Payroll Giving for Donors

What is Payroll Giving?

Payroll Giving is a scheme that enables you to give to charity straight from your gross salary (before tax is deducted). If you give this way, you will receive immediate tax relief.

For example:
  • If you are a standard rate taxpayer (20%), the immediate tax relief means that a donation of £10 will cost you just £8.

  • If you are a higher rate taxpayer (40%), a donation of £10 will cost you just £6.

  • If you are a highest rate taxpayer (45%), a £10 donation will cost you £5.


Why should I give through my payroll?

Payroll Giving is an easy, tax-effective way to give, so it costs you less to give more. Payroll donations are great for the good causes you care about, providing charities with a regular, reliable income stream that enables them to plan and budget for the future.


Which charities can I give to?

You can give to any UK, EU, Norwegian or Icelandic charity through Payroll Giving as long as they are recognised by the HMRC for tax purposes. You can even give to more than one charity if you wish. All you will have to do is fill in a mandate form with the amount you want to give and who you want to give it to.

If you are unsure whether the cause you wish to support is a charity then the Payroll Giving Agency (PGA) that your employer has signed up with should be able to help. Other smaller organisations such as your local church, Scout Group or Parent Teacher Group are also eligible to receive donations via Payroll Giving.


What do I need to do?

Providing that your employer offers Payroll Giving it could not be simpler. You complete a mandate which is usually obtained from your payroll or HR department. The form asks you to give the name(s) of the charity or charities you want to support, there should be space for you to make more than one choice.  

Your employer will forward your completed form to the PGA and deduct from your pre-tax salary the total amount you want to give. Your donation is forwarded monthly to the PGA and they then distribute the gift each month to the charity or charities of your choice.


What does my employer need to do?

If your employer does not already have a Payroll Giving scheme in place, don’t worry – it’s quick and easy to set up. Employers simply need to sign an agreement with a Payroll Giving Agency (link to HMRC list of PGAs). This is a legal requirement and provides an audit trail for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) because you are getting tax relief on your gift.

You can find out more on our Payroll Giving for Employers page.


Does it cost anything?

PGAs make a small charge which they deduct from your donations before distributing them to charity. The charge is nominal and simply covers their costs. All PGAs are registered charities and they make no profit from administering Payroll Giving donations. An increasing number of employers pay the PGA’s charges so that the full amount of your donation can go to charity.


How do I know that the charity has received my donation?

Your donation is very important to the charity and they may well write to thank you. Otherwise, if you want to check that your donation has been received you can ask the PGA for confirmation and request a statement each year of the amounts paid to charities chosen by you.

How long does it take for the charity to receive my donation?

Once your donation has been deducted from your salary, your employer must forward it to the PGA each month. The PGA then has 30 days to distribute the gift to your charity; most PGAs distribute funds within one month.

Can I change the charity that I support in this way?

You are able to change the charities that you support at any time. Simply tell your employer that you want to complete a new form or get in touch with the PGA. But remember – charities benefit most from regular donations, so try not to change your choice of charity too often.

Will my details be passed to the charity?

Your chosen charity may well want to write to thank you for your donations and tell you how they are being used. The information you provide is protected under the Data Protection Act and can be used only for the purpose for which it was given. More information on data protection.

You can ask for your donation to remain anonymous if you wish.

Does my employer need to know which charity I support?

No - when you fill in your donation form you can just send it straight to the PGA so that they know which charities you will be supporting. The PGA will then simply tell your employer how much you want to have deducted. Alternatively you could ask for a Charity Cheque Book or Vouchers so that you can give directly to the charities of your choice. Most PGAs offer this service; a minimum amount of donation is usually necessary.

How can I stop giving?

Payroll Giving is a voluntary donation and you can stop at any time. Simply tell your employer’s payroll department.

Can my donations be refunded?

No - once your gift has been deducted from pre-taxed income it MUST go to a charity. It is important that when you complete your form you clearly indicate the charities you want to support to make it easy for the PGA to distribute your donation. If you put down the name of a charity which is not recognised by HMRC as being able to receive Payroll Giving the PGA will forward your donation to a charity which has similar aims to the one you entered on the form. They will let you know that this is what has happened and this gives you the opportunity to amend your form and select another charity.

Most PGAs will automatically write to you when you have completed a form just to confirm the details of the amount being donated and the chosen charities.