The Parish Giving Scheme has now become well-established as the best method for enabling regular giving of inflation-proofed income to our parish churches, and the simplest method of re-claiming Gift Aid monthly. PGS is handled by the PGS Team, relieving PCC treasurers of the administrative burden that regular giving sometimes creates.
Over half of all churches in the Diocese are now enrolled, and across the country, thousands of parishes are using the Scheme.
It has been updated and improved over the last few years, adding digital methods for giver registration and an improved website design.
PGS is a registered charity (registration number 1156606). You can read more about them on their own website here: https://www.parishgiving.org.uk/home/
There are many advantages to using the scheme:
- Versatile ways of giving: new donors and givers can use a paper form, a phone call, or a simple but secure online registration to set up their regular giving.
- Easy to review giving: existing donors can communicate with the PGS team using all standard methods – by phone, post, email and by signing in online to their PGS Giver Account.
- Inflationary uplift: each year the PGS sends the giver a suggestion for how to increase their giving to keep in line with inflation, if the giver has chosen this when registering. They only need to tick a box to agree (but can also decline as they see fit).
- Clear statements: the parish is sent a clear and detailed summary of all giving each month, how much gift aid was claimed, and either the giver’s name or “Anonymous” where this has been chosen.
- Prompt payments: the money arrives with the parish within ten days of being given, and the gift aid claim arrives a few days later.
Fee-free: While other donation and gift aid management software is available commercially, this scheme is overseen by the national Church of England and is free of charge to participating parishes.
Further details are given in this FAQ document which you may wish to download.
If your parish would like to register with the PGS:
1. Prayerfully, the PCC should discuss whether to join the scheme, taking any advice from Church House, Hove, and/or other parishes which use PGS already.
2. If the PCC agree, there should be a formal resolution to use PGS, such as:
We the PCC of ... request the Chichester Diocesan Board of Finance to commence operation of the Parish Giving Scheme on our behalf and authorise … name… to be the main contact/statement receiver.
3. Complete a registration form - this will need to be signed by appropriate leaders within your church.
4. If your parish is a multi-church parish, you have the choice:
- You may register each church separately. Each registration may use the parish’s single bank account, or separate bank accounts, depending on your situation.
- You may register the parish as a single PGS identity, using this Multiple Church Parish Registration form to give the details of all the churches which are included.
5. Please now post the form to Church House together with a bank paying-in slip to enable us to verify the bank account.
6. We will then progress your application with the PGS team and send you a pack of Gift Forms and an Information Booklet to help you get started.
7. PGS will also email you showing you how to use their website and how to access their document hub, with leaflets and information to encourage your new and existing givers to sign up.
Using the scheme
You will want to explain to your church members what PGS is about and why your church has chosen to use the scheme, perhaps inviting existing givers to cancel their standing orders and enrol with PGS. For these communications, we have the following templates and leaflets:
- suggestions for example letters for non-regular and regular givers
- a brief introduction to PGS leaflet for new donors
- the PGS information leaflet for new donors.
- the Donor’s Gift Form, for you to download, add your church’s PGS registration code, and print as many copies as you need.
In time you may need to change specific details for your church:
- a form to change the statement receiver
- a form to authorise the statement to be received by an additional member of the PCC
- a form to notify PGS of a change in your church’s bank account
Remember to keep your A Church Near You page updated with the correct name and address for your church and parish as the PGS website uses this data.
We wish you every blessing and success in this endeavour and hope that it releases new giving and new energy into the mission and life of your church!
Telephone your Parish Adviser: 01273 425 797
Postal address for returning the registration form and bank paying-in slip:
Parish Giving Scheme, Diocese of Chichester, Church House, 211 New Church Road, Hove BN3 4ED