Finance Director, Activating Change (Remote)
Company: Vera Institute of Justice
Location: Kansas City
Posted on: January 16, 2022
Who We Are
The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, is a nonprofit
criminal justice organization that strives to build just government
institutions and safe communities free from the scourge of racism,
white supremacy, profit, and inequity that is pervasive in this
country's legal systems. We are an "inside" lane organization that
drives change at scale with ambitious public sector leaders who
share our commitment to building anti-racist, reparative systems
that deliver justice. We leverage our access to government to
transform these systems and work collaboratively with stakeholders
across many movements-including advocacy, grassroots, and
grassroots organizations. Our role is to pilot solutions that are
transformative and achievable, harness the power of evidence to
drive effective policy and practice, and use advocacy and
communications to change narratives and norms.
Vera has a staff of almost 300 people and offices in New York City,
Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. We are an equal
opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the
workplace. We expect our staff to embody respect, independence,
collaboration, commitment, anti-racism, and equity-both in our
outward-facing work and the internal culture of our workplace. We
value a range of experiences in people's educational backgrounds
and encourage people who have been directly impacted by the
criminal justice system to apply.
Who you are:
The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, is an independent,
non-partisan, nonprofit organization that combines expertise in
research, technical assistance, and demonstration projects to
assist leaders in government and civil society, examine justice
policy and practice, and improve the systems people rely on for
justice and safety. Vera has offices in New York City, Washington,
DC, and New Orleans, and its projects and reform initiatives,
typically conducted in partnership with local, state, or national
officials, are located across the United States and around the
world. Vera is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to
diversity in the workplace.
After 18 years at Vera, the Center on Victimization and Safety is
spinning off from Vera and launching a new, national non-profit
organization: Activating Change. Activating Change's working
mission is to eliminate violence, inequity and injustice and
promote autonomy, well-being, and fairness in the lives of people
with disabilities and Deaf people. We focus on acute and often
overlooked harms, including domestic and sexual violence,
police-involved shootings, and criminalization and detention. We
believe racism, ableism, audism and other forms of oppression are
intricately intertwined and the primary drivers of this violence
and injustice. Through our work, we seek to engage, mobilize, and
align people and organizations working in disability, criminal
justice reform, and anti-violence movements around a shared
framework driven by racial equity, disability justice, and gender
equality. We raise awareness and upend harmful narratives about
people with disabilities and Deaf people; foster alliances between
disability and other social justice organizations; strengthen
organizational capacity; and advocate for systemic change in
legislation, policies, and practices. Activating Change will launch
as an independent organization in summer 2022. This is an exciting
time to join us and help ensure a strong foundation for our
organization's financial practices and strength from the
The Finance Director will join our team while we are still a
department within Vera to collaboratively lead the build-out of
Activating Change's finance and budget functions and
infrastructure. During this initial phase, the Director will work
closely with the Center's Director and Deputy Director, staff from
Vera's Finance Department, as well as a consultant specializing in
nonprofit finance. The Finance Director will transition with us and
serve as a leader within Activating Change and will oversee the
organization's finance and accounting functions. including managing
an annual budget of $3.5 million, comprised largely of Federal
funding. We are looking for a Finance Director who is grounded in
nonprofit finance and has interest and experience in building and
managing a strong financial infrastructure that promotes equity in
the organization's financial policies, practices, and
In this role, you will:
- Finance and Management:
- Serve as the organizational leader in the nonprofit's finance
and budget management
- Oversee administration of the entity's general ledger and other
expense tracking systems to ensure timeliness and accuracy of all
transactions; compliance to GAAP principles; and monitoring of
- Perform and supervise all accounts payable and accounts
receivable/cash receipt functions as well as payroll processing and
- Manage cash flow and forecasting. Develop a reliable cash flow
projection process and reporting mechanism that includes minimum
cash threshold to meet operating needs. Ensure organization is
billing funders on timely basis; oversees timely report and
follow-up on outstanding receivables. Optimize the handling of
banking relationships and initiate appropriate strategies to
enhance cash positions.
- Execute and supervise all grant and contract management
finance-related activities including budgeting/analysis, funding
proposals, grant management from post-award to closeout, billing
(which includes putting together supporting documentation such as
payroll registers, invoices, timesheets, etc.), and fiscal year
closeout for grants.
- Implement a robust contracts management and financial
management/ reporting 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.
- Oversee and lead annual budgeting and planning process;
administer and review all financial plans and budgets; monitor
progress and changes; and keep senior leadership team abreast of
the organization's financial status.
- Produce, analyze, and present monthly and annual financial
reports for both internal and external reporting, including
analysis of performance to budget, data for grant reports and
proposals, federal financial reports, and other measures.
- Engage the finance committee of the board of directors around
issues, trends, and changes in the operating model(s) and
operational delivery. Assist in establishing short-, medium-, and
long-term financial plans and projections yearly objectives and
- Develop tools and systems to provide critical financial
information to Activating Change's leaders and make actionable
recommendations on both finance and strategy.
- Accounting and Administration
- Ensure maintenance of appropriate internal controls and
- Ensure timeliness, accuracy, and usefulness of financial and
management reporting for federal and state funders, foundations,
and Activating Change's board of directors.
- Develop monthly and annual financial reporting materials.
- Coordinate and lead the annual audit process, liaise with
external auditors and the finance committee of the board of
directors, assess any changes necessary, and ensure a successful
- Prepare financial statements and oversees completion of Form
990 and other required filings.
- Ensure legal and regulatory compliance regarding all financial
functions, as well as compliance with Activating Change's internal
policies and with funder rules and regulations (including Federal
and private sources of funding).
- Partnership and Collaboration
- Provides support and strategic direction to senior leaders and
project managers in Activating Change.
- Foster a work environment that practices our organization's
values and supports equity and belonging within our team and across
- Effectively communicate and present critical financial
information to a wide variety of stakeholders including, program
staff and partners.
- Support strong financial health of our partners and
- Oversee the selection of vendors, such as auditors and
investment, who align with Activating Change's values.
- Represent Activating Change with financial partners, including
financial institutions, auditors, donors, and partners.
What qualifications do you need?
- Bachelor's Degree in accounting or finance, or equivalent
- 5 - 10 years of experience in nonprofit financial management or
- Significant knowledge and experience in accounting, budgeting,
and financial analyses
- Strong financial management skills, including experience in
budget planning and implementation, and creating, reading, and
analyzing financial statements.
- Enthusiasm, creativity, patience and flexibility around
building Activating Change's financial infrastructure
- Experience with developing and implementing policies,
procedures and systems relative to finance and accounting
practices, and experience in training and/or supporting others to
learn and adopt new systems and practices.
- Demonstrated ability to communicate financial concepts and
analyses to and effectively collaborate with a wide variety of
colleagues, including those without accounting and finance
- Keen analytic, strategic, and problem-solving skills
- Strong interpersonal skills.
- A commitment to mentoring and developing staff, partners, and
- Comfortable learning and using new technology.
- Comfortable with bucking trends and traditional
- Excellent organizational skills, with high accuracy and
attention to detail.
- Commitment to the mission and goals of Activating Change,
including a demonstrated commitment to social justice and
- Willingness to engage in conversations aimed at disrupting
ableism, audism, racism and other forms of oppression.
- Ability to thrive in a remote work environment: self-directed;
proactively reaches out, responsive, comfortable in a virtual
- Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office, especially Excel,
and able to build reports and graphs.
- Master's Degree or CPA, or other accounting certification
- Experience with Federal funding
- Experience working with a Board of Directors
- Knowledge of federal and private grants management and
- Proficiency in American Sign Language
List of required software applications:
- Microsoft Office Suite, advanced in Excel
- Abila MIP
- Adaptive Insights
- ADP Workforce Now
Applications may also be faxed to:
ATTN: Human Resources / Finance Director, Activating Change
Vera Institute of Justice
34 35th St, Suite 4-2A, Brooklyn, NY 11232
Fax: (212) 941-9407
Please use only one method (online, mail or fax) of submission.
No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews
will be contacted.
Vera is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All
qualified applicants will be considered for employment without
unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national
origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation,
military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship
status, current employment status, or caregiver status.
Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an
increasingly multicultural country and globally connected world. We
value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational
background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse
staff to carry out our mission.
For more information about Vera, please visit
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Keywords: Vera Institute of Justice, Kansas City , Finance Director, Activating Change (Remote), Executive , Kansas City, Kansas
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