It feels good to be generous and it’s even better when generosity is rewarded. In recent times, there have been a number of changes and new initiatives that have made it easier and more beneficial for ordinary people to give to others.
In 2007, a number of groups working in the charitable sector got together to form Generosity New Zealand. The aim is to create better awareness of giving in New Zealand. Giving includes money, time, gifts and acts of kindness. The vision for Generosity New Zealand is a society where giving is the norm, where generosity is recognised and celebrated and where giving is supported by government, business and the community.
There are several projects underway, including a project to increase awareness of payroll giving. Payroll giving is a scheme introduced by Inland Revenue which enables employees to make a donation to registered charities and receive the tax benefit from the donation straight away. Employers can choose whether or not they offer this scheme to employees. The advantages of the scheme are:
- Tax benefits are immediate and are 33.33% of money donated with no upper limit
- There is no need for the employee to file a return to IRD
- It is easier on the pocket to donate by small, regular amounts rather than larger lump sums
- All funds go directly to the charity with no ‘middle man’ costs from telemarketers or advertising campaigns
Other projects of Generosity New Zealand include encouraging ‘giving circles’ to involve more people in giving time and money and promoting a ‘three money box’ idea for children (one for spending, one for saving and one for charity).
This is the season for giving and a good time to think about how you can be generous to others.