Charities could generate donations of up to £175million a year, if barriers to giving directly from people's pay packets were removed, according to new research released today.
Overall, nearly one in three people (31%) say that they would be likely to give through their payroll if they were offered the chance, according to a survey commissioned by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) as part of an all-party Parliamentary inquiry into giving.
At present, less than one in ten (8%) employees in Britain gives regularly through their pay packet, with fewer than 8,500 out of the UK’s 4.8 million employers offering staff the chance to take part in payroll giving.
Payroll giving allows people to give to charity before tax is deducted from their salaries, making it easy to give regularly to charity and helping charities to benefit from tax relief on donations.
There are currently around 735,000 payroll donors in the UK who gave a combined £118million to charity in 2011/12.
But a ComRes survey of 1,080 employees found that nearly one in three (31%) employees say that they would be likely to use payroll giving if it was offered to them by their employer, while nearly one in ten (8%) said they would be very likely to do so, if they had the chance. If those people took up payroll giving it could represent more than 2 million workers giving £177,402,528 a year for charities.
The survey found that 65% of workers believe more employees would actively support charities at work if they were allowed to nominate a charity to support for the year, while 56% saw offering information on how to support charities at work as a particularly effective way to motivate employees to actively support a charity at work.
CAF, Britain’s largest payroll giving provider, is calling on the government to radically simplify the system to make payroll giving more attractive for companies and employees. CAF’s Growing Giving inquiry, chaired by former Home Secretary David Blunkett , will examine how giving can be promoted in the workplace as well as asking how business leaders can use their influence to get employees engaged with charities.
Jeremy Bliss, Head of Company Relationships at the Charities Aid Foundation, said: “This survey shows that huge numbers of people would like to give through their pay packets if only they had the chance.
“Far too few people have the chance to give regularly to charities and use tax relief on giving to make their donations go further. Every employee should have the chance to use this great way of giving to back the causes they really care about.
“We need the Government and companies to help us make it easier to offer payroll giving and promote this great way to donate so millions of people can get on with giving. In these tough times for charities it’s vital that we take simple steps to make it convenient for people to give.”
Former Home Secretary David Blunkett MP, chair of the Growing Giving Parliamentary Inquiry, said: “ It's worrying that only a third of employees think that their employer make it easy for them to donate time or money to charity in their workplace. We need to look closely at how businesses and workers can join together in partnership to support good causes, and we'll be looking closely at what action can be taken to grow giving at work.”
The Charities Aid Foundation Growing Giving Inquiry is currently taking evidence on Giving at Work. To submit evidence or for more details, visit: http://www.growinggiving.org.uk/