Institute of Fundraising calls for web portal to encourage payroll giving

Chief executive Peter Lewis says the Treasury consultation on the issue is an opportunity for government to learn from the sector

Peter Lewis
Peter Lewis

The Institute of Fundraising has urged the government to create an online portal where employees can sign up to payroll giving in order to simplify and increase the portability of the scheme.

In its response to the Treasury’s consultation on payroll giving, published today, the IoF says "long-term, transformational change and commitment" to the scheme is needed.

The response, which is supported by the Charity Finance Group, argues that an online portal, which is not among the Treasury’s proposals, would bring payroll giving up to date and allow for a "seamless" donor journey.

The response highlights the IoF’s 2008 Consultation on Payroll Giving, which found that over a period of eight years a potential £71m of charitable donations was lost to attrition because payroll giving between employers was not portable.

In response to the Treasury’s proposal to allow private companies to become payroll-giving agencies, which under current rules must be charities, the document says opening the market to the commercial sector might encourage technological innovations that would overcome some of the inefficiencies in the system.

But the response says IoF members fear that allowing private companies to become PGAs could make the scheme more complex.

It also calls for a long-term strategy of leadership, governance and communication from the government on payroll giving. The government must lead by example and make a success of payroll giving within departments and agencies, the response says.

It says that because the scheme relies on a number of intermediaries, such as payroll-giving agencies, it is "imperative that all stakeholders are accountable and transparent to each other".

The response also calls for a regulated service-level agreement between PGAs and charities to address issues such as the need for agreed outputs and standardised payments across PGAs.

The National Payroll Giving Quality Mark, which recognises employers who make payroll giving available to staff, needs to be maintained and promoted effectively, the response says.

Peter Lewis, chief executive of the IoF, said: "This is a real opportunity to use the knowledge and experience of charities and fundraisers to understand properly how the underlying payroll-giving system needs to change. We are urging government to listen and work with us to implement wider and more fundamental change."

A Treasury spokeswoman said the submission would be considered with the others and the department would respond in due course.

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