Eighty years of work with landowners has earned us respect and credibility, but our future will be defined by our ability to create sustainable solutions to problems that are far bigger than us. We view our CFO as a social entrepreneur, helping us develop and launch a portfolio of new products and services.
Solving some of the most urgent environmental and economic issues of today—cleaning our air, filtering our drinking water, sequestering carbon, creating wildlife habitat, reducing the risk of wildfires, increasing biodiversity, and supplying sustainable sources of wood—requires careful stewardship of our forests. Because individuals and families own 270 million acres of America’s forests (more than government and more than corporations), empowering family forest stewardship is an essential yet often overlooked piece of the forest puzzle. The American Forest Foundation (AFF) is leading the way in empowering family forest landowners to tackle these urgent issues and achieve significant impact.
Building on our 80-year legacy of family forest stewardship, AFF is entering a new phase of rapid innovation. In our trusted position at the center of the family forest network and with the financial strength of $160 million in reserves, we’re developing and deploying sustainable business models that support forest owners as they address these important environmental, social, and economic issues. The technology company we acquired has helped us significantly increase our ability to connect private landowners with nonprofits, technical experts, government agencies, and conservation organizations. We’re reinventing the carbon market for family landowners and we’re helping companies that source wood from family forests do so sustainably. Our partners are some of the leading companies and financial institutions, the U.S. Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and conservation groups like The Nature Conservancy.
Responsibilities of the Chief Financial Officer
In this role you will report to the EVP of Operations and direct our financial and accounting work, supervising two staff members (the Manager of Finance and the Manager of Grants and Compliance) and an annual budget of $25 million.
You will be asking tough questions to better assess risk, finding rigorous ways to measure the impact of our work and assessing real-time information that blends financial information with programmatic outcomes.
Your background in financial planning and analysis will help us modernize our planning, modeling, budgeting, and forecasting to make better decisions, faster (using Adaptive Insights software).
Your experience with green bonds or similar financial instruments will help us better manage risk and provide resources for conservation program delivery at scale.
Your ability to coach program directors will help them build more rigorous business models to better understand the financial impacts of their work.
Your innate curiosity and willingness to experiment will support our agile development and iterative learning work environment, leading to more metered funding scenarios.
Your collaborative approach will best serve our budget owners, helping them balance the need for mission impact with the need for sustainable contribution margins.
Your accounting skills will ensure a clean audit and effective internal controls.
Your team orientation will help other managers continue to track and meet their budgets.
Your talented teammates will seek you out for advice and insight as they design their work.
Additional Responsibilities of the Chief Financial Officer
Help us grow our conservation impact product lines, see promising opportunities, limit our risk, make wise tradeoffs, and support our budget owners. Oversee all financial operations including accounting, budgeting, investment management, grant monitoring and compliance, tax, audit, financial reporting and control, cash flow management, forecasting, and short- and long-term financial planning.
Help us “tell our story in numbers” to our board and a wide array of external stakeholders. Oversee the preparation of financial reports, tax returns, and audit work-papers, working cooperatively with the Foundation’s external auditors and disseminating financial results in an accessible format to a wide range of stakeholders.
Ensure financial statements and tax returns are prepared on time and in compliance with generally accepted accounting principles and requirements for diverse funding agencies.
Oversee annual budgeting/program planning process and design and implement easy-to-use budget/program planning development protocols. Monitor budgets and fund accounts, working with program staff to recommend ways to make adjustments necessary to meet budget objectives.
Develop program-driven financial reporting systems that provide managers with the best possible input for program assessment and decision making. Oversee the metric reporting system.
Serve as the liaison to the Foundation’s investment advisor and ensure that senior leaders and the Finance Committee receive timely and accurate reporting on AFF’s investments.
Serve as the staff liaison to the Finance Committee and oversee monthly reporting to the Finance Committee.
Oversee disaster preparedness and recovery strategy and programs.
Recommend and participate in the development of Foundation policies and procedures; serve on staff- and board-designated committees and task forces.
Qualifications of the Chief Financial Officer
Bachelor’s degree from accredited college or university; advanced degree preferred.
Ten or more years of related experience required in finance, accounting, budgeting, and cost control principles, practices, and procedures. Ideally, experience in financial planning and analysis and familiarity with program planning and measurement.
Ability to think strategically, analyze critically, and translate ideas into actions. Ideally experience in strategic planning, developing rolling budgets, and financial reporting.
Experience working effectively with volunteers and staff.
Experience in audit preparation and procedures, ideally in a nonprofit setting.
Successful experience in hiring, training, and managing staff, including organizing, prioritizing, and scheduling work assignments.
Attributes of the Chief Financial Officer
Ethical and honest. You are ethical, honest, and beyond reproach in business dealings. You are known by others for your integrity and credibility.
Business savvy. You have a proven ability to think strategically and translate big ideas into actions. You look beyond the numbers and understand how new initiatives affect financials and you can easily explain the rationale.
Adaptability. When projects take unexpected turns or priorities change, you can recover quickly and roll with the punches. Your programs and your attitude are nimble enough to embrace change.
Mission-driven. You are results-driven and service-oriented. You provide support for stakeholder needs, both internally and externally. You are relational with a purpose, willing to do anything to elevate the unheard messaging of members.
Clear communicator. You communicate clearly and succinctly, simplifying complex data into easily understandable language that less-financially savvy colleagues can relate to.
Detail-oriented. You are meticulously attentive to details; you are known for your accuracy and you get it done right the first time.
Process-oriented. You thrive on efficiency and you simplify processes and systems. You identify needs and implement policies and procedures that enhance productivity.
Supportive. You value the work of your colleagues and you take delight in supporting each of them to be most effective in their roles. You graciously share your expertise to help the team be successful and focused on the mission.
Team player. You recognize that people have different strengths and you appreciate how a team comes together as a cohesive unit. You carry your weight on the team, learning from others and contributing in equal measure.
What’s Attractive to the Right Chief Financial Officer Candidate?
Your work will be vital to our ability to deliver innovative, sustainable, natural climate solutions. Your work will create the kind of legacy you can be proud of.
The nature of your work will be complex, creative, innovative, and ever-changing. You’ll be doing the best, and most important, work of your career.
Your colleagues are exceptionally talented and passionate individuals who are dedicated to their work and supportive of your work.
We offer a flexible work environment that respects your life outside of work.
AFF is financially sound and growing and offers a comprehensive and very competitive benefits package.
To Apply for the Chief Financial Officer position:
Simply email your resume to Ellen Greenwood at firstname.lastname@example.org with “AFF – CFO #2019-2550 ASAE” as the subject of the email. Please include your resume as a Word or PDF attachment to the email and paste your cover letter in the body of your email.
Please note: Our practice is not to disclose the salary ranges our clients would consider. Any salary information included in this posting was estimated without our input.
Staffing Advisors has been engaged to find the right candidate and is committed to helping create a diverse work environment for our client. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. This position may require pre-employment screening potentially including a criminal background check, verification of academic credentials, licenses, certifications, and/or verification of work history.
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