Do you think you could give up your morning coffee just once a month...and donate the money to charity instead?
A local charity champion is asking islanders to ditch the caffeine buzz in return for a warm fuzzy feeling inside.
Caring Cooks’ Melissa Nobrega kickstarted the payroll giving initiative, which allows employees to give a small percentage of their earnings automatically to a charity of their choice each month, two years ago.
It got off to a great start with 24 members enrolled in a mere few months. Now she’s looking to get islanders excited about what she jokes is, “...the busy person’s way to give," and get them involved as part of their New Year's plans.
“In Jersey, you go into town and you’re bombarded with bucket shakers. Often you don’t have change in your pockets, and it’s quite in your face, so you feel bad if you don’t put money in that bucket… We lead such busy lives now, [so] it tends to fall down the priority list because we don’t have the headspace for it. But if it’s something to do with your employer, the hassle is taken out of your hands,” Melissa told Express.
Pictured: Melissa Nobrega, founder of Caring Cooks Charity and formerly of the Fundraising Forum, is encouraging islanders to get involved in the 'easy' payroll donation scheme.
All islanders need to do is fill in a form with their chosen charity, and hand it to the HR office. “It’s charitable giving in a hectic world. It makes things easy.”
And there’s an added bonus to giving this way too – following campaigning by Melissa during her time as Chair of the Jersey Fundraising Forum, small donations each month will be calculated as a lump sum at the end of the year. This means that if they’re over the £50 threshold, charities will be able to claim 25% tax back.
So employees would only have to contribute £4.20 a month to accumulate that £50 over the course of the year, leaving the charity with an extra £12.50 bonus.
For those on a salary of £2,000 per month, that small sum is equivalent to just 0.2% of the overall monthly salary. So that means, just once a month, donors would only need give up one of these little life pleasures…
Statistics show that under 55s are becoming increasingly disengaged with charitable giving, so Melissa considers this the perfect way for workplaces to get their milennial workforce into giving.
“I know people that once a year, they sit down and write cheques out - £20 here and there. Who has the time to do that? And who uses a chequebook anymore? Not many people.
“We’re not engaging younger people to give to charity. With payroll giving, it’s open to anybody, It’s a really easy way to get younger people onboard and getting them invested in an organisation that they believe in,” Melissa added.
It’s also a way to add a further link to charities companies already work alongside in CSR-style events.
BNP Paribas championed the scheme early on with their ‘Your Hour to Give’ scheme, which allows employees to donate the equivalent of an hour’s pay – or an amount of their choosing – each month to charities chosen at the beginning of each year. In 2015 – in the early days of Melissa’s initiative – they supported Friends of Jersey Oncology and Jersey Hospice Care.
Speaking at the time, HR Officer Rebecca Daly commented: “We are delighted that many of our staff have signed up to the BNPP ‘Your Hour to Give’ payroll scheme. The change in policy has made administering this initiative so much easier and enabling charities to claim back tax on smaller donations, is surely the right thing to do and a fantastic result.”
Melissa says she’s expecting another major bank to hop on board imminently, but would love to see more corporate take-up – even if each employee’s contribution is small. If just one quarter of the working population donated £1 a week to get the tax refund, charities would be £1million better off.
“It’s all about making your workplace a proud place to work,” she said.
If you could give up one little treat per month to help the island community, click here for the donation form.
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