21/12/2015 - 05:17

Small charities rely on donors more than ever

21/12/2015 - 05:17


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Western Australia’s top charities have reported an average 4.2 per cent increase in revenue this past financial year, with only two of the top 10 reporting less turnover this year than last.

Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research grew its revenue by 9.1 per cent the 2014-15 financial year, according to BNiQ data.

Western Australia’s top charities have reported an average 4.2 per cent increase in revenue this past financial year, with only two of the top 10 reporting less turnover this year than last.

According to BNiQ research for the 2014-15 financial year, Multiple Sclerosis WA grew its revenue by 24.4 per cent on FY2014 figures, Rocky Bay by 15 per cent, Nulsen by 13.3 per cent, UnitingCare West by 11 per cent, Telethon Kids Institute by 10.5 per cent, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research by 9.1 per cent, Activ Foundation by 7 per cent, and Ability Centre by 5.3 per cent.

Anglicare WA recorded a slight dip in revenue of 2.2 per cent, while the Royal Flying Doctor Service’s WA revenue fell 15 per cent.

RFDS WA chair Neville Bassett said the service recorded an $11.4 million operating deficit in the 2014-15 financial year because its service agreements with the state and federal governments did not cover the full cost of operation.

“Consequently, now more than ever before, we are reliant on the generosity of our donors and supporters to subsidise the costs of our operations,” he said.

The RFDS raised enough funds and drew on its non-operating revenue to bridge this gap, but additional funds could not be found to make up for a $15.3 million reduction in capital grants.

Despite the revenue fall, the RFDS transported 9,132 people last financial year, up from 8,846 during the previous period.

Multiple Sclerosis WA reported the greatest year-on-year turnover increase, nearly doubling its fundraising contributions from $7.9 million in 2013-14 to $14.2 million in 2014-15.

This helped provide MSWA with a $4.7 million operating surplus, which it intends to spend on developing a new services hub in Bunbury, as well as new accommodation facilities in Perth’s northern and western suburbs, and Albany.
Budgets in balance

Across Australia, charities operated with a combined income of more than $103 billion in 2014.

According to a recent report from the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, produced in collaboration with the University of New South Wales, most of the sector’s 50,000 charities operated with a balanced budget.

“Some charities were even able to achieve a surplus, highlighting that the sector as a whole is healthy and sustainable,” ACNC commissioner Susan Pascoe said.

The report, which is the first national analysis of its kind, found the amount of donations to charities was inversely related to the size of the organisation.

Donations accounted for 13 per cent of big charities’ total income, but 23 per cent of medium-sized ones and 32 per cent of small charities’ incomes. Only 4 per cent of charities were based in remote areas, while the vast majority (85 per cent) only operated within one state or territory.

More than 1 million people work in charities across Australia, according to the report, with the most common activities undertaken being religious work (30 per cent), education and research (18 per cent) and health (9 per cent).

Disability focus

Incomes for charities with a disability accounted for $52.2 billion, or half of the total income of the nation’s charity sector.

Of the 11,500 charities operating in Australia with a focus on providing services to people with a disability, 30 per cent received most of their income from government, but 50 per cent received no income at all from government.

WA was home to 9 per cent of the nation’s disability charities, a higher percentage than the Northern Territory (1 per cent), the Australian Capital Territory (2 per cent) and Tasmania (3 per cent) and on par with South Australia (9 per cent).

New South Wales had the highest number of disability charities (33 per cent), followed by Victoria (25 per cent) and Queensland (18 per cent).


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