Director of Operations and Finance
View CNT's diversity policy here.
Director of Operations and Finance
The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) seeks a detail-oriented, experienced administrator to lead the operational activities needed to support our innovative work.
The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) is a nationally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has operated at the intersection of sustainability and equity since 1978. Our mission is to deliver innovative analysis and solutions that support community-based organizations and local governments to create neighborhoods that are equitable, sustainable, and resilient. CNT provides:
- Analysis: rigorous, interdisciplinary analysis of urban and regional problems to produce evidence-based solutions, including sophisticated data tools and online resources to make findings usable.
- Engagement and empowerment: engagement of neighborhood partners and local government leaders, supporting and empowering them to improve their communities.
- Innovation: innovative and data-driven policy, financial, and technological solutions.
- Entrepreneurship: where there are gaps in service, entrepreneurial approaches to create new programs to solve problems we uncover.
CNT takes pride in our history of innovative and out-of-the-box thinking, with a willingness to explore untested approaches and a commitment to advance the priorities of community-based organizations. CNT programs address climate change, transportation equity, housing affordability, resilient water systems, and many other urban issues. Underlying all these topics is CNT’s mission of environmental sustainability and racial equity, and candidates should understand that achieving this mission is the ultimate purpose of all of CNT’s projects. CNT has about 20 employees and an annual budget of $3 million.
CNT’s unique mission and positioning drives our need for a talented Director of Operations and Finance. This is a rare opportunity to take a leadership position in a well-regarded, creative, and growing organization. The role of the Director of Operations and Finance touches every element of CNT’s work and is a critically important position to allow us to achieve our mission.
We have the operational, finance, and administrative needs of any mid-size nonprofit, and also have two particular priorities for the role of the Director. First, we embrace the philosophy of providing financial support to community-based organizations, which involves frequent passthrough of grants, as well as compensation of residents for involvement. The Director will play a key role in developing our practice to do this equitably and efficiently. Second, some of CNT’s revenue is from government grants and university contracts, requiring us to submit customized invoices that meet the funders’ standards and sometimes interact with complex administrative systems. This requires a Director who has both an eye for detail and strong problem-solving abilities.
Key responsibilities and expectations of the Director are:
- Advance CNT’s mission in all work. As a key leader of a mission-driven organization, commit to CNT’s core principles of equity, resilience, and support for communities, and use this mission to guide program direction.
- Foster and maintain strong relationships with our core partners, including community-based organizations, universities, and governments. Position the priorities of marginalized communities at the center of CNT’s work, and at the same time, work productively and effectively with funders to comply with their requirements. Serve as lead staff for interactions with administrative departments at government agencies and universities.
- Finance. Ensure strong internal controls, efficient financial systems and effective procedures in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and best practices of financial management. Working with the part-time bookkeeper and accountant, prepare quarterly profit/loss, balance sheet and cash flow financial statements. Produce monthly spending reports for each active grant and contract. Coordinate with bookkeeper to ensure efficient functioning and documentation for all financial systems including receipts, disbursements, billing, bookkeeping, budgeting, accounting, and issuing of 1099s to contractors.
- Audit. Ensure efficient year-end financial closing, annual audit, and tax return processes. Coordinate the annual audit and preparation of the IRS 990 form with an independent CPA, and annually submit the Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Application to the federal government.
- Board interaction. Provide regular reporting and updates to the Finance and Audit Committee for the Board of Directors.
- Budgeting. Assist the CEO with the annual budgeting processes and tracking performance against quarterly financial indicators.
- Invoicing. Lead preparation of invoices for all projects, including some that include federal funding or complex local government or university requirements. Maintain thorough records and troubleshoot as needed.
- Grant reporting. Produce financial reports for philanthropic funders at both the application and the reporting stage. Prepare budgets and financial reports for foundation grants and track reporting of foundation project budgets and expenditures. Work with other staff to ensure timely grant proposal and grant report submissions.
- Contracting. Review all contracts (in consultation with pro bono legal counsel when necessary), provide contract templates, review contracts received from external partners, and maintain thorough records. Negotiate and manage operations-related contracts with consultants, contractors and suppliers.
- Internal systems management. Work with staff to ensure that all internal systems meet their needs. Identify needs for software improvements and implement as necessary. Coordinate with the urban analytics team to identify IT capital needs and develop purchase plans.
- Other operational management. Manage other strategic operational initiatives, such as legal compliance with nonprofit reporting requirements. Oversee licensing, Secretary of State reporting, insurance coverage, and reporting requirements.
The Director is expected to have the knowledge, skills, and experience that allows them to achieve the expectations described above. A successful candidate will have:
- Commitment to our mission. First and foremost, commitment to and passion for CNT’s mission of equity, environmental and climate justice, and urban sustainability.
- Familiarity with government practices. Ability to comply with administrative and invoicing requirements.
- Strong ability to work as part of a team. CNT has a diverse staff team, and all staff members must be interculturally competent and adept at working with people of many different types.
- Experience in nonprofit operations and management. The candidate must have directly relevant experience at nonprofits, government, or other comparable institutions.
- Ability to work quickly and accurately, with attention to detail. CNT is a fast-moving organization with many active, exciting projects. The Director will be a key supporter of this team.
This position is part of a committed and experienced team that supports CNT’s operations. The Director is expected to interact with the individuals who take on these roles, but not to lead these themselves.
- Human resources is led by the Vice President of Talent and Culture, who also manages payroll and relationships with benefits providers. The Director’s involvement in human resources limited to confirming payroll and similar financial overlaps.
- Day-to-day management of IT contractors and other vendors is also led by the Vice President of Talent and Culture. The Director will be expected to play a strategic and oversight role, but not a day-to-day management role, in these activities.
- Several existing staff participate in financial management. The CEO leads budget development, high-level management, long-term monitoring of grant and contract expenditures, and staff charging estimates. CNT also contracts with an experienced accountant and bookkeeper for these activities. The Director will have an important financial management role and will collaborate closely with existing staff, including overseeing the work of the contracted bookkeeper and accountant.
- Fundraising and development are led by a Director of Development, the CEO, and numerous program staff. The Director of Operations and Finance will have a role in financial and administrative elements of proposal development and tracking of funding received but will not be expected to significantly contribute to grant writing or proposal development.
A minimum of 5 years of directly relevant experience in a field such as public administration or nonprofit management is required. Similar experience in other sectors, such as managing operations or finance in the private sector or a university setting, is also relevant, and experienced candidates who are transitioning from other sectors are encouraged to apply. A Bachelor’s degree in a similar field is also required.
Salary, Benefits, and Location
The salary for this position will be based on qualifications, including years of experience. For those with experience near the minimum (5 years), salary range will be in the $80,000 to $90,000 range. For candidates with more experience, salary range may go as high as $110,000. These are provided as approximate ranges and offers will be based on qualifications.
CNT offers 20 vacation days, 11 holidays, 5 sick days, and 2 personal days annually, and a competitive benefits package. We respect life-work balance and are supportive of staff with families. CNT currently permits all staff to work from home according to their preference and will maintain a flexible schedule in the long term. CNT expects all staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be willing to become vaccinated after their hire.
This is anticipated to be a full-time position, but this is negotiable. Candidates who would be interested in part-time employment instead are still encouraged to apply.
Location in Chicago is required for this position. This position reports to the CEO and is considered a member of the organization’s leadership team.
Employment Policy: It is the policy of CNT that all employees are employed at the will of CNT. Continued employment is subject to funding availability and job performance.
Anti-Discrimination Policy: CNT is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate against any employee or job applicant based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, veteran status, or marital status. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, termination, promotion, transfer, layoff, leaves of absence, compensation and training.
How to Apply
Please send cover letter and resume by May 27, 2022 to:
Human Resources/Center for Neighborhood Technology
17 N State, Suite 1400
Chicago, IL 60602
or email to email@example.com
Please write Senior Analyst in the email subject line. No phone calls please
View CNT's diversity policy here.