Chief Financial Officer

EL Education

Posted: 8/12/2020

Position Type: Full-Time (Paid)

Function: Finance/Accounting

Primary domain: Education

City: New York

Postal code: 10001

State: New York

Country: United States

Organization Information:


$20M +


Mission statement:

To create classrooms where teachers can fulfill their highest aspirations, and students achieve more than they think possible, becoming active contributors to building a better world.


Position Details:

Job Description:


EL Education ("EL") is redefining student achievement in diverse communities across the country, ensuring that all students master rigorous content, develop positive character, and produce high-quality work. EL creates great public schools where they are needed most, inspiring teachers and students to achieve more than they thought possible.

EL's portfolio of instructional materials, curriculum and coaching services draws on decades of deep partnership with schools and districts across the nation. Based on its founding principles of meaningful work, character, and respect for teachers, EL's offerings transform teaching and learning to promote habits of scholarship and character that lead to high student achievement. In addition to success on standardized tests, EL students demonstrate critical thinking, intellectual courage, and emotional resilience; they possess the passion and the capacity to contribute to a better world.

EL Education, a 501c (3) nonprofit, was founded in 1992 by Outward Bound USA in collaboration with the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

For more information, visit


EL Education has more than doubled in size over the past five years, and is embarking on a new strategic plan. The organization has identified a need to increase capacity in its finance team and is recruiting for a newly created Chief Financial Officer ("CFO") position, reporting directly to the President/CEO and working closely with the Chief Operating Officer/Chief of Staff. EL is looking for a seasoned executive to lead the financial strategy for the entire organization, in addition to process innovation, negotiation, monitoring and building systems around the financial terms with distribution partners, internal capacity building efforts and end-to-end financial operations for EL's two distinct lines of business -- teacher professional development and coaching, and education publishing -- each of which have different financial dynamics and needs.

This is an extraordinary opportunity for an entrepreneurial leader committed to building and sustaining a unique, high impact, mission-driven organization. The ideal candidate will ensure that EL maintains a culture that puts internal and external customers first and provides outstanding, integrated strategic support. The CFO will oversee a team of six staff and will have direct interaction with senior leadership, the Board of Directors, and major funders.

Responsibilities include the following, in addition to others assigned as needed:

Financial Strategy

  • Direct the financial and administrative implementation of the long term strategic plan, leading change management associated with designing and implementing new structures, systems, and processes
  • Provide guidance and leadership regarding the policies, processes and systems necessary to manage the organization's financial and administrative operations in an effective and efficient manner
  • Lead annual budget preparation at the organizational and grant levels, monitoring budget variances and linking actual results back to strategic priorities established by management team
  • Lead efforts in partnership with revenue owners to develop short and long term projections, including in-depth financial modeling and scenario analyses; manage financial relationships with outsourced external curriculum distribution partners, including projecting product sales; work in partnership with development staff to develop forecasts and track funds raised
  • Develop and manage pricing strategy for EL programs, products and services; manage and set annual targets and P&L owners, in partnership with the CEO; monitor trends within industry around competitive pricing, and refine and adjust pricing in partnership with senior leadership; maintain pricing integrity across product/partnership lines

Financial Management and Controls, Risk Management and Compliance

  • Oversee all financial operations of the organization including accounts receivables/payables, invoicing, tax, accounting, bank relationships, treasury, cash management, payroll, forecasting, and risk management activities
  • Prepare and present timely and accurate financial reports and deep analyses for senior management, Board of Directors, including the Finance, Investment and Audit Committees; lead audit preparations and manage the ongoing relationship with the external auditors to ensure compliance with all regulatory requirements
  • Develop and refine financial systems and processes that will help support services and program teams across the organization to work together collaboratively and effectively; develop and publish P&L models for senior business leaders' awareness and decision-making; optimize the use of grant funds and the recouping of overhead costs
  • Provide thought partnership to staff, the leadership team and Board members on compliance, risk and organizational effectiveness matters; on an ongoing basis, assess and mitigate organizational risks, and plan for the implications of decisions; oversee grant-making and contractual agreements, including development of policies, processes and systems to manage risk and compliance
  • Ensure that effective internal controls are in place and ensure compliance with GAAP and applicable federal, state and local regulatory laws and rules for financial and tax reporting

Team and Organizational Leadership

  • Attract, hire, train, evaluate and motivate a diverse finance and accounting team comprised of skilled and driven individuals
  • Establish and maintain high standards of team performance by developing clear long-term and annual goals and rigorously tracking performance against them
  • Ensure that the financial team operates in a way that is consistent with EL's culture and mission
  • Lead the development and implementation of an integrated IT/systems strategy to leverage technology for greater efficiency and effectiveness
  • Develop and maintain the business continuity plan
  • Oversee general office administration (New York and Amherst, MA) ensuring a responsive organizational backbone across all locations


An ideal candidate will have:

  • A passion for EL Education's mission to achieve equitable and excellent student outcomes across three dimensions of student achievement
  • A deep commitment to equity and social justice including a focus on self-awareness and engagement of continuous learning around issues of diversity, equity and inclusion

Required knowledge, skills, abilities and experience include:

  • 10+ years in progressively expansive financial leadership roles, with strong understanding of non-profit accounting, including the management of non-profit audits
  • Master's degree in finance, accounting or comparable graduate degree (e.g., MBA)
  • Strong executive presence, thought leadership and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to oversee the detailed preparation of budgets/financial accounts and to understand and analyze financial data, both at an overall organizational level as well as the detailed project/program levels
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communications skills, and the ability to develop positive and productive relationships with a dispersed team to build buy-in across the organization
  • Strong problem-solving and creative skills with the ability to exercise sound judgment and make data-driven decisions based on accurate and timely analyses
  • A track record of improving processes across both finance and administration, bringing greater efficiency and effectiveness to an evolving organization, leveraging technology as appropriate
  • Comfortable with a high level of visibility, responsibility and accountability
  • Unflappable integrity and dependability; operates with a sense of urgency and a results-orientation
  • Strong leadership skills with experience building teams, developing and empowering staff, emphasizing timely delivery and attention to detail in order to meet critical deadlines
  • Sense of humor and high level of Emotional Intelligence (EQ)


  • CPA a plus, but not required
  • Knowledge of CRM platforms (e.g., a plus
  • Experience in grants management, a plus
  • Knowledge of Financial Edge accounting software, Microsoft Suite and G-suite applications, a plus

LOCATION AND TRAVEL: New York City strongly preferred; other locations will be considered on a case by case basis for top candidates. Approximately 15% travel should be expected for this position.


Salary for this position will be competitive and commensurate with experience. EL Education offers a generous benefits package to all of its employees. 


Commensurate with Experience

Posting Expiration Date:


How to Apply:


Candidates of color are encouraged to apply. EL Education is committed to equity across the organization: in services to its partners, in its workforce composition and practices, and in its organizational culture. EL Education provides equal employment opportunities for all applicants and employees and prohibits discrimination with respect to the hiring or promotion of individuals, conditions of employment, disciplinary and discharge practices, or any other aspect of employment on the basis of gender, race, color, ethnicity, disability, or any other factor which cannot lawfully be used as a basis for an employment decision.

EOE / VEVRAA Federal Contractor

Posted By: On-Ramps


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