Chief Financial Officer

Administration · Chicago, Illinois
Department Administration
Employment Type Full-Time

People’s Action Institute (501c3), and sister organization People’s Action (501c4), are national progressive organizations supporting the mobilization and leadership of the grassroots in support of an agenda that reflects people over profits. People’s Action/Institute builds the power of poor and working people, in rural, suburban, and urban areas to win change through issue campaigns and elections.  

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Summary of role:

People’s Action is seeking a dynamic, mission-driven Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”) to provide strategic leadership for the organization’s core financial operations and in support of the goals and objectives established by the Board and Executive Director. This is an ideal opportunity for a seasoned, hands-on finance professional to help continue the growth trajectory of an innovative and people-centered organization that has grown to be a $13M organization with c3,c4, and PAC entities.   


As a key member of the Management Team, the CFO plays a critical leadership role in both the day-to-day operations and setting long-term strategy development and implementation. Reporting directly to the Managing Director, the CFO directly manages the finance, treasury, accounting, tax, risk management, and compliance functions of the organization.

The Chief Financial Officer will have supervisory responsibility and will manage, mentor, and develop all bookkeeping and other staff and outside independent contractors assigned to fiscal office. The CFO location is preferably Chicago, but remote candidates will be accepted. Remote candidates if hired should expect to travel to Chicago and work with staff located across the U.S.


Key Responsibilities 


Strategic Planning and Leadership 

  • Oversee on a strategic level the day-to-day accounting and budgeting, record keeping, and reporting 
  • Participate as a member of the Management Team to provide strategic financial analysis and highlight financial risk as part of organizational decision-making processes; 
  • Provide key monthly financial reporting and meet with the Treasurer and Finance Committee of the Board, the Board itself and the Management Team; 
  • Lead multi-year financial planning and annual budget development processes;
  • Lead projections, budget monitoring, and reforecasting processes; 
  • Manage all banking relationships for treasury functions, investments, and debt instruments. 


Organizational Effectiveness and Process Improvement 

  • Develop and implement  fiscal policies and procedures to ensure fiscal compliance and provide overall financial management and direction for People’s Action and its programs; 
  • Proactively analyze program operating results to identify potential issues and opportunities; 
  • Handle a variety of special projects, and other related duties, as assigned, including evaluating financial operations and making recommendations for improvements; 
  • Select, develop, and evaluate finance team personnel. 
  • Review and assess financial systems/technology to ensure efficiency and effectiveness as well as compatibility with other organizational systems


Reporting, Audit, and Compliance 

  • Oversee financial relationship between c3, c4, and PAC entities, including activity thresholds as well as cost sharing and resource reimbursement between entities;  
  • Manage and oversee fiscal staff relative to grant budgeting, recordkeeping, reporting requirements, and interact with regulatory personnel;
  • Serve as the primary contact with the organization’s outside auditors and tax advisers and meet with the Finance/Audit Committee of the Board; 
  • Oversee and coordinate the preparation and filing of required government reports, including IRS Form 990; 
  • Manage and oversee financial compliance and reporting for all contracts to ensure effective utilization and to maximize revenue 
  • Work with development and programmatic staff to compile necessary budget information for grant/contract applications 
  • Implement, maintain, and monitor financial and administrative controls necessary to safeguard all assets and to ensure the integrity of financial reporting. 


Core Competencies 

  • The Chief Financial Officer will be a detail-oriented and self-directed leader with strong interpersonal and communication skills. The CFO must have a demonstrated ability to lead the financial and accounting functions with organizational programmatic objectives and strategies. The ideal candidate will have strong experience managing sophisticated grant budgeting/recordkeeping/reporting processes, including experience managing private foundation grants. 
  • The CFO must have experience working with a diverse constituency of internal stakeholders and colleagues (e.g., Board of Directors, Management Team, direct reports, and indirect staff), as well as outside vendors and partners (e.g., investment managers, financial institutions, and external audit firms). 
  • Additionally, the CFO must be mission-driven and have a passion for working in an environment committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism. 
  • Successful candidates will have experience in complex financial leadership roles of multi-entity organizations with deep knowledge of fund accounting principles and practices, cost sharing amongst entities, and, ideally, foundation and grant administration. 
  • Candidates from all sectors and professional backgrounds will be considered, however, there is preference for candidates with knowledge of nonprofit accounting and taxation. 
  • A Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting/Finance, and/or CPA designation is a plus. 


Successful candidates will also demonstrate the following professional and personal competencies: 

  • Financial and Technical Expertise 
  • The Chief Financial Officer must possess significant financial and technical expertise as a financial professional with the ability to be hands-on when needed. The CFO will be knowledgeable of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and financial management, including fund accounting, cash management, budget and forecasting, debt-servicing, facilities management, and government grants and contracts. 
  • The CFO must also be technologically savvy and will harness technology to inform strategic decisions, simplify workflows, avoid reduplication of efforts, and improve the overall operations of the organization. 
  • Additionally, the CFO will provide objective strategic and financial guidance to the Board, Executive Director, and Managing Director on organizational decisions and changes in policies and procedures, including proposals by other departments. 
  • Strategic Thinking and Problem Solving 
  • The CFO will be a strategic partner to the Executive Director, Managing Director and Board of Directors implementing a financial vision, maintaining the organization’s financial health, and ensuring efficient operations across the organization. The CFO must be comfortable anticipating problems and developing proactive solutions, particularly when there may be no available precedents, guidelines, or policies. 
  • The CFO must have a track record of success devising innovative solutions and creative problem-solving by drawing upon experience, best practices, and outreach to colleagues. 
  • Collaborative Leadership and Communication 
  • The CFO will serve as a model of collaborative leadership and inspire others to work together to achieve a common purpose. The CFO will have the leadership experience and emotional intelligence to build effective connections across the organization.
  •  The CFO will work closely with the Executive Director, Managing Director, and other members of the Management Team as well as serve as an accessible, hands-on partner to assist and advise program directors and team managers to tackle pressing priorities, explore possible opportunities, and address new and unforeseen challenges. 
  • The CFO will demonstrate an ability to communicate effectively with diverse constituencies who may not have a background in finance. This person will use their strong communication skills to effectively share expectations and information throughout the organization. 
  • Organizational Development and Administrative Acumen 
  • The Chief Financial Officer will bring clarity to the roles and organizational processes so that responsibilities, goals, and ownership of objectives and key results are clearly delineated. The CFO should have experience recruiting and retaining high-performing team members as well as providing professional development opportunities to promote individual, interpersonal, and organizational growth. The CFO will consequently suggest improvements and take responsibility for team performance, including celebrating successes and recognizing team members for noteworthy contributions. 
  • Passion and Commitment to the Mission


Salary range for this position: $115-125k


Benefits package: Health Insurance, Dental Insurance, Vision Insurance, Medical and Dependent Care Flex Spending Account, 401(k) plan, Long-Term Disability Insurance, Life Insurance, 10 paid holidays plus the last two weeks of the year that include Christmas Eve/Christmas Day as well as, New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day, and you accrue two weeks of vacation your first year or employment.


This position reports to: Managing Director initially, and eventually to Executive Director


This position supervises / manages: Finance team that includes Finance Director, Senior Accountant, and Finance Associate; Finance Associate directly supervised by Finance Director



* This search is being performed by Movement Talent*


Please direct any questions to Linda Nguyen at Linda@MovementTalent.org or 202-642-5335.


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  • Location
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Department
    Administration
  • Employment Type
    Full-Time