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Encouraged by the new payroll-giving legislation introduced earlier this year, the Payroll Giving Foundation is ambitiously setting out to raise money with not-for-profit organisations from employee and employer contributions.
Announced today, in partnership with the Foundation’s initial charity partners, including Barnardos New Zealand, CCS Disability Action, Forest and Bird, Unicef New Zealand, VSA (Volunteer Service Abroad) and WWF New Zealand, is the Foundation’s new project website, DonorView, designed to seek discussion on how employer and charity software systems can communicate with each other in the most efficient way.
Significant effort has been put into introducing payroll giving to New Zealand. However, it is early days and the country still has some way to go to create a culture of payroll giving. Initial research undertaken by the Payroll Giving Foundation has shown that out of 500 telephone calls made to businesses, fewer than five percent had considered payroll giving; however, 74% of these decision-makers asked to be put on a newsletter mailing list about developments in payroll giving. Once companies learn more, it is anticipated that New Zealand will build the payroll giving ‘habit’, just as overseas companies have.
Payroll Giving Foundation Director David Living is up for the challenge and applauds the introduction of the legislation and sees it as an opportunity for New Zealanders to make a real difference in the community.
“While payroll giving (also known as workplace giving and give-as-you-earn) is still in its infancy in New Zealand, it provides a great platform for growing a truly giving culture.”
DonorView is a project designed to standardise donor information and move it between the disparate systems of employers, charities and payroll giving intermediaries.
One of the key benefits will be that when an employer sends information to a charity about a payroll giving donation, the charity can easily transfer this information to its own donor database without having to re-enter the data manually. This is one of the many challenges that New Zealand (and overseas) payroll giving systems have to overcome to provide a seamless, end-to-end solution for all key parties, including donors.
DonorView has achieved early support from some of the industry’s main players. Paul Dragunis, Director of Infosoft who are the developers of Fundraiser Suite and one of the New Zealand’s key fundraising software providers, says, “We’re excited to support this innovative project and believe it will create a benchmark for other countries to follow.”
According to Fundraising Institute of New Zealand (FINZ) member Heather Newell, the payroll giving industry has some way to go to understand the needs of charities. “There is little understanding from the business sector that fundraising is a professional activity which raises about $1 billion a year from donations made by ordinary New Zealanders. It’s certainly much more than the small-change contribution that many think is needed. Managing this amount of money, and a large number of donors, requires highly efficient systems and processes to ensure that the most money possible goes towards service delivery.”
Helping charities be as efficient as possible is one of the reasons for the DonorView launch, which is expected to assist with donor data management. Mr Living said that payroll giving was a new tool for charities to build relationships with its supporters but it wasn’t without challenges. “Many charities are concerned that they won’t know who is supporting them and won’t be able to build long-lasting relationships. They are also concerned that their charity may not be properly recognised and that funds may be sent to the wrong charity unless there is a mechanism for reporting back to employee supporters.”
DonorView can alleviate some of those issues by introducing data standards on donor information stored by payroll software systems, and to allow donors and their chosen charities to connect more easily by giving the donor the ability to select what personal information is passed on.
Minister of Revenue the Honourable Peter Dunne was instrumental in introducing the payroll giving legislation and says, “This is important news at this early stage to see a New Zealand payroll giving intermediary teaming up with leading charities to embrace payroll giving with a long-term vision.”
For more information on the Payroll Giving Foundation and DonorView, visit www.payrollgiving.org.nz or www.donorview.org