Chief Financial Officer

Posted 3 months ago

Tuft_Heartland CFO Opportunity Guide

Organization: Heartland Alliance is one of the world’s leading anti-poverty organizations, working in vulnerable communities in the U.S. and 12 countries abroad. Heartland serves those who are homeless, living in poverty or seeking safety by partnering with communities to break cycles of inequality. The organization is comprised of five nonprofit corporations, which provide a comprehensive array of services in the areas of health, housing, jobs and justice and leads state and national policy efforts that target lasting change for individuals and society.

Summary: The Chief Financial Officer possesses a key understanding of financial management, modeling and forecasting, and business drivers and is a persuasive and strategic leader with the ability to drive operational efficiencies and create strong internal controls. This role provides strategic leadership regarding the organization’s business model and aligning financial resources to support short- and long-term strategic goals. This role is responsible for the design, strategic direction and oversight of the Finance, Accounting, and Procurement divisions. The CFO manages and provides safeguards for the organization’s assets; monitors the organization’s financial status; trains, develops and manages the accounting staff; facilitates operational and strategic financial planning; and oversees organizational financial policies and procedures. The CFO will serve on the Alliance’s executive team, interact effectively with other parts of the company, and be viewed as a trusted business advisor internally and externally. An ideal candidate will be energetic, flexible, collaborative, and proactive–a team leader who can positively and productively impact both strategic and tactical finance and administration initiatives. Individual accountabilities and work volume will be established through annual Success Objectives, within the framework outlined below.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provides leadership and expertise developing and executing strategies that enhance the organization’s financial stability and growth. Regularly provide insight and analysis to the President, the COO, the executive team and managers and teams across the organization to achieve or exceed short- and long-term financial goals.
  • Ensures all financial functions, controls and reporting are accurate, compliant and provide the information and analysis needed for governance and senior management to make timely and effective strategy, planning and operational decisions. Ensure timely and clean financial audits. Deliver concise, accurate, insightful and impactful annual financial reports including quarterly verbal and written analyses, insights and reports for governance meetings.
  • Develops a strategic framework for aligning infrastructure services with the HA’s short- and long-term strategic priorities.
  • Serves as an effective resource to the President and COO for analyzing and making recommendations regarding the financial implications of strategic decisions. Be influential and proactive as the lead internal subject matter expert on financial analysis and decision-making, pertaining to strategic planning, operations, cash flow and investments.
  • In partnership with the COO, leads the budgeting and forecasting process, including setting organizational principles and standards.
  • Develops, implements, manages and monitors all fiscal policies, procedures and internal controls, and recommends policy changes to the President and the Board. Provides ongoing recommendations to ensure balance sheet health.
  • Administers and coordinates the organization’s financial information systems to meet management and planning needs and funding body requirements. Oversees financial system upgrades and changes.
  • Creates a long-term financial sustainability plan and manages short and long-term funding/reserves. Manages investment portfolio in consultation with investment advisors. Consults on insurance and other financial protections; manages lines of credit and bank relationships.
  • Manages, engages, and oversees independent auditors, including final approval of international auditors.
  • Collaborates with other executive leaders on organization-wide efforts and initiatives, such as Chief Information Officer on technological changes, Chief Risk Officer on enterprise and company risks, Head of HR on compensation and benefits, etc.
  • Presents financial information (budgets, performance, etc.) to the Board of Directors for Heartland Alliance and supports Controllers during their presentations to company Boards of Directors. Leads financial discussions during Management Coordination Committee meetings, interpreting financial and Organizational assessment? matters.
  • Participates in the overall management of the organization through membership on the Executive Team.
  • Remains current on the developments in the field through independent study and by attending seminars, conferences courses, etc.
  • Adheres to professional standards as outlined by governmental bodies, AICPA (and/or other appropriate professional associations) and private funding sources. Assists in the development of agency plans/policies related to professional standards. Develops and implements unit guidelines for professional standards. Provides periodic evaluative reviews and/or in-house and external staff training to ensure that staff understand and continue to adhere to such standards. Initiates requests for assistance and guidance from supervisor to address new issues or complex concepts affecting adherence to professional standards.
  • Other duties may be assigned.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

  • Manages Controllers who supervise employees in the Finance and Accounting Services department; also manages a Procurement Director who supervises a Procurement function throughout the Alliance. Responsible for the overall direction, coordination, and evaluation of these units. Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization’s policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems.

Qualifications: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions 

  • A Master’s Degree in Business, Finance, Economics, Strategy, or Accounting and at least ten years of executive leadership experience in fiscal management. Non-profit accounting experience, exposure to federal funding and government contracts preferred
  • C.P.A. is highly preferred
  • Prior experience working within a global NGO and post-economic crisis is a plus
  • Prior experience as CFO or other senior-level management experience across business functions like Finance and/or Accounting preferred
  • Strong knowledge and understanding of accounting and compliance guidance
  • Excellent interpersonal and public speaking skills, especially at the Executive Board level
  • Exceptional communication and consensus building skills
  • Excellent supervisory, coaching and leadership development skills


  • Quality Management – Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; Demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness.  Applies feedback to improve performance; Monitors own work to ensure quality.
  • Leadership – Demonstrates organizational values and models leadership behaviors; Reacts well under pressure; Treats others with respect and consideration regardless of their status or position; Accepts responsibility for own actions; Follows through on commitments.
  • Problem Solving – Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; Gathers and analyzes information skillfully; Develops alternative solutions; Works well in group problem solving situations; Uses reason even when dealing with emotional topics.
  • Project Management – Develops project plans; Coordinates projects; Communicates changes and progress; Completes projects on time and budget; Manages project team activities.
  • Verbal Communication – Speaks clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations; listens and gets clarification; Responds well to questions; Demonstrates group presentation skills; Participates in meetings.
  • Written Communication – Writes clearly and informatively; Edits work for spelling and grammar; Varies writing style to meet needs; Presents numerical data effectively; Able to read and interpret written information.
  • Teamwork – Balances team and individual responsibilities; Exhibits objectivity and openness to others’ views; Gives and welcomes feedback; Contributes to building a positive team spirit; Puts success of team above own interests; Able to build morale and group commitments to goals and objectives; Supports everyone’s efforts to succeed.
  • Cost Consciousness – Works within approved budget; Develops and implements cost saving measures; Contributes to profits and revenue; Conserves organizational resources.
  • Diversity – Demonstrates knowledge of EEO policy; Shows respect and sensitivity for cultural differences; educates others on the value of diversity; promotes a harassment-free environment; Builds a diverse workforce.
  • Organizational Support – Follows policies and procedures; Completes administrative tasks correctly and on time; supports organization’s goals and values; Benefits organization through outside activities; Supports affirmative action and respects diversity.
  • Innovation – Displays original thinking and creativity; Meets challenges with resourcefulness; Generates suggestions for improving work; Develops innovative approaches and ideas; Presents ideas and information in a manner that gets others’ attention.
  • Strategic Thinking and Reasoning:  Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. Ability to interpret an extensive variety of technical information and deal with several abstract and concrete variables simultaneously.  Ability to identify strategic opportunities and needs and connect them to operational requirements.

Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk and hear.
  • The employee is frequently required to use hands to key, handle, or feel and reach with hands and arms.
  • The employee is regularly required to sit, stand and walk.
  • The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision and ability to adjust focus.

Heartland Alliance makes all hiring and employment decisions, and operates all programs, services, and functions without regard to race, receipt of an order of protection, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity, marital or parental status, religion, ancestry, national origin, amnesty, physical or mental disability, protected veterans status, genetic information, sexual orientation, immigrant status, political affiliation or belief, use of FMLA, VESSA, military, and family military rights, ex-offender status (depending on the offense and position to be filled), unfavorable military discharge, membership in an organization whose primary purpose is the protection of civil rights or improvement of living conditions and human relations, height, weight, or HIV infection, in accord with the organization’s AIDS Policy Statement of September 1987.

Search Process: How to Apply

This search is being conducted by Jill Christie, President, Tuft & Associates .
To apply for this position, please submit your resume and cover letter electronically, using one of these options:

  • Complete the resume submission form below, and include your resume and cover letter.
  • Email your resume and cover letter to Catherine Babjak, Manager, at; 312.642.8889

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Job Features

Job CategoryOpen
LocationChicago, IL