Gold stars reward payroll giving

Georgina Lock

Businesses that persuade at least 10 per cent of their staff to donate to charity through the payroll will be awarded a gold quality mark under the latest payroll-giving incentive scheme devised by the Treasury and the Institute of Fundraising.

According to Tina Steele, payroll giving project manager at the institute, the Payroll Giving Quality Mark, which will be launched next Monday by charities minister Paul Goggins, "breaks new ground by giving employers something to show for signing up to payroll giving".

To coincide with the launch, the institute has released figures showing a 137 per cent rise in the take-up of payroll giving - with 620 employers signed up between April and September 2005, compared with 261 in the same period in 2004.

However, donations that are made through the payroll have risen by only 22 per cent, from £38.5m to £47m. The institute said this disparity arose because it takes time for small and medium-sized enterprises, the initial targets of the payroll giving campaign, to promote the scheme and get more staff to join it.

It is hoped that the bronze, silver and gold quality marks will address the issue by rewarding those employers with a high level of employee participation. Those with 10 per cent of staff signed up will be given a gold award. The levels required to qualify for the bronze and silver awards will be announced at the launch.

Organisations will also be urged to take up the Payroll Giving Grants programme before it ends in December. The programme offers a grant of between £300 and £500 for small to medium-sized employers who sign up to payroll giving before the end of the year.

- See Nick Cater, page 24

ALSO...

The RNLI, the Samaritans and the Fire Services National Benevolent Fund have joined forces to create a new payroll giving fundraising consortium named Lifelines on Call.

Employees who want to support more than one charity through payroll giving can sign up to Lifelines on Call, with the proceeds being split equally between the three organisations.

The three organisations will continue to promote payroll giving independently and through professional fundraising organisations that visit companies and other bodies to promote take-up of the scheme.

But the partnership will enable the charities to expand their reach when targeting donors.

The deal has been struck to coincide with the launch of the Payroll Giving Quality Mark.

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