“The Giving Business” Report – Payroll Giving in Australia
Thursday, 9th April 2009 at 3:56 pm
If just 10% of working Australians donated $5 per week through their pay an additional $260 million would be generated each year for the community
according to the first comprehensive look at payroll giving in Australia.
The Australian report called "The Giving Business" is the result of eight months research to better understand the key success factors and barriers to creating successful payroll giving programs.
Payroll giving or workplace giving enables employees to make regular donations from their pay to charities and other Not for Profit organisations. The pre-tax donation results in an immediate tax deduction for workers without the need to get receipts and claim them in their annual tax return.
Australia’s three payroll giving providers, The Australian Charities Fund, United Way and Charities Aid Foundation with PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the Centre for Social Impact conducted the research.
Businesses known to have payroll giving programs were surveyed by online questionnaire, completed by the manager responsible for the program.
In addition 150 companies drawn randomly from a list of the 2500 largest employees were surveyed.
Among the businesses without payroll giving programs, nearly two-thirds had never heard of payroll giving before being contacted about the survey.
The Chief Executive of the Australian Charities Fund, Stephanie Hughes says this was a surprising finding given that the tax incentive has been around since 2002.
Hughes says the research confirms that while there has been a steady increase in payroll giving in Australia its powerful potential has not been fully tapped.
The aim of the research was to:
-Understand the state of play of Australian payroll giving
-Identify key factors in a successful program
-Identify the barriers to expanding existing programs and
-Identify barriers to starting a payroll giving program
The research found that the barriers to expanding existing programs included:
-Limited time and resources was identified as the main barrier to success by almost one–third (29 per cent) of program managers, and was cited as a problem by one in two (50 per cent).
-Low program visibility within the firm was the next most frequently mentioned issue (47 per cent of program managers).
-Around a third of program managers (31 per cent) said staff preferred to use other forms of charitable giving.
-About the same proportion (30 per cent) thought the program’s success was hindered by the fact that it was a low business priority.
The research says the findings underline the importance of senior management’s leadership and endorsement to the success of payroll giving programs.
Relatively simple initiatives – such as making available a few hours a week of program managers’ time, appointing
charity ambassadors, and raising the profile of the program within the firm – may help existing programs to better fulfil their potential.
The overwhelming reason cited for not starting a program was that it was "too complex to set up and administer."
For 38% of businesses who had considered introducing payroll giving, but had not done so, this was the key barrier. Considering the number of businesses who have already set up programs, there may be a gap between the perception and the reality of setting up and running payroll giving
"The Business Giving" report also ten tips on how to boost the performance of payroll giving programs.
Stephanie Hughes says the report will be followed by a more comprehensive piece of research around the triggers and barriers to employees becoming payroll giving donors, seeking to understand specifically how to drive the growth of payroll giving by increasing participation rates in existing ACF corporate partner programs. This is due in late 2009.
To download the full report and the Ten Tips go to:australiancharitiesfund.org.au