January 15, 2016

Sample Job Description: Chief Financial Officer (Medium Organization-Straightforward Financing )

In this sample job description for a nonprofit chief financial officer, the organization has fairly simple programs and revenue sources. Reporting requirements are less complicated, enabling the CFO to take responsibility for a broader span of functional areas.

Medium organization—budget between $10 million and $40 million—with relatively straightforward financing

In this sample job description for a nonprofit chief financial officer, the organization has fairly simple programs and revenue sources. Reporting requirements are less complicated, enabling the CFO to take responsibility for a broader span of functional areas.

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

Sample Position Description

123 Nonprofit
Chief Financial Officer


The mission of 123 Nonprofit is...

123 Nonprofit serves more than X people nationally each year and has a budget of $Y million.

Please visit www.123nonprofit.org to learn more.

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


Reporting to and partnering with the president, the chief financial officer (CFO) will set 123 Nonprofit’s financial policy and direction while also being an active participant in, and driver of, the organization’s overall strategy. She or he will lead all financial administration, business planning, and budgeting. As a member of the senior leadership team, the CFO will work closely with a motivated and engaged finance and governance committee of the board of directors.

The CFO will lead 123 Nonprofit’s finance, human resources (HR), and information technology (IT) staff.

Specific responsibilities include:


  • Partner with the president on all operational and strategic issues as they arise; provide strategic recommendations to the president based on financial analysis and projections, cost identification and allocation, and revenue/expense analysis.
  • Participate in the ongoing strategic planning process as an integral member of the senior management team.
  • Oversee long-term budgetary planning and cost management in alignment with 123’s strategic plan.
  • Engage the vice president (VP) of development to align financial management with short- and long-term financial planning and projections.
  • Engage the board finance committee around issues, trends, and changes in the operating model and operational delivery.

Financial and Operational Management

  • Oversee budgeting, and the implementation of budgets, so as to monitor progress and present operational metrics both internally and externally.
  • Ensure that finance staff maintains financial record systems in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, and monitor the use of all funds.
  • Oversee the preparation and approval of all financial reporting materials and metrics for funding organizations and 123 Nonprofit’s board of directors; prepare and communicate monthly and annual financial statements.
  • Manage cash flow and forecasting; direct all financial, project-based, and departmental accounting.
  • Coordinate all audit activities.
  • Evaluate and oversee all benefits negotiations, thus providing the most competitive packages for 123 Nonprofit employees.
  • Review all formal finance-, HR-, and IT-related procedures, processes, and administration, recommending improvements to the systems in place and managing the systems going forward.

Team Management

  • Develop and manage direct staff, to include managers in finance, HR, and IT; guide larger multidisciplinary teams outside of direct span of control.
  • Engage other members of the senior management team—VP for research, evaluation, and training; VP of communications; VP of field operations; and VP of development—to facilitate cross-department collaboration that ensures that all financial, IT, and HR solutions positively support 123’s evolving strategy, operational delivery, and data collection needs.
  • Provide guidance on attracting and developing key national team members for 123 Nonprofit.


The CFO will be a seasoned and mature leader with at least 12-15 years of broad finance experience, ideally beginning in audit, followed by experience gathering and evaluating financial information and making actionable recommendations to senior leadership. She or he will ideally have experience managing finance (accounting, budgeting, control, and reporting), HR, and IT for a national nonprofit.

The CFO will have the following experience and attributes:

  • A minimum of a BS and CPA/CMA; an MBA would be a plus
  • Mature and proactive, with evidence of having worked as a true business partner to the chief executive of a multistate and network-based entity. If coming from the for-profit world, nonprofit board experience preferred
  • Demonstrated excellence in managing finance, accounting, budgeting, control, and reporting
  • Skill in examining, developing, reengineering, and recommending financial, HR, and technology policies and procedures
  • Strong analytical skills and experience interpreting a strategic vision into an operational model
  • A collaborative and flexible style, with a strong service mentality. Needs to be seen as a team player who is committed to lifelong learning
  • A hands-on manager with integrity and a desire to work in a dynamic, mission-driven environment
  • An effective communicator, with strong oral and written skills
  • Strong commitment to developing team members
  • Demonstrated commitment to the social sector with a passion for the organization’s mission is essential

Each sample job description is intended to be a jumping off point, and likely will need to be tailored to meet the particular needs of your organization. Feel free to use and tailor these descriptions for your hiring needs.
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