Yockleton Holy Trinity
At Holy Trinity in the Diocese of Hereford, we have always tried to be progressive in our thinking. In 2017, following a recent reordering of the church interior to make the building more accessible, the PGS provided us with a new opportunity, and a new method, to increase regular giving.
Why did your church sign up to the Parish Giving Scheme?
In my role as PCC Treasurer, I am constantly looking for new ways to promote voluntary giving. The Parish Giving Scheme gave new impetus to our Stewardship Campaign by providing a facility for regular giving that had the advantage of claiming the Gift Aid for us up front, rather than waiting several months to do it ourselves. We saw it had the potential to considerably reduce the work load of our Gift Aid Officer and improve cash flow for the PCC Accounts.
How did you personally get involved?
I heard about PGS through my involvement as Deanery Treasurer. I was able to see the benefits and sign up for advance promotion of the Scheme. Our PCC were given the opportunity to be “guinea pigs”, to see how it worked first hand, before promoting it further afield.
What did you hope to achieve?
Primarily, we hoped that our regular income would increase, resulting from an enthusiastic response to this new, automated system of giving. In reality, we have seen a slow but progressive increase in the number of givers, and an increase in the overall amount received through the Scheme.
What has been the impact of introducing the scheme at your church?
There is now a nucleus of those who support the church and give regularly, and the income received has grown year-on-year.
What were the key things you got right?
- We promoted it well with literature and banners
- The agreement of the PCC to adopt the Scheme
- Persuading the PCC members to sign up and act as guinea pigs, to see if and how it worked
What were the main benefits of the scheme?
- Simplicity of dealing with it and receiving data
- It provided a regular giving facility
- The Direct Debit system is an improvement on the rigid Standing Order arrangement and certainly on the weekly envelope system
- It is backed by the Direct Debit guarantee
- The facility for donors to index-link their gift
- It speeds the receipt of Gift Aid reclaims
What changes might improve the scheme?
- An online facility to set up new participants and amend existing agreements would be helpful in this digital age – as most things are done online now.
- Perhaps enabling the PCC Treasurer to be more involved in administering the Scheme? When a donor offers to increase their giving, they need to contact the PGS team personally. It can be a little frustrating if the donor doesn’t follow through with this.
What would you say to a church considering introducing the scheme?
As Deanery Treasurer, I am constantly recommending new ways of raising funds to the parishes within the Deanery – and this is definitely one of them. In the past several weeks, I have spoken with three PCC Treasurers, outlining the benefits of the Scheme and helping them through the process of signing up. To any parishes facing a decline in donation income, I would say that the introduction of the Parish Giving Scheme is a ‘No Brainer’!
Richard J V Jones, PCC Treasurer