The region’s rescue helicopter service says it is vital that it raises a million dollars more than it did last year.
General manager Kris Beavis says donations dropped by about 12 percent during last year’s global financial crisis, but costs are still rising.
Mr Beavis says this year’s operating budget of $6.5-million is almost double what it was four years ago.
He says records show only about 1.3 percent of local residents make a regular donation to the service.
“That was a bit confronting for us in terms of a statistic, and I’d make the point that’s direct donors to the service,” Mr Beavis said.
“It doesn’t include doorknock donors where they don’t take a receipt etcetera, but in terms of the direct donors that we’re aware of that come to us through payroll or direct deposits toward us, it’s one in a hundred,” he said.
“Our costs have continued to rise with external factors such as the labour market for aviation quite different to CPI… so we’ve gone back and said ‘okay to be sustainable long term, we need to increase our donor base’,” Mr Beavis said.