Who We Are
The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, is a nonprofit criminal justice organization that strives to build just government institutions and safe communities free from the scourge of racism, white supremacy, profit, and inequity that is pervasive in this country’s legal systems. We are an “inside” lane organization that drives change at scale with ambitious public sector leaders who share our commitment to building anti-racist, reparative systems that deliver justice. We leverage our access to government to transform these systems and work collaboratively with stakeholders across many movements—including advocacy, grassroots, and grassroots organizations. Our role is to pilot solutions that are transformative and achievable, harness the power of evidence to drive effective policy and practice, and use advocacy and communications to change narratives and norms.
Vera has a staff of almost 300 people and offices in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. We are an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace. We expect our staff to embody respect, independence, collaboration, commitment, anti-racism, and equity—both in our outward-facing work and the internal culture of our workplace. We value a range of experiences in people’s educational backgrounds and encourage people who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system to apply.
Who You Are
The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, is an independent, non-partisan, nonprofit organization that combines expertise in research, technical assistance, and demonstration projects to assist leaders in government and civil society, examine justice policy and practice, and improve the systems people rely on for justice and safety. Vera has offices in New York City, Washington, DC, and New Orleans, and its projects and reform initiatives, typically conducted in partnership with local, state, or national officials, are located across the United States and around the world. Vera is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace.
After 18 years at Vera, the Center on Victimization and Safety is spinning off from Vera and launching a new, national non-profit organization: Activating Change. Activating Change’s working mission is to eliminate violence, inequity and injustice and promote autonomy, well-being, and fairness in the lives of people with disabilities and Deaf people. We focus on acute and often overlooked harms, including domestic and sexual violence, police-involved shootings, and criminalization and detention. We believe racism, ableism, audism and other forms of oppression are intricately intertwined and the primary drivers of this violence and injustice. Through our work, we seek to engage, mobilize, and align people and organizations working in disability, criminal justice reform, and anti-violence movements around a shared framework driven by racial equity, disability justice, and gender equality. We raise awareness and upend harmful narratives about people with disabilities and Deaf people; foster alliances between disability and other social justice organizations; strengthen organizational capacity; and advocate for systemic change in legislation, policies, and practices. Activating Change will launch as an independent organization in summer 2022. This is an exciting time to join us and help ensure a strong foundation for our organization’s financial practices and strength from the beginning.
The Finance Director will join our team while we are still a department within Vera to collaboratively lead the build-out of Activating Change’s finance and budget functions and infrastructure. During this initial phase, the Director will work closely with the Center’s Director and Deputy Director, staff from Vera’s Finance Department, as well as a consultant specializing in nonprofit finance. The Finance Director will transition with us and serve as a leader within Activating Change and will oversee the organization’s finance and accounting functions. including managing an annual budget of $3.5 million, comprised largely of Federal funding. We are looking for a Finance Director who is grounded in nonprofit finance and has interest and experience in building and managing a strong financial infrastructure that promotes equity in the organization’s financial policies, practices, and relationships.
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
Finance and Management:
- Serve as the organizational leader in the nonprofit’s finance and budget management
- Oversee administration of the entity’s general ledger and other expense tracking systems to ensure timeliness and accuracy of all transactions; compliance to GAAP principles; and monitoring of internal controls.
- Perform and supervise all accounts payable and accounts receivable/cash receipt functions as well as payroll processing and staff allocations.
- Manage cash flow and forecasting. Develop a reliable cash flow projection process and reporting mechanism that includes minimum cash threshold to meet operating needs. Ensure organization is billing funders on timely basis; oversees timely report and follow-up on outstanding receivables. Optimize the handling of banking relationships and initiate appropriate strategies to enhance cash positions.
- Execute and supervise all grant and contract management finance-related activities including budgeting/analysis, funding proposals, grant management from post-award to closeout, billing (which includes putting together supporting documentation such as payroll registers, invoices, timesheets, etc.), and fiscal year closeout for grants.
- Implement a robust contracts management and financial management/ reporting system; ensure that the contract billing and collection schedule is adhered to and that financial data and cash flow are steady and support operational requirements.
- Oversee and lead annual budgeting and planning process; administer and review all financial plans and budgets; monitor progress and changes; and keep senior leadership team abreast of the organization’s financial status.
- Produce, analyze, and present monthly and annual financial reports for both internal and external reporting, including analysis of performance to budget, data for grant reports and proposals, federal financial reports, and other measures.
- Engage the finance committee of the board of directors around issues, trends, and changes in the operating model(s) and operational delivery. Assist in establishing short-, medium-, and long-term financial plans and projections yearly objectives and meeting agendas.
- Develop tools and systems to provide critical financial information to Activating Change’s leaders and make actionable recommendations on both finance and strategy.
Accounting and Administration
- Ensure maintenance of appropriate internal controls and financial procedures.
- Ensure timeliness, accuracy, and usefulness of financial and management reporting for federal and state funders, foundations, and Activating Change’s board of directors.
- Develop monthly and annual financial reporting materials.
- Coordinate and lead the annual audit process, liaise with external auditors and the finance committee of the board of directors, assess any changes necessary, and ensure a successful annual audit.
- Prepare financial statements and oversees completion of Form 990 and other required filings.
- Ensure legal and regulatory compliance regarding all financial functions, as well as compliance with Activating Change’s internal policies and with funder rules and regulations (including Federal and private sources of funding).
Partnership and Collaboration
- Provides support and strategic direction to senior leaders and project managers in Activating Change.
- Foster a work environment that practices our organization's values and supports equity and belonging within our team and across the organization.
- Effectively communicate and present critical financial information to a wide variety of stakeholders including, program staff and partners.
- Support strong financial health of our partners and consultants.
- Oversee the selection of vendors, such as auditors and investment, who align with Activating Change’s values.
- Represent Activating Change with financial partners, including financial institutions, auditors, donors, and partners.
What qualifications do you need?
- Bachelor’s Degree in accounting or finance, or equivalent experience
- 5 – 10 years of experience in nonprofit financial management or accounting
- Significant knowledge and experience in accounting, budgeting, and financial analyses
- Strong financial management skills, including experience in budget planning and implementation, and creating, reading, and analyzing financial statements.
- Enthusiasm, creativity, patience and flexibility around building Activating Change’s financial infrastructure
- Experience with developing and implementing policies, procedures and systems relative to finance and accounting practices, and experience in training and/or supporting others to learn and adopt new systems and practices.
- Demonstrated ability to communicate financial concepts and analyses to and effectively collaborate with a wide variety of colleagues, including those without accounting and finance backgrounds.
- Keen analytic, strategic, and problem-solving skills
- Strong interpersonal skills.
- A commitment to mentoring and developing staff, partners, and consultants.
- Comfortable learning and using new technology.
- Comfortable with bucking trends and traditional approaches.
- Excellent organizational skills, with high accuracy and attention to detail.
- Commitment to the mission and goals of Activating Change, including a demonstrated commitment to social justice and equity.
- Willingness to engage in conversations aimed at disrupting ableism, audism, racism and other forms of oppression.
- Ability to thrive in a remote work environment: self-directed; proactively reaches out, responsive, comfortable in a virtual setting.
- Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office, especially Excel, and able to build reports and graphs.
- Master’s Degree or CPA, or other accounting certification
- Experience with Federal funding
- Experience working with a Board of Directors
- Knowledge of federal and private grants management and reporting
- Proficiency in American Sign Language
List of required software applications:
- Microsoft Office Suite, advanced in Excel
- Abila MIP
- Adaptive Insights
- ADP Workforce Now
Compensation and Benefits:
The compensation range for this position is $133,900 – $140,100. Actual salaries will vary depending on factors including but not limited to experience and performance. The salary range listed is just one component of Vera Institute’s total compensation package for employees. As an employer of choice in our field, supporting Vera staff—both personally and professionally—is a priority. To do this, we invest in the well-being of our staff through other rewards including merit pay, generous paid time off, a comprehensive health insurance plan, student loan repayment benefits, professional development training opportunities and up to $2,000 annual for education costs and fees relevant to Vera work, employer-funded retirement plan, and flexible time and remote work schedules. To learn more about Vera’s benefits offerings, .
Applications may also be faxed to:
ATTN: People Resources / Finance Director, Activating Change
Vera Institute of Justice
34 35th St, Suite 4-2A, Brooklyn, NY 11232
Fax: (212) 941-9407
Please use only one method (online, mail or fax) of submission.
No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.
As a federal contractor, and in order to ensure a healthy and safe work environment, Vera Institute of Justice is requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccine before their start date. Employees who cannot receive the vaccine because of a disability/medical contraindication or sincerely-held religious belief may request an accommodation (e.g., an exemption) to this requirement.
Vera is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status.
Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country and globally connected world. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.
For more information about Vera, please visit
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