hybrid options, to regular breaks, and a culture of care based around respecting people’s lives in and out of work, it’s a modern business essential to prioritise people’s mental and physical wellness. Life’s stressful enough as it is – what can you do for your teams to help lighten the load?

  • Empower with empathy

    However empathetic we might be naturally, the right training and support will work wonders in helping hone those softer communication and conflict resolution skills. It’s always a positive move to positively support people with their people skills.

  • A clear, shared mission

    There’s no underestimating the power of a single, clear, shared mission. A single voice that inspires even the smallest of behaviours and binds them into a powerful and meaningful mission. After all – “There’s nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come”. What’s your big idea? How do you share it? Could you share it more clearly?

The more supported and appreciated people feel, the more likely they are to choose to work with you and continue making a positive contribution.

More than grand gestures or sweeping strategic shifts, it’s often the little things that add up to make a charity an attractive employment option.

Things like:

  • New technology to make sure your staff feel safe when they’re out on the road. For example, dash cam and 360-degree cameras that protect drivers from bogus/no-fault insurance claims.
  • An app that means they don’t get stuck in traffic or get home from work late
  • Stress-busting live pick up information that makes collecting every donation a breeze
  • Performance insights and rewards so everyone’s hard work and initiative are properly recognised
  • The smartest, greenest vehicles that are a credit to your community and people are proud to drive
  • New driving skills certification that keeps your drivers up to date with the latest legalities protects them from inadvertently breaking the law.

The kinds of positive, proactive and long lasting contributions that you can make for your staff with Charity Fleetcare Charity Fleet Pro and Driver Training.

The way forward in 2024

The challenges facing UK charities in 2024 are real. Very real. But they can be overcome. Using creative strategies, new technology, and by developing strong partnerships, you won’t just be able to battle through the difficulties that the year ahead is sure to present – you can beat them.

The answer, as always, lies within – your ability to adapt to the needs of those you serve. Diversify your revenue streams, make the most of every resource at your disposal and bring your teams with you on your journey by showing them the support and empathy they deserve and expect.

Talk to us about how our specialist Charity Fleet services can help you do all of this – and more – with new Connected Technology and Driver Training created especially for charities.

The challenges facing UK charities in 2024 are real. Very real. But they can be overcome. Using creative strategies, new technology, and by developing strong partnerships, you won’t just be able to battle through the difficulties that the year ahead is sure to present – you can beat them.

The answer, as always, lies within – your ability to adapt to the needs of those you serve. Diversify your revenue streams, make the most of every resource at your disposal and bring your teams with you on your journey by showing them the support and empathy they deserve and expect. 

Talk to us about how our specialist Charity Fleet services can help you do all of this – and more – with new Connected Technology and Driver Training created especially for charities.

Contact us now on 0800 014 9797

Or arrange a callback here

Fleet cost savings and efficiencies almost too-good-to-be-true for Toogoodtowaste

The background

Almost 30 years old and with a fleet consisting of ten vehicles, Toogoodtowaste (TGTW) has grown to become the leading reuse charity in South Wales, collecting more than 100,000 donations of furniture, office equipment, electrical and household items every year.

100,000 items a year – that takes a lot of pickups. A lot of deliveries. A lot of organisation, route planning and logistics. And an awful lot of fuel costs, wages and vehicle maintenance to make it all happen.

The brief

Like every charity out there CEO Shaun England and his team were constantly battling to keep their fleet efficiency as high and their running costs as low as they possibly could. 

Who wouldn’t want to run quicker, more direct routes, improve fuel efficiency, offer better customer service and keep their drivers safe – all at the same time?

And it’s because TGTW were so focused on fleet improvement that they were so impressed when they were introduced to Charity Fleetcare at the Reuse Network Conference.

Our new Connected Technology that would quickly and easily solve so many of their fleet management problems in one go. 

In fact, they liked Charity Fleetcare’s Connected Van concept, and the many benefits it offered so much, that they quickly invested in Webfleet connected services with TomTom on all of their vehicles.

The outcome

In a word – outstanding!

  • Fuel savings – each van saves 5 litres of fuel a week.  That’s 50 litres at almost £2 per litre (and rising) = £100 every week.
  • Time savings  – 1 hour per day, per van, x5 days a week = 50 hours every week.
  • Increased productivity – 1 extra call a day, x10 vans, x5 days = 50 extra calls every week.

Not to mention the insurance premium savings, automatic maintenance and repair scheduling that saves on wear and tear, the extra Giftaid donations and the carbon offset scheme that the technology entitles Toogoodtowaste to contribute towards.

No wonder Shaun is so complimentary:

“Webfleet through Charity Fleetcare is at the heart of our logistical operations, during the time we have had their system in place we have seen increased productivity, and reduced fuel costs and downtime.”

And little wonder that he’s so keen for Toogoodtowaste to work with Charity Fleetcare on two additional services.

End-to-end EPOS integration that automatically links pick-ups and deliveries to accounts for added time savings, improved accuracy and de-duplication.

Driver training – a new telematics-enabled training and accreditation scheme to make sure that every driver is as safe as they can possibly be every mile they’re on the road. 

Would Shaun recommend Charity Fleetcare to other charities? 

It’s a bit of a silly question really, “we would recommend this system to anyone who has a fleet that needs to be professionally managed.”

Arrange a callback today.

A Halloween House of Horrors?

Don’t find yourself haunted by the spectre of scarily expensive waste disposal the next time you do a house clearance

When it comes to house clearances, with stubborn inflation and increasing regulation haunting the charity sector, there’s a very real chance that unless you’re very careful, the cost of organising the clearance, managing it, and disposing of any unwanted items will outweigh anything you make from proceeds. 

For example, did you know that in Bristol it now costs £125 to dispose of a fridge freezer? 

Or that many waste companies won’t take TVs? 

Now that’s a scary thought.

And with charities taking money for clearances, items are no longer considered donations and are treated as ‘commercial’ waste at £190 per tonne!

Here’s a quick look at some of the considerations you should take on board before committing to a house clearance.

Site visit

It’s no good arriving at the job only to find that anything and everything of worth has disappeared. When you visit the home be sure to take an inventory and agree exactly what will and won’t be there for your charity when you return to clear the premises.

A site visit will also give you an opportunity to identify what’s useful, what needs to be disposed of, and to categorise donations so you can plan for their resale/recycling and start to put together a proper cost-benefit analysis for the project.

Specifying the job

As part of your cost/benefit thinking you’ll need to carefully consider logistics. When you’re clear about the scope of the job you’ll know how many people you’ll need to run it, how long it will take them, the type of vehicle they’ll require and the mileage they’ll cover. Here you can refer to your telematics system to help you accurately plan and price the best value logistics.

And what else will you need? Things like packing, bags, ties and the rest. It all matters, and it all adds up.

Clearance – PPE

Another important consideration is the cost of equipping your team with the right protective equipment. For example PPE for staff and volunteers in terms of clothing such as masks to protect volunteers from inhaling mould and other ‘nasties’ and gloves to protect them from needles or other sharp objects. Again, these are all important considerations and they all have a cost.

Talking of H&S did you know about the new rules on disposing of any item of upholstered furniture which cannot be resold? New POPs (persistent organic pollutant) regulation means you’re now legally obliged to, in the words of the Government, ‘send your waste to a suitably authorised treatment plant that can separate the items, components, or materials containing POPs from the other waste or materials.’

Some waste contractors are looking at imposing increases of up to 200% or imposing minimum fees or a surcharge per item!

Waste disposal

At the outset, it’s important to identify items that can be reused and recycled. Inevitably though, some will go to landfill.

Here are some examples of how much logistics companies are charging charities for disposal:

2-Seater Leather Sofa £120                     Dining Table and chairs £45
3-Seater Leather Sofa £140                     6 X fabric dining chairs £80
Leather Armchair £50                              Double Wardrobe £40
2-Seater Fabric Sofa £100                       Cooker* £25
3-Seater Fabric Sofa £120                       Washing Machine* £25
Fabric Armchair £45                                Tumble Dryer* £25
Mattress £65                                              Fridge Freezer £150

*The relatively low cost for cookers, washing machines and tumble dryers disposal is because of their scrap metal value.

Ouch!

While you may get better rates than these, the point remains – disposing of unwanted items is expensive. Eye-wateringly expensive.

And so is every other part of the house clearance process these days.

You put your heart and soul into your work, and so do your volunteers – with the lightest of touches and the most considerate and professional of approaches you do everything in your power to make home clearances simple and stress-free for everyone.

When you go through all this time and trouble, the last thing you deserve is to be left with a bill for simply trying to do the right thing.

Talk to us about how our Fleet Services can play an essential role in helping you keep your house clearance costs as low as possible.

Myth Busting: Leasing Electric Vehicles (EVs)

Electric vehicles (EVs) have become hugely popular in recent years as more people seek to reduce their carbon footprint and decrease their reliance on fossil fuels. 

Despite the rapid transition, there are still many myths and misconceptions surrounding this new technology. Myths that can lead to confusion and prevent people from making informed decisions about whether or not to purchase or lease an EV. 

In our role helping charities to run safe, efficient and environmentally friendly vehicle fleets, we often come across the same types of questions and concerns surrounding EVs.

Here’s what we’re asked time after time:

Aren’t EVs more expensive?

Not when you factor in all the running costs (and some great leasing deals). While EVs may have a higher upfront cost than petrol or diesel vans, fuel and maintenance costs are lower. Over time this saves you money.

Don’t EVs have a limited range?

All vehicles have a limited range. The issue for EVs has traditionally been the lack of charging options. The combination of vehicle ranges with some now exceeding 200 miles on a single charge and the expansion of public charging networks has removed the range question from the purchasing decision.

I’ve heard charging is too slow?

These days public charging stations offer fast charging options. You can now rapid recharge a van up to 80% capacity in just 45 minutes.

Don’t EVs struggle in cold temperatures?

Modern EVs are equipped with technology to operate perfectly in even the coldest weather. You will notice a reduction in range though.

My friend told me EVs have limited model options?

Another week – another model. There’s no shortage of great EV vehicles now available as manufacturers rapidly update their EV offerings.

Where can I even charge an electric vehicle?

Anywhere you’d like. Seriously – if there’s a plug socket, you can charge your EV. But you can also install dedicated EV chargers at your home or business, and there are more and more public charging stations every day. The UK government has made a £1.6 billion commitment to expanding the UK charging network – with around 300,000 public chargers to be available by 2030.

But I read EVs aren’t practical for long trips?

EVs are completely suitable for longer trips (as well as being ideal for short urban trips) – especially now that the charging network is growing so quickly.

Is it true that EVs are less safe than ICE vehicles?

All EVs must meet the same stringent safety regulations as traditional vehicles. In many cases, they have received the highest safety ratings.

Everyone knows EVs are not reliable, right?

With fewer moving parts to fail, EVs are often more reliable than traditional ICE vehicles. Many EVs come with ‘above and beyond’ comprehensive warranties.

Surely leasing an EV is much too complicated?

Leasing an EV is no different to leasing a traditional vehicle except they are exempt from vehicle excise duty (until 2025), van benefit charge, fuel benefit charge and fuel duty. A charity can claim 50% of the VAT on the finance element of the lease cost and 100% of the vat on the service (maintenance) element of the lease cost.

There are other financial incentives too with the plug-in van grant offering 35% off the price of a van less than 2.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight up to a maximum of £2,500 and also 35% off the price of a van between 2.5 and 3.5 tonne gross vehicle weight up to a maximum of £5000. Heavier 4.25-tonne rating vehicles and thise with ‘N2’ categorisation qualify for the ‘small truck’ grant. An incentive of up to £16,000 (capped at 20% of the purchase price).

More questions?

Arrange a callback today and we’ll get straight back to you with everything you need to know.

It’s Time to Lease Electric.

What has an EV fleet ever done for us?

Nothing, according to Paul Tate, Interim Director of Retail and Trading at ​The Children’s Society in his brilliant presentation at the 2023 Charity Retail Association conference. 

That’s nothing apart from the income tax, NIC and VAT savings in applying Salary Sacrifice. The not-so-small matter of lower whole-life costs, increased employee satisfaction, low-stress admin and maintenance and of course the huge reduction in CO2 emissions.

The reasons to lease electric are many and compelling

Clearly there’s no shortage of great reasons for your next vehicle lease to be an EV and with chip shortages and supply chain issues fast fading in the rearview mirror, now is the perfect time to go electric.

With the purchase costs of electric and hybrid vehicles higher than petrol or diesel equivalents, what better way to go green than by leasing your new EVs? A simple, affordable way to enjoy all the advances in electric and instantly plug into all the cost savings and convenience of set monthly payments.

  • Drive the latest, smartest, most efficient vehicles
  • Affordable upfront and monthly costs
  • Regular monthly payments
  • Lower on-the-road running costs
  • Lower fuel bills
  • No depreciation
  • A managed, hassle-free motoring experience

 

Time to take a closer look? Looking for advice on the best performing, best value cars and vans? Whether you’re responsible for 1 or 101 vehicles, talk to us about the best charity fleet deals on the market.

Deals that get even better when you use new cost-saving ‘Connected Van’ technology, specially designed for charities like yours.

The Drive For Cleaner, Greener Charity Fleet Vehicles

As if lower emissions and a greener, cleaner carbon footprint weren’t reasons enough, here are just a few more of the EV dividends on offer to charities looking to lease electric.

1. Cost Savings

Leasing an electric vehicle (EV) is not only good for the planet, it’s also good for your finances too. Though energy costs have risen over recent months, EV vans still go much further per pound spent than petrol or diesel-powered vans. Add to that lower maintenance costs compared to traditional vehicles, and you get cost savings that compound over time. Especially if your vehicles operate in the new Clean Air Zones (CAZ) that many UK cities have adopted or are planning to put in place in the near future.

Lower Fuel Costs

The amount you pay depends on how you charge your vehicle. Typically you will pay more for a quick, convenient charge – around £9.50 for a 30-minute rapid charge at Lidl. Enough to take you nearly 100 miles. The same charge at a motorway service station would typically be around £22

If you’re using workplace EV chargers or your team is charging at home then it’s likely that costs will be noticeably lower at about £17 for a full charge to cover a 200-mile range. Significantly better value than fossil fuel prices.

Lower Maintenance Costs

EV maintenance cost savings of between 30% and 50% come in three forms:

Fewer moving parts means fewer opportunities for failure and parts replacement.

Regenerative braking with lower wear and tear on discs and pads uses the car’s electric motor to slow and at the same time recharge the battery.

Servicing costs also tend to be lower with no emissions tests, expensive timing belts, spark plugs or oil changes. 

Lower Insurance Costs

Data shows that EV vehicles are less likely to be targeted by thieves and also that EV owners tend to be more responsible than owners of petrol or diesel cars. 

Add Charity Fleetcare’s Connected Van technology to your vehicles and insurance costs will quickly start to tumble as insurers like nothing more than safe, well-monitored vehicles and drivers.

Add our quick, convenient, low-cost driver assessment and certification to the mix and watch premiums fall even further.

2. Government Support

As well as capital allowances on vehicles and charging points, zero road tax and the Government’s £1.6 billion commitment to expanding the public chargepoint network, other useful initiative are the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) and the EV infrastructure grant (which also helps towards the cost of EV infrastructure).

The Workplace Charging Scheme

Covers up to 75% of the total costs of the purchase and installation of EV chargepoints (inclusive of VAT), capped at a maximum of:

£350 per socket

40 sockets across all sites per applicant  (For instance, if you would like to install them in 40 sites, you will have 1 socket available per site)

The EV infrastructure Grant

Also covers up to 75% of the cost of installing the infrastructure needed for chargepoints to operate, future chargepoints, and the cost of any future installations. There is a limit of £15,000 per grant.

£350 per socket 

£500 per parking space enabled with supporting infrastructure

For guidance on your application and recommendations on government approved installers, just get in touch.

3. Reputation

As a charity, you work hard to make the world a better place. And what better way to make even more of a positive contribution than by leasing EVs? An ideal opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint, and improve environmental impact.

Using EVs is a great way to ‘lead from the front’, and to make clear your commitment to the greater good. In a world where the climate crisis is front and centre of many people’s minds, showcasing your commitment to environmental responsibility and being seen to do the right thing in public, has got to be a good thing.

Export EV Leasing Guidance

At Charity Fleetcare we’re experts in helping our charity clients get the very most from their vehicle fleets. Whether that’s with new Connected technology, vehicle leasing or driver certification – often it’s a blend of all three to cut costs, improve safety and drive greener, more efficient fleets.

Whether you’re responsible for 1 or 101 vehicles, talk to us about the greatest, greenest EV leasing deals on the market.

Arrange a callback

Looking to Lease EVs? Learn from ​The Children’s Society.

Looking at the benefits of leasing EVs for your charity, but concerned by all the headline challenges? Questions about lead times? Cost? Range? Charging infrastructure? Tax and financial implications? Driver satisfaction? Safety even?

Then how about finding out everything you need to know from someone who’s already been there, done it and got the EV T-shirt?

Someone who’s already faced the early adopter complexities and worked through them to come out the other side wiser (and greener, and more operationally and financially efficient) for the experience. Valuable, real-world experience that you and your team can now benefit from too.

Meet Paul Tate, Interim Director of Retail and Trading at ​The Children’s Society.

The background

Five years ago The Children’s Society sold off their old ICE fleet and appointed a leasing company.

TCS then organised the supply and installation of home chargers for their drivers at a cost of about £1k per unit as a non-taxable benefit.

Drivers integrated their home charger with their energy supplier using Mina Homecharge to calculate costs. While they’re out on the road drivers also use Mina Chargepass to pay for public charging with locations efficiently identified and booked through Zap Map.

Every month Mina pays the home electricity provider and TCS pays the total supplier bill plus the Charge pass usage. The employee simply settles the private mileage balance with TCS through payroll.

Easy for the employee and super efficient for TCS.

The outcome

TCS now enjoys access to the latest models and latest green technology. But that’s not all.

Leasing their new EV fleet helps them easily deliver on their Corporate Social Responsibility targets. That’s as well as delighting their drivers, cutting costs, saving tax and making the whole of their fleet operation admin a whole lot simpler

Here’s a quick run through of just some of Paul’s headlines from his brilliant presentation at the 2023 Charity Retail Association Conference.

The many benefits of leasing an EV fleet

Employee Benefits

  • Tax savings
    With employees sacrificing part of their gross salary in return for an EV,​ they pay less income tax and NIC on that sacrificed part of their salary as tax. Even better, the NI saved on reduced salary vastly outweighs Benefits in Kind on the car
  • Convenience
    Hassle-free​, fixed cost, insurance and maintenance included, tax savings, manufacturer discounts… Leased EV fleets are a low-risk, low-stress lease solution that keeps employees on the road, focused on their jobs and not distracted by ‘car trouble’.
  • Clean and green
    EVs on standard finance or purchase aren’t cheap – but leasing offers a viable way of giving your employees access to zero emission vehicles through a much more tax efficient route.

Employer Benefits

  • Cost savings​
    As the salary sacrificed is from gross income, there is less NI or income tax to be paid – which means less Class 1A NIC.
  • Less VAT to pay
    TCS can recover 50% of the VAT on the leasing costs of vehicles available for private use unlike company cars which are ineligible for VAT recovery
  • Flexible benefits​
    New employee benefits at no extra cost to the company means a higher uptake rate, happy driving in smart modern, maintained vehicles, and improved employee satisfaction. That means you’ll also find it easier to attract good people to your organisation
  • Green, green, green​
    Quickly and easily crush your carbon footprint and deliver on your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) targets

Expert EV Leasing Support

Whether you’re responsible for 1 or 101 vehicles, talk to us about the greatest, greenest EV leasing deals on the market.

At Charity Fleetcare we’re experts in helping our charity clients get the very most from their leased EV fleets to cut costs, improve safety and drive greener, more efficient fleets.

Time you leased green too?

Arrange a callback

 

Clean Air Zones

You’ve probably heard of the new CAZs (Clean Air Zones) now operating in a number of UK cities. You may even have to negotiate one.

If you’re not aware of them then chances are you soon will be.

Versions are already running in Bath, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Portsmouth, Sheffield, York, Newcastle/Tyneside, and Oxford. London operates its own ULEZ (ultra-low emission zone) scheduled to be extended across the city in 2023.

Why Clean Air Zones?

Clean Air Zones exist to do three things:
  • Accelerate the transition to low or zero emissions vehicles. With the sale of all new diesel and petrol cars banned from 2030 and new hybrid cars from 2035, expect to see more CAZs in the near future.
  • Encourage people to take public transport, share vehicles, walk and cycle
  • Cut congestion and reduce pollution

 

Environmentally? CAZs are a great idea – who doesn’t want to live in a cleaner, kinder environment with fewer harmful emissions?

Economically? If you regularly drive a non-exempt petrol or diesel vehicle you could very well find yourself racking up significant costs.

What is a Clean Air Zone?

A national and local government initiative designed to improve air quality by ensuring only the cleanest vehicles will be allowed to operate within any CAZ boundary free of charge.

Some high-emission vehicles may be banned from them altogether.

  • If you drive a vehicle that fails to meet specified emissions standards you will be charged to travel within the CAZ boundaries. The amount is set locally and is dependent on how your vehicle is rated.
  • CAZs run 24/7, 365 days a year and are enforced using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras.
  • Some vehicles are discounted and others are exempt. To learn more check the local authority website.

 

Want to know whether you’ll be charged to drive in a CAZ?

Simply enter the number plate of your vehicle into the Government CAZ checking tool.

The Four Types of Clean Air Zone

CAZs are divided into four Classes:
  • Class A: Buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles
  • Class B: Buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles
  • Class C: Buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, vans, minibuses
  • Class D: Buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, vans, minibuses, cars and the option to include motorcycles

 

The minimum compliance standard for each type of vehicle is listed below:
  • Euro VI  Buses, coaches, heavy goods vehicles
  • Euro 6 (diesel) and Euro 4 (petrol) – Vans, minibuses, taxis, private hire vehicles, cars 
  • Euro 3 – Motorcycles

If you’re unsure whether your vehicle complies with Euro emissions standards, then consider its age. If it was made after 2014 (2016 for vans) then you should be ok to drive for free in a CAZ.

Clean Air Zone Charges

Costs vary depending on location.

For example, the ULEZ is a Class D CAZ. Anyone driving/riding non-compliant motorcycles, mopeds, cars, vans, and minibuses will be charged £12.50 a day, except Christmas Day.

Bristol, also a Class D CAZ, charges non-compliant cars, taxis, and vans £9 per day. Trucks, buses, and coaches must pay £100.

Class D Birmingham with its 24/7, 365 policy charges £8 for non-compliant cars, vans and taxis. Non-compliant HGVs, buses and coaches must pay £50 per day.

Oxford’s 7am and 7pm Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) is free for electric vehicles, while hybrid drivers must pay £2 per day. Petrol and diesel drivers are charged £10 a day.

Remember – if you need to know how much you’ll be charged to drive in a CAZ you can use the Government CAZ checking tool to find out. You can even make payment if necessary

Driving in London? Then use the The Transport for London portal.

How to Avoid CAZ charges

The easy way to sidestep the costs of CAZ is to drive an electric or hybrid vehicle.

And while that’s much easier said than done – there’s never been a better time to do it.

Of course, you’ll have a thousand and one things to consider before you switch. The right type of vehicle for the job, the upfront, running and repair costs, insurance, waiting times and whether to buy or to lease.

But with the world transitioning to EVs, the competitive advantages, the convenience and the ability to display your green credentials all make a compelling case for change.

The most important thing to do if you are considering going electric is to make sure you get the right advice. Advice from somebody already experienced in helping charities like yours make that transition.

At Charity Fleetcare we specialise in helping all sorts of charities make the most of their vehicles. We share advice on models, leasing terms, driver certification and not least integrated Connected Van technology to make driving safer and save our clients serious amounts of money on fuel, repairs and insurance premiums.

Talk to us today – Arrange a callback

The New Driver Assessment and Training Certification for Charity Vehicle Drivers From Charity Fleetcare

Your vehicle fleet plays a vital role in the success of your organisation. From donation collection and drop-offs to transporting people around the community, the ability to use safe, reliable, affordable transport is essential. Your vehicles are the lifeblood of your charity. Things would very quickly (and very literally) grind to a halt without them.

But how well do you really understand your fleet? How clearly do you understand its performance and efficiency, or even whether your vehicles are properly roadworthy or not?

As well as your vehicles themselves, what about the way your fleet is driven? Are your drivers as safe, efficient, and polite as they should be?

The Freedom to Drive Badly

It’s a strange concept, legal permission to drive – you earn it once and off you go. And even for HGV and bus drivers, you’re good for a full five years until you need to renew your licence.

With no ongoing checks or assessments as to how well you’re driving, or even whether you’re keeping up to date with new legislation or changes to the highway code, it’s easy to slip into bad driving habits and never have the opportunity to address them.

And let’s face it – who hasn’t cut a corner or pushed a speed limit or two over the years? We’re all guilty at some time or other, of taking advantage of that freedom to drive badly!

Quality Control

For charities that rely on their vehicles, a lack of driver ‘quality control’ has always presented a problem.

Poor driving practices take vehicles off the road for expensive and avoidable repairs. The same for accidents – essential vehicles laid up and unable to do their work while insurance premiums skyrocket. And that’s all on top of vast amounts of fuel wasted every day through inefficient driving – the hard braking, excessive idling and aggressive speed changes that can add up to thousands of pounds worth of extra trips to the pump every year.

Well, that certainly used to be the case. Not anymore though.

Not with Charity Fleetcare’s essential combination of charity fleet telematics and new charity fleet driver training and certification.

New Fleet Efficiencies

At Charity Fleetcare our connected vehicle technology is the smart way to keep an eagle eye on exactly when, where, why and most important of all – how – every one of your vehicles is being driven.

  • Set clear KPIs and run performance reports based on every aspect of your vehicle’s working life, including route planning and fuel usage
  • Keep on top of scheduled and preventative maintenance
  • Never miss another TAX, MOT or insurance renewal

All in the name of efficiency.

New Fleet Accountability & Ability

At the same time, our charity fleet telematics help you establish a crystal clear understanding of precisely how every one of your drivers – drives.

Not in a punitive way. Not so they can be criticised or embarrassed. But so they can improve. Given the choice, who wouldn’t want to be a better driver?

Charity Fleetcare Driver Training irons out all those little inconsistencies and inefficiencies that might have crept in over the years. It updates drivers on the latest additions to the Highway Code and new driving legislation that they ought to know about.

In short, it teaches them to be better, safer, and more efficient when out on the road.

And what do they get as well as all that? They get certification. And again, given the choice, who wouldn’t want recognition for their abilities – an official seal of approval?

Great on their CV and a nice retention or recruitment incentive that you can offer. With good people so hard to find these days, anything that can encourage a driver to join you and stay has got to be a good thing.

And not only do charities and their drivers love the telematics-enabled certification – insurance providers love it too, with clients already reporting typical premium discounts of around 25%!

A Rising Tide Lifts all Vehicles

Hand on heart, how confident are you that your drivers are as up-to-date or as efficient as they could be? Let’s find out. Let’s give them the driving assessment, skills and certification they want and that your charity needs to operate as safely and as cost-effectively as possible.

Charity Fleetcare’s Top Tips for Reducing Fuel Costs

With a tank of fuel costing £30 – £40 more, it won’t come as a surprise to hear that hardly a week goes by without someone asking for advise on how best to reduce fuel consumption. So, we’ve put together a few tips that can help you with this.

Gentle right foot: highest gear possible within the speed limit

Excessive speed is the biggest fuel-guzzling factor so having a light right foot and ensuring all acceleration is gentle is very important to fuel-efficient driving.

Anticipate: try not to lose momentum

In line with the above point, keeping the car moving at the right speed is essential to fuel economy. Obviously, this depends on traffic conditions and what’s happening on the road ahead, but slowing down and having to accelerate again naturally uses more fuel.

Air pressure: keep tyres inflated to manufacturers recommendations

Tyre pressures can have a significant impact on fuel consumption. Under inflated tyres create greater resistance on the road surface. This means the engine has to work harder to push you forward.

Use cruise control where most appropriate

Cruise control only aids fuel economy when driving on a constant flat surface, hence why it is usually best reserved for motorway driving.

Don’t get dragged down

Don’t leave your roof bars and roof box on because they create wind resistance and cause your car to use more fuel through the ‘drag’ effect. This is increased the faster you drive.

Does the AC and heat use fuel?

Yes, it does. Don’t use your air conditioning unless you really have to as it uses engine power and therefore increases fuel consumption. This goes for heat as well as cooling, so try to dress for the weather, even inside your car, if fuel efficiency is a big concern.

Combine journeys: a warm engine is more efficient

Consider making one round trip rather than several short trips. Once the engine is warm it will operate at its most efficient whereas several cold starts will increase fuel consumption even though the total mileage could be the same. Consider vehicle Connected Technology to help plan your routes in a more fuel efficient way.

Make sure you maintain your vehicle

Regular maintenance and servicing improves the efficiency of your vehicle, and therefore can improve your fuel consumption.

Arrange a callback today

Knowing all this is one thing, ensuring your drivers conform to best practise is another. Through real-time driver behavioural monitoring, in cab driver coaching, optimised route planning and real-time re-routing, Charity Fleetcare’s Connected Technology is helping our charity fleets reduce their fuel costs by ca 15%.

Contact us today.

Why Insurance Companies LOVE Charity Fleetcare Telematics

‘Always get as much insurance as you can afford.’

It makes sense. If you’ve got the cash to spare then it’s often wise to invest it in preparing for the unexpected. The more you can put aside for insurance the more you’ll be cushioned from any unwanted (and expensive) setbacks in the future.

And while finding that extra budget by saving money elsewhere and redirecting the spend to boost your insurance will inevitably get you better quality cover, there’s another, equally important side to the insurance cover coin.

Your ability to get more insurance for your money – to get that better cover at a lower rate so you can stretch it even further.

Do both well and you’re looking at a win/win: lower costs and even more bang for your insurance buck.

Which is why telematics, GPS-enabled technology to track vehicle location and performance, can quickly, easily and very visibly help your charity enjoy some substantial financial wins – including cost, time and insurance premium savings.

Money saving telematics

Here are four great ways that running Charity Fleetcare’s Connected Technology telematics on your charity fleet can start saving you time and money from day one.

1. Route optimisation that saves time and money

The fewer miles your vehicles have to travel, the less fuel you use. When you know where your vehicles are, especially in relation to drop-offs and pickups, then scheduling very quickly becomes much easier and much more fuel efficient.

Your telematics will also help prevent your vehicles getting snarled up in bad traffic or roadworks. And with a clear understanding of the best routes, your drivers won’t ever need to burn fuel rushing to meet their schedules.

2. Proactive maintenance that saves money

Worn and torn vehicles are inefficient and expensive to run.

Dirty air filters, poorly tracked, low pressure worn tyres, misfiring spark plugs and inefficient AC are all costing you money. Use telematics to set up performance alerts and smart preventative maintenance scheduling to keep you one step ahead of unnecessary fleet maintenance costs.

With Charity Fleetcare, you can expect wear, tear and fuel savings of up to 25% – with real-time live tracking and weekly KPI reports on driver performance and efficiency.

3. Theft prevention that saves money

Does it feel like your fuel costs are impossibly high for the number of fleet miles you’re logging? Is someone helping themselves to your diesel or petrol? Are you bankrolling someone else’s business or leisure?

Use telematics to find out exactly what’s going on. See where vehicles refuel. Monitor how much fuel they took on. And even get alerted when fuel level drops unexpectedly. So everything’s tracked, everything’s accounted for and everything’s above board. So you can be confident that you’re only paying for the fuel that YOU use.

4. Better driver habits that save money

Hard braking, excessive idling and aggressive speed changes can waste gallons and gallons of fuel over time. A real-time oversight of your driver behaviours will quickly help you measure, monitor and manage any wasteful driving habits. Set up alerts, run reports and keep an eagle eye on speeding, idling and other inefficient driving to set goals and targets that identify poor driving habits and encourage good ones.

Telematics can save as much as 25% insurance on your insurance

Insurance companies LOVE telematics. They know that the more you understand a driver’s on-the-road behaviour, the more guidance can be shared to help them become a better driver, and the safer everyone is. At Charity Fleetcare we take this a step further with real-time coaching and driver training to make sure that all your drivers are as skilled and safe as possible… and your insurance lower as a result.

And here’s where that wonderful telematics/insurance equation really takes shape – it looks like this:

Money saved by using Charity Fleetcare telematics
+
Safer drivers
+
Reduced insurance premiums (because you use telematics to carefully monitor and improve driver behaviour
=
MORE insurance coverage at an even LOWER price.

Want to find out more about how Charity Fleetcare’s Connected Technology can save you time, save you money and slash up to a quarter of the cost of your fleet vehicle insurance?

Contact us and arrange a callback today.