January 15, 2016

Sample Job Description: Chief Financial Officer (Large Organization)

In this sample job description for a nonprofit chief financial officer, the organization runs programs nationally and has complex funding sources. The CFO focuses strictly on finance, accounting, and the investment activities of the organization. In this sample, the CFO has a senior, seasoned staff with deep experience in nonprofit finance.

Large organization—budget greater than $40 million

In this model, the organization runs programs nationally and has complex funding sources. The CFO focuses strictly on finance, accounting, and the investment activities of the organization. In this sample,
the CFO has a senior, seasoned staff with deep experience in nonprofit finance.

Feel free to use and modify this sample job description to help you create one for your organization.

Sample Description

ABC National Nonprofit
Chief Financial Officer


The mission of ABC National Nonprofit is…
ABC National Nonprofit serves more than X people each year and has a budget of $Y million.
Please visit www.ABCNationalNonprofit.org to learn more.


Reporting to and partnering with the chief executive officer (CEO), the chief financial officer (CFO) will play a critical role in developing and implementing the national strategy for ABC National Nonprofit. As a member of the senior leadership team, the CFO will be an advisor to the divisional presidents, evaluating and assisting them with their financial plans and economic modeling. S/he will be responsible for overseeing all fiscal and fiduciary responsibilities for the organization, in conjunction with the board of directors and the finance, audit, and investment committees of the board.
Specific responsibilities include:

This description is part of the Nonprofit Job Description Toolkit View more


  • As a true business partner to the CEO and divisional presidents, assess organizational performance against both the annual budget and ABC’s long-term strategy. Develop tools and systems to provide critical financial and operational information to the CEO and make actionable recommendations on both strategy and operations.

    Engage the board finance, audit, and investment committees around issues, trends, and changes in the operating model(s) and operational delivery. Assist in establishing yearly objectives and meeting agendas, and selecting and engaging outside consultants (auditors, investment advisors).
  • Oversee long-term budgetary planning and costs management in alignment with ABC National Nonprofit’s strategic plan, especially as the organization considers sponsorships, potential acquisitions, and collaborations with external organizations.

Financial and Operational Management

  • Oversee all accounts, ledgers, and reporting systems, ensuring compliance with appropriate Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, regulatory requirements, and Office of Management and Budget audit requirements. Maintain internal control safeguards and coordinate all audit activities.
  • Partner with the vice president of information technology (IT) to procure specialized finance IT systems that meet the needs of the organization.
  • Manage cash flow and forecasting. Develop a reliable cash flow projection process and reporting mechanism that includes minimum cash threshold to meet operating needs. Optimize the handling of banking relationships and initiate appropriate strategies to enhance cash positions.
  • Oversee budgeting and the implementation of budgets so as to monitor progress and present financial metrics both internally and externally.
  • Manage and track the performance of ABC National Nonprofit’s endowment in keeping with the policies and investment guidelines established by the investment committee.

Team Management

  • Mentor and develop a direct team of four, managing work allocation, training, problem resolution, performance evaluation, and the building of an effective team dynamic.
  • Guide larger, cross-divisional teams outside of direct span of control within the five main ABC National Nonprofit program areas.


The CFO will be a seasoned and mature leader with at least 12-15 years of broad finance experience, ideally beginning in accounting, followed by experience gathering and evaluating financial information and making actionable recommendations to senior leadership. S/he will have experience managing the finance function (accounting, budgeting, control, and reporting) within a diverse, division-based entity.
The CFO will have the following experience and attributes:
  • A minimum of a BS; MBA preferred; a CPA would be a plus.
  • Demonstrable passion for ABC National Nonprofit’s mission; a hands-on manager with integrity and a desire to work in a dynamic environment.
  • Mature and proactive, with evidence of having worked as a true business partner to the CEO of a multi-divisional organization. If coming from the for-profit world, nonprofit board experience is preferred.
  • Strong analytical skills and experience interpreting a strategic vision into an operational model.
  • Deep understanding of and experience with Office of Management and Budget audits.
  • Past experience successfully partnering with IT staff to manage critical financial management systems.
  • An effective communicator at all levels in the organization, with strong oral and written skills and a willingness to share information.
  • A collaborative and flexible style, with a strong service mentality.
  • Creativity, with experience funding activities in ways that both cover costs and generate operating margins.

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