Residents dig deep giving $2m to not-for-profits

FIGURES have revealed Gladstone charities and not-for-profit organisations made almost $50million in a year, and more than half of this was spent on employee expenses.

Data from the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission has shown people dig deep for the region's 60 registered not-for-profit organisations, which recorded a total of $2.1million in donations and bequests in one year.

The figures showed Gladstone's charities and not-for-profit organisations had a combined gross income of $46.6million in 2014.

More than half of this - or $29.1million - went towards expenses, including wages, for about 500 dedicated employees.

Government grants made up about 30% ($13.8million) of the total income from Gladstone charities and not-for-profit organisations and about 4.5% ($2.1million) came from donations and bequests. The remainder came from other sources.

Data from the ACNC also showed which charities and not-for-profit groups recorded the highest donation amounts and who were the biggest beneficiaries of government money in 2014.

Gladstone Central Committee on the Ageing recorded the highest level of donations and bequests in the Gladstone region, having about 42% of the region's total donations pool, with about $888,000.

The committee's administrator, Leanne Kendrick, who was surprised to hear they received the highest amount in donations in the region, said they had about 70 to 100 people aged over 50 on the waiting list for affordable housing.

She said their residential facilities offered rent at a rate at least 20% less than the market value, which often fluctuated.

"We sort of go with the flow with what the over-50s need," Ms Kendrick said.

"They just need to get affordable accommodation, especially if they're based on a pension."

The committee also runs a medical bus used to transport elderly patients to Rockhampton for appointments.

Ms Kendrick said that, without the bus service, people would have to rely on family or public transport, which would usually require them to stay overnight in Rockhampton.

The Gladstone Central Committee on the Ageing also operates the Senior Citizens Centre at Port Curtis Place.

Statistics show Schools and Industry Network - Gladstone Region Inc had the region's second highest donations amount, with about $261,000.

Lifestyle Church Ltd came in third highest with about $213,000.

When it came to government grants, Gladstone Community Linking Agency was the biggest beneficiary in the Gladstone region in 2014, receiving about $3.6million.

This was followed by Nhulundu Wooribah Indigenous Health Organisation with $3.3million and Lutheran Church of Australia Queensland District, which is registered to the Gladstone postcode, with $2.5million.

Ms Kendrick said the region's generosity depended on how the local economy was performing.

"It just depends on what is happening in Gladstone itself," she said.

Across Australia, charities have a combined total income of more than $103billion and employ more than onemillion people.

About 30% of all charities also have a religious basis.

- ARM NEWSDESK



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