Debate: Should charities take the blame for the slow adoption of payroll giving?

Witnesses told a recent hearing of a select committee of MPs that charities should do more to encourage payroll giving

CHARLES COTTON - public policy adviser - reward at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Charles Cotton, public policy adviser-reward at the CIPDWe all have a role to play in promoting payroll giving, but human resources teams in companies can certainly help to improve things. The role of the HR department is to consider how offering payroll giving would support a business's overall objectives. For instance, does the firm have social and environmental objectives?

Payroll giving will not work if it is not aligned to business or employee needs, and it might even backfire, given the recent falls in living standards for most employees. So it needs to be well-timed.

HANNAH TERREY - head of policy and public affairs at the Charities Aid Foundation

Hannah Terrey, head of policy and public affairs at the Charities Aid FoundationThere is a shared responsibility between charities and companies for promoting payroll giving. It would undoubtedly make a difference to the amount of money that goes to charity if companies promoted payroll giving to their employees properly and if senior management decided to lead by example.

We also know that the government is looking into ways to encourage payroll giving. We believe that this has the potential to improve take-up among employees.

STEPHEN NOBLE - chair of the Institute of Fundraising's Payroll Giving Special Interest Group

Stephen Noble, Institute of Fundraising's Payroll Giving Special Interest GroupThe failure of charities to embrace payroll giving more enthusiastically is understandable, given that they often have little close contact with their donors.

But they must, of course, shoulder some blame. There's reasonable evidence that payroll giving unlocks support from donors who remain resistant to other methods. A typical fundraising department separates individual giving from corporate partnerships, so that payroll giving has to fit into one or the other. The two need to blend if payroll giving is to thrive.

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