Since 1983, Ronald McDonald House BC & Yukon (RMH BC & Yukon) has provided accommodations and support for families from more than 200 communities across British Columbia and Yukon Territory while their kids receive specialized medical care that can only be found at Vancouver’s BC Children’s Hospital. Over the years, it isn’t just the House (as it is affectionately called) that has grown – from 13 rooms to now 73. The community that supports the children and families who stay there, including staff members and volunteers, has grown as well, along with the services available for families in need.
“Childhood illness and the demand for a home away from home and a community of support for families who had no choice but to travel for critical medical treatment wasn’t reduced by the COVID-19 pandemic”, said Richard Pass, CEO at RMH BC & Yukon. “We stayed open throughout and worked with our hospital partners to ensure the families who needed us could count on the House,” he said. “Like everyone, we adapted and made some operational changes to ensure family health and safety remained a priority, but the heart of the House remained.”
What the pandemic did impact, however, was the organization’s ability to fundraise, as it relies heavily on donations to help carry out its mandate. While between 25% – 30% of RMH BC & Yukon’s annual budget is funded by corporate partnership, led by McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada’s guest led initiatives, including McHappy Day, RMHC cookies, and coin boxes, the rest comes from other funding sources.
“It’s been a tough year for fundraising across the entire non-profit sector due to external factors,” Pass acknowledged. “We continue to do everything we can to engage with our donors and provide opportunities for people to get involved with supporting the House, both virtually and in-person. Their support fuels our mission to be a home away from home for kids and families.”
Since RMH BC & Yukon selected Sage Intacct – and its fund accounting features, which help non-profit organizations reduce fund accounting management time by up to 90% – they anticipate it will make financial processes simpler, with streamlined workflows and operational efficiencies that will free up time for the finance team to perform higher value tasks. The platform will also make it easier to report key financial metrics to the organization’s leadership, helping to simplify strategic planning and decision-making.
Even helpers need support
While growing from a very small organization to where it is today has been incredibly rewarding, it has also had its challenges. And while upgrading the organization’s financial management software has been a long-term goal for RMH BC & Yukon, technology itself has accelerated rapidly over the years and it’s been hard to keep up.
Fortunately, RMH BC & Yukon isn’t making the journey alone. Sage Intacct partner, Cantatus, is working with the non-profit organization to ensure a seamless implementation of their new technology solution. “They are more than just industry veterans with in-depth knowledge of accounting best practices and standards,” said Yan-Yan Lee, VP Finance, RMH BC & Yukon said of Cantatus. “They have genuine enthusiasm for non-profits and our mission and have the type of sector-specific knowledge that comes from years of experience providing technical insight. We really appreciate their expertise as we streamline and bring greater insight and efficiency to our organization.”
As Canadians begin to emerge from the pandemic, RMH BC & Yukon continues to rely on community support as it strives to continue its mission and is extremely grateful to countless donors for their ongoing commitment. Thankfully, the organization is experiencing a slow return to fundraising event activities, which produces nearly a third of its annual revenue.
“We’ve been very fortunate to work with great partners like Cantatus and Sage Intacct,” Lee said. “With their help, we are excited our new finance platform will help improve organizational efficiency today and into the future as we grow and expand mission delivery to families.”
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