Chief Financial Officer

Spark Microgrants

Spark micro

Position description

Spark Microgrants (Spark) believes in a world where everyone lives with dignity and determines their own positive future. Decades of prescriptive aid have sidelined the poor from the very programs meant to uplift them. We believe in local solutions and catalyzing rural villages facing poverty into action.

Spark’s key innovation — the Facilitated Collective Action Process (FCAP) – is centered around “town-hall” style weekly meetings, in which women, men, young, and old, plan together for their community’s future. Each village elects a leadership committee, establishes a village savings account, and launches a project of their choice. Members receive training in financial management, transparency, leadership, village planning, and advocacy. Each village then receives $6,000 – $15,000 in seed funds and additional management support to turn their project ideas into reality.

To date, Spark has reached 500+ villages across Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi, Ghana, Liberia, and Guinea improving the lives of 500,000 people. Today, Spark is expanding its work through partnerships with country governments and the World Bank, ultimately bringing the FCAP solution to 120,000+ villages and 10+ million people.

WHAT YOU’LL DO

At this moment of exciting financial and programmatic growth, Spark seeks a forward-thinking and solutions-oriented Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to drive the organization’s long-term financial health and sustainability. Reporting to the Co-CEO, this hire will sit on the executive team, supervise a high-functioning finance team, and lead financial strategies that support replicating Spark’s model globally. Specifically, the CFO will:

Provide leadership for financial strategies and operations that drive growth and sustainability.

  • Oversee all financial planning and forecasting, including the development of a 5-year budget based upon Spark’s ambitious programmatic goals and plans to increase its budget from $8M to $12M by 2025.
  • Develop and utilize predictive models and multi-year projections to inform growth scenarios, cost models, and risk mitigation.
  • Set and strengthen internal controls and accountability mechanisms to ensure the integrity and safeguarding of financial and accounting assets.
  • Ensure compliance and meet all reporting requirements with state, federal, bilateral and multilateral (e.g., World Bank, USAID) regulations. In partnership with the Director of Development and finance team, support the development of new grant proposals and oversee spending allocations and compliance for existing grants.
  • Maintain relationships with banks, auditors, and other financial institutions, and ensure compliance with all relevant laws and regulations; oversee annual audit processes.
  • Support the finance team in managing day-to-day accounting, procurement, and cash flow, creating and/or strengthening systems, and pursing technologies for automating common financial processes.
  • Enhance and maintain a robust reporting system for annual and multi-year projections that provides accurate and timely financial information to the executive team and board of directors; manage the finance and audit committee of the board.
  • As needed, partner with the program team to support country governments on requesting and managing World Bank funds to implement country-wide programs.

Serve as a senior leader, collaborative people manager, and champion for Spark’s mission and values.

  • As a member of the executive team, contribute to guiding overall organizational strategic direction, decision-making, prioritization, and goals.
  • Manage, coach, and develop the professional growth of a 9-member global team that oversees accounting, procurement and human resources, taking a facilitative and coaching approach to people management and team leadership.
  • Provide strategic guidance to development, program, and country directors on fundraising and program-related issues.
  • Promote a culture of accountability and compliance with financial policies and procedures, serving as an accessible resource in communicating the “why” behind financial decisions and policies.
  • Operate from a place that centers our mission and values and models a deep respect for all Spark colleagues, partners, and communities.

WHO YOU ARE

  • You are inspired by Spark’s mission and values. You are excited to build a global movement where communities are in the driver’s seat of change. You thrive on a team that values community-driven and process-centered solutions, leadership through facilitation, authenticity, and a willingness to take risks.
  • You are a growth-oriented finance leader with experience working at international, multi-country nonprofit organizations. You bring 15+ years of experience in financial management, with 5+ years in a leadership role, with demonstrated skill in financial modeling, budgeting, accounting, reporting, risk management, and compliance. Experience with bilateral/multilateral funding and at organizations with programs in Sub-Saharan Africa is strongly preferred.
  • You are a champion for strong financial infrastructure in order to drive strategic growth. You have a track record in setting priorities and creating structures, processes, and procedures that foster financial health and organizational accountability. You bring a systematic approach to planning for a variety of financial scenarios.
  • You are solutions-oriented and a natural problem solver. You take ownership of addressing financial challenges as they arise and proactively bring leadership into solving problems. You leverage financial best practices and innovative thinking in anticipating challenges related to long-term planning.
  • You are an effective communicator who conveys information clearly and inspires trust. You translate complex financial concepts and facilitate conversations and meetings with individuals who do not have finance backgrounds. You are a deep listener and seek to understand others’ perspectives and needs.
  • You are a strong team leader who leverages individuals’ strengths and fosters collaboration. You have experience in managing and coaching direct and indirect reports for high performance and accountability. You manage up/down/across to keep others informed and engage them in decision making. Management experience of multicultural teams based in other countries is strongly preferred.
  • You are an action-oriented, resourceful, and tech savvy doer. You have a bias towards action with the ability to stay focused and nimble in a dynamic environment. You operate with a keen attention to detail and are proficient in using financial systems to analyze data and create efficiencies. Experience with NetSuite is strongly desired.

Other desired qualifications, experience, and knowledge include:

  • A Master’s degree in business administration or related area
  • Experience and/or knowledge of working with World Bank, USAID, and/or other multilateral funding sources
  • Experience and/or knowledge of working with country governments in Sub-Saharan Africa

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