How Clover POS supports nonprofits

Editorial Team

5 min read
Three nonprofit leaders who use a Clover POS system

Nonprofits occupy a unique entrepreneurial space. Handling money and payments, for example, can look a lot different for nonprofits than it does for other kinds of small businesses. But these nonprofit leaders have found that Clover isn’t just designed for retailers and restaurants–it’s a POS system with lots to offer nonprofits, too.

When it comes to streamlining operations, amping up reporting, and simplifying credit card processing for nonprofits, three leaders offer a first-hand view of how Clover is helping their nonprofits. Take a look at just a few ways Clover goes above and beyond. 

Big technology–and reporting–on a budget

Maureen Highland is the executive director of the Petaluma Educational Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that owns and operates the Alphabet Soup Thrift Stores. Two stores operate under the foundation’s umbrella, generating revenue to support local schools. 

Highland is an expert at doing a lot with a little. She says, “As a nonprofit, we are very limited in budget, so we don’t spend a lot on the bells and whistles.” While they had depended on an old-fashioned cash register and credit card processing machine for over two decades, COVID changed things–they needed an option for contactless transactions.

By switching to Clover, Highland and her team noticed the substantial benefits of having data and reporting capabilities. “Since implementing Clover, we’ve been able to get more detailed reporting than we ever had in the past. We’ve been tracking what categories of inventory we’re selling at different points of the season, year, month, and even day-to-day,” says Highland. 

“That data has also helped us determine our operating hours for the stores,” Highland explains. “Coming back after COVID, we all had limited schedules we could keep. Looking at that minute-by-minute transaction history gave us insight into our customers’ shopping timetables. So, we could really do a study on what was best for us.” 

Portable and virtual access

Alphabet Soup Thrift stores have also benefited from having virtual access since their foundation offices are separate from the retail locations. Highland says, “It’s been very valuable and time saving, especially as we returned from the pandemic shutdowns. Our offices didn’t necessarily return in-person as soon as our stores did, so it was great being able to have our staff remotely tap into the system.”

Elizabeth Stack, Executive Director of The Irish American Heritage Museum, also made the transition to Clover after the pandemic. In fact, pre-COVID all their transactions had been paper and pencil. And like Highland, Stack appreciates the flexibility of cloud integration and virtual access. Stack says, “It’s so easy to integrate Clover with our CRM system. I have found it very user-friendly for someone who isn’t very technical.”

As a bonus, “Clover has even reduced the museum staff’s stress around bookkeeping and transactions,” Stack says. “[Clover] is tied to our bank account, so, if we forget to print a receipt for whatever reason, it’s all contained in the cloud,” notes Stack. “You can reprint the transactions.”

In addition to virtual access, Stack is also a fan of Clover’s portable devices. “We have a lot of offsite events like a golf fundraiser in August and an Irish Christmas Market. We used to hold [the latter event] in the museum, but it’s gotten too big, so we moved it to the Celtic Hall. Now, when we take the shop on the road, so to speak, we bring our Clover Mini for selling merchandise and gifts.”

Donation processing

Social entrepreneur Jean Paul Laurent is the founder of Unspoken Smiles Foundation, a nonprofit whose mission is to bring oral health care “to everyone, every day, everywhere.” Initially drawn to his home country of Haiti to provide dental care in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, Laurent has since made it his mission to tackle substandard oral healthcare in disadvantaged countries. 

In order to do that, Laurent has three revenue streams: leadership council membership, merchandising, and corporate donations and grant applications. In choosing Clover, Laurent says, ”We made our choice thinking primarily about security. Especially as a small nonprofit organization, we wanted to assure donors that all transactions with us were safe, and their credit card information would be protected. Our banker recommended [Clover], and we’ve been very happy.”  

Laurent also finds Clover easy to use. “It’s such a straightforward system, so we don’t have to spend too much time on managing it,” Laurent says.

Like Stack, Laurent takes a Clover device with him when he travels–the Clover Flex. “We wanted to have a portable machine for those times when we are at conferences or events so we could take donations by credit card. Clover offers the Flex, which has all the right features and travels easily.”

As Laurent can attest, nonprofit organizations that depend on donations can maximize funding by accepting electronic payments. In addition, Clover’s automated, recurring donation options allow you to retain existing donors while reducing marketing costs.

For more stories on how Clover helps small business owners uplevel their operations, check out our Meet the Merchant series. 

To learn more about credit card processing and POS systems for nonprofits, contact a Clover Business Consultant today.


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