Homeless charity, Emmaus, enabled responsible spending as they become a cashless office.
When you’re running a charity, there’s a compelling case for watching the pennies – every pound saved could be used to further your cause. That’s certainly the case for Emmaus, a UK-based charity seeking to end homelessness. Here’s how Soldo helps them to make a difference.
A roof over your head; it’s taken for granted. But for many members of Emmaus’ community, it’s an issue that’s close to home. Across 29 communities, Emmaus provides homes, support and meaningful work for more than 750 formerly homeless people.
Providing shelter and three meals a day is the start of a journey – Emmaus also encourages its community members to volunteer within its own social enterprise. From second-hand shops to cafés; house clearance businesses to gardening projects, their enterprises generate the income that makes each community self-sustaining. Every penny of profit goes back into the project.
Before Soldo, managing money in the office was difficult
The cost of expenses
Managing money in both the social enterprise and communities is a critical part of day-to-day life for Emmaus’ employees and companions. But the admin associated with using cash for costs like shopping and everyday expenses was far from straightforward.
‘Before Soldo, managing money in the office was difficult,’ says Audrey Barnett, Community Manager at Emmaus South Wales. The not-for-profit relied predominantly on cash, and hours were spent doing tedious expense reconciliation and administration.
Soldo made it possible to transform spending and expense management. Now, Emmaus uses Soldo prepaid Mastercard cards for a range of purposes, one of which is to purchase the large weekly shop for their communities. Nigel Oanea–Cram, Business Manager at Emmaus South Wales, notes: ‘There is an element of control there, and the ability to load only £500 or £1,000 at a time.’
A meaningful mission
Soldo gives companions access to a card with the appropriate budget and spending rules – so there’s no risk of overspend. And Soldo’s prepaid cards allow Emmaus to budget effectively, with no risk of unforeseen costs. For Audrey, Soldo marks the passing of another waypoint for the organisation. ‘One of our goals as a team is to have a cashless office… Soldo enables us to do that as efficiently as possible.’
Today, Emmaus is a little bit closer to achieving its mission: ‘To work together to overcome homelessness and social exclusion while using our voice to achieve social change.’
Soldo has provided Emmaus with a secure means to empower employees and companions to spend while retaining full control and visibility. But their own determination and the indefatigable human spirit will ultimately define their success.