Innovative Trial Aims To Boost Funding For Region’s Rescuers

As we rapidly transition towards a cashless society, one Mackay charity has embraced the challenge and begun trialing a new way of accepting donations.

 With many people ditching cash in favour of paying with cards, RACQ CQ Rescue is introducing Tap and Donate terminals at local businesses which will enable card holders to quickly and easily make a $2 donation to the Mackay-based rescue helicopter.

The terminals now sit alongside the traditional RACQ CQ Rescue donation boxes at the Caltex service stations at Northern Beach, Malcomson Street, Paget and Nebo Road, the two Coffee Clubs at Caneland Central and Coffee Club in Wood Street as well as the café at Mackay Airport.

RACQ CQ Rescue CEO Ian Rowan said statistics showed tap-and-go technology was increasingly being used instead of dollars and cents, even for purchases of less than $5.

The intention of the Tap and Donate terminal in addition to moneyboxes was to make donating to the community-funded rescue helicopter a swift and pain-free transaction for users which in turn has huge benefits for those across the region in dire need.

“Tap and donate is an innovate new way to generate income for our community-funded rescue helicopter to make sure we can continue be a lifeline and be available 24/7, 365 days a year to anyone in need,” Mr Rowan said.

“Statistics show that less and less people are carrying cash these days, therefore dropping their spare change into a moneybox isn’t always feasible.

“Early indications suggest these Tap and Donate terminals have been very positively received and given the trial continues to do so well, we are hoping to roll out more terminals throughout 2019 to sit alongside our current moneyboxes on counters at more than 100 businesses across the region.”

Mr Rowan said innovation in terms of fundraising was absolutely vital given the Mackay-based rescue helicopter’s workload was growing every year as were the service’s operational expenses.

“We are only partially government funded meaning there’s about $5 million each year we need to raise from this community in the form of donations, sponsorship and through events,” Mr Rowan said.

“RACQ CQ Rescue is a vital part of emergency support for all workers and residents in this region and it’s reassuring to know local businesses and organisations value of supporting our helicopter and that with their generosity we can continue to provide our vital aeromedical service to anyone in a time of crisis,” he said.

“The reality is we rely heavily on donations so the community’s help is vital to keeping the helicopter available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and ready to respond to emergencies at a moment’s notice, anywhere, anytime.”

Mr Rowan said it cost more than $9.4 million annually to keep the world-class helicopter rescue service in the sky.

“This generous support for our service from a grateful community absolutely helps us save lives in this region,” Mr Rowan said.

“If you don’t have the spare change now we’ve provided another very simple means for people to donate to RACQ CQ Rescue and ensure we can keep flying to the rescue.”