By Glynis Jones, Llanllwchaiarn & Newtown Treasurer
Why have we in Llanllwchaiarn & Newtown taken this up? Well, basically ‘don’t look a gift horse in the mouth’.
The Gift Direct scheme is simple, its free, it brings in income monthly on the same day which makes my planning a lot easier as well as helping me control cash flow. The tax relief is paid monthly which helps regularise our income over the year. But the best reason, from my point of view, is that it saves Parish Treasurers a considerable amount of time, especially when it comes to claiming tax relief.
The scheme is easy to set up. All church members have to do is complete a commitment form and a direct debit form. Although it was initially ‘pushed’ from the front and posters displayed, it was by quiet conversations that most people responded – people had to be spoken to individually about it.
A letter is sent to confirm receipt and to inform when the first payment is to be taken; the donor then can cease envelope donations or cancel a current mandate so that there is no chance of the money being taken twice from someone at the changeover. Of course, donations can be reviewed at any time.
We’ve found that promoting ‘Gift Direct’ has encouraged those giving through our envelope scheme to change to planned, regular giving through Direct Debit, again saving time for Parish treasurers and making income consistent across the weeks/month and we have also found that people have used the chance of the changeover to review their current levels of giving.
In Newtown we will continue to encourage our church members to give through ‘Gift direct’, it’s easy, costs us or the donor nothing, encourages people to give regularly and in a planned way, and save the treasurer a lot of work!