Enable efficient payroll giving in Spark

Spark allows your employees to make charitable donations in Spark that will come directly off their pay checks, and issues tax receipts and donation acknowledgments based on your program set up. Not only is this an efficient and easy way to donate, but it’s also the most cost-effective donation method for the Causes receiving the donations!  Users can set up one-time or recurring payroll donations in Spark, and the communication between Spark and your payroll system is completed through the exchange of payroll files that we will build together. 

Note: this guide is not intended for clients using a Benevity certified integration.



There are four main deliverables of a successful Payroll implementation:

  • Deduction file format: a file that is sent from Spark to your payroll system, which advises the employee information and the deduction amount, along with any other details your Payroll team may need.
  • Success file format: a file that is sent from your payroll system to Spark, confirming the amount that was actually deducted.
  • Payroll set up: your payroll team will need to set up a deduction code (a.k.a. “pay code”) in line with Spark’s requirements, to ensure an error-free process for processing the deductions.
  • Managed File Transfer (MFT): we will set up a file exchange process so the files can be securely exchanged between Benevity and your payroll systems, on a recurring basis.


Who to Involve

To set up Spark payroll, you will need to involve a few teams and people on your end to complete activities during different phases of the Implementation. A summary is below, along with the typical effort required, and which Implementation Phases they can expect to be involved in. To learn more about the project phases, check out the Implementation Overview.





Tips and Tricks



Implementation Activities

The information below provides a summary of what the Program Owner and Project Manager can do to help your Technical Representatives get started.

Program Owner


Project Manager




We find that our clients have the best post-launch experience when they consider Benevity’s best practices and recommendations. Here are some related to demographic data: 

  • Confirm which users will be eligible for payroll, as soon as you can! The Program Owner, Demographic Data team and Payroll team should all be involved in this conversation.
  • Let us know as soon as possible if you have more than one payroll system. This may mean we will need to complete all steps for each payroll system and engage multiple payroll teams.
  • Give your payroll provider a heads up! They may need to assign someone to work with Benevity directly, or they may have file requirements they can share in advance.
  • Encourage your payroll team to accept Benevity’s best practices and recommendations; this will make for a smoother and error-prone payroll process post-launch.
  • If you have a current program that’s enabling payroll donations, let us know as soon as possible so we can plan accordingly.
  • Work with your Communications Representative to make sure the payroll functionality, and its benefits, are clearly communicated to your employees.


Next Steps

These helpful Implementation Guides help to you get a better understanding of each component and the related work for each phase. These guides are great resources for you to review while you’re getting your teams prepared for the upcoming Implementation. 

Share the Guide with your Technical Representatives

Now that you understand Spark payroll and how we can enable it in your Spark site, please share your program information and the Payroll Technical Guide with the Technical Representatives listed above to get started.


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