Payroll giving

Child in India eating their school meal

Payroll giving

An easy, tax-efficient way of donating through your salary

What is payroll giving? 

Payroll giving, workplace giving or Give As You Earn (GAYE) is a fantastic scheme for employed UK taxpayers to donate money to Mary's Meals.

A payroll giving scheme allows you to make donations directly from your gross pay before tax (but after National Insurance deductions). This means that your donation will cost you up to 45% less than if you simply made a one-off donation after tax.

If you are an employer looking to set up a payroll giving scheme for the first time, click the button to go to our information for employers.

Child from Malawi holding a blue mug of porridge

Benefits of payroll giving

Payroll giving is the most tax-effective way to donate to Mary's Meals, helping transform the lives of hungry children around the world. A donation of £19.15 per month is enough to feed one child every school day for a whole year and can cost you as little as £10.53 per month (depending on how much tax you pay).  

This is because payroll donations are taken out of your salary before tax by your employer, as part of the payroll process. This makes it an easy way for you to give, and it means we receive more money at no extra cost to you!    

This table shows how much more impact your gift can have if you choose to donate through a payroll giving scheme.   

of tax
Monthly donationCost to 19% taxpayerCost to 20% taxpayerCost to 21% taxpayerCost to 40% taxpayerCost to 42% taxpayerCost to 45% taxpayer Cost to 48% taxpayer
England, Wales or Northern IrelandMary's Meals receives £19.15 








ScotlandMary's Meals receives £19.15








Scotland has differing tax levels to the rest of the UK, and therefore cost will differ depending on the tax rate.

If you are a basic rate taxpayer (20%), for every £1 you earn above your tax threshold, 20p is paid in tax. This means if you pledge £19.15 per month, Mary’s Meals will receive the full amount, but only £15.32 will be deducted from your net pay, with the income tax applicable to the donation being paid to Mary’s Meals instead of HMRC.  

If you choose to set up a payroll gift, you have full control over how much you would like to give. There is no minimum, or maximum amount, and you can amend or cancel your gift at any time by speaking with your employer.

Your first step is to find out if your employer currently offers a payroll giving scheme. If they do, it’s as easy as letting your employer know you’d like to donate to Mary’s Meals, and how much you’d like to give each pay period. They will then action this, and you’re all set! Some organisations even match your donations. 

If your employer is not yet set up for payroll giving, you can speak with them to encourage them to set up a scheme. It’s really easy for them to do, and you can provide them with a link to this web page to provide all the information they need.

If you would like more information about payroll giving donations to Mary's Meals, email or call 0800 6981212.


Benefits of payroll giving for employers

Setting up a payroll giving scheme for your company is very simple to do and a fantastic way to provide an additional benefit to your employees at no cost to you. It offers them an opportunity to support charitable causes while demonstrating the company's commitment to social responsibility. Companies offering a payroll giving scheme may also benefit from the Payroll Giving Quality Mark, a government-backed accreditation. 

By choosing to donate to Mary’s Meals, your employees will have the opportunity to change the lives of children all over the world who are missing out on the benefits of education because of hunger.

How to set up a payroll giving scheme as an employer

1. Choose a payroll giving agency

Employers wishing to offer a payroll giving scheme must choose a payroll giving agency to operate with. The agency does the administration and processing to link donations to the correct charities.

CAF Give As You Earn is the UK’s largest payroll giving agency, offering a flexible and free service to employers. They also provide a free matched giving facility should you wish to match the donations made by your employees. A full list of approved agencies can be found on the government website.

2. Promote payroll giving and staff sign up

Promote payroll giving to your staff. A bespoke online sign-up form will be provided by your chosen payroll giving agency for staff to use to sign up. 

Please get in touch if you wish to organise a talk from Mary’s Meals to explain payroll gifts to your employees.

3. Deduct donations

As staff members use the online form to sign up, you will be notified to set up payroll deductions. Deduct employee donations from their salary using your usual payroll software and send employee names and donations to the payroll giving agency every pay run. Salary donations are then distributed to the employee’s chosen charities. 

Are payroll giving agencies free to use?  

Most payroll giving agencies are free to use for employers. Agencies take their fee by deducting an administration fee from the donation which varies between agencies but is typically between 1% and 5%. Some employers choose to cover this fee on behalf of their employees.

What is matched giving? 

Many organisations choose to match employee donations made via payroll giving. 

Matched giving is a fantastic way to encourage employees to sign up to the payroll giving scheme, and for a company to further demonstrate its commitment to social responsibility. 

Companies may choose to boost employees’ donations like-for-like (e.g. doubling or tripling their gifts), or as a one-off extra donation for new sign ups. 

What does our payroll department have to do? 

After employees have signed up for the payroll giving scheme, the payroll department will be responsible for deducting the relevant donations each payday, using a company’s usual payroll software. Most modern payroll systems can easily accept payroll giving, usually through a simple tick box. Collected donations are then sent to the payroll giving agency alongside the names of those donating. 

Why do we need a payroll giving agency and how do we find one? 

Companies are not able to offer payroll giving without a payroll giving agency. This is a contractual relationship that provides HMRC with an audit trail for pre-tax deductions. 

A full list of approved suppliers can be found on the government website.

At Mary’s Meals, we choose to partner with CAF Give As You Earn, the UK’s largest payroll giving agency.

Once you have chosen a payroll giving agency, all you need to do is complete and return their registration agreement which can usually be found on their website.

What is the Payroll Giving Quality Mark? 

The government-accredited Payroll Giving Quality Mark is a benchmarking system that recognises payroll giving schemes. 

Every employer that offers a payroll giving scheme is eligible to receive a Quality Mark, and it’s a fantastic opportunity to show your achievements as an organisation. Quality Mark levels are awarded based on the percentage of your workforce donating through payroll giving. 

Applications are made via your payroll giving agency. Find out more here.

Child in class in Kenya

It costs just £19.15 to feed a child for an entire school year!