Government and charity sector commit to boost Payroll giving

30 March 2015

The government has signed an agreement with charity representatives and payroll giving agencies to raise payroll giving’s performance and profile, and enable charities to make best use of the scheme.

Payroll giving allows UK tax payers to donate to charities straight from their wages or pension on a tax-free basis. Payroll giving agencies then collect donations and pay out the money to charities.

The payroll giving memorandum of understanding aims to increase transparency and clarity in information sharing between the government, charities and payroll giving agencies, so charities improve their payroll giving programmes and ultimately increase donations.

The memorandum includes an agreement to work towards a standardised disbursement report provided by payroll giving agencies to charities.

Currently, charities can receive reports from multiple agencies in different formats. As part of the memorandum, agencies will now start standardising their formats towards an agreed template to reduce the administration costs for charities and increase clarity.

The memorandum also includes a commitment to help charities find out the most successful avenues for recruiting donors. Payroll giving agencies will submit their donation figures to a database via an online portal. The data will then be collated and presented into a report, which will be available online.

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Priti Patel, said:

“Charities provide an invaluable contribution to our society and receive strong support from the government including tax relief on donations.

Payroll Giving is one of the most effective ways for donors to give money to good causes on a tax-free basis, and more than a million donors use the scheme each year.

The government has consistently supported ways that make it easier for people to give and this agreement will help charities and agencies get the most out of the payroll giving scheme to help more money go to good causes.”

The government previously consulted on ways to improve payroll giving and its response made several commitments for action including passing regulations to reduce the handover time from 60 to 35 days, which has already come into effect.

The government also committed to a service level agreement (SLA) between PGAs and charities, and this has been implemented as a memorandum of understanding (MoU).

A recent press release from APGO

Payroll Giving awards should continue despite funding concerns say agencies

Britain’s Payroll Giving agencies and professional fundraising organisations have pledged to continue recognising excellence in employee giving, despite uncertainty over future Government funding.

Members of the Association of Payroll Giving Organisations (APGO) which represents bodies working with companies to allow people to give regularly to charities through their pay packets, said they would continue recognising companies committed to growing this convenient and effective form of supporting charities.

The Cabinet Office has supported the Payroll Giving Quality Mark scheme, and the annual National Payroll Giving Excellence Awards for 9 years but there is uncertainty over future Government funding for the scheme.

The scheme includes awarding certificates to recognise companies’ success and commitment in signing employees to long-term charitable giving, and the annual awards ceremony.

Panikos Efthimiou, Chair of the APGO said: “We are concerned that funding for the successful Payroll Giving Quality Mark and the Excellence Awards is in doubt. But we are committed to doing all we can to continue recognising companies for their great work in encouraging their employees to give regularly.

“Payroll Giving is an extremely effective way of encouraging people to make a regular commitment to supporting charities, and needs the full commitment of Government, Payroll Giving agencies and charities to make it grow.

“Providing recognition of companies’ work has proved very effective in encouraging businesses to back regular giving by employees. We are determined to ensure that we keep on recognising and praising those businesses which show such a great commitment to the work of charities in this country.”