Chief Financial and Administrative Officer (AJP)

The American Journalism Project is seeking an experienced Chief Financial and Administrative Officer (CFAO) to oversee all aspects of finance, operations and technology for a growing venture philanthropy organization with philanthropic investments in local news across the U.S. The CFAO will collaborate with the senior management team to set strategy and goals while building an organizational culture to achieve them.

This person must be a leader with the experience, analytical skills, sense of humor, nonprofit understanding and managerial skills to accomplish the financial management and administrative goals necessary for the organization of diverse, talented individuals to thrive. They must also have a record of proactive and thoughtful leadership dealing with current and future key issues, effective controls and record-keeping mitigating risk, and systems and process change.



We’re an entrepreneurial team working to re-shape the future of local news in our country. We’re passionate about journalism, civic engagement and how local news plays a unique role in shaping our democracy.

We help build and grow sustainable local news organizations all over the country, through financial investment, venture support, and movement building.

We are a distributed team and strive to maintain a healthy, fun and productive workplace, working alongside smart, energetic colleagues who enjoy one another and enjoy the work.

Fast Facts

Established: 2019

Employees: 12


In 2019, the American Journalism Project  announced its first $8.5M in grants to support 11 civic news organizations across the U.S.

Learn about them here.



The CFAO acts as strategic thought partner to the CEO and will work closely with the Board of Directors, including the Audit, Governance and Investment Committees.

Reporting to the CEO and working with the Chief of Staff, the CFAO will lead all financial and administrative operations of the American Journalism Project and will have the following responsibilities:

Your Job

Operations & Planning

  • Collaborate with the CEO, senior leadership team and Board in the leadership of AJP's strategic planning, finance and operations processes.
  • Lead the creation, maintenance and continuous upgrade of the appropriate infrastructure and resources, including: data, security, systems, technology, policies, procedures and controls.


  • Lead the review and analysis of financials, the development of annual budgets and forecasts and expense management opportunities.
  • Provide strategic financial input and leadership on decisions affecting the organization, such as evaluation of potential partnerships and organization challenges.
  • Oversee the organization’s cash and investment management approach in partnership with the board of directors and manage the organization’s banking relationships.
  • Present financial reports and analysis to the Audit, Governance and Investment Committees Committees as well as the full Board of Directors.
  • Coordinate external audit in partnership with AJP’s outsourced accounting firm and ensure compliance with all local, state, and federal government regulations and other applicable laws and requirements governing grantmakers and charitable organizations.
  • Oversee tactical and operational aspects of American Journalism Project finances and effectively communicate the results, issues and opportunities to all stakeholders. Ensure compliance and sound internal controls.
  • Develop and deliver timely and accurate financial reports and analysis to support decision making across the organization and build the financial literacy of the team in the process.
  • Work closely with the Development department to ensure reconciliation on a monthly basis of revenue and cash goals, and ensure that all financial and other legal information required by donors and foundations is provided on a timely and accurate basis. Develop standard financial reports that can be shared externally with funders.
  • Develop analysis of our expenses and grantmaking goals that can be used as a way to build understanding in our funding community.
  • Build proposal budgets and review commitment contracts.

Grantmaking systems

  • Provide strategic oversight and improvement of the process by which grants are made; this includes internal due diligence review, approval, grant agreement generation, payment processing, grant reporting, and grant closing.
  • Ensure excellent customer service to program staff and grantees as they navigate the process of awarding and receiving grants.
  • Partner with external legal counsel to ensure that procedures are followed, with all grants adhering to federal and state legal and tax requirements, as well as practices for grant accounting reporting.
  • Review all major grant opportunities by giving feedback to program staff
  • Provide birds-eye view and analysis of the financial analytics of our grantmaking.

Culture & Collaboration

  • Working with American Journalism Project’s CEO and professional employer organization, oversee and execute on all aspects of Human Capital Development & Management.
  • Collaborate with Chief of Staff to steward a culture aligned with our values and upgrade people operations functions including performance management, training and staff development.
  • Oversee the administration of employee payroll and benefits programs, including benchmarking benefits and compensation.
  • Present annual compensation analysis to the Board of Directors.

Team Leader & Member 

  • Serve as a leader within the organization by actively working to support the success of other members of the entire team; cultivating an organizational culture that is highly collaborative, positive, and productive; and that drives impact through continuous improvement and learning.
  • Explicitly promote American Journalism Project values across the organization, including values of diversity, equity and inclusion across internal and external operations.
  • Set ambitious, motivating, and realistic priorities for the Operations team, to continue building systems, processes, and relationships that enable smarter, more thoughtful, and more efficient achievement of AJP’s mission.
  • Build strong, trusting relationships with people at all levels of the organization and work collaboratively with leaders, grantees, and funders across the field, representing the American Journalism Project in a manner consistent with our mission.

Your Team

  • You will work closely with our CEO with support from our Operations Associate, our financial management partner FMA, and outside consultants and legal counsel. You will be able to assess resourcing needs for your team when you join.

Meet our full team.


Your Life

Location: Flexible

Start date: September 2020

This is a full-time position with competitive salary and benefits.

How to Apply

Please send a PDF of your resume to [email protected]. Include “CFAO” in the subject line. Please include a few sentences in your email about your interest in the role and let us know how you found out about this opportunity.


This role is a fit if you are…

  • Results-Focused: You set clear timelines and drive projects to completion. You move with a sense of urgency and know how to get things accomplished.
  • Problem Solving: You're someone who thinks strategically. You love to brainstorm and come up with ideas. You look at the way things are and then imagine 20 ways they can be improved.
  • Collaborative: You love people and you are the kind of person that brings energy to a meeting. You are friendly, kind, and professional. You are collaborative and believe the work is better when you get the input of diverse perspectives.
  • Excellent communicator: You are direct and concise. You speak and write eloquently and with a situation-appropriate tone, whether over the phone, in person, e-mail, memos, PowerPoint, or social media channels.
  • Bold and Mission-oriented: You wake up every day terrified about the future of local news in our country but boldly optimistic that we can reimagine our country’s local news infrastructure. You work with urgency to get us there faster.
  • Detail-oriented: You cross your Ts and dot your Is and you get energy from doing behind-the- scenes work.
  • Analytical: You love to research and analyze. You love taking complex projects with competing priorities and many dimensions and wrestling them to clear project plans.
  • Trustworthy: You handle confidential and sensitive information with humility, professionalism, and discretion.
  • Fun: We are working hard to reimagine the future of local news and our mission is vitally important to the future of our country. We also love the people we work with and like to have a good time.

What background and skills do you have? (We know not all strong candidates will have all the skills we list. That’s OK. What else do you bring to the table? Please tell us!):

  • Passion for strengthening American democracy by helping to build a new local news ecosystem across the U.S.
  • Minimum 10 years’ experience in a senior financial leadership role working closely with a CEO and board of directors, including a deep understanding of 501(c)(3) development and/or grantmaking processes and related financial and compliance issues.
  • Prior team leadership experience and proven ability to provide useful feedback, develop, and inspire staff.
  • Intellectually curious, strategic thinker and innovative problem-solver, including a proven ability to create and manage organizational change.
  • Strong personal responsibility and accountability, results-oriented, adaptable, skilled at situational management (including being able to manage up, laterally, and down), and the ability to work both independently and lead.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to synthesize large amounts of information and clearly communicate key information. Meticulous attention to detail and accuracy in documentation and data integrity.
  • Demonstrated ability to multi-task and support multiple development and grantmaking functions simultaneously while exhibiting excellent time-management skills to meet deadlines.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office suite in Mac environment preferred.
  • MBA or MPA preferred.
  • Position is part of a fully remote team and location is flexible.

Your Impact

Your voice will carry through every part of our growing organization and help us mobilize a movement with excellence, humility and greater impact.

The American Journalism Project is dedicated to equal employment opportunities for all applicants and employees. The American Journalism Project encourages people of all races, colors, national origins, ancestries, creeds, religions, genders, ages, disabilities, veteran status, sexual orientations, and marital statuses to apply.

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