March 17, 2021

Payroll Giving Myths – busted!

The scheme is known by several names – Payroll Giving, Workplace Giving and Give As You Earn to name a few.    Despite the Payroll Giving scheme being almost 34 years old and part of a robust CSR strategy adopted by hundreds of employers, with over 1 million employees* regularly donating to their chosen charities each payday, there are still some commonly held incorrect assumptions about the scheme.

*( APGO news Nov 2017)

Here’s some of the most common myths:

Myth 1:  Payroll Giving is complicated and difficult to set up.

Payroll Giving is quick and easy to set up and administer.    The basic requirements are:

  • An HMRC approved Payroll Giving Agent.  They receive funds and disperse donations to the nominated charities each month.
  • An individual within the organisation to act as the liaison with the Pay Agent and other parties.
  • Appoint a Professional Fundraising Organisation (StC Payroll Giving).  We will guide you through the set up and will promote the scheme to your employees on your behalf.

Myth 2:  The scheme is costly to run.

There are no charges to set up and run the Payroll Giving scheme and if you chose StC Payroll Giving to be your promotional partner we will help you providing our bespoke promotional services free of charge.

The Payroll Giving Agent deduct a small admin fee each pay run which employers can choose to cover.

Myth 3:   The scheme takes a lot of time to administer.

Once your scheme is set up there is minimal administration.  You will be appointed an StC Account Manager who will listen to your needs and design a promotional strategy that suits your requirements, your culture and commitment level. 

Our team of Payroll Specialists will liaise with your payroll team to ensure effortless and secure dataflow and timely reports.

A Service Level Agreement outlines your plan whilst materials are designed in line with your branding and tone.

The StC Helpdesk is available to your employees to answer questions and resolve queries leaving you free to concentrate on what you do best.

Myth 4:  Payroll Giving is only for large organisations.

If you have employees paid via PAYE you can have a Payroll Giving scheme.   StC have a range of promotional services on offer to suit every type and style of organisation.     From small family run organisations to multi nationals we work with them all.   Like the Tiffany blue box, we offer the same quality bespoke service just with variations in the content.

Myth 5:    My employees donate to charity in their own way?

The Payroll Giving scheme is the most tax effective way to donate to charity.  With Payroll Giving the tax is taken at source each payday meaning the chosen charity will receive the complete donation.  

Many employees already donate to a charity via direct debit and hopefully have completed a Gift Aid form.   However, every year thousands of pounds are lost due to donors not completing Gift Aid forms.  This means the charity has lost out on vital income.

Some employers also choose to offer matched donations.  StC also offer periodic donor incentives in the form of additional charity donations.  By donating to a charity via Payroll Giving an employee can take advantage of the tax benefits in addition to other funds.

Myth 6:   You can’t use Payroll Giving to support our charity partner.

A charity partnership is a fantastic way to support one specific charity.   It does not compete with a Payroll Giving scheme which promotes individual choice.    Employees who chose to donate to your charity partner with Payroll Giving are likely continue to support that charity long after the organisation has adopted a new charity partner as we have experienced with many of our employer partners.

There are several ways you can use the scheme and indeed the StC Workplace Giving Hub to increase support for your charity partnership like offering matched donation to only your charity partner.

We have a range of ideas for enhancing charity partnerships.  Contact the team for a chat.

Myth 7:  It’s a Salary Sacrifice scheme.

Payroll Giving is not a salary sacrifice scheme.    Deductions are taken from pay after National Insurance and before tax and do not impact on final salaries.

Myth 8:  You can only donate to a small group of charities.

There are around 200,000 UK registered charities and with the Payroll Giving scheme you can donate to any one of these, securely via pay.

The charities on our materials are our charity partners who fund our promotional activities but you can donate to any charity that is registered in the UK.

Myth 9:   Employee data can’t be shared with third parties.

Your employees will be supplying their personal data and charity choices all within a GDPR compliant system.  StC hold the ISO 27001:2013 certificate and pass regular data audits.    Our personal data security document can be found here: 


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