INSTITUTE OF FUNDRAISING: Member Viewpoint - The good, the bad and the ugly of setting up a payroll-giving scheme

Nigel Dumbrell, MInstF, an adviser to small- to medium-sized charities in the South-East

Having read Tina Steele's recent article on payroll giving being a win-win situation (Third Sector, 12 February), I would like to raise a couple of points, being a total advocate of this simple form of income generation.

Various sized charities tend not to become involved with, or invest in, the development of payroll giving. Steele's experience when fundraising director of BEN-Motor & Allied Trades Benevolent Fund, of which I was national development manager responsible for payroll giving, required considerable funding of employed staff, volunteer and agency staff training and ancillary costs amounting to several hundreds of thousands of pounds per year.

It did generate more than £1 million of unrestricted income, but was developed over several decades. Establishing payroll giving from scratch requires front-end funding, whether undertaken in-house or through an agency.

Corporate businesses are less receptive to allowing charities to approach or have direct access to their workforce. However, the opposite can be said when a company has a secure ongoing relationship with a charity.

If, as a sector, we are to ensure payroll giving as a cost-effective income generator, corporate businesses and individual employees must be more aware of the benefits. The Government also needs to value the commitment and enthusiasm, which the smaller to medium charities wish to utilise, by providing ongoing incentives for individual donors, and corporate businesses to offset some, if not all, of the costs in implementing effective payroll-giving administration systems against their business tax return.

We seem to be going round in circles with very little appreciation of the true commitment there is out there from all concerned parties.

The Institute welcomes Viewpoint articles from its members. Please email the membership manager (Membership@institute-of-fundraising.org.uk).

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