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Director, Finance Strategy and Support

  • Remote
  • Anywhere
Company Description

About the Organization 

KIPP Public Schools is a national network of tuition-free public charter schools that prepares students with the skills and confidence to create the future they want for themselves, their communities, and us all. We are a network of 275 schools, nearly 16,500 educators, and 175,000 students and alumni.    

Our mission: Together with families and communities, we create joyful, academically excellent schools that prepare students with the skills and confidence to pursue the paths they choose—college, career, and beyond—so they can lead fulfilling lives and build a more just world. 

Our vision: Every child grows up free to create the future they want for themselves and their communities. 

The KIPP Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports KIPP schools across the country. The KIPP Foundation trains and develops outstanding educators to lead KIPP public schools; provides tools, resources, and training for excellent teaching and learning; promotes innovation; and facilitates the exchange of insights and ideas across KIPP and other public schools and organizations. 

About Our Values: 

  • Focus on Excellent Results: Winning for Children and Families – Denying people of color and people experiencing economic hardship excellent outcomes from public organizations is longstanding and only perpetuates inter-generational racism and poverty.  We pursue excellence at a world-class level because our children and families deserve nothing less.  We focus on excellent results, generated by excellent daily action because intentions alone will not enable our children to lead fulfilling lives. 

 

  • Courageous Action: We do Hard Things All day, Every Day – Our work is centered on reversing the impact of generational racism and poverty on children of color from low-income families.  This work is inherently challenging and will never be easy.  Our mission requires that, through concerted action, we embrace, confront, and overcome adversity. 

 

  • Resilient Solutions Focus:  Find a Way or Make One – We doggedly pursue solutions to every problem we confront.  For every problem, we find or invent a solution.  We are smart, optimistic, and thoughtful in crafting solutions, but also timely, recognizing that our children only have one life to live.  We embrace a growth mindset, believing that simply because we have not achieved our ultimate aims today does not mean that we cannot tomorrow.  We chase the continuous improvement of ourselves, our interpersonal relationships, our teams, and our organization.

 

Job Description

About The Position 

The KIPP Foundation is looking for a Director, Finance Strategy and Support. The Foundation Finance Team exists to support foundation and regional stakeholders as we work together to meet and exceed our ambitious financial and student achievement goals. The Director, Finance Strategy and Support is a critically important role, enabling the CFO to maximize time, effectively work with internal and external stakeholders, make organization-wide decisions, and to fulfill their commitments to achieve goals. They interpret and build upon the CFO’s vision, assess the needs of each department across the Finance Team and broader organization, and implement the strategic agenda and priorities of the Finance Team as a whole. They are responsible for the success of the leadership team. They are the champion of the team’s overarching priorities and as such, the Director, Strategy and Support helps the CFO and their leadership team navigate through uncertainty, risk, and change management to achieve those goals and priorities. 

The Director, Finance Strategy and Support is responsible for connecting and integrating workstreams that would otherwise be siloed, across foundation and regional teams. It is a highly strategic, collaborative, and facilitative role that requires a combination of flexibility, accountability, and ability to influence others to results. They are the link between the leadership team and the rest of the organization. The role requires a highly resourceful individual with strong emotional intelligence, political intelligence, communication skills, self-motivation, organizational skills, and analytical skills. Under the Director, Finance Strategy and Support’s leadership, the CFO and their leadership team are able to effectively align, collaborate, hold each other accountable, and support each other toward achieving their goals and KIPP Foundation’s mission. 

The Director, Finance Strategy and Support will be remote and report to the Chief Financial Officer.  This position will work closely with KIPP regions and local finance leaders and KIPP Foundation senior leaders. 

 

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES: 

Finance Management & Strategy – Support internal team planning and drive work to improve access to finance data for team accountability.   

Act as a consultant, partner, and/or architect of Finance initiatives or systems that impact students and staff, serving to promote alignment between the CFO, the leadership team, Finance staff, and foundation and network stakeholders 

  • Provide excellent consultant services for the CFO and Finance leadership team around current priorities or reoccurring challenges, operating with discretion and candor 

  • Drive improvements in response to identification of gaps, data, and strategic direction 

  • Identify and communicate when alignment within/across teams is absent, sharing critical information with the CFO and/or senior team, and recommending mitigating approaches 

  • Build and manage collaborative relationships with senior leaders across Foundation functional teams to support achievement of operational and organization-wide goals 

  • Ensure Finance team operating mechanisms are strategic, ensure mechanisms are implemented with fidelity, coach leaders to best prepare for strategy and quarterly meeting opportunities to best utilize senior team time 

  • Support the CFO to ensure that all “critical path” meetings (e.g., Chief’s convenings, Board of Directors meetings, senior team strategy and step-back meetings, all Finance team meetings) have realistic objectives, appropriate preparation, and effective follow-through 

Facilitate improved data visibility to support decision making and optimal utilization of organization resources 

  • Partner with the Compliance and Evaluation team to perform gap analysis regarding available data 

  • Work to leverage existing data dashboards and ensure Finance team leaders are strategically utilizing available tools 

  • Identify all manual reporting and partner with the Financial Planning and Support team to prioritize automation, i.e. tactical data board, monthly purchasing reports, customer service data 

  • Partner with the Financial Planning and Support team to build a finance dashboard 

  • Methodically evaluate the efficiency and return on investment (ROI) of current and proposed investments including team structures and software licenses

Manage all Finance internal and external communication ensuring a strategic approach and cohesive message 

  • Develop a Finance Team communication plan in alignment with annual milestones, ensure teams are planning well in advance around external communication by providing backward planning touchpoints 

  • Establish communication mechanisms, such as a KIPP Foundation Finance Community newsletter, aligned to professional development plans to provide opportunities for Finance teams to share updates, reminders, best practices, and deepen the knowledge and skillset of financial managers 

  • Ensure all Finance communication is clear, aligned to goals and priorities and meets the bar in terms of tenor and tone through an internal system managing submission, feedback and ultimate distribution 

 

Board Relations – Lead Board of Directors relations and ensure finance team compliance with all policy requirements in partnership with the Accounting Team under the guidance of the VP of Finance, Controller 

  • Manage the preparation for and/or facilitation of Board of Directors, Finance Committee, Audit Committee and all other finance driven potential committee meetings including materials dissemination, agendas, minutes, records retention and supporting materials 

  • Ensure the finance team is aligned and prepared for each Board of Directors meeting or workshop 

  • Manage the process of requesting Board approval for contracts, activities outlined in Board bylaws, and other approvals as necessary, including collecting requests, evaluating with the CFO, presenting them to committees and Board, and communicating results with end users 

  • Partner with the Accounting Team to ensure compliance with all required Board of Directors approval or reporting in alignment with latest adopted policy 

 

Finance Professional Development – Develop and implement vision for high quality and efficient professional development for staff that will lead to strong financial compliance and organization stewardship from Foundation staff.  

Strategically lead the development of fiduciaries and financial stewards regarding the importance and their responsibility to support financial goals and metrics, strong financial results, strategic annual planning and sustainable long term financial models 

  • Manage the design, development and implementation of high quality professional development strands across all areas of finance including but not limited to robust reference materials, step by step instructions and videos, opportunities for live training, purposeful coaching for financial managers, and differentiated self paced Roadmap modules  

  • Directly design and facilitate or support the design of Financial Management Trainings and additional training options for foundation stakeholders, Executive Directors and school leaders 

  • Strategically lead across all members of the Finance Team to best utilize available reference and supporting materials when responding to requests, identify gaps in resources and work to quickly close them 

  • Ensure a strong onboarding experience for financial managers and budget owners through high quality onboarding materials, and purposeful touch points throughout their onboarding experience 

  • Serve as a leader in setting vision regarding the hiring, development and retention of local finance leaders across states and regions 

Lead finance customer service efforts with a goal to be best in class, establish vertical alignment across Finance Teams, collaborate with external teams to provide the best end user experience possible, serve as accountability partner to Finance Teams to maintain a high bar for customer service 

  • Convene all Finance Team customer service agents across teams to assess wins and gaps 

  • Serve as a strong partner to external teams impacting Finance work 

  • Ensure Finance Zendesk tickets are responded to on or before the two-business day deadline with a high level of customer service 

  • Serve as accountability partner to Finance Teams, research negative feedback from end users to understand root causes and ensure corrective action is put in place, and sample Zendesk ticket threads to ensure the communication tone and level of support meets the finance customer service bar 

  • Design and implement strategic communication plans based on annual milestones with clear guidance and expectations for staff, focus on transparency and plan in advance if a disruption in service may need to be shared 

Support Finance staff retention 

  • Ensure the Finance Team is strategic regarding the organizational structure allowing for clear development pathways across teams 

  • Support the CFO in improving and implementing plans to improve staff morale and engagement, including identifying opportunities to celebrate and spark joy, strong upward feedback mechanisms, and transparent cascading messages 

Qualifications

Skills 

  • Mission & Student Focus: Expresses high expectations for all students and expresses belief in their potential to complete college and succeed in life. Keeps commitments made to others – especially students; desire and ability to uphold KIPP’s values (Focus on Excellent Results, Courageous Action, and Resilient Solutions Focus)  

  • Achievement Orientation: infuses clarity in accountability and goals, ensuring measures of success are tied to student and organizational outcomes; Eliminates unnecessary bureaucracy/inefficiencies in pursuit of outcomes; can solve problems and make decisions collaboratively with others in pursuit of student outcomes;  

  • Process & Project Management: Can effectively manage complex projects with multiple stakeholders to deadlines while balancing multiple short- and long-term projects; highly organized and disciplined and can take an innovative approach to translating strategy into priorities and project plans, even in unstructured spaces; continually applies strong attention to detail in the execution and follow through of all projects; constantly looks for ways to improve and to scale learning quickly.  

  • Industry and Financial Acumen: Knowledge of public education finance and the willingness to learn other states education finance systems; Skill in creating, maintaining, tracking, and monitoring budgets and developing projection costs associated with operating expenses  

  • Communications Skills: Clear and effective communicator; can effectively share complex information, translate for end users, and maintain a supportive and helpful tone; responds promptly to concerns and ensures that stakeholders are aware of actions that are being taken and explains the rationale for decisions and/or outcomes to the stakeholder; Asks questions to maintain clear communication regarding mutual and realistic expectations, desires or needs for improvement. 

  • Impact & Influence and Stakeholder Management: Adapts personal leadership style/approach to influence others. Stimulates others to act and accomplish goals, even when no direct reporting relationship exists. Gains the trust of key stakeholders by active listening and seeking to understand their views and needs.  

  • Critical Thinking and Strong Judgement: Ability to problem solve and to navigate and lead through complexity; effectively leverages data effectively for strategic decision-making and driving improvement; can make courageous yet necessary decisions in the interest of students and families with experience working with and in the interests of communities of color; can maintain exemplary integrity, discretion, and cultural competence while working with staff and with confidential/sensitive information.   

  • Cultural Competence & Commitment to Equity: A proactive cultural leader and team player who thrives on collaboration and learning; examines the impact of his/her identities, biases, assumptions, and behaviors on his/her power and privilege, interactions with others, work and leadership in the organization; able to recognize, immediately respond, and consistently remedy interpersonal and systemic bias and inequities. 

 

Experience & Qualifications 

  • Bachelor’s degree in economics, management, finance, business or other relevant field. Master of Business Administration or other advanced degree preferred 

  • 5 years of work experience; preferably in finance and/or a non-profit or educational setting. At least 3 years of experience in budget development and management, accounting systems, data analytics, and/or financial reporting 

 

Additional Information

Work Conditions 

  • Full-time, Exempt position  

  • Travel requirements: Able to travel up to 25% of the time with increased travel during the busiest parts of the year.  

Location 

It is preferred, but not mandatory for this role to be based out of a KIPP Foundation office.  This role also offers the option of working from a remote office full-time.  KIPP Foundation office is in NYC and Chicago.    

 

Compensation and Benefits    

In compliance with local law, we are disclosing the compensation, or a range thereof, for roles in locations where legally required. Actual salaries will vary based on several factors, including but not limited to external market data, internal equity, and relevant experience.  The salary range for this position is $120,000-$145,000.  In addition, KIPP Foundation provides a variety of benefits to employees, including:  

  • 25 holidays for + 18 days additional flexible PTO days (flexible PTO increases to 23 days for years 3 and 4 and to 28 days for years 5+). 

  • 100% paid parental leave 

  • 100% coverage of the premium for employee and 75% for employee + family’s medical/dental/vision plans. 

  • Wellness benefits such as fitness reimbursements, discounted tickets to theme parks/attractions, backup care support for children and adults/elders, and our employee assistance program 

  • Finance Security benefits include such as a 401K retirement plan with 4% match, employer-sponsored legal plans, life/disability insurance, and flexible spending accounts 

 

KIPP Foundation embraces the opportunity to build a workforce that reflects the diversity of the students and communities with whom we work and the world that around them. Being an equal opportunity employer means that we take seriously our responsibility to consider qualified candidates on the basis of merit, without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, mental or physical disability, and genetic information, marital status, citizenship status, military status, protected veteran status or any other category protected by law.    

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