The Parish Giving Scheme is an excellent way to encourage greater generosity within your church. There are significant benefits compared to other ways of giving.
It enables people to give by direct debit, this is easier to reconcile than standing orders or cash donations
Gift aid is automatically processed every month, saving you considerable time and improving cash flow
Adopting the scheme as part of a generous giving strategy often leads to an increase in giving
Givers can choose to automatically increase their giving by the rate of inflation every year if they wish. This tackles the problem of ‘static giving’, where people’s giving ordinarily remains the same year on year while the costs of the church rise continually due to inflation.
Givers can choose to give anonymously if they would like to.
Churches that have adopted the Parish Giving Scheme are seeing increases in giving as a result, and in early 2019 the Diocese of Oxford received the 200th registration.
All the information you need about the scheme can be found on this page, starting with the two films below. Scroll down the page for the registration form for the scheme and frequently asked questions.
Introducing the Scheme
Case study: implementing the Scheme
We launched the Parish Giving Scheme as part of a recent Stewardship Campaign across all four parishes of our rural Benefice. So far we have seen an amazing increase of over 50% on pledged giving for the coming year. PGS is simple and easy to set up, saves on administration within the Benefice and, with the additional advantage that donors can increase their giving by inflation automatically each year, safeguards against static giving. We are delighted with the scheme and commend it to other parishes.
Rev. Mark AbreyRector of the Chase Benefice
The Parish Giving Scheme has revolutionised giving within our parish. We have been really pleased with the number of people who have adopted it – both existing regular givers and new supporters. With the automatic collection of gift aid it has made life easier for our Treasurer.
Rev. Helen KendrickRector of the DAMASCUS Parish and Area Dean of Abingdon
With so many bank branches closing, PGS has been especially useful for elderly members of the congregation who now find their local branch closed and can’t easily cope with telephoning their bank. Gift Aid rebates are received monthly, which benefits cash flow. And, with nearly 50% of current Stewardship donors moving over to PGS, there has been a considerable reduction in work for the Stewardship Recorder.
Peter BridgesProject leader, St Peter’s Wolvercote
PGS helps churches in the Diocese of Oxford by enabling givers to make a donation via direct debit, rather than traditional ways of collecting money into the local church.
How much will it cost us?
The Diocese of Oxford is paying the costs of participating in the scheme.
How does PGS help givers?
PGS offers givers a convenient and secure method of making their regular donations to their local church by Direct Debit. Givers may have their donation automatically uplifted by inflation each year, if they so choose. Givers can remain anonymous to their local churches, if they prefer.
Are some givers scared of Direct Debits?
Yes – and we need to overcome this fear! Givers are protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee which makes it a very safe system, safer than other forms of giving. More information is available on the website www.directdebit.co.uk or www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk (search for ‘direct debit’)
How does it help PCC Treasurers?
PGS remits money directly to the local church’s bank account on the 10th of each month. The amount remitted is the total for all the PGS givers in the congregation. The Treasurer receives a report showing names and amounts for each donation, except where the donor has chosen to remain anonymous. A payment with the gift aid from the donations is then given to the church a few days later.
How else does it help local churches?
As more and more givers switch to the PGS, it will save many hours of administrative time at local church level. Donations are much easier for the Treasurer (or Giving Officer) to reconcile than standing orders or cash. It will improve cash flow, since Gift Aid is added each month, so there’s no need to wait for the reclaim. Furthermore, with two thirds of givers opting to accept an inflationary uplift, the church receipts should increase year on year.
Why is RPI used for the inflation figure and not CPI?
RPI was the most popular choice amongst givers when the scheme was originally piloted in 2008. The difference between RPI and CPI only makes a slight difference on the increase in gift level. For example, in October 2017, someone who had given £20 a week would see their donation increase by 18p a week more with RPI than CPI. The system applies the most recently published January RPI on the anniversary of the giver’s gift through PGS. It only applies this increase to those givers who have ‘opted in’ – and the new amount is confirmed to the giver in writing.
Why is inflation so important?
Because one of the biggest problems faced by churches is that of ‘static giving’. If giving had kept track with inflation since the year 2000, it would have increased by over 50% – a £40 donation in the year 2000 would have risen to over £60 by 2014.
Who operates the PGS?
The scheme was devised by the Diocese of Gloucester, and it is now an independent charity (Registered Charity 1156606) with trustees from the dioceses that use the scheme.
What happens to my donation if PGS goes bust?
If insolvency were looming the trustees would be bound to manage affairs to avoid restricted donations being placed at risk. The chances of this are extremely small. PGS is a successful and well-resourced organisation with a proven track record in efficiently administering the scheme.
What material/resources are provided for churches?
A full range of well-presented material is available to churches in our diocese. This includes a detailed handbook on the scheme (PDF format), leaflets for givers (A5) and gift forms (A5) for those who are ready to sign up.
How long does it take for the money to come through?
Money is collected from givers on the 1st of each month, and remitted to PCC bank accounts on the 10th of each month – or the subsequent working day. The gift aid is then given to the church a few days later.
What do PGS givers do as the bag or plate is passed round on a Sunday?
We can provide scheme participants with PGS tokens which can be placed on the plate or in the collection bag. This indicates that they participate in PGS and enables them to express an act of offering during the course of Sunday worship.
Where can I get more information?
If you have any further questions, please contact Julie Jones at Julie.Jones@oxford.anglican.org