The Institute of Fundraising is calling on the government to reform payroll giving by making it more accessible and more portable, and by improving the relationship between donors and charities.
The IoF said in a statement that it wanted the government to "use three key principles to reform payroll giving systems".
These are: to allow all those paid through PAYE to make donations through payroll and always have the same process for setting up a gift; to allow charities to contact donors directly about setting up a gift and to allow them to receive data about donations to make it easier to monitor the success of campaigns; and to allow donations to continue when the donor changes jobs or to enable donors to continue giving in retirement.
Louise Richards, director of policy and campaigns at the IoF, said that the structure of payroll giving meant charities faced barriers to recruiting new donors and maximising income.
"The numbers of payroll giving donors have declined steadily since 2008," she said.
A snapshot survey on payroll giving carried out by the IoF showed that the scheme accounted for less than 2 per cent of respondents’ income in most cases, said Richards.
"Too many companies refuse to let fundraisers engage directly with their staff and tell them about how they can play a part in helping a cause – and we know that people give to causes, not donation mechanisms," she said.