Why Fraser Coast is one of state's least charitable areas
REGIONAL Queenslanders like Jennie Pavey are a generous lifeline for charities across Australia.
Even when times are tough Jennie finds a few bob to support her favourite organisations like Guide Dogs Queensland.
While we may be one of the least charitable areas in Queensland, Fraser Coast residents who donate gifted an average $290.97 to worthy causes over the past two years.
A NewsRegional analysis of Australian Taxation Office tax-deductible giving data shows the number of locals donating to charities fell but the region's average gift per donor rose in the 2015-16 financial year from the previous 12 months.
In 2015-16, 11,458 residents donated about $299.58 each compared to 11,858 locals giving $282.66 each in 2014-15.
While our region had the fifth lowest average donation per giving resident across 13 major regional centres in Queensland, collectively we did donate $3,432,552 in 2015-16, about $110,000 down on the previous year.
Guide Dogs Australia relies on donations to fund its life-changing work for people with sensory disabilities.
The organisation was named the country's most trusted charity this year.
Guide Dogs Queensland community engagement general manager Jock Beveridge said the generosity of our region helped fund guide dog breeding and training programs and other support services.
"We have great support from regional areas," Mr Beveridge said.
"More than 90 per cent of our revenue comes from donations and people raise money for us in all sorts of ways - through barbecues, fundraisers, gifts in wills.
"Regional residents are critical to our work."
Women are more likely to donate higher portions of their income to charity but men give more money overall, researchers at QUT's Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies found.
Police, teachers and ministers of religion were the most generous donors and CEOs, managing directors and surgeons claimed the most tax deductible donations, Professor Myles McGregor-Lowndes said.
"When it comes to occupations with the highest percentage of donating taxpayers, police came out on top for the sixth year in a row, with almost three-quarters of officers giving, followed by school principals," he said.
Jennie's loyal support of pawfect charity
JENNIE Pavey reckons Guide Dogs Queensland is the pawfect charity to support.
The 49-year-old insurance consultant started donating to Guide Dogs about 20 years ago and says she cannot see a time when she won't support its work.
"In 1998, I started supporting Guide Dogs Queensland by purchasing their great quality merchandise and then in 2005 I actually looked at what other ways I could get involved and that is when I commenced regular contributions to be a part of the Puppy Pal Program where you help sponsor a litter," Jennie said.
"Honestly, you just have to watch a guide dog in action and that was what did it for me.
"They are a true companion that gives their owner mobility, independence and a fulfilling life.
"I can't even imagine the total trust they would have in their guide dog to navigate on and off public transport etcetera, but that's why the puppy training is so important."
Jennie said supporting GDQ and other charities was the perfect way for her to help others.
"I want to live a full and happy life and I find by giving what you can whether it's monetary or volunteering makes you even happier knowing that you have made a difference and helped changed someone's life," the mother of two kids and a "cheeky Schnauzer" said.
"Sometimes it just takes a little sacrifice but every little bit does help."
Our most charitable postcode revealed
RESIDENTS of the 4655 postcode are the most charitable in the Fraser Coast region, ATO data shows.
About 7369 taxpayers from that area donated an average of about $310 in 2015-16.
Residents in the 4650 postcode area gave away about $280 each to charities in the 12 months.
Philanthropy Australia policy advisor Krystian Seibert said people gave to charities that aligned with their values and cultural identity.
"People also get a lot of personal satisfaction from giving and wanting to do the right thing," Mr Seibert said.
"Plus people like to give back to their community."
The Giving Australia 2016 report found more than 50 per cent of non-givers did not donate because they could not afford it.
The others would not donate because they did not trust charities, were concerned too much money was used for administration or they questioned whether the money would reach those in need. -NewsRegional
BY THE NUMBERS
Taxable donations by region and average amount per donor in the 2015-16 financial year.
REGION, NUMBER OF DONATIONS, TOTAL DONATED, AVERAGE GIFT PER DONOR
Southern Downs: 4583, $3,114,496, $679.58
Gold Coast: 95,231, $53,777,486, $564.71
Sunshine Coast: 48,475, $25,908,340, $534.47
Toowoomba: 28,609, $11,779,655, $411.75
Ipswich: 34,466, $12,562,642, $364.49
Gympie: 9458, $3,189,898, $337.27
Cairns: 28,324, $9,155,372, $323.24
Gladstone: 10,759, $3,266,948, $303.65
Fraser Coast: 11,458, $3,432,552, $299.58
Townsville: 37,967, $10,740,358, $282.89
Rockhampton: 20,957, $5,761,653, $274.93
Bundaberg: 12,906, $3,437,128, $266.32
Mackay: 23,532, $6,165,675, $262.01
Source: Queensland University of Technology Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies; Australian Tax Office