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CAF is one of Europe’s largest charitable foundations. We produce research on charities and charitable giving, develop policy ideas and work with people, companies and charities to help good causes thrive.

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Giving from pay packets stands to boost charities by £175million

1 July 2013

Charities stand to gain an extra £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 only one in thirty four 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 those people took up payroll giving it could represent more than 2 million workers giving £177,402,528 a year for charities.

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.

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.

Jeremy Bliss, Head of Corporate Clients at the Charities Aid Foundation, said: “This survey shows that huge numbers of additional 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/

Information on the current payroll giving environment and take up by employers can be found in our report  ‘The Journey so far: 25 Years of Payroll Giving’.

ComRes conducted a survey of 1080 British people in either full or part time employment from 7th-9th June 2013. Data was weighted to be nationally representative.  ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full data tables can be found at http://www.comres.co.uk/

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