Many people give regularly to charity by direct debit or standing order, but it’s a far less common mechanism for giving in churches. Many people would be willing to give by Direct Debit if the option was available.
Several online giving platforms, such as the Parish Giving Scheme, provide direct debit or regular giving services which allow givers to set up and amend their gifts easily.
Parish Giving Scheme
The Parish Giving Scheme (PGS) is a Direct Debit system that uses a donation management system to help parishes fund their mission and ministry. It reduces the burden of work on parish volunteers and provides a professional service to givers.
Donations made through this scheme use a Direct Debit made on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. Each donation is restricted to a parish church chosen by the giver and cannot be used elsewhere. The donation will be passed back to the individual parish by 10th of the month. Any eligible Gift Aid will be sent separately, once it has been received from HMRC. Another unique feature of the scheme is the option for the giver to commit in principle to increase their gift annually in line with inflation.
If this scheme becomes the principal funding method for your Church, you will have inflation-proofed your giving, maximized your cash flow and minimised your administration. This will free up your parish to focus on other important priorities.
If your diocese is signed up with PGS, it’s easy to get started. Find out how to register by contacting your diocesan giving advisor.
As well as encouraging new givers to sign up to Direct Debit or Standing Order, it’s good practice to invite existing givers to review their current levels of giving each year. Often, people will be willing to generously increase their contributions in line with inflation, or as their circumstances change. This can help ensure that giving levels are in line with the cost of your church’s mission and ministry.
Inviting givers to review is a great opportunity to remind them of the impact of their gift as well as to reiterate why you need them to give.