Director of Finance

Center on Rural Innovation
Hartland Vermont
Job Type
Deadline for Applications
How to Apply
Please provide cover letter and resume
Where to Apply

Rural Innovation Strategies, Inc. (RISI) and its sister organization the Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) work together as a fast-growing action-tank focused on closing the rural opportunity gap. Their mission is broad and ambitious: advancing economic prosperity in rural America through the creation of scalable entrepreneurship and tech job creation in a network of small towns and cities across the country.

They take a systems approach to addressing all aspects of this challenge, including strategy consulting that advances local innovation hubs and broadband infrastructure. With philanthropic resources, they deploy technology job training and placement, and elevate their network communities through film and national press. They also manage a $5 million seed capital investment fund that invests in early stage technology startups.

Since their founding in 2017 with a seed grant from Reid Hoffman (Founder of LinkedIn), they have been on an aggressive growth trajectory that was only accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the past year, they have nearly doubled in size, added new research capacity funded by national foundations and federal agencies, and completed data analytics and geospatial mapping services used by Fortune 100 companies. While based in Vermont, their organizations serve rural communities across the country. Today their Rural Innovation Network is comprised of 18 communities and they are are on a trajectory to grow the Network to 50 communities by the end of 2023.

Recognizing the diversity of rural communities, CORI and RISI have called for transformative action to address the tremendous disparities communities face and are actively working internally and externally to further transformation efforts including ensuring their network communities reflect the diversity of the country. Across the varied challenges, CORI and RISI partner with rural community leaders and employers to build capacity to develop digital economy ecosystems that are truly inclusive.

In this next stage of growth, they are looking for a seasoned and dynamic leader who can design and maintain their financial infrastructure and provide meaningful input into their rapidly evolving organizational strategy. Their next Director of Finance:

Is excited to design and manage the finances of a mission-driven organization that blends the best of private-sector innovation with social impact values
Can help us prioritize and evaluate a broad set of new opportunities for revenue generation, joint ventures and mission impact as they arise
Can ensure RISI and CORI are operating sustainably and effectively against core goals, and in compliance with their legal and tax requirements
Has the insight and vision to shape RISI and CORI’s future goals and objectives
The Director of Finance will report directly to the Executive Director and will also supervise a staff of one or two junior finance/accounting professionals.

Key ongoing responsibilities:

Managing the financial operations and day-to-day fiscal health of the organization — The Director of Finance will be responsible for maintaining/improving the procedures and infrastructure necessary to provide timely financial data across the enterprise. This will include:
Overseeing accounting processes, finance team, financial software selection, and databases
Preparing accurate, timely reports on fund balances, cash flow, and other key financial elements for leadership and assisting the executive director on key financial decisions
Overseeing team budget-to-actuals reviews, including reporting for foundation and federal awards
Monitoring expenses and flows between various legal entities, including a 501c3, a taxable non-profit, a seed-stage investment fund and multiple real estate LLCs.
Manage the annual audits, tax returns, and other annual filings across the organization
Leading business development strategy — The Director of Finance will work closely with CORI’s team leads to assure that:
Fundraising and Business Development activities are aligned with strategic priorities
Staff have needed financial information to communicate to funders and are correctly assessing the cost-benefit of a potential project or grant
Their various entities are optimized to ensure the greatest impact and can attract all forms of capital to address this critical problem
Leading annual strategic planning and budgeting process — The Director of Finance will lead the annual strategic planning process, conducting the workshops, leadership sessions, offsites, and board engagement necessary to construct a set of organizational objectives, execution steps, and measurable results that will enable RISI and CORI to best achieve its mission over the course of the year. Subsequently, the Director of Finance will develop an organizational budget (informed by team-level planning) that will enable the organization to achieve these objectives in a sustainable way.
Supporting Executive Director in CORI Board of Directors communication and engagement — The Director of Finance will support the Executive Director in preparing for quarterly board meetings including designing an agenda, creating reports on key strategic and financial topics, maintaining a board dashboard, and engaging board members individually on select topics.
Managing multidisciplinary projects with strategic importance to RISI and CORI — Given the wide variety and complexity of RISI and CORI’s various program areas, the Director of Finance will at times be called on to project manage organizational initiatives that cut across multiple teams (e.g., due diligence on a new earned revenue initiative, pilot consulting initiatives, strategic joint ventures, launching a new investment fund as a follow-on to the CORI Innovation Fund, etc).

Desired qualifications:

7+ years of experience in finance, management/strategy consulting, accounting, or related field
Strong preference for individuals with executive leadership experience, especially financial leadership experience for a complex, mission-oriented enterprise.
CPA preferred, but not required
Experience with social enterprises that bridge across nonprofit and for profit entities preferred
Commitment to their mission of returning prosperity to rural places
Strong financial expertise and analytical skills, especially with preparing financial models and reports across multiple entities
Capacity to manage a wide set of priorities simultaneously
Team management experience and an ability to direct and coach colleagues within a non-hierarchical organizational structure