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Vice President of Finance

at Nathan Cummings Foundation in New York, NY

About the Job

The VP of Finance will play a leadership role, providing strategic counsel to the President, Board, senior leaders and staff.

An integral part of the Foundation’s senior management team, the VP of Finance will build a finance structure that meets the demands and opportunities of a dynamic, fast-paced, and ambitious organization. Responsible for overseeing the entirety of the Foundation’s finance function, the VP will balance setting a strategic vision for the finance team with a hands-on approach to managing financial operations. The VP will also provide oversight of the Foundation’s endowment activities through the external Chief Investment Officer, along with the Investment Committee, at a time when the Board is considering increasing its commitment to impact investing. In addition, the VP of Finance will provide oversight of the Foundation’s Information Technology function in partnership with the Vice President of Human Resources and Administration

Reporting directly to the President, the VP of Finance will supervise the finance team. The VP of Finance will also serve as a leader in the Foundation’s impact investing work and act as a key partner to the Director, Corporate and Political Accountability on shareholder engagement intended to further the Foundation’s mission and protect long-term shareholder value.

This is an ideal opportunity for an entrepreneurial and accomplished finance executive to support a mission-driven and dynamic organization.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Leadership & Strategy

  • Serve on the Foundation’s senior leadership team, helping to develop and execute organization-wide plans, programs and strategies that enable it to advance its mission
  • Act as a culture leader within the foundation, ensuring that Foundation staff take a thoughtful, nuanced and results-oriented approach to their work
  • Liaise with the Foundation’s leadership team and two Board committees: Investment Committee and the Assets Aligned for Impact Committee on investment related decision-making and oversight; enhance and develop the professional working relationship with the Foundation’s external Chief Investment Officer
  • Continue the Foundation’s ongoing analysis of impact investing and potential activity in the impact investing space
  • Lead the Foundation’s annual financial planning, working with President and Senior leadership team to make strategic decisions about grantmaking, work planning and resource allocation, helping Board and staff to advance the foundation’s mission
  • Inform the President, senior staff and Board of financial, risk and compliance matters as appropriate to their oversight and managerial responsibilities, ensuring they have the information and context necessary for responsible decision-making
  • Plan for continuous improvement of the efficiency and effectiveness of the department, providing the finance team with professional and personal growth opportunities
  • Mentor and coach direct reports, delegating work streams effectively and holding team members to a high standard of excellence
  • Build, develop and manage finance and IT team capable of carrying out process improvements, strategic projects and ongoing work streams
  • Represent the Foundation externally by engaging with peers on best practices, attending meetings and conferences and providing leadership in the field on Foundation priorities
    Financial Management
  • Present complex financial information to internal and external stakeholders; liaise directly with and manage the Board’s Finance Committee, Investment Committee and Assets Aligned for Impact Committee
  • Plan, develop, organize, implement, direct and evaluate the organization’s fiscal function, providing timely and accurate analysis of budgets and financial reports that will assist the President, the Board and other senior managers in managing their responsibilities.
  • Ensure the integrity, accuracy and usefulness of all financial reports, develop and maintain appropriate accounting procedures
  • Work with the Senior Grants Manager to support fiscal grants management review and approval on a timely basis
  • Set the agenda and develop supporting materials for regular meetings of the Finance Committee, Investment Committee and Assets Aligned for Impact Committee, working with the external CIO and other consultants to create appropriate reports for the Board of Directors
  • Manage the finance team to operate with a focus on supporting key stakeholders, ensuring the execution of operational finance activities (e.g., management of accounts payable and receivable, fund tracking, reporting, etc.)
  • Oversee successful completion of annual audits, IRS filings and other mandated financial reports
  • Partner with tax accountants and lawyers in managing the Foundation’s required tax returns
  • Support all legal matters such as updating by-laws and reviewing contracts

Compensation commensurate with experience; excellent benefits including retirement plan, foundation-paid medical and dental insurance coverage, generous vacation and holidays, staff development resources, grantmaking funds and tuition reimbursement.
Qualified applicants seeking employment at the Foundation are considered without regards to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, ancestry, physical or mental disability, veteran status, gender identity, or sexual orientation.


The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications and attributes:

  • Demonstrated passion for and commitment to social justice and creating a more just, vibrant, sustainable and democratic society
  • A minimum of ten years related experience and a track record of success leading a finance function
  • Ability to effectively communicate complex financial data (i.e., verbal, written, and presentation), articulate trade-offs and distill information into clear recommendations for a range of decision-makers
  • Outstanding organizational and project management skills with a track record of developing and strengthening systems and processes
  • Exceptional strategic thinking and problem-solving skills, with the ability to lead the financial modeling required to support strategic decision making
  • Demonstrated understanding of non-profit organizational structure and 501(c)(3) provisions; experience working in philanthropy a plus
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills; ability to collaborate and effectively interact with internal and external colleagues, as needed
  • Entrepreneurualism and flexibility, with an ability manage growth and change while also respecting traditions and legacies; knowledge and understanding of family business management is strongly preferred
  • Emotional maturity, with a sense of humor and the sensitivity to work in a changing organization with deep history and pride in its legacy
  • Commitment to diversity and equity, with a listening orientation and the ability to incorporate a wide range of perspectives into planning and decision making
  • Results-orientation with a dedication to ensuring that colleagues and grantees have what they need to meet their goals
  • Excellent business and contract background with effective negotiating and contract management skills
  • Familiarity with audit, compliance and internal control issues, and best practices along with risk management and insurance
  • Knowledge of automated financial and accounting reporting systems; knowledge of federal and state financial regulations
  • Understanding of and commitment to responsible investment across asset classes
  • Bachelor’s degree required; CPA or advanced degree in finance, accounting or business strongly preferred

To apply


Nathan Cummings Foundation

The Nathan Cummings Foundation (NCF) is a multigenerational family foundation, rooted in the Jewish tradition of social justice and committed to creating a more just, vibrant, sustainable and democratic society. Having recently transitioned to new leadership, evolved its focus, and brought on new staff to support its goals, the Foundation is continuing to deepen its impact.

Located in New York City, NCF has assets of approximately $450 million and an annual budget of about $25 million. NCF has given away more than $425 million in the past 25 years and has earned a strong track record as a leader and innovator in the philanthropic community.

The Foundation owes its existence and inspiration to Nathan Cummings, who rose from impoverished beginnings to become the founder and guiding force of the Sara Lee Corporation. Third and fourth generation members of the Cummings family, as well as four Independent Trustees, and the CEO serve on the Board. As a family foundation, the Board and staff actively work to create a family-like atmosphere and culture that is highly inclusive. Staff and Board members bring a deep commitment to social justice and diversity, an ethic of openness, support and professional nurturing.

NCF focuses on finding solutions to the two most challenging problems of our time—the climate crisis and growing inequality—and aims to transform the systems and mindsets that hinder programs toward a more sustainable and equitable future for all people, particularly women and people of color. The Foundation invests in four focus areas that together advance its vision of a healthy planet and a healthy democracy: (i) Inclusive Clean Economy, (ii) Racial and Economic Justice, (iii) Voice, Creativity & Culture and (iv) Corporate and Political Accountability.

Known for tackling difficult issues that require moving hearts and minds, NCF takes risks on the unexpected, such as its fellowship that grants visionaries up to $150,000 to turn an inspired and potentially radical idea into a world-changing reality. NCF has a long history of aligning investments with values through shareholder activism and is exploring how it might expand the tools it uses to direct NCF’s investment dollars for greater impact. While NCF’s work is primarily concentrated in the United States, it supports efforts addressing inequality in Israel and looks globally to make a strategic difference.

For further details about the mission and vision of the Nathan Cummings Foundation, please visit http://www.nathancummings.org.