We all try to do what we can for charitable organisations in our communities; and often people struggle to work out who to give to, how much to give and; when to give.
Payroll Giving which came into being about 18 months ago makes it easier for people to give, sure there’s still the questions of who to give to and how much; but by having donations automatically paid from wages one of questions is answered, and makes it easier for people to give.
In essence Payroll Giving simply allows for donations to go directly from someones wages to a chosen donee organisation. The employers has to introduce the payroll giving programme to the firm for individuals to participate though.
What makes it simpler is that it’s run through the PAYE tax system, so people whose employers introduce the scheme get tax benefits of their donations each payday, negating the need to collect and hold donation receipts or wait to claim at the end of the tax year.
With some research showing that that over 794,000 people in employment are committed givers (ie: making regular contributions of time or money to causes that are important to them). It possible for some of these to likely get money back that they otherwise might have missed out on by not bothering to claim in their annual tax return; which some have said makes “donations more affordable”, this could have the flow-on effect of encouraging more people to give and for more to look at increasing their level of giving.
What’s surprising is that according to the latest update from Revenue Minister Peter Dunne is donations for the month of March 2011, reached $540,000 – a monthly record since payroll giving was introduced.
It would seem that charities need to do some work to educate their supporters, and the community that payroll giving is an option that can be used for giving. In discussions I’ve had some charities are finding it hard to get the opportunity to talk about it, and some are being met with resistance from employers not keen on letting their staff know about the option to give immediately from wages.
It’s staggering to think that of the many thousands of people who give only 5,100 gave directly from their wages in March 2011. Are employers letting their staff know? I’d guess they’re not – as I mentioned above some see it as something for the too hard basket.
Charities need to be proactive in letting people know that they’re able to give directly, what the benefits are and what drives people to use payroll giving as a way to give – this will give them the potential opportunity to gain more through its use. Using some of the points from Payroll giving for individuals will help to give supporters some insight into why, employers can check Payroll giving and your employees.
Charities can’t let the opportunity to slip through their fingers and must make the effort to let people know it’s another way they can help, using newsletters, adding a footnote to email notifications and any other opportunity to get word out.