Participate in workplace giving

Did you know that if just 10% of Australian workers donated $5 per week through workplace giving, an extra $300 million would be raised for Australian charities every year?

If employers matched 5% of these donations, Australian charities would receive $375 million.

At YWCA Canberra, we believe that the private and public sectors have an important role to play in transforming our communities. We know that strategic cross-sectoral partnerships are critical to solving some of society’s biggest social problems.

What is workplace giving?

Workplace giving enables employees to make regular charitable donations from their weekly or monthly pre-tax income, resulting in an automatic tax reduction.

YWCA Canberra’s workplace giving program allows employees to regularly donate to a range of our programs and services through automated payroll deductions. This includes:

There’s no need for employees to worry about keeping receipts or to wait until the end of the financial year to obtain a tax benefit. Employers simply deduct the nominated donation amount from salary before deducting tax so the tax benefit to the employee is immediate.

What are the benefits?

For employers

Inspiring your employees with fundraising initiatives that link to your business’ strategic directions is a valuable exercise to undertake. At YWCA Canberra we know that contributing to the community and seeing the results can boost morale, increase staff retention, and enhance productivity.

Your employees’ collective impact through workplace giving will instil a great sense of common purpose and pride among your team, and foster a culture of corporate social responsibility.

Specifically, workplace giving:

  • Enables employees in the workplace to give to charities pre-tax
  • Provides employers with the opportunity to supercharge company giving by matching staff donations
  • Makes it easy for companies to be good corporate citizens
  • Creates a positive community spirit within your company
  • Changes lives!

For employees

As an employee, participating in YWCA Canberra’s workplace giving program comes with a raft of benefits:

  • You receive an automatic tax deduction and don’t have to retain receipts
  • Your donations can be one-off for special events or ongoing to support our work
  • You and your colleagues can witness the collective impact of your efforts, and see real change at a local community level
  • You will have the opportunity to participate in a range of exciting events and initiatives, offered exclusively to YWCA Canberra’s partners, donors and members

For us

  • We save precious time and human resources that would otherwise be spent campaigning and conducting public fundraising. Instead, your contribution goes to where it is most needed
  • It is the most efficient way to connect employees and employers to make an impact on our work in the local community
  • Regular monthly income allows us to plan in advance, which means we can be more strategic with how we invest your donations
  • We love meeting like-minded people, and collaborating to make positive social change!

How to set up your workplace giving program with us

As an employer, if you wish to offer workplace giving, you can invite your employees to enter into a workplace giving program. Your employees will then specify the amount they wish to donate.

This is typically a fixed amount deducted from their salary or wages on each pay day. You then pay the donation directly to us.

The workplace giving program does not affect the way your employees’ gross income, super guarantee payments or fringe benefits are worked out.

  1. Contact our Director of Communication, Advocacy and Fundraising, Joanna Le, to advise that you’re interested in setting up a workplace giving program with YWCA Canberra.
  2. Joanna will then organise a time for our team to come and present to you and your staff about what we do, and how your donations will make a real impact on our local community.
  3. To progress, we would then provide you with our account deposit details so you can make lump sum deposits to YWCA Canberra.
  4. You then need to decide whether you’re going to specify a minimum donation amount per pay per participating employee, and whether you’ll reduce the amount of tax you withhold from the salaries of your participating employees to account for the amount donated each pay. If you don’t reduce the amount of tax withheld, these employees will be able to claim a deduction when lodging their tax return at the end of the income year.
  5. Deduct the agreed donation amount from the income you pay to each participating employee and forward it to us as a lump sum. We recommend you keep a receipt for your records.
  6. Keep records of the amount donated on behalf of each employee.
  7. At the end of the financial year, advise us and each participating employee in writing of the amount they have donated. We will then provide all employees with a tax receipt.

For more information on working out withholding for regular donations, and for more information about how to inform your employees of their workplace giving contributions, visit the ATO website or call the ATO on 13 28 66.

Download our Workplace Giving Guide

Workplace giving FAQs for employees

What is workplace giving?

Workplace giving is a program that lets employees donate money on a regular basis to one or more charities. The charity must be a deductible gift recipient (DGR) which means that donations to the charity are deductible for taxation purposes.

To check whether a charity is a DGR, visit business.gov.au

Can anyone donate to charities through their payroll?

Your employer must have a workplace giving program in place. Any employer who has one or more staff may start a workplace giving program.

Can I make a donation anytime I like?

No. Workplace giving operates through your payroll system. If you get paid weekly, you must donate weekly. Someone who gets paid monthly must donate monthly.

Can I make a one-off donation through workplace giving?

Provided your employer is in agreement, you can make occasional or one-off payroll deductions that are not part of a regular planned arrangement.

Your employer will vary your withholding for these one-off donations. This will bring forward the tax benefit to the time you make the donation, instead of having to wait until the end of the financial year to claim it in your tax return.

Is there a minimum or maximum amount I can donate?

No, but your employer can set some rules around workplace giving. Some employers may set a minimum of $2 per pay; others may have no minimum or maximum amount you can donate. But remember that donations must be $2 or more to be tax deductible.

Will everyone who donates get a tax benefit each time they donate?

Most people who make a donation will see a tax benefit in their pay. If you donate only a small amount, you may not get a tax benefit until you claim your donations though your tax return.

I notice I pay less tax now that I donate through workplace giving. Does this mean I don’t need to claim the amount I have donated in my tax return?

Everyone who donates through a workplace giving program must claim the total amount of donations in their tax return. You must do this regardless of whether you have been getting pay-day tax benefits for your donations.

Your employer will let you know how much you have donated over the year in some written form or it will be printed on your payment summary (group certificate).

Whose responsibility is it to check that the charity I donate to is a deductible gift recipient (that is, donations are tax deductible)?

Your employer must check that all the charities in their own workplace giving program are deductible gift recipients. They check this by visiting business.gov.au and looking up the Australian Business Register (ABR).

If my office has a workplace giving program in place will I have to donate?

No. Workplace giving programs are entirely voluntary. You don’t have to donate to a charity through your payroll.

Who chooses what charities I can donate to in a workplace giving program?

Employers and employees should agree on which charities take part in any workplace giving program.

Can I stop my donation at any time?

Your employer will usually set some rules around workplace giving. Some may ask you to commit to six months of donations because more frequent changes can become expensive to administer.

Can I donate to more than one charity?

Yes. You can donate to as many charities offered in your program as you like.

Will my personal contact details be supplied to the charities concerned?

No charity should receive any details identifying individual donors without the donor’s written permission. The charities will receive a bulk deposit each payday.

If I participate, how will I know what my money is being used for?

The advantage of workplace giving programs is that the charities receive regular income but don’t have to issue individual receipts, saving time and money. So the charities incur little or no administration costs and 100% of donations go directly to the charity.

Employers should ask charities to provide regular feedback on how donations are being expended and pass on this information to employees making donations (and all employees for their information).

Where can I get more information about workplace giving?

Visit the ATO website or phone the ATO on 13 28 66.

Source: this information was extracted from the ATO website in July 2015.