Charitable business and profit for purpose

Rebecca Culverhouse, CEO - accoras


When I was appointed the interim CEO of Accoras in 2015, the business had just four months of operating capital remaining until we would be forced to close the doors.  Federal health reforms had made our old business model redundant, and Accoras needed to find a new way forward.   I knew we were delivering services that mattered to people, so with bold plans and a commitment to commercial viability, drastic changes were made.  I am proud to say that, six years on, we have more than tripled the size of the business, with revenue on 2021 of $10 million and profit of $1.5 million.    

Accoras is a registered charity and not for profit organisation that operates like a business. We believe the less reliant our business is on external funders, the more sustainable our impact will be.  We turn a profit then reinvest these funds back into more services for our community.  We are working towards a community where we have “Good mental health for all”.  Making our own money means we can deliver services for groups of people who would otherwise miss out. 

I believe the days of charities depending on government funding are numbered, and increasingly other charitable organisations and not-for-profits will find themselves on the path Accoras is currently traveling. This is an opportunity for the not-for-profit sector but it requires flexibility, creative and a willingness to change long-established habits. 

A key lesson from the journey Accoras has been on is the importance of relationships within the commercial business world.  It is why I and Accoras were so delighted to receive an invitation to join Queensland Leaders.  It has given us the opportunity to learn from some of the best minds in Queensland business, better identify trends, and keep up to date with best-practice strategy, operation and leadership. 

Our next strategic goal is to achieve $25 million in revenue by 2025.  The strategies, infrastructure and leadership approaches that got us to $10 million will not take us to the next level, and it is organisations like Queensland Leaders that we look to for help becoming an organisation that can better achieve “good mental health for all” by reaching exponentially more people with the right support at the right time. 

Should you require further information please visit: www.accoras.org.au or phone: 07 3255 6555

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