From sign up through to processing: Improving Gift Aid for Guildford Samaritans

Guildford Samaritans work to assist anyone who’s struggling to cope by offering listening and support to people and communities in times of need. The organisation answers a call for help every six seconds and their shops are a hugely important part of raising funds and ensuring that they have an ongoing presence within their community.

Rachael and Sue, shop managers at Guildford Samaritans, run a busy shop in the heart of Godalming high street. They wanted a more modern and affordable solution that would streamline their shop processes and make selling items, claiming Gift Aid, and creating reports much easier. Guildford Samaritans decided to replace their existing EPOS and Gift Aid solution with Wil-U in November 2019.

“We chose Wil-U because it was most suited to our organisation. Other suppliers were all very expensive and didn’t seem to be thinking about future-proofing,” said Rachael. “Wil-U is more forward thinking.”

Wil-U’s innovative Gift Aid system has significantly decreased admin for volunteers and supporters. It has completely removed the need for paper forms and made the process of signing people up for Gift Aid much quicker and more effective.

“We can keep an eye on things more easily with the Wil-U Control Centre and we have better access to our own database,” said Rachael. “This means we miss less repeat Gift Aid donors because if they’re not sure if they’re signed up, we can search for them on the system and either print more labels then or sign them up quickly in the shop. We can also update their details with no need for the donor to fill in another form. It’s really sped up Gift Aid in that regard,” said Rachael.

As well as helping to increase Gift Aid, the new system has seen Guildford Samaritans cut costs elsewhere by providing a more efficient process at a lower cost.

“Previously, we were paying twice as much for half as many Gift Aid stickers and many were wasted because we had to use a whole sheet of labels, even if they only donated a single book – so we’ve saved a lot of money there!” remarked Rachael.

“The costs are much cheaper for an infinitely better product.” 

– Rachael | Shop Manager, Guildford Samaritans

As well as Gift Aid Sign Up and Gift Aid Processing, Guildford Samaritans also installed Wil-U POS, which automatically tracks sales on Gift Aided items and links it to the correct donor in the donor directory.

As they were moving from a more traditional POS system, Rachael and the team were initially apprehensive about adopting a tablet for the POS. Wil-U is very easy to use from the get-go and with a little support from the Wil-U team, they’ve found changing systems easy as pie.

“The volunteers were initially really scared about a change of system but they were fine when they started using it. We were up and running from day one.” explained Rachael. “The Wil-U support team have been really patient with us.”

When asked if there was anything about Wil-U that surprised them, Rachael said: “You guys were so confident and professional about the product and it was so simple and easy that it didn’t surprise us once we had it. It was a breeze to get going!”

We’re so happy to be supporting Guildford Samaritans in raising funds to support vulnerable people. We can’t wait to see what more benefits they will see over the coming months and years. Watch this space!

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