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Chief Financial Officer, Youth Guidance

iCivics

iCivics

Accounting & Finance
Chicago, IL, USA
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2024

Who We Are

Youth Guidance is a nonprofit organization with the mission to create and implement school-based programs that support youth through outcomes-driven programs and capacity-building initiatives. We recently celebrated an incredible milestone, 100 years of service, and currently serve approximately 14,000 students and their families through counseling, community and afterschool programs, and career readiness initiatives. Youth Guidance is headquartered in Chicago but continues to grow with partnerships in Boston, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Washington DC.

What We Believe In

Youth Guidance sees a bright and successful future for every elementary and high school student. Because we believe that success in school is not only possible but should be achieved and celebrated, we are present in the schools to facilitate an environment that truly engages students in the learning process, and through careful guidance, enables them to realize their full potential and graduate with a meaningful plan for successfully managing life.

What You’ll Do

The CFO will lead the strategic financial vision and execution for the organization as well as all day-to-day accounting operations and supervise a team of staff members, including functional oversight over general accounting, accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, financial reporting and budgeting. The CFO will maintain appropriate systems and procedures to support effective program implementation and conduct effective and efficient audits.

Visionary and Strategic Leadership

  • Serve on Youth Guidance’s Executive Leadership Team and contribute to setting vision and strategic direction for the organization.
  • Develop organizational-wide financial strategy, leading and effectively communicating on long-term financial planning, forecasting and economic modeling; assess financial implications of potential strategic and growth alternatives.
  • Collaborate with the External Affairs Team to help secure funding from private and public sources.
  • Forecast short- and long-range cash requirements and obligations as a basis for sound financial planning.
  • Advance strategic financial strategies that maximize available restricted funds and ensure equitable distribution of unrestricted resources across the network to support partner sites.
  • Establish financial approaches that enable Youth Guidance to benefit from emerging funding opportunities and mitigate emerging risks, in partnership with the External Affairs Team and in response to external trends.

Financial Leadership and Management

  • Maintain relationships with board and committee members, other CFOs, auditors, public and private investors and funders, and other financial institutions.
  • Act as the primary liaison with banking partners and the external investment officer, overseeing and managing investments, including the approximately $30 million endowment.
  • Serve as an ambassador of Youth Guidance internally and externally - communicate proactively, knowledgeably, and passionately about Youth Guidance’s mission.
  • Provide fiscal oversight for the organization, by leading the annual budget development and multi-year financial plans to ensure stability and sustainability in coordination with the Executive Leadership Team and Board, and informed by External Affairs revenue projections.
  • Facilitate the preparation and presentation of budget reporting and annual projections for all aspects of the budget; collaborate with the team to ensure accuracy of analysis and reporting.
  • Ensure compliance with the financial requirements of state and federal agencies and ensure accurate and timely preparation of audits and IRS forms.
  • Coach and manage the performance and effectiveness of the finance team, including the successful implementation of goals, effective controls and monitoring of the budget, efficient operational processes, and excellent service to sites.

System Support and Execution

  • Provide project management oversight for priority short- and long-term initiatives; develop tools to track progress and monitor key performance goals.
  • Implement internal controls and ensure adequate accounting records to document compliance with local, state, and federal laws and ordinances.
  • Serve as a critical thought and support for organizational leaders on budgetary matters and build their capacity as fiscal stewards of the organization’s resources.
  • Create proactive systems that garner team feedback to inform the budget process, budget transparency, and fiscal stewardship.
  • Examine, develop, reengineer, and recommend financial and technical policies and procedures.

The Skills You’ll Need to be Successful (The “How”)

Strategic Planning and Resource Management

  • A broad understanding of the financial management mix, and the evolving technology tools available for a complex national organization with diversified public and private revenue streams.
  • Experience with collaborating with an External Affairs (Development) team to develop comprehensive resource plans that align with strategic objectives.
  • Knowledge on how to efficiently allocate resources to projects and teams to ensure optimal use.
  • Oversee and guide the preparation and management of budgets that align with strategic objectives.
  • Outstanding critical thinking skills, including the ability to analyze data, identify trends, pinpoint problems and root causes, ask probing questions, and develop innovative solutions.
  • A deep understanding of systems-level operations, management, and organizational design in order to deliver desired outcomes for the organization.
  • Communicate and prepare the Finance team to communicate financial information effectively to the development team and government or philanthropic funders, as needed.

Financial and Accounting Expertise

  • Demonstrate a high level of financial planning and budget management expertise with a multi-million dollar annual budget designed to increase organizational effectiveness.
  • Understand the use of data analysis, financial modeling, and analysis to inform organizational strategy and can translate this information clearly to create a common understanding across the leadership team.
  • Analyze risk management and maintain a deep knowledge of compliance metrics. Excels in identifying, assessing, and mitigating financial risks.
  • Deep knowledge of and experience with accounting software/ERP systems.

Exceptional Influence and Extraordinary Communication

  • Communicate effectively, tailoring messages for the audience, context, and mode of communication.
  • Navigate complex structures, relationships, and dynamics to challenge ideas and enable thoughtful decisions and positive outcomes for students.
  • Maintain visibility throughout the organization and its partners and work collaboratively with local leaders and teams.
  • Prepare the CEO, leadership team, audit and finance committee, and board members for effective decision-making conversations, anticipating and organizing key questions and data that support productive discussions to direct key fiscal priorities.
  • Build coalitions and work collaboratively with diverse stakeholders at all levels of the organization.
  • Implement a clear and transparent budget process that aligns with the organization’s key priorities and initiatives.
  • Deep knowledge and experience with long-term financial planning and developing forecasting models.
  • Ability to educate staff at all levels, especially non-finance staff, on budget management and workflow.
  • Understand and commit to goals of equity, consistently bring an equity mindset to the organization’s work and workplace, and be courageous in addressing matters of equity, race, and bias in decision-making.

Team Leadership, Development and Management

  • Gain the trust and respect of all staff, cultivating personal accountability among staff for excellent service, problem-solving, and efficient budget processes.
  • Demonstrate excellent execution and leadership skills and the ability to successfully lead employees in balancing multiple projects with clear deadlines.
  • Motivate others and support their development through strong coaching and mentoring. Effectively stewards self and others through both small and large-scale change. ​
  • Ensure role clarity and strategic division of responsibilities.
  • Build and lead a diverse finance team; delegate and leverage the team effectively to achieve ambitious goals, manage through layers, and lead change initiatives.
  • Assess team and individual skills and identify development needs; provide feedback and support to improve practice, build capacity, and maximize talent.
  • Promote professional learning and skill development.
  • View growth as important for all team members including personal and professional development; seek out opportunities to expand skills, even if the change is required, demonstrate curiosity and eagerness to learn.

DEI Statement

At Youth Guidance, we understand that diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) are fundamental to realizing our vision of bright and successful futures for all young people. We celebrate the diversity of youth and recognize them as empowered leaders, problem-solvers, and experts of their own experiences. At the same time, we acknowledge that many systems and institutions meant to support youth are inequitable and unjust.

As such, we are committed to advancing DEIB through our words and our actions, both internally and externally, by:

  • Strengthening cultural competence as well as policies, practices, and organizational structures that foster belonging and leverage the unique backgrounds and talents of staff;
  • Offering youth-centered programs that are accessible and responsive to people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, abilities, sexual identity, gender identity and expression, language, and cultural and religious beliefs and practices;
  • Influencing systems that youth, their families, and communities are impacted by, such as schools, organizational networks, governmental bodies, researchers, and the funding community, to apply approaches that embrace DEI in addressing the needs and supporting the aspirations of young people.