Government urged to fund payroll-giving scheme for two more years

The Association of Payroll Giving Organisations asks for a commitment to the quality mark and awards until 2016

Payroll Giving quality mark
Payroll Giving quality mark

The Association of Payroll Giving Organisations has called on the government to provide at least two more years of funding for a scheme that recognises employers that make payroll giving available to staff.

In a letter sent last week to Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society, the APGO says the Payroll Giving Quality Mark and National Excellence Awards are key motivators for the continued growth of payroll giving.

The Cabinet Office agreed to fund the scheme for two more years last May, with £92,000 awarded to the Institute of Fundraising to run it in 2014. But the amount of funding for 2015 has yet to be agreed.

The quality mark is awarded free of charge to companies that provide the tax-free giving scheme, which allows UK taxpayers to make regular donations from their earnings. If take-up of the scheme reaches a certain threshold, the employer becomes eligible for bronze, silver, gold and platinum levels of the award.

Successful schemes are also recognised at the annual excellence awards at the Treasury.

Panikos Efthimiou, chair of the APGO, told Third Sector: "We are hoping the government will make a commitment to fund the quality mark and awards until 2016 as a minimum.

"Payroll giving has seen a dramatic improvement in take-up recently and a lot of that is because employers have this incentive."

The quality mark has been running since January 2006, when it was launched by the Labour government to encourage employers to promote workplace giving. 

Donations made to charity through payroll giving reached a record £155m in 2012/13 and the number of employees donating through the scheme surpassed the one million mark for the first time since its launch, according to figures published in January by HM Revenue & Customs. 

APGO figures show match funding by employers increased from £5.9m in 2011/12 to £7.5m last year.

A spokeswoman for the Cabinet Office said the minister had received the letter and would reply in due course.

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