Chicago, Il

Vice President of Finance, Wood Fund Chicago

The Organization


Woods Fund Chicago (WFC) is a bold grantmaking foundation that finds and funds projects that draw on the power of communities to fight the brutality of structural racism and economic injustice. It promotes social, economic, and racial justice through the support of community organizing and public policy advocacy that engages the people that are most impacted. Visit for more information.

The foundation was incorporated in the state of Illinois in 1993.  The foundation’s current endowment exceeds $65 million.  WFC gave out $3.6 million in grants in 2021 and the 2022 grantmaking budget is $3.9 million.

Position Overview


The Vice President of Finance (VPF) is a critical partner to the President, and a peer to the Vice President of Programs.  This is the top financial position with responsibility for overall financial management, formulating financial policy and plans, and other administrative responsibilities. The VPF executes the accounting, tax, financial analysis and reporting, budget, insurance, audit, and treasury functions.  The VPF seeks to minimize financial risk to WFC and ensure that financial transactions, policies, and procedures meet the foundation’s short and long-term objectives, needs and regulatory requirements.  The VPF works closely with the President and the Board of Directors to support their governance responsibilities.  The VPF is responsible for the human resource functions performed by the outsourced Professional Employment Organization (PEO), such as payroll and employee benefits.  In addition, the VPF also works closely with the Outsourced Chief Investment Officer (OCIO) and Finance Committee to oversee and account for the foundation’s investments. The VPF will work with the President and the Vice President of Program to align Woods Fund’s grantmaking to adhere to the principles of racial justice and trust-based philanthropy.

They will work closely with the President and executive team to provide leadership, to further strengthen the foundation’s infrastructure, and to promote teamwork and collaboration across Woods Fund Chicago in furtherance of the mission.  The VPF will be a trusted financial and strategic partner and resource to all members of the foundation.

The strongest candidates for the Vice President of Finance role will be able to demonstrate their ability to thrive in the organization’s emerging work norms:

Purpose-driven: Grounded in the work, aware of the impact that is possible, and able to purposely engage and collaborate with others internally and externally to move the work forward

Innovation: Able and eager to identify new opportunities, strategies, and approaches to philanthropy within and outside of traditional systems and structures

Entrepreneurialism: Ability to present ideas to reimagine supporting & funding community based organizing groups in Chicago

Ideas and inquiry: Generate ideas, then test those ideas internally and externally to establish original methods and points of view

Comfort with ambiguity: Possess the confidence and flexibility to successfully work in an environment where experimentation is encouraged

Growth mindset:  An individual who is always learning, growing, improving, open to feedback is one that would fit into the culture of the foundation.

This is a demanding, senior leadership role. The right candidate would not only understand accounting best practices, but also would be comfortable creating systems and processes to support the work of the foundation and be excited to apply the principles of racial equity to accounting, portfolio management, operations, and grantmaking.


Financial Management (40% of the position)

• Build a mission-driven budget through broadly engaging staff members in the strategic decision-making process, effectively communicating budget priorities to diverse stakeholders, including the Board and the program staff.  The budget Includes grant making, operating expenses, capital, and cash; monitor actual performance and reforecast, as necessary.  Develop and maintain planning and budgeting tools and analysis

• As a member of the executive team, create and implement efficient processes to support the foundation’s workstreams, utilizing technology where appropriate to support efficient processes

• Work closely with the Board Treasurer and act as the staff lead with the Board Finance Committee, including organization of committee meetings, setting the agenda, preparing meeting materials and ensuring committee decisions are followed and executed

• As the staff member of the Finance Committee, work closely with the Investment firm to ensure the security of the investment portfolio (the foundation’s sole funding source), manage liquidity (cash) risk, monitor the investment performance of the portfolio, assist with annual update and execution of the Investment Policy Statement for good governance and account for all investment transactions

• Analyze and interpret financial results via monthly trends, comparisons to prior year and budget, benchmarking, etc.; identify areas requiring attention; present findings and specific recommendations to President and Board, as appropriate

• Working with program staff, monitor and communicate the foundation’s progress toward meeting IRS Minimum Distribution Requirement, and thought partner with the President to reimagine ways to utilize the entirety of the foundation’s corpus as an extension of grantmaking

• With President, responsible for effective and efficient internal controls to safeguard the assets and minimize financial risk.  Include review and approval of financial obligations (i.e., contracts) and transactions (disbursements, grants, investments).

Accounting (40% of the position)

• Perform accurate monthly accounting close (cash basis) including maintenance of financial systems and reporting tools as well as appropriate supporting documentation

• Prepare accurate and meaningful financial reports – including monthly reports, periodic Board presentations and government filings

• Prepare and execute accounts payable.  Prepare year-end 1099’s, as necessary.

• Work with the Grants Manager to monitor approved and unpaid grants including multiyear commitments; perform timely reconciliations with the WFC’s grantmaking software

• Supervise the custody and banking relationships and function

• Coordinate annual external audit and preparation of financial statement report with footnotes

• Work with outside tax preparers to prepare and file annual federal tax return (Form 990PF) and other state returns; calculate and submit estimated quarterly tax deposits, monitor compliance with tax regulations

• Evaluate and maintain the business insurance policies

• Responsible for the foundation’s office space lease. Serve as liaison to the office of the building.

HR (20% of the position)

• Act as primary liaison with the WFC’s Professional Employment Organization (PEO) for payroll, employee benefits and human resource matters.  In conjunction with outside provider, ensure accuracy of semimonthly payroll, expense reimbursements, tracking of paid time off and annual preparation of Forms W-2. Support annual open enrollment

• Serve as a strategic thought partner on matters of employee policies and personnel manual updates, performance reviews and total compensation packages, including salary and benefits benchmarking.


• Assist the President and Vice President of Programs with special projects and events

• Assist the President and Vice President of Programs in representing the Foundation at community and philanthropic events

• Protect the organization by keeping information confidential

• Assist with other duties as assigned.


• A CPA, MBA or advanced degree in a relevant field is preferred

• Seven years of accounting/finance experience in a leadership role required

• Thorough knowledge of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and accounting for investments required.  Understanding of IRS regulations related to foundations, philanthropic practices, and non-profit law preferred

• Previous experience and responsibility for budgets and forecasts, financial reporting, financial analysis, cash management and tax

• Previous hands-on experience with an accounting system is required – QuickBooks is a plus

• Ability to utilize data to inform decision-making and narrative change

• Ability to communicate financial data to others who may lack a finance background

• Excellent written and verbal communication skills

• Strategic, analytical problem solver, who identifies and leverages resources

• Knowledge of, and high comfort level with, computer software systems: Excel, Word, Microsoft Teams, Asana, PowerPoint, video conferencing.


• This is a full-time position based in Chicago

• Staff are currently working remotely. Plans are to return to the office in 2022, utilizing a mixture of on- and off-site scheduling.

• WFC mandates that all staff be vaccinated.  WFC will be taking all necessary precautions due to COVID-19 utilizing guidance from health authorities.

• Ordinarily, this position operates primarily in an accessible office environment in Chicago.

• While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear and use hands to operate office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, scanners, filing cabinets.

• Workplace is a smoke- and drug-free environment.

• Equal Opportunity Employer. Having a diverse staff is a fundamental principal at WFC. Employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, ethnicity, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, citizenship status, military service and/or marital status, order of protection status, handicap, disability, or any other factor determined to be unlawful by federal, state, or local statutes.

COMPENSATION: Salary is in the $125,000 – $140,000 range, based on experience.  Excellent, comprehensive benefits package includes medical, dental, vision, short- and long-term disability and life insurance, employer-paid contribution to a retirement plan, and generous paid leave.

How To Apply


·         Interested applicants should email a cover letter, articulating how their skills and experience meet the responsibilities noted above, their salary range requirement, where they learned of the open position, and a resume to  Please write your name (Last, First) in the subject line of your e-mail.

·         No phone calls please

·         Having a diverse staff is a core value of WFC.  Women and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

For additional information visit Woods Fund Chicago website.

Sign up