Pete Squires, Giving Officer for the Diocese of Peterborough, gives us an update on the Parish Giving Scheme, which began to be implemented by the Diocese in June 2019.
As you may already know, the Diocese of Peterborough is in the process of changing its planned giving arrangements to the Parish Giving Scheme (PGS).
We have already run 12 Deanery workshops and have held two Diocese launch events. Since these were held, we have registered 85 parishes to the new scheme – 50 of which are now live and giving through the PGS scheme. We could not have done this without the hard work of Treasurers, Churchwardens, PCCs and individuals who have embraced the change and have made it happen. Your efforts are appreciated!
We continue the roll out across the Diocese. We have just over a year to get all those who give through the existing Diocesan scheme swapped over onto the new scheme (the deadline to move over to PGS is 31st December 2020). We still have work to do! A further 115 parishes need to register and work with their givers to move their giving over.
The significant advantage that PGS offers is that givers can choose to automatically increase their giving each year. The PGS scheme is very effective, and parishes have found it easy to register.
We have had some very positive feedback from the new scheme – some of these comments can be seen below. This should help you have a realistic view so far.
- The changeover went very well, with about 30% signing to have the choice of an increase annually.
- I would say our experience has been quite positive so far. In terms of dealing with the PGS, I’ve found them helpful and responsive.
- They (the PGS) appear to be on top of their process.
- It’s well worth having a good review of the forms before sending them to PGS as I would estimate 20% of ours were incomplete when they were handed back.
- Two members of the PCC volunteered to visit parishioners to explain finances and the new PGS giving scheme.
- I am a PGS scheme user and find it easy to understand the monthly reports I receive and download to check my records. It’s great that PGS pays monies into our bank and claims the appropriate tax back (and pays it into our bank also).
- PGS will reduce some of my workload.
- The internet visibility of PGS is great.
- The cash flow is very prompt – base donation total followed in days by the Gift Aid total.
- We’ve been on the scheme for six months now (involved in the pre-launch) and we have all our church members who give monthly on to it. This has had a good impact on our church giving.
- We were blessed to see an increase in overall giving during this change.
- The change has been good for us – we now know at the beginning of the month where we are financially, instead of the money feeding in in dribs and drabs.
- Working with the congregation and keeping them updated on the transition was an important part for our church.
If your parish has not registered yet, we encourage you to consider using the new scheme. We are happy to walk you through the process. We also have some great advocates for the scheme who are willing to share experiences with both you and your parishes.
Originally, we set out a specific time for each Deanery to engage with the changes required, but due to the fact the process has proven to be simple, we are now encouraging parishes to register by June 2020 and begin the changeover process. You can run PGS alongside your existing scheme. This allows you the chance to try it and drip feed in over a period of time. Some parishes have already done this gradual changeover – others have chosen to do their changes all at the same time.
If your church has never used the Diocesan planned giving scheme, now is the ideal time to start looking at this new opportunity. The Parish Giving Scheme has many benefits for your parish and those who administer your finances. If you want more information, please feel free to contact us using the details below – we are able to help. You can also contact the PGS direct via www.parishgivingscheme.org.uk.
To switch over to PGS, you will need a registration form to get started. We will require an agreement from your PCC for governance and transparency purposes, and we will need signatures from your Incumbent, Treasurer and Churchwarden. Contact us and we will send the required registration form out to you. Fill it in and return it to us with a bank paying-in slip, and we will complete the registration process.
As the Stewardship Team from the Diocese, we are prepared to walk with you through this process. It is important to us that we get it right, and to make the most of this opportunity with PGS. Remember, though, that the deadline to move over to PGS is 31st December 2020, and will come around quickly.
Once again, thank you to all those people that have helped us to make this change thus far. We certainly couldn’t do it without your help and cooperation.