We’re Hiring! Director of Finance & Planning

June 23, 2021


The Federation of State Humanities Councils (the Federation) seeks a Director of Finance & Planning (the Director) to provide internal leadership of the membership-based organization as it enters a new phase of building its capacity to support and strengthen its membership and advocate for the humanities across the nation.

About the Organization

The Federation, founded in 1977 as the membership association of state and jurisdictional councils, provides support for humanities councils and strives to create greater awareness of the humanities in public and private life. With a mission to represent and strengthen the state and jurisdictional humanities councils, the Federation provides leadership, advocacy, and information to help members advance programs that engage millions of citizens across diverse populations in community and civic life. The US Congress established the councils and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) fund them considerably.

Federation member humanities councils serve their communities – urban, rural, veteran, educators and students, families, immigrants, Native and Indigenous, BIPOC, and more – through public humanities programs that bring people together to explore the contexts, histories, stories, lived experiences, and issues relevant to their communities. The Federation’s recent national initiatives include:

  • Why It Matters: Civic and Electoral Participation – an initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (the Mellon Foundation) that explores civic participation as it relates to electoral engagement in a multi-vocal democracy.
  • Democracy and the Informed Citizen – a multi-year, national program also funded by the Mellon Foundation and supported by The Pulitzer Prizes that focuses on the role of journalism and the humanities in a democratic society, as well as the ways that citizens gather, assess, and share information to make decisions about the futures of their communities and nation.

Strategic Priorities

In the past year, councils have pivoted quickly and meaningfully to provide virtual spaces to process the pandemic, racial injustice, and took a complex look at the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. To support the organizations advancing this work, The Federation outlines the following strategic goals for 2021-2022:

  • Position the Federation to be more widely perceived and leveraged as the voice of and connection to the state humanities councils.
  • Articulate and demonstrate the value of the councils’ work.
  • Advance the Federation’s and the councils’ partnership with NEH.
  • Strengthen councils by facilitating information exchange, providing capacity-building tools, and fostering relationships.
  • Effectively steward the Federation’s resources and ensure their alignment with strategic priorities and council expectations.

Headquartered in Arlington, VA, the Federation has a staff of seven and an operating budget of approximately $1.3M. The Federation’s revenue sources include membership dues, conference registrations, and administrative fees collected from grants it earns on behalf of its members. The Federation’s leadership includes a 16-member Board of Directors as well as 10 committees and task forces, individually chaired by a Federation Board member, and provides a governance or advisory function for the organization. Federation President Phoebe Stein began her tenure in May 2020 after serving as Maryland Humanities’ executive director for 12 years. For additional information about the Federation, please visit the website.

The Position

Reporting to the president, the Director leads the Federation’s financial management and accounting functions, and manages relationships with external vendors, the audit firm, the external accounting firm, the bank, investment managers, and others. The Director collaborates with the president and Board in developing and operationalizing the organization’s strategic plan and evaluating progress toward the plan. Additionally, the Director assists the President and Board in advancing the Federation’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts.

Key Responsibilities

The Director plays a vital role in ensuring the Federation’s strong financial position through sound financial stewardship and a key role in developing and operationalizing both strategic and DEI plans. Primary responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Accounting Leadership (25%)

  • Perform day-to-day management of accounting systems, including bookkeeping, accounts payable, and accounts receivable.
  • Work with the outside accountant on the month-end closing process.
  • Liaise with investments managers to assess any changes requested by the Board.
  • Implement grants management/reporting system and oversee all grants accounting.
  • Coordinate and support the annual audit.
  • Review and process contracts (speakers, hotels, etc.).
  • Manage and process revenues, including annual dues assessments/collections and onsite payments at events.
  • Update and implement Accounting Policies & Procedures.

Financial Management (25%)

  • Prepare and analyze monthly and annual financial reports and forecasts for the President, Board, Board Committees, Events and Foundations/Funders.
  • Lead budgeting and financial planning processes for the organization, events, and grants; monitor progress and changes.
  • Review banking and investments reports to monitor the Federation’s financial status.
  • Communicate critical financial matters and potential solutions to the President, Treasurer, and Board.

Planning (20%)

  • With the President and Board, identify and hire a strategic planning consultant for work in 2022 to create a new 3-5 strategic plan.
  • Work with consultant, staff, and Board to develop and implement the strategic plan.
  • With staff, operationalize the organization’s strategic plan and evaluate progress toward the plan.
  • Assist the President and Board in advancing the Federation’s DEI efforts.

Human Resources (10%)

  • Manage and implement bi-weekly payroll and employee benefits, including insurance, retirement, leave, etc.
  • Manage business insurance, Worker’s Compensation, and Directors and Officers liability.
  • Ensure compliance with federal and state laws.
  • Update and implement Employee Handbook, with support from legal counsel and/or HR consultant.
  • Assist the President in advancing the full employee life cycle with an equity lens, including updating job descriptions/salaries, recruitment, hiring, onboarding, and off-boarding.
  • Maintain all personnel files.

Administrative (10%)

  • Serve as primary liaison to outside vendors and property owner.
  • Coordinate with IT contractor on all office equipment.
  • Attend to all inquiries sent to info@statehumanities.org.
  • Other tasks as assigned by management.

Board/Governance (10%)

  • Work with auditors and Audit Committee to ensure a successful annual audit, including timely submission of Form 990.
  • Support the Treasurer and Finance Committee by preparing meeting agendas and materials.
  • Update Communications & Development Committee on matters related to fundraising (individual contributions, major gifts, etc.).

The Federation uses Sage as its accounting platform, ADP to process payroll, Microsoft Office to create documents, and Google docs to edit. The Federation anticipates selecting a new CRM platform later this year.

Skills and Attributes

The Director will be an experienced leader with at least 5-7 years of broad finance and operational experience, including responsibility for overseeing the Operations and HR functions as well as successful experience gathering and evaluating financial information and making actionable recommendations to senior leadership. The Director will ideally have experience being a part of an organization that has implemented a DEI plan or lens.

The Director will have the following experience and attributes:

  • 5-7 years of experience leading finance and operations for a similarly sized entity, experience in the nonprofit sector a plus.
  • Leadership and proactivity with evidence of having worked as a true business partner to the chief executive.
  • Demonstrated excellence in managing finance, accounting, budgeting, internal controls, and reporting.
  • Experience managing revenue from member organizations and federal sources.
  • Skill in examining, developing, reengineering, and recommending finance, IT, HR, and other operations policies and procedures.
  • Strong analytical skills and experience interpreting a strategic vision into an operational model.
  • A collaborative and flexible style, with a strong service mentality; a team player.
  • A hands-on manager with integrity and a desire to work in a mission-driven environment.
  • Demonstrated commitment to the social sector with a passion for the organization’s mission.
  • An effective communicator, with strong oral and written skills; demonstrated ability to communicate financial information to non-financial audiences.
  • Bachelor’s degree or related experience preferred. CPA or MBA is a plus.

The salary range is $80,000-$85,000.  Benefits include full medical coverage (health, dental, and vision), life and AD&D insurance, participation in a 403(b) retirement plan with 7% employer contribution, 22 days annual paid vacation, and 12 days annual paid sick leave.

Application Process

To apply, please submit your resume, cover letter, and salary requirements here.  Resume reviews begin immediately. For the full scope of position responsibilities and desired experience, please contact Sam Sadiv at samantha.sadiv@marcumllp.com, and direct any questions you may have to her.

A demonstrated ability to cultivate positive and productive relationships and partnerships with a wide range of cultures, people, and organizations and a commitment to access is central to our work. Hence, we strongly encourage applications from BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities, working class individuals, veterans, and members of other marginalized communities.

The Federation of State Humanities Councils does not and shall not discriminate based on race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, members, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors.

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