Payroll giving has always been the dull cousin of the glamorous credit card donation. Greater tax relief and lower processing costs are all very sensible, but like most sensible things, also a bit boring. The traditional process of signing up and changing payroll giving instructions isn’t that easy, and the pain doesn’t end with the donor; the company’s payroll department has to deal with a spreadsheet or paper forms, each in their own format and not always that consistent. Further down the chain, whoever is disbursing the donations has to piece together the bits of information to match the right money to the right charity, like some sort of office-based Miss Marple.
Further down the chain, whoever is disbursing the donations has to piece together the bits of information to match the right money to the right charity, like some sort of office-based Miss Marple.
You rarely need to think about a credit card transaction in terms of credit card company, intermediary banks, payment processors, etc…it just works. The same should be true for payroll giving.
The key to transforming payroll giving to the aforementioned ideal is to look at the whole process and integrate each part to make it work like a single system. When it’s working properly, payroll giving should be just another means of making payments. You have cash, credit/debit cards, bank transfers, cheques…and now payroll.
Payroll is perfect for donations, but could also be used to pay for goods and services. Benefits companies have effectively been doing this for a while but the ‘marketplace’ is limited to whatever deals each benefits company has negotiated — kind of like buying vouchers you can only spend in one place.
At GivingForce we’ve created a payroll giving engine that makes the process of giving simple and intuitive for donors and integrates with payroll departments and payment processors. We still have a little way to go to join up all the dots — integrating beneficiary organisations so they’re also part of the payroll giving ecosystem (due next year!) — but it’s a good start towards resolving the issues holding back payroll giving.
The future will mean opening the technology to everyone to make it the engine, the hub, the backbone for payroll giving. Perhaps it’s time to speak to governments about making this happen?