Director, Finance

Innovate Public Schools

Posted: 8/23/2020

Position Type: Full-Time (Paid)

Function: Finance/Accounting

Primary domain: Advocacy/Social Action

City: San Jose

Postal code: 95126

State: California

Country: United States

Organization Information:


$3M - $10M


Mission statement:

Innovate Public Schools is a nonprofit organization working to make sure that all students — especially low-income students and students of color — receive a world-class public education that prepares them for success in college, careers and beyond. We’re building a movement of families, educators, and business and elected leaders who together will make this vision a reality. We build the capacity of parents and educators to innovate and act together to create world-class public schools, and we publish easy-to-understand school quality data and research that highlights both problems and solutions. 

Position Details:

Job Description:

- Are you passionate about building a movement to make sure every student in California has a world-class public school? 

- Are you a finance, business, and excel wiz?

- Do you believe that effective planning, financial transparency, and financial accountability leads to good organizational decision making?

- Are you insatiably curious about operational efficiency and love to discuss tools and systems improvements that lead to more effective ways of working for a team?

- Do you get a lot of satisfaction from developing leaders and helping someone else succeed?

- Do you thrive working in a rapidly evolving environment that requires innovation and agility?

- Do you excel at using your planning and management skills to deliver excellent thought partnership?

- Are you able to identify trends and anticipate challenges and opportunities?

- Do you enjoy working as part of a “all-hands-on-deck” team?

If you answered yes to these questions, then you may want to check out this exciting opportunity with Innovate Public Schools!  

Innovate Public Schools is looking for a Director, Finance, reporting directly to the VP, Finance and Strategic Partnerships. The Director of Finance will play a critical role in financial operations and partnering with the leadership team in strategic decision making as the organization continues to scale.  Duties will include (but are not limited to) the areas listed below.

Location: Virtual, until further notice, at which point the position can be based out of any one of Innovate’s offices in California (San Jose, San Francisco, Redwood City, Los Angeles).

About Innovate Public Schools
Innovate Public Schools is a nonprofit organization focused on ensuring that all Bay Area and Los Angeles students, particularly low-income students, students of color, and students with disabilities, receive an excellent education. We’re building a movement of families, educators, and business and elected leaders who together will make this vision a reality. We build the capacity of parents and educators to innovate and act together to create world-class public schools, and we publish easy-to-understand school quality data and research that highlights both problems and solutions.

Key Responsibilities

Strategic Leadership (20%)

  • Play a key role on the organization’s leadership team.  Foster a culture that encourages diversity, equity, inclusion, collaboration, accountability, and transparency.  Contribute to the organization’s overall success and sustainability.
  • Set the organization’s financial strategy and vision, integrating business planning with financial management as the organization continues to grow and embark on a new strategic plan and potentially expand to a 501(c)(4).
  • Develop and track important KPIs and analyze trends to provide continuous evaluation and planning to keep the organization focused and on track toward long-term goals.
  • Forecast return on investment (ROI) for current and future programs to evaluate program effectiveness and inform thoughtful decisions.
  • Develop resources and tools to empower leaders within the organization by developing and publishing easy-to-read dashboards.
  • Manage and develop 1 - 2 direct reports.

Financial Management (70%)

  • Manage and improve people, systems, and processes to ensure timely and accurate financial transaction entry.  Manage and improve timely and accurate monthly, quarterly, and annual close of financial statements.
  • Manage organizational Balance Sheet, including cash flow, investments, and credit card payable. Maintain relationships with banking institutions.
  • Manage organizational forecasting, including providing multi-year financial modeling scenarios.
  • Analyze and present financial statements, projections and other reports in an accurate and timely manner for both internal and external audiences; gather financial reporting materials for current and prospective donors, and oversee all financial, project/program, and grants accounting (grant spend-down).
  • Update and implement all necessary business policies and accounting practices; improve the organizations internal policy and procedures manual, and implement proper controls and financial oversight of accounting processes and transactions to achieve a clean financial audit.
  • Coordinate and lead the annual financial audit process, liaise with external auditors and the finance committee of the board of directors; assess any changes necessary as well as completion of all regulatory requirements (e.g., 990, state, and federal filings).
  • Oversee and lead the annual budgeting and planning process in conjunction with the leadership team; ensure the completion and approval of a strategically aligned budget; administer and review all financial plans and budgets; monitor progress and changes; and keep the leadership team and the Finance Committee abreast of the organization’s financial status.
  • Implement a robust contracts management system; ensure that the contract billing and collection schedule is adhered to and that financial data and cash flow are steady and support operational requirements.
  • Effectively communicate and present critical financial matters to the VP, Finance and Strategic Partnerships and CEO.

Operations (10%)

  • Work with the VP, Talent and Operations to ensure internal controls and budget management in the areas of payroll administration, benefits administration, and business insurance.
  • Work with the VP, Talent and Operations and the leadership team to further develop Innovate’s professional development and staff growth plan.
  • Work with the VP, Talent and Operations and the leadership team to play a key role in Innovate’s efforts to further its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) work, including raising and leaning into important and sometimes uncomfortable conversations with authenticity, thoughtfulness, openness, and sensitivity.
  • Work with the Operations team to effectively manage fixed assets.
  • Manage and minimize risk by monitoring risk management policies and procedures to ensure that program and organizational risks are minimized. 
  • Review and recommend adjustments in insurance coverage for the organization and the Board of Trustees. 
  • Act as key liaison with the organization’s legal counsel.
  • As requested, contribute to fundraising proposals, grant reports, and other projects that may be led by others but require the expertise of this position.
  • Collaborate with other Innovate team members and participate constructively in team meetings and project planning.


  • Passionate about Innovate Public Schools’ mission to initiate, support, and advocate for great public schools for low-income children and children of color.
  • Experience of final responsibility for the accuracy, quality and content of all financial data, reporting and audit coordination; experience leading organizational budgeting processes; specific expertise with Quickbooks.
  • Ability to translate financial concepts to – and to effectively collaborate with – programmatic and fundraising colleagues who do not necessarily have finance backgrounds.
  • Successful track record in setting priorities; keen analytic, organization and problem-solving skills which support and enable sound decision making.
  • Excellent communication and relationship building skills with an ability to prioritize, negotiate, and work with a variety of internal and external stakeholders and contractors.
  • Excellent communications skills both written and verbal.
  • A collaborative project manager: Can manage multiple projects involving different individuals, teams and vendors to meet collective goals on time and with excellence, and can model and extend these practices throughout the organization.
  • A supportive manager and developer of people and teams: Has experience supervising and developing staff and creating a productive, inclusive team culture.
  • Unquestionable integrity and experience managing complex financial scenarios.
  • Keenly aware of issues impacting organizational culture: Driven by a commitment to equity, and considers decisions through that lens. Can lead and strengthen an organizational culture that is deliberately diverse, equitable and inclusive.
  • An excellent communicator and ambassador: Can clearly communicate both one-to-one and with a staff as a whole. Models the values of our organization (excellence, integrity, urgency, and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion) in our office and as a common practice. 
  • Transportation: Valid driver’s license, insurance and access to a vehicle required
  • Work authorization: Able to provide proof of eligibility to work long-term (permanently) in the United States.


Benefits include medical, dental, vision, disability, life insurance, 401(k) with 5% match, and generous paid time off.


Commensurate with Experience

Posting Expiration Date:


How to Apply:

Please apply here to submit your video application, your resume, and a cover letter explaining your interest in the position and what you would bring to Innovate Public Schools. Open until filled. For more information on the organization and the role, please see our Q&A.

Innovate Public Schools is an equal opportunity employer, and takes pride in maintaining a diverse environment. We do not discriminate in recruitment, hiring, training, promotion or any other employment practices for reasons of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, sexual orientation, marital or veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected status.


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