Benefits of joining us
Charity Retail Ireland is an umbrella organisation which provides information, support and networking opportunities for those involved in the Irish Charity Retail sector.
- Our social media platforms promote our members’ charitable businesses.
- Our annual member awards set high quality national standards within the sector.
- Charity Retail Ireland members are charities that are registered with the Charities Regulator who operate in Ireland.
So join us so that we can help you to grow and promote your business for the benefit of communities nationwide.
Click here to view our Vision, Mission and Values
Conditions of membership
You must be a charity registered with the Charities Regulator based in Ireland that operates charity shop(s) to raise funds for their objectives. Your shop(s) must be run directly by the charity and all proceeds must go towards your charity’s purpose.
You must comply with and sign up to the Code of Charity Retailing.
Complete an ONLINE APPLICATION FORM here to start the process.
What we do
The Code of Charity Retailing was developed by members for members, who are all signed up to the Code and it is a condition of membership for all charities who wish to join Charity Retail Ireland. Click here for more information and the full text of the Code.
The Code of Charity Retailing is an assurance to our customers and donors that all ICSA members are operating to the standards set out in the Code.
The aims of the Code are:
- To promote good practice and high standards in charity retailing
- To promote public confidence in, and support for, charity shops
- To increase donations to charity shops, both directly into shops and through house-to-house collections.
- To get positive publicity for charity shops
- To promote awareness of legitimate charity shops and to help stamp out dishonest and bogus activities
Media coverage, public awareness and lobbying
Charity Retail Ireland is now recognised by the media as the umbrella group for charity shops and this generates coverage for our sector.
We operate an online reporting form to enable members of the public to send us details of any suspected bogus/unregistered activity. This is supported by the Gardai. More info on this link
We are actively involved with the Charities Regulator in highlighting the issues facing our sector.
We have successfully lobbied government in 2020 to highlight the need to support the charity retail sector.
We provide practical help on how to run your shop through the dedicated members’ area of the website and the Secretary is available to provide information and resources.
Website and social media
Our website is a channel for members of the public to find out about charity shops, where to donate and where to buy. 60% of visitors want a find a charity shop and we only list Charity Retail Ireland members’ shops. Website statistics for 2020:
- 104,000 sessions
- 178,000 pages viewed
- 100,000 views of individual shop listings.
The exclusive members’ area is a forum for members only where all information about Charity Retail Ireland and members’ activities can be found. There is also information to help you to run your shop and other useful links. Username and password are provided once you become a member.
We have active presents on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn which you can use to promote your shop and your charity’s events.
Networking and Members’ Meetings
We hold informal members meetings where you can meet people from other charities over a cup of coffee and there is plenty of opportunity for open discussion. There is an outside speaker/workshop on a relevant topic e.g. social media and charity shops, security etc. The meetings are an excellent forum for members to network with other members.
Our last Members’ Meeting in February 2020 was in Portlaoise.
Following our AGM, members took part in an interactive Smartphone Video workshop with Aileen O’Meara. The World Café was a lively discussion of four questions relevant to the operation of a charity shop where members shared their knowledge and expertise.
The day ended with the presentation of our Members’ Awards for Volunteer of the Year, Shop Team of the Year, Shop Manager of the Year and Shop Window of the Year.
All information from the meeting is in the Members Resource area of this website.
We have held several virtual meetings throughout 2020 and 2021 to keep in touch with our members.
The latest Benchmarking survey for 2019 is available online in the members’ area of the website. This annual survey provides an industry norm against which individual charities can measure their own performance.
Training and Development for your shops
We run regular workshops on issues that face charity shops (Health and Safety and Security) or subjects that help you in the running of your shop; Antiques Awareness training, social media training, VM training.
We held a very successful Conference in October 2016. Our keynote speaker was Duncan Stewart and other speakers were David Murphy, RTE, John Farrelly, CEO The Charities Regulator, Robin Osterley, CEO The Charity Retail Association and Andrew Dickie, HR specialist.
The highlight of the Conference was our Members’ Awards for the Martin Kenny Volunteer of the Year, Shop Manager of the Year and Shop Window of the Year.