Catalight transforms HR and finance to fuel greater service impact.

“We had people managing many disparate data points and then updating them in multiple tools. Now, everything goes into one system and everyone has access.”—Chief Operating Officer

Increased time spent on strategic work from 10% to 25%

Reduced time to implement organizational changes by 50%

Consolidated multiple applicant systems into a single view

Decreased average job requisition process by 64%

Catalight has a bold vision: break down barriers and biases to create a more equitable world that enables people with developmental disabilities to choose their path. They do this by serving 17,000 families through individualized care services, clinical research, and advocacy work. With a network of 14,000 practitioners and over 100 providers, Catalight needed an HR and finance solution to support its impact-growth goals.

The nonprofit was managing a complex, manual, multivendor framework with ~15 disparate systems across HR and finance that was costing time, energy, and resources. Without a holistic view of finance and HR, Catalight was challenged to understand the real-time impact of operations on financials and workforce management, and to keep pace with the rapid expansion of the nonprofit’s clinical service line.

“We needed to catch up with all of the things behind the scenes that were going to be important for us to keep delivering exceptional care,” says Chief Operating Officer Natalie Margolis. “That predicated the need for us to mature all of our systems.”


I’m focused on innovation, because if we don’t keep up with what’s happening externally and in our industry, we are not going to be able to survive.

Chief Operating Officer


Taking on the challenge.

Catalight’s transformation with Workday marked the start of an era defined by insightful analytics, streamlined processes, and a strategic approach to HR and finance management. 

Driven by a need to innovate, Margolis reached out as soon as it was clear Workday had a dedicated nonprofit practice. 

Deploying Workday Human Capital Management (HCM) and Workday Financial Management was a game changer, enabling Catalight to consolidate its technology landscape and future-proof the organization.

Everything for tracking our turnover was done in a different place, a different system, all the way from recruitment metrics and offboarding to exit interviews. Now, we have all that in one place.

Chief Operating Officer


Change happens at both the people and technology level.

Taking its people on the transformation journey was critical to success. Catalight leaders and Workday partnered to drive change management and growth efforts, enabling business owners to unlock people, resources, and precious time needed to focus on impact growth. 

“Change is hard, but there’s always a solution. That’s what we believe, and that’s what we partnered with Workday on,” says Margolis. “Workday values aligned with ours. We could partner to think through not only how to change our technology, but also how to successfully manage change within our organization. Keeping our purpose and our values at the forefront was a key element of our success.”

With Workday HCM and Workday Financial Management as the backbone, Catalight led with innovation, removing silos and driving collaboration.

“We used the Workday Launch deployment approach. It’s focused on best practices that Workday has from partnering with many other customers,” says Margolis. “It made us think differently as an organization and to take a step back and evaluate. That was really helpful for us.”

Margolis found that improving HCM and payroll management gave employees the information they needed to better evaluate and manage their resources. By building access controls into its system, Catalight minimized the amount of time spent troubleshooting and requesting system information from other departments, helping to streamline process flows and freeing up 15% more time for strategic work.

Improved reporting capabilities enhance user experience.

Data was especially pivotal for Catalight, allowing the nonprofit to analyze turnover data, recruitment metrics, offboarding interviews, and an executive dashboard for the first time in one place. “The amount of time savings, as well as the quick review and understanding of the different graphs and reports, is a much better user experience,” says Margolis. With easier access to employee metrics, business leaders reduced the time necessary to deploy organizational changes by 50%. 

And this single view not only enabled an organizational HR shift, but also delivered better visibility on an individual employee level. The ability to input performance reviews and compensation changes for employees and have the data feed into the company’s budget left more time for HR to deliver an improved user experience for its employees and technology partners. 

The response from employees has been “very positive,” says Margolis, with employees highlighting a user-friendly experience.

We responsibly disrupt. As a nonprofit, we believe you have to be agile and forward-thinking when it comes to everything we do in order to make a greater impact in the world.

Chief Operating Officer


Recruiting and retaining a skilled workforce.

Beyond improving the experience for existing employees, Catalight realized the benefits of automation and integration in fast-tracking recruiting. Human Capital Management and Expense Management helped the nonprofit build an applicant-tracking system for its recruitment and onboarding processes to replace two existing systems.

Workday Recruiting empowered Catalight to work toward automating candidate administration, including interview invitations, rejections, scheduling, and offer-letter generation using templates. Less time spent on manual acquisition created additional time for HR to focus on a workforce plan tied to developing new positions, helping to reduce the average time needed to create and approve a job requisition by 64%. A seamless hiring process is critically important for Catalight’s geographic and service-line expansion.

Procurement will lead future optimizations.

One year since its Workday launch, Catalight is looking forward to the future of optimization, unlocking more value by enhancing controls, leveraging reporting capabilities, and enabling self-service. It has identified procurement as its next focus—a process Catalight has only conducted through email so far. “That’s really going to change our world, and also help our vendors have a better experience as well,” Margolis says.

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