Payroll Giving


The question of how to better involve employees in their employers’ social activities is playing an increasingly important role. It is not without reason that corporate volunteering and the promotion of volunteer work by employees is currently very popular among CSR managers. However, there are also other, often more simple approaches to allowing employees to participate in the company's social commitment. One example is the so-called payroll giving.

A German corporate client of Beyond Philanthropy was also very interested in this topic and commissioned us to conduct a corresponding research.

Employees who participate in payroll giving voluntarily agree upon rounding down the cent amount of their monthly salary and make it available for social purposes. It might sound simple but in practice payroll giving is associated with many questions for the company:

  • What is the easiest way to integrate the payroll giving into the company's accounting?
  • How can as many employees as possible be encouraged to participate in the joint initiative?
  • Where and how is the donated money collected?
  • And above all: Who decides on the eventual beneficiaries?

Many companies use donations resulting from payroll giving to support charitable organizations or to provide additional funds for projects from their CSR portfolio. On the contrary, companies can also make the donated money available to those employees who are in need through no fault of their own. Be it for the repair of fire damage, the purchase of an electric wheelchair or the repair of the highly needed family car, which could not be financed from the employee’s own resources.

There are many possibilities to use the donations in a meaningful way to help other people. However, since the money originally comes from the employees, they must be informed transparently about the awarding process and maybe there is even a possibility to involve them to a certain extent. Our research has shown that there are already a couple of interesting cases in which payroll giving contributes every month to a social cause. In order to reach this point, it is very important to consider various factors so that eventually everyone involved is satisfied with the outcome of the payroll giving initiative.

If you would like to find out more about the topic of payroll giving or social funds for employees in need, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to exchange ideas with you!


Anne-Sophie Oehrlein