Case Studies

Since payroll giving was introduced in January 2010, almost $14 million has been donated through the scheme by generous employees across New Zealand.

In November 2013 alone, over $490,000 was donated by 4,769 employees working for 885 employers.

Read more to find about how payroll giving is being used by companies and their employees to support charities and schools across New Zealand.

MSD: Early Adopter of Payroll Giving
Nadine Kilmister is one of more than 200 staff who have donated a total of more than $1 million since MSD brought in payroll giving in April 2010.

“I decided to do payroll giving because I wanted to be able to give to a multitude of organisations including my school, church, Barnardos, World Vision and other places I support in a really easy way,” says Nadine, who is the General Manager of Communications at National Office.

It’s been set and forget, she says.

“I do it every fortnight. My payments go out and I don’t even see it. I get the tax back straight away. It’s so simple.”

“I also support the Haemophilia Association and I was really pleased to see that they were on the system here and I was able to quickly make my donation to them, which I do a couple of times a year. Brilliant.”

One-off donations for disasters like the Canterbury earthquakes were easy to make through payroll giving, which is found through Your Pay.

MSD was one of the first employers in New Zealand to offer payroll giving.

“I’ve actually spoken to quite a lot of people about this, particularly in relation to giving donations to your school. I’ve had so many people say to me, ‘I really wish my organisation did this’. And that’s people in Government, people in banks, who have said, ‘I would love that because I don’t have to wait a whole year to get my tax back and it’s just so easy and convenient. I’ve actually had people be quite jealous that we’ve done this because they think it’s great. They’d love it”

Employee Case Study: Cherie Walters
Telecom employees who make school donations through payroll giving receive a two-fold benefit – they receive the immediate tax credit and their school receives double the donation through Telecom’s payroll giving matching programme.

When Cherie Walters, Client Liaison at Gen-i, explained the doubling effect of her donations made through payroll giving to Whenuapai School, her local principal couldn’t believe how good it sounded, “He said to me, ‘Wow! That’s amazing!’

“It’s obvious, isn’t it? I’ve got two children at the school and I’m paying two lots of donations – and the school is getting four lots,” Cherie says. “I also have a preschooler that will be attending the school in few years. The donations I make now will benefit her future and I’m pretty proud of that.”

The other benefit for Cherie is the ease of use. “The tax part of it is already credited back. It’s so easy.”

Cherie is keen for all her Telecom colleagues to get onboard and help their own kids’ schools benefit.

“It’s only going to benefit them and their school – and make them look good,” she says.

“My school was rapt.”

How payroll giving works for Cherie
Kids at Whenuapai School: 2
Total annual donation requested by school: $440
Cherie pays: $440 from her pre-tax income in a once-off donation
Cherie notices: only $294 missing from her pay
Whenuapai School gets: Cherie’s donation + Telecom’s donation = $880 per annum

Regular giving is something many small to medium enterprises do well in New Zealand but not all do it in a planned way or fully recognise the value giving can have for reputation and staff morale and retention.

Wellington-based web and software development company, Signify, which employs ~20 people, has built giving – or being ‘good’ – into its strategic plan to guide the way the business is run.

Over the seven years since the company was launched, being good has grown to encompass supporting a number of organisations and individuals in practical and financial ways.

Signify has a formal budget for monthly donations, including support for the Wellington City Mission. Staff members are also given the opportunity to support World Vision through voluntary deductions from salaries. Management then matches the amount donated $1 for $1.

The company also does pro bono work for organisations such as Neighbours day Aotearoa, the Employers’ Disability Network and the Drug Foundation.

The company supports payroll giving through its payroll provider allowing employees to donate to a charity of their choice.


CanTeen supports young people in New Zealand aged 13-24 living with cancer, and has strong relationships with a number of corporate partners and individual donors.

The organisation does not receive any government funding and is totally reliant on the generosity of individuals, the community and its fundraising partners.

Brad Clark, CanTeen’s general manager, marketing and fundraising, said that CanTeen’s corporate partners found there were major benefits to having a tangible link with a high profile charitable brand.

The organisation’s major corporate partner is Pams and, particularly for the iconic Bandanna Challenge, Foodstuffs retailers New World, PakNSave and Four Square. It also has relationships with ASB Bank, Burger King, BP, Farmers, Repco and Radius Pharmacies.

“Our philosophy is that we are in boots and all. We don’t just have our hands out. We want these organisations to get benefits from these projects,” he said.

“The potential of increased income streams from the lifting of tax caps for business and payroll giving schemes could have profound effects on the work we are able to do.”

Telecom: $2 million and Counting

2 million telecom

Telecom has been offering a payroll giving and matching programme to their employees since 2011 and recently celebrated reaching the $2 million dollar milestone for the programme. 

Since Telecom offers a universal programme, employees have the choice to donate to any of the 26,000 charitable organisations and schools verified by the IRD.

Megan Skiffington from Gen-I (a division of Telecom) started payroll giving to Ronald McDonald House after experiencing first-hand how the organisation can make a difference.

“Ronald McDonald house gave me a home for eight weeks while my first baby was in the neonatal ward at Wellington Hospital.  We live in the Manawatu and had to be flown to Wellington for an emergency caesarean when I was 26 weeks pregnant. My girl could not be moved back to our hospital due to infection in the Wellington unit.  We could not have afforded a motel for eight weeks, and I could not have left her, so I just don’t know what I would have done without them” says Megan. 

Megan says that she likes payroll giving because the Telecom system makes it easy to give, “I just set it up once, at the amount I could afford, all done quietly with no fuss, all I have to do is smile when I remember about my donations!” she says.

Payroll Giving donations are matched by Telecom, up to a cap of $1,000 for schools (renewed in 2013 and 2014) and $1,000 for charities per employee. Over the last few years, donations have been made to Regional SPCA’s, children’s charities like Child Cancer, Cholmondeley and KidsCan along with hundreds of school donations paid. These are just a few examples of donations through the program. 

Here are a few interesting statistics about Telecom’s payroll giving program:

  • 675 schools and charities have received donations through our program;
  • $61 is the average donation for the 2014 financial year;
  • 35% of Telecom and Gen-i people have participated in payroll giving since 2011;
  • More than $2m has been donated into our community since 2011;
  • Telecom people participating in payroll giving also receive an immediate 33% tax credit on their donation.


When the Government introduced payroll giving in 2010, iPayroll found just the opportunity they were looking for – a business relevant way to help the charitable sector.

As a payroll service provider, they developed their own iPayroll Giving Service. This is a free service for their clients, administering payroll giving to iPayroll’s ‘family of charities’ (their charitable clients).  All employees of clients using iPayroll are able to donate directly to the charities through their online payroll kiosk and receive their tax credit at source. Approximately $150,000 has been donated through iPayroll since.

iPayroll clients are also able to set up payroll giving to charities of their choice themselves. Many more thousands of dollars have been donated to these charities through iPayroll, with employees able to receive their tax credit at source. iPayroll is also currently working on an additional payroll giving service which should result in even more being donated to charities in the coming years.

While iPayroll developed a specific service, most payroll providers should be able to facilitate payroll giving. iPayroll’s advice to businesses looking at starting payroll giving is to make it possible for employees to donate anonymously, as they have found that many are reluctant to have their details used by charities for marketing purposes.

iPayroll have had great feedback from their clients about the benefits of payroll giving, and their helpdesk personnel regularly receive calls from employees telling them how much they love it! 

Telecom: Payroll Giving and School Donations

Telecom has been offering a payroll giving and matching program totheir employees since 2011 and recently celebrated reaching the $2 million dollar milestone for the program.

The payroll giving programme operating at Telecom incorporates schools so parents and caregivers can pay their child’s school donations via the program. Payroll Giving donations are matched by Telecom, up to a cap of $1,000 for schools (renewed in 2013 and 2014) which means that there is an opportunity for schools to receive double the donation. 

Payroll giving to schools is hugely popular at Telecom and the Telecom Foundation’s annual ‘Back to School’ campaign provides a specific opportunity where the Telecom Foundation actively encourages parents and caregivers to think about paying school donations via payroll giving.  Donations to schools make up well over half of all Telecom’s payroll giving donations every year. 


Telecom’s Anna Loughnan signed up for payroll giving as soon as it was offered.  She says that it seemed like a convenient way of paying the hefty school donation to her daughter’s school. Anna says the added sweetener was the matching of donations up to $1000 by Telecom.

 “I signed up right at the start of when it was introduced.  I was able to set up a fortnightly donation amount and then forget it, so I didn’t need to decide whether to pay the full school amount before 31st March in order to get a quick tax rebate.  I was able to spread the payments out over the whole school year.  No bank transaction fees, I paid less (due to the tax component) and of course Telecom matched my payments to the school – a win for everyone” says Anna. 

The Telecom Foundation regularly receives feedback from schools about the difference the payroll giving programme makes and the matching donations to schools fits with the Foundation’s goal of ‘creating a better future for Kiwi Kids’.

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Making giving easy – A new approach to Payroll Giving at Perpetual Guardian

With the launch of the Perpetual Guardian Foundation, the introduction of payroll giving was a natural fit given the company’s commitment to new and innovative ways to encourage New Zealanders to generosity, and the managing director’s pledge to make regular charitable giving the social norm. It was therefore no surprise when Andrew Barnes agreed to match each Perpetual Guardian employee’s donation $1 for $1 in the Perpetual Guardian scheme.

The payroll giving scheme at Perpetual Guardian not only provides staff with a quick and tax effective means of donating to charity, it also provides them with an opportunity to engage with their community and make a positive difference by uniting their donations in the Perpetual Guardian Staff Fund –  a sub-fund of the Perpetual Guardian Foundation.

By directing their payroll donations to one recipient, the Perpetual Guardian Staff Fund, rather than many (there are over 27,000 registered charities eligible to receive donations through payroll giving) we streamline the giving process for our payroll department,, not to mention the matching donation made by Andrew Barnes.

Staff will be actively involved in not only donating, but also granting to causes close to their hearts. We are excited about developing an effective granting program with an advisory board made up of staff members who will be guided by their colleagues who are drawing on 100 years of philanthropic experience at Perpetual Guardian.

Your organisation could do the same by setting up your own Staff Fund, and in doing so you will empower your employees to become the keepers and protectors of their own philanthropic legacy and vision – both for staff members now, and in the future.

Click here to find out more

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