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      More than £1 billion given to charities through payroll donations

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      Generous employees have given more than £1.3 billion to charity through payroll donations established by the CAF Give As You Earn scheme.

      More than 220,000 people in the UK make a regular donation to charity through CAF Give As You Earn which was launched by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) in April 1987.

      The UK’s first and biggest payroll giving scheme enables people to make donations from their pre-tax salary and is now used by more than 2,700 employers across the UK including leading retailers, banks, financial services firms, media organisations and public sector bodies.

      The huge £1.3 billion sum, which was donated over 30 years, is even greater than the £1.04 billion raised by Comic Relief over a similar period and would comfortably buy the entire squad of Manchester United – the most expensive in world football – twice over.

      Analysis carried out to mark its 30th anniversary has revealed that:

      • £1,309,300,000 was donated through Give As You Earn between 1987 and 2016, £74.3 million of which was donated last year alone.
      • The average monthly donation people give through their payroll is £20.57. 222,762 people are currently signed up to the scheme.
      • People support more than 22,000 different charities. The five currently most popular are Cancer Research UK, the NSPCC, Macmillan Cancer Support, BEN – Motor & Allied Trades Benevolent Fund, and Friends at Work.

      Because donations are taken from pre-tax income, part of the donation would otherwise have been paid in tax. For example, a £20 donation would cost a 20% taxpayer £16.

      CAF, one of Europe’s largest charitable foundations, helped to pioneer payroll donations in the UK and worked closely with then Chancellor Nigel Lawson and Home Secretary Douglas Hurd to get it off the ground in 1987.

      Through CAF Give As You Earn, employees can choose to donate to the same charity or charities each month, or they can pay into a CAF Charity Account where the money can be saved up to give to a good cause at a later date.

      John Low, Chief Executive of CAF, said: “We are an incredibly generous nation and it is fantastic that so many choose to donate some of their earnings to a good cause every month. CAF helped pioneer payroll giving in the UK and we are very proud that, 30 years on, it has now helped people to give well over £1 billion to charity.

      “For people who regularly give, this can be a really convenient way to support a favourite cause which helps them to give more than they thought possible. CAF works with tens of thousands of charities and we get to see first-hand what a critical difference these donations make. They can provide a lifeline to the vital work of charities, which has a real and lasting impact on people’s lives.”

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      Molly Dyson

      Former Editor – PA Life

      All stories by: Molly Dyson