Breaking the cycle of youth homelessness

The Lighthouse Foundation is using MYOB AccountRight to automate donation processing and unlock in-depth reporting.

The mission of The Lighthouse Foundation is clear: to give kids experiencing homelessness, trauma, and those at risk of homelessness the support they need to heal, grow, and achieve a lifelong sense of belonging.

For 30 years, the Foundation has been doing this through a combination of therapeutic care and providing safe places to live, and supporting carers and foster carers to care for vulnerable children.

But as CEO Dr Eamonn McCarthy explains, in many ways, the Foundation is just getting started.

Lighthouse Foundation for Youth logo
Members of the Lighthouse Foundation sitting and smiling in a garden.

Alongside an ever-increasing number of people who need these types of support, the Foundation’s scope of work has recently expanded to focus on the next generation at risk of future homelessness.

With big ambitions to support as many at-risk young people as possible and break the cycle of youth homelessness, the Foundation needed a business accounting system that would help empower it to achieve great outcomes.

Enter MYOB AccountRight.  

“MYOB AccountRight is suitable for us as a medium sized charitable organisation but also can flex with us and add functionality as we progress,” Dr McCarthy says.

Reputation, service, and ease of use

Dr McCarthy says there were a few factors that led to choosing MYOB AccountRight.

First, it came highly recommended by several of the Foundation’s partner organisations. Second, Lighthouse was impressed by MYOB’s ongoing support – a must-have for an organisation with limited time and resources. And third, the system is intuitive, making it easy for any future team members to pick it up quickly.

"As a not-for-profit, we’ve got a responsibility to our donors and stakeholders, and MYOB AccountRight provides us with the safety net we need. Additionally, the feedback from the finance team has been overwhelmingly positive – it’s been a great experience for everyone involved."
Dr Eamonn McCarthy CEO | The Lighthouse Foundation

Connected platform the right foundation

Automated, accurate record-keeping

Almost immediately, MYOB AccountRight removed a lot of the finance team’s manual processing around monthly donations. For a small team, that’s been transformative – especially when donations come in waves.

“Accurate record-keeping is essential, to demonstrate we’re operating responsibly and ensure our donors get what they need, like receipts for their tax-deductible donations”, Dr McCarthy says.

With a single connected system, the Foundation also has better visibility of its cash position and can make informed, confident decisions.

A Lighthouse Foundation member and two children playing with toys.
A baby sitting on the lap of a member of The Lighthouse Foundation.

More meaningful reporting

The other significant change that comes with MYOB AccountRight is access to timely monitoring and reporting across the Foundation. The finance team now can move beyond simple financial accounting and delve deeper into the data.

For the leadership team, that means fast access to meaningful reporting they can use to drive strategic and operational demands without adding to daily workloads. Department managers have better oversight and more autonomy over their budgets, empowering them to make effective decisions. 

"MYOB AccountRight is providing greater confidence across the board in terms of where we’re at and what we can afford to do – and we can make expedited decisions about where we allocate our funding."
Dr Eamonn McCarthy CEO | The Lighthouse Foundation

Set for a bright future

Eamonn says one of the greatest benefits of MYOB AccountRight is the potential for it to scale as the Foundation grows.

While the organisation isn’t chasing growth like a traditional business, there’s still a lot of work to be done. For it to continue having an impact, the Foundation needs a system that can help it adapt to change without constraint, while also having the reassurance that it’s using a system with a great reputation in the market.

“The last thing we want to be doing is implementing new systems just because we've got larger,” Dr McCarthy says.

“We’re working hard to acquire direct funding to support our care for vulnerable youth and MYOB AccountRight will be able to streamline what we’re doing.”

Members of the Lighthouse Foundation standing and smiling in front of graffiti art.

The Lighthouse Foundation: providing care and homes for at-risk young people

  • Established 30-plus years ago with a vision to break the cycle of youth homelessness
  • On track to double revenue over the next three years to $10 million
  • Employees and volunteers – approx. 60 full-time staff plus more than 200 active volunteers

Improvements with MYOB AccountRight

  • Significant reduction in manual processing
  • Single, connected system designed to grow with the business
  • Better visibility of donations and cash flow
  • Faster access to deeper insights for decision-making
  • More budget autonomy for department managers
  • Ready to scale: can add features and functionality when needed

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