Hot issue: Will payroll giving increase after the institute's review?

The Institute of Fundraising has nearly completed its review of the payroll giving system and whether or not it is effective.

Yes

Adam Rowe, service director, company service, Charities Aid Foundation

Payroll giving has increased steadily over the past 10 years to a point where, this year, donations will top £100m for the first time.

We are beginning to see that payroll giving has value over and above the mechanism alone. Companies use it as an inexpensive test of employee engagement, which often leads those employers to run bigger programmes and ultimately to more funds being raised for good causes.

The review that the institute has instigated may not directly increase donations through payroll giving, but there is a recognition within the sector that the way it is marketed can often be perceived as complicated. Part of the challenge for payroll giving is getting employers to understand that there are genuine benefits for them and their staff while keeping the 'selling' simple.

If the recommendations from the institute's review can help to demystify some of the process for stakeholders and provide practical steps to improvement, then it will boost the overall development of this valuable income stream.

No

Peter O'Hara, managing director, Workplace Giving UK

I believe the review will recommend ways to streamline processes to benefit the scheme, but it will not drive the scheme forward.

Payroll giving is on the increase. Recent quarterly figures for year-on-year comparisons show a 28.7 per cent rise in cash raised and a 31.9 per cent rise in employee participation. The corporate social responsibility agenda has helped, but mainly because of organisations such as ours, which sell the scheme's benefits to businesses.

Employers are finally understanding these benefits, and the Government's Quality Mark scheme, which recognises and rewards organisations for making payroll giving available to their staff, is helping it succeed.

The previous payroll giving review, in 1995, recommended an awareness campaign aimed at employers and employees. Thirteen years down the line, will the new review tell us anything different? I doubt it, but maybe this time it will be acted upon.

What will increase payroll giving is a creative and fresh marketing campaign aimed at the business audience about the huge benefits of the scheme to their business, its employees and the community.

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