Treasury announces memorandum of understanding for payroll giving

The agreement has been created to increase transparency and clarity in information-sharing between the government, charities and payroll-giving agencies

The signatories of the memorandum of understanding on payroll giving
The signatories of the memorandum of understanding on payroll giving

The government has pledged to help charities make the most of payroll giving as part of a new agreement between charity representatives, payroll-giving agencies and the Treasury.

A statement from the Treasury today said that a memorandum of understanding had been created to increase transparency and clarity in information-sharing between the government, charities and payroll giving agencies.

The agreement has been signed by Priti Patel, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Peter Lewis, chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising, John Low, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, and Mervi Slade, payroll-giving manager at Save the Children and chair of the IoF’s payroll-giving special interest group.

It has also been signed by representatives from the payroll-giving providers Charitable Giving, the Charities Trust, GiveAll and Stewardship, and the professional services firm Deloitte.

The IoF said the government was committed to facilitating the agreement after its consultation on payroll giving in 2013.

The memorandum includes an agreement to work towards a "standardised disbursement report" for payroll-giving agencies to provide to charities.

This means that the forms agencies use to communicate information about donors to charities will conform to an agreed template.

It also includes a commitment to help charities discover the most successful ways of recruiting donors who are willing to give through their payroll. The Treasury said this would be accomplished by requiring agencies to submit their donation figures to an online database so that they could be collated and presented in a report.

"Payroll giving is one of the most effective ways for donors to give money to good causes on a tax-free basis, and more than a million donors use the scheme each year," said Patel in a statement. "This agreement will help charities and agencies get the most out of the payroll-giving scheme to help more money go to good causes."

Lewis said: "Payroll giving is dependent not only on the generosity of employees and the commitment of employers, but also on the successful relationship between charities and payroll-giving agencies.

"This MoU will help to standardise that relationship and give everyone a greater depth of information on what’s happening with payroll giving, which will allow charities to better plan fundraising campaigns and grow this important source of voluntary income."

Slade said the standardised disbursement report would reduce administration costs for charities and potentially provide them with more information about their supporters. "In turn, this will allow charities to communicate more meaningfully and effectively with their supporters," she said.

Susannah Birkwood

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