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Parish Giving Scheme (PGS) – change of ownership

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For the past decade, PGS has been an independent charity owned by its members, the 35 dioceses who have chosen to use the Scheme. Below is some information that you may find helpful to understand what’s happening.

What’s happening to PGS?

For the past decade, PGS has been an independent charity owned by its members, the 35 dioceses who have chosen to use the Scheme.

With a vision to advance regular giving in every church in support of local ministry, PGS has sought to work more closely with the Church’s national giving strategy.

Giving through PGS has proven to be one of the most effective mechanisms for growing regular giving, which is why the National Church and PGS have carefully explored how to make its regular giving platform freely available to all churches in the Church of England, with no cost for parishes or givers.

To make this possible, the PGS members have voted to change the structure of the charity. From 1 January 2024, instead of being owned and funded by its member dioceses, it will become part of the National Church, funded centrally by the Archbishops’ Council via a Church Commissioners’ grant. This funding includes additional investment to secure the long-term development of PGS services for givers and all churches.

Why is this change of ownership necessary?

PGS and the National Church recognise the opportunity for all churches to benefit from the Parish Giving Scheme, but this requires substantial additional investment.

By working together, we can make the scheme available to every parish and support the continued growth of regular giving in every church. Through a change in ownership and funding, it is possible to relieve dioceses of this increasing financial commitment and ensure the long-term financial viability of the scheme for the benefit of the wider church.

Why is additional investment needed?

PGS needs to be able to respond to the rapid pace of change in digital methods of giving. To this end we’ll be investing to make improvements in the PGS digital giving platform, as well as developing a range of different methods that work together seamlessly for parishes, so that giving is always safe and easy for their givers and reduces the admin-burden for treasurers.

What will change for givers?

The process for giving through PGS is not altered by the change of ownership, and the PGS team will remain in place to process gifts, Gift Aid claims and support enquiries from givers.

We’re contacting all givers to inform them of the changes, but the platform will continue to be the secure and free giving platform givers know and trust, with 100% of their regular gift going to the parish of their choice.

As service enhancements are rolled out, we’ll contact givers directly if there’s anything new about processing their current regular gift. Otherwise, givers will hear about new ways of giving, such as contactless, through their local church and diocesan team as part of their localised giving strategy.

What will change for the churches that receive the gifts?

PGS will continue to process gifts from its office in Gloucester, with the team that the churches already know, so there is no difference for those parishes who already use the Scheme. We will be keeping Diocesan Giving Advisors and parishes fully informed of any service enhancements as they are rolled out in the coming months.

What will happen to the staff members at PGS?

The well-established team will remain in Gloucester, processing gifts and Gift Aid claims on behalf of parishes, and supporting givers by phone and email.

If PGS is owned by the National Church, does that mean that they will be able to see my personal data?

No. All personal data held by PGS remains confidential, under the existing privacy permissions agreed to by individual givers. Givers can check and update their individual permissions at any time if they have an online PGS account, or by phoning the PGS team during office hours. Personal data is never used for fundraising purposes, only for the purpose of processing your gifts.

This operates in the same way as when the dioceses were the members of the charity; they never had access to any personal data of givers.

Giving through PGS is free for givers currently, is that going to change now?

No. As owners of PGS, the National Church will always take care to avoid decisions that could undermine the trust of givers. While giving services will continue to evolve as the needs of givers and parishes change over time, the National Church has given an assurance that there is no intention of introducing any compulsory charge for givers.