The South Burnett is very charitable.
The South Burnett is very charitable. Katherine Morris

South Burnett on par with nation in donation haul

THE South Burnett is pretty average when it comes to donating money to charity.

According to a recent report by the Queensland University of Technology 34.68per cent of South Burnett residents claimed their donations through their annual tax return.

Those who did, donated about an average of $298.11 per year and the total amount donated in the 2015/16 financial year was $749,753. This compares with a national average of 33.40per cent of Australians claiming their donations which totals about $633.72 per person. Nationwide, $2.858billion was claimed as a tax deduction by 4.511 million people.

There are many organisations in the Burnett that rely on donations to fund their activities. Relay for Life has always been a point of pride when it comes to fundraising, and Uniting Care also receives a fair chuck of change from the locals. It recently changed how it raises money locally by moving away from an annual door-knock appeal to a static collection at Kingaroy Shoppingworld.

Cameron Prout is the head of fundraising for Uniting Care. He said the static appeal raised $3381.

"That was a pretty good outcome, the average door-knock collection raises about $50 per person so that's the equivalent of having 70 people out on the street,” he said.

There are a number of charities that are moving away from door-knocks.

"We don't have a statewide door knock appeal, back in the day, when door-knocks were really big, service clubs would co-ordinate the school and it was run with military precision. But with the concerns for child safety and the decline in membership of service clubs it's been a real challenge.”

The bulk of Uniting Care funds come from large bequests from wills.

"The Average bequest to charity in Australia is about $65,000, but only only about 8per cent of people who die with a will donate to charity,” Mr Prout said.

Those bequests tend to come from people who have used Uniting Care services like Blue Care or have family members in need of help.

Having that direct relationship with a charity brings certainty in knowing donations will be put to good use.

"The beauty of Uniting Care is that while we have fundraising teams supporting donors, we bear that cost through the business, so 100per cent of what people give goes to what they give it for,” Mr Prout said.

These days, more money is donated online, but physical mail-outs are still used to prompt people to visit a website but there are still dyed-in-the-wool supporters who mail in cash.

"We had a few in the last couple of weeks, there was a lovely long term supporter of Blue Care, she sticky taped her $2 donation on the form, she was apologetic because that's all she could give,” Mr Prout said.