Payroll giving is a valuable source of funding for non-profits. So valuable in fact that in the UK, February is known as Payroll Giving Month. This form of fundraising entails approaching employers and asking to address their staff to tell them of the work of an NPO and introduce the idea of staff members becoming donors, with the employer deducting donations from their salaries or wages.
This is an excellent way for everyone, irrespective of their income, to support a cause and it is ongoing. The advantages of payroll giving include: regular, ongoing income; money that can be used for core costs (unless promised for a project); it creates and maintains awareness of an NPO and its cause; increases the donor base and income; staff members (donors) feel good; hopefully, the employer (company) will supplement or match the giving of staff.
Payroll giving is successfully undertaken in South Africa but the few organisations that benefit have barely scratched the surface of the potential. These relationships tend to last a long time and, if such an initiative exists between a company and a certain NPO, it is unlikely that they will allow another organisation to benefit too. Unlikely, but not impossible as the work done by the first NPO may not have ‘grabbed’ all staff members – so give it a try!
It’s important to bear in mind that participation in a payroll giving scheme must be voluntary. No employee should be forced or coerced into participating. There is an average dropout rate of 10-20% each year. Therefore, the relationship between a company and its employees must be nurtured. As new people regularly join companies, allowance must be made for how they can be offered the opportunity of participating – possibly by leaving a specifically designed pamphlet with HR staff. Success stories/human interest stories about beneficiaries assisted in staff newsletters and on partnering companies’ websites will strengthen the ties in such relationships. Staff or volunteers from an NPO posting on social media about successes and mentioning companies’ names will enhance such relationships.
Note that a payroll giving relationship with a company is not generally arranged via its CSI office but rather its HR department.