17 January 2022

Mervi Slade, product and programme manager payroll giving at Cancer Research UK discusses all things payroll giving week related ahead of the event

The second payroll giving week will take place from 7-13 February 2022. The week has been designed to raise the profile and awareness of payroll giving. Holding it in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day is no coincidence. This much-loved form of giving has been given its very own moment to shine in the calendar.

Payroll giving week is a campaign assembled by a cross sector group of charities, payroll giving agencies, professional fundraising organisations (organisations that specialise in promoting payroll giving in the workplace), the CIPP and the Chartered Institute of Fundraising. They have been working hard to make this week special and help more employers actively talk about their own payroll giving schemes. This could either be to their own employees or their social media platforms, to encourage other employers to introduce this great scheme.

During payroll giving week, we want to see plenty of noise about the scheme on social media, promotions in workplaces across the country and conversations about implementing the scheme if an organisation does not currently have it in place.

You might thank your employees for their contributions to numerous causes, or post what payroll giving means to you as an employer, how it fits with other benefits offered and how it adds to your corporate social responsibility programme.

If you already have a payroll giving scheme in place, why not promote it to your employees during this week? Maybe add some employer matching to make the scheme an even better offering.

There is more information available on the dedicated website: http://ow.ly/c3V730s6U6U. Anyone can use this. There are hashtags as well: #payrollgivingweek and #lovepayrollgiving. I would encourage everyone to use them when posting about the scheme during the week.


Thank you, payroll professionals

As a payroll professional, it might seem that making payroll giving deductions from salaries is just one of the many tasks you’ve been given. From the charities’ perspective, this work you do is vital: you are saving animals, furthering medical research, helping in emergencies and putting food on the tables of the poorest people across the world. Children have access to education thanks to the work you’re doing.

Throughout the history of payroll giving, over £2 billion has been donated to charities of all sizes and causes through the scheme. This would not have been possible without the thousands of payroll professionals who make it happen every pay day.

Next time you are making payroll giving deductions, remember this, and don’t think of it as a mundane task: at the end of the day, you are helping to save the world.

Payroll giving’s importance to the UK charity sector is significant. In the financial year 2020/21, it raised over £143 million for thousands of charities, from small local organisations to household names. Thanks to the regular gifts employees made through their pay, those organisations are now more able to serve those who need vital help.

Never has payroll giving been more important than during the Covid-19 crisis. The pandemic had a devastating impact on the charity sector. Some charities did not survive, and others saw historically reliable sources of income, such as events fundraising, disappear overnight. This has ramped up the pressure for income streams, such as payroll giving, to remain stable and enable charities to deliver the best possible services.

Payroll giving’s success during Covid-19 offered a rare light of optimism and positivity during a storm where the sector faced a multi-billion-pound funding gap. In fact, figures released during the first national lockdown quarter (April-June 2020/2021) showed an uplift, and the full year’s numbers now show this trend didn’t slow down. Figures pulled together by the Association of Payroll Giving Organisations (APGO), which represents key stakeholders in the payroll giving sector, showed employee donations increased by 6%, and employer matching rose by 4% when compared to the previous financial year.

The final quarter of 2020/21 also saw a marked increase in the average value of one-off donations, driven by the approaching end of the financial year. This is a time where tax-efficient giving usually increases; payroll giving, as a pre-tax donation, being the only way for all employees to donate all the tax on top of their net contribution to their preferred causes.


How donations help

One charity benefitting from your work is Together for Animals – a consortium of four animal welfare charities – Blue Cross, Mayhew, the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad (SPANA) and World Horse Welfare. This was founded in 1993 to raise vital funds to help members carry out their life-saving work. More information can be found here: http://ow.ly/8xRt30s6U89.

With a unique focus on raising funds through payroll giving, the charity helps animal lovers maximise the impact they are having on improving animals’ lives. Each donation is equally shared between their members, supporting cats, dogs, donkeys and horses, both in the UK and abroad, in some of the world’s poorest communities.

The funds raised through payroll giving help to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome thousands of abandoned or neglected animals each year. Funding also provides veterinary care and treatment to animals in need, supports the individuals and communities who depend on animals for their well-being and livelihood and educates the next generation, so they understand how to provide the best care for animals. This creates a more compassionate world and a better future for animals.

In 2020, Together for Animals supporters helped:

4,840 unwanted, abandoned or neglected animals find loving new homes

provide 348,895 animals with free veterinary care saving them from suffering

provide 5,419 pieces of humane equipment be distributed to working animal owners.

Two-year-old saluki, Wizard, was one of the animals that received help. Thin, starving and nearly bald on some parts of his body, Wizard was in a sad state when he was found by a dog warden. He needed time to rest and recuperate at Together for Animals member Blue Cross, and to be found a new loving home.

After some nurturing and plenty of love from the team, Wizard made a full recovery and was put up for rehoming, where he was spotted by a caring couple looking for a new pet. Now settled in his new home, Wizard’s personality is shining through and his confidence growing day by day.

All animals deserve a loving home. The kind donations Together for Animals receives through payroll giving helps abandoned animals like Wizard to receive the treatments and care they need to be happy and healthy while they wait for a new home.

Caroline Gaskin, development manager at Together for Animals, commented: “Payroll giving provides Together for Animals with a vital regular source of income, allowing us to provide lifesaving care for animals desperately in need. As a small charity, we see payroll giving as our key source of income.” 


Featured in the February 2022 issue of Professional in Payroll, Pensions and Reward. Correct at time of publication.