Wednesday, 14 June 2017 10:18pm
HR Payroll Manager Aileen Eckhoff (left) and HR Services Manager Helen Mason are excited about the launch of Payroll Giving - an option which allows staff to make donations straight from their pay. Photo: Sharron Bennett.
Otago staff are now being offered an easy way to give to charitable organisations, with “Payroll Giving” allowing them to donate directly from their salary.
HR Services Manager Helen Mason says Payroll Giving is a great way to support a range of approved charities, and enjoy an immediate tax credit.
“Charitable donations receive a tax credit, which you normally have to claim back at the end of the tax year,” Helen explains. “Under Payroll Giving, the University’s payroll system automatically applies the tax credit at the time of donation – saving staff the trouble of collecting receipts and submitting a claim to IRD.”
Helen says the University has a strong tradition of supporting and contributing to the wider community, both within New Zealand and internationally and the programme reinforces this.
"You just need to select from the list of pre-agreed organisations and specify an amount to be automatically deducted from each pay to be sent to that charity."
“Payroll Giving is another tangible way the University can provide this support, and further evidence the mission statement commitment to ‘enhance the understanding, development and well-being of individuals, society and the environment’,” she says.
Joining the programme will be easy, Helen explains. Staff just need to visit the Payroll Giving webpage and fill in a simple form. The Payroll team will take care of the rest.
“You just need to select from the list of pre-agreed organisations and specify an amount to be automatically deducted from each pay to be sent to that charity. Making donations from payroll is intended for long-term giving and not ‘one-off’ donations.”
All donations will be anonymous, with the receiving organisation knowing only the monthly total that has come from Otago, but not an individual breakdown of donors and amounts.
“We can’t support both known and anonymous donations so have made the decision they will all be anonymous,” Helen says. “If an individual wants a stronger relationship with the organisation, they are encouraged to donate direct themselves.”
The organisations selected are those that have a national body, so can be supported by all Otago’s campuses. They have also met the IRD requirements for payroll giving.
“There are a few exceptions due to special relationships with the University. We are also working with the Deans of the Christchurch and Wellington campuses to identify one ‘local’ charity in each city/region that has a special relationship with that campus. That will make 15 organisations in total."
Helen says the team is aware that staff may wish to suggest other organisations for the programme, but asks that they wait for now.
"For the next 12 months, we are not looking to extend the current charity list. It is important we can administer the various requirements and ensure it is a success.”
Like to sign up? The current charity list is:
- Cancer Society of NZ (donations will be split based on a pre-agreed percentage across the Wellington, Christchurch and Otago branches)
- Cure Kids
- Neurological Foundation of NZ
- NZ Red Cross
- Oxfam NZ
- Parkinsons NZ Foundation
- Salvation Army NZ Trust
- Order of St John
- Orokonui Ecosanctuary Ltd (Dunedin-centric but a close relationship to the University)
- Fred Hollows Foundation
- Unicef Childrens Foundation
- Diabetes Otago (Dunedin-centric but a close relationship to the University)
- University of Otago Foundation Trust