Taking control of financial performance management with a powerful analytics and governance platform
Hospitals and research centers across Brisbane rely on Mater Foundation’s Fundraising efforts to support their important work.
With a target of distributing AUD 20 million in funds per year by 2021, the organization is now using IBM analytics technology to enhance governance and fine-tune its financial plans to help it achieve this ambitious goal.
In many countries, the role of philanthropy in healthcare funding is becoming increasingly important – and Mater Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that raises funds for the Mater Hospitals group in Brisbane, Australia, provides an excellent example of how successful this approach can be.
Over the past three years, donations from more than one million supporters have enabled Mater Foundation to provide almost AUD 32 million of funding to over 1,000 projects – purchasing life-saving medical equipment, improving patient care, ad ensuring that research teams continue to find better ways to diagnose, treat and ultimately cure life-threatening diseases.
For example, the Foundation supports the “Mater Little Miracles” program, which helps fund specialist care for more than 2,000 babies born seriously ill or prematurely every year. Researchers at Mater are developing potential solutions to a range of challenges these babies face.
Meanwhile, the “Mater Chicks in Pink” program focuses on emotional, practical and social support services for women with breast cancer, both during and after their treatment.
Vincent McFarlane, Chief Operating Officer of Mater Foundation comments: “The size and scope of our fundraising operations have grown considerably in recent years, and we have big plans for the future. Our goal is to achieve an annual distribution of AUD 20 million by 2021, all of which can be invested directly in patient care and research. To achieve this, we need to grow our three main strategic revenue streams: corporate and community events, gifts and bequests from major donors, and the sale of lottery tickets.”
With the scale of its operations set to increase, the organization realized that its existing financial planning processes would need to be upgraded.
Vincent McFarlane explains: “Our planning and budgeting systems were built on spreadsheets, which was fine when we were a smaller organization. However, as we grew, we needed more certainty around our financial returns – which meant we needed to apply more sophisticated controls and governance structures.
“We also wanted to be more confident in the way that we modeled our revenues and costs around lotteries and donations, and to be able to analyze acquisition, retention and lifetime value in a more detailed way. It became clear that unless we re-engineered our finance processes, the spreadsheets were going to limit our ability to achieve our goals.”