Chief Financial Officer
Reports to: President
Location: Kansas City, MO
Today 785 million people — 1 in 9 — lack access to safe water at home. And 2 billion — 1 in 3 people — don't have access to a toilet. The water crisis negatively impacts the health and livelihood of more than one-third of our global population. Water.org exists to change this.
Currently, Water.org manages an operating budget of approximately $30 million and has 100+ employees located in seven countries, with offices in India, Kenya, Indonesia, Peru, the Philippines, Bangladesh and Ethiopia, and corporate office headquarters in Kansas City, MO. Water.org operates a secondary office in San Francisco, CA; staff members are located in other cities as well.
For more than 25 years, Water.org has been at the forefront of developing and delivering solutions for the water crisis. Founded by Gary White and Matt Damon, Water.org pioneers innovative, community-driven, and market‐based solutions to ensure all people have access to safe water and sanitation; giving women hope, children health, and families a bright future. To date, Water.org has empowered more than 30 million people with access to safe water or sanitation, positively transforming millions of lives in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
Water.org seeks an outstanding Chief Financial Officer to help shape the next stage of its evolution. This unique individual must possess strategic, financial and operational acumen, as well as global perspective and a passion for our mission to help solve one of the world’s most urgent challenges.
Water.org is looking for a strategic business partner to the Chief Executive Officer and President. This leader will serve as a key member of the executive team. They will play a critical role in shaping Water.org’s strategic, financial and programmatic evolution and will oversee all financial and administration aspects of the business across two domestic and seven international offices. This leader will contribute to organizational efficiency by implementing enhanced operational and financial practices and processes. The ideal candidate must offer a track record of success as a strategic and financial leader within a complex global environment and must demonstrate depth in financial and operational management, and innovative finance.
This role will have accountability for a talented ten-member finance, technology and administration team and will partner directly with leaders representing Global Impact, Marketing, Fundraising/Development, and Human Resources. This leader will collaborate for impact with WaterEquity, an asset manager created and spun off by Water.org whose exclusive focus is on mobilizing investment capital to accelerate an end to the global water and sanitation crisis.
The Chief Financial Officer is based in Kansas City, MO.
Strategic and Operational Leadership
Strategic and Operational Planning
- Develop, lead and oversee integrated Water.org 3 to 5 year strategic plan and annual operating plan and budget, coalescing efforts and coordinating across departments and geographies.
Organizational Performance and Evolution
- Partner with core Programs teams to shape strategy and engagements that will drive impact by delivering innovative financial solutions and maximizing financial resources.
- Lead development of and tracking against annual high-level objectives and metrics.
- Assess performance against internal targets (long-term strategy, annual plans, budgets and metrics) and external benchmarks to ensure organizational excellence.
- Develop analysis, tools and systems to provide critical financial and operational information to the Executive team and make actionable recommendations on both strategy and operations.
- Oversee long-term financial planning, ensuring operational execution and management of grant commitments and funding. Provide oversight to major grant commitments, contracts and partnerships. Ensure accurate budgeting and tracking of all grants.
- As needed, support the development of new sources of capital and play an active role with donors on both fundraising and discussions related to Water.org’s capital mobilization and deployment initiatives.
- Establish finance as a highly-valued business partner within the organization by building internal analytical capacity, completing critical analyses and providing ongoing insight to drive strategic and timely decision-making.
- Provide financial oversight and strategic deployment of Water.org’s resources to prioritize funding for initiatives that accelerate solutions to the water crisis.
Operational Effectiveness and Integration
- Establish financial and operational systems, processes and practices to optimize organizational capabilities, efficiency and financial performance.
- Oversee Technology team, supporting development, adoption and smooth integration of technology strategy and solutions for organizational efficiency and impact.
- Provide leadership to instill financial literacy, discipline, accountability and attention to metrics across and within distributed cross-functional global team.
- Engage the Board executive and audit committees as needed to ensure sound fiscal management and operational excellence.
- Ensure emerging financial strategies, investments, and structures meet organizational objectives. Provide strategic counsel and direction to programmatic areas of Water.org related to innovative finance as a means to delivering impact.
- Implement prudent cash management strategies and investments related to cash reserves and benefits programs.
- Ensure compliance with appropriate US, international and local regulations and adequate financial and social impact monitoring of financial partner network and, if debt or equity investments are made, of portfolio organizations.
- Ensure effective fiscal health and financial stewardship of Water.org resources.
- Accounting: Oversee all accounts, ledgers, and reporting systems, ensuring timely and accurate financial reporting, in compliance with appropriate Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and regulatory requirements. Maintain internal control safeguards and coordinate all audit activities.
- Cash Management: Manage cash flow and forecasting. Optimize banking relationships and initiate appropriate strategies to enhance cash positions.
- Foreign Exchange Management: Implement strategies to mitigate risk while managing cost across global markets.
- Select and engage outside consultants as needed (e.g. auditors, investment advisors)
Team Development and Leadership
- Lead, mentor and develop the finance and administration team at Water.org, ensuring high-level performance and engagement across global offices.
- Collaborate with executive team to ensure overall organizational excellence.
- Ensure legal structures and operating practices comply with laws and optimize organizational success. Retain counsel as needed to establish required legal entities and policies and to ensure adherence to requirements.
- Oversee all aspects of organization’s facilities. Review and ensure international and domestic contracts, leases and other obligations are negotiated to optimize both quality and cost and to mitigate risk.
- Establish and oversee contract management processes and resources to meet evolving organizational needs.
- Assess, monitor and manage risk to build resiliency across Water.org global operations.
- Ensure all operations are compliant with local laws and customs.
This description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required. Some duties, responsibilities and activities may change or be assigned at any time with or without notice.
- Breadth and Depth in Financial Leadership within a Global Organization. At present, capital is the one of the most significant barriers to water and sanitation access. Water.org is pursuing multiple approaches to raising, deploying and mobilizing capital. Strong strategic thought is imperative, complemented by depth of knowledge in finance, capital markets, blended finance and innovative financial mechanisms. Experience working with global development agencies and institutional partners a plus. Proficiency in fund structure, fundraising and fund deployment across a range of capital types – philanthropic, debt and equity - is preferred.
- Deep Commitment to the Mission. Water.org seeks candidates who see capital as a means to solve tough problems, not as an end in itself. We seek a leader with evidence of service towards others, delivery of focused, creative solutions against complex issues, and a bias for action. The ideal leader will provide strategic direction while also rolling up his/her sleeves to get engaged in the work.
- Exceptional Leadership Skills. The Chief Financial Officer will lead the finance and administration teams, evolving their focus and scope in response to – and in anticipation of – continued organizational growth and complexity. S/he must be a strong developer of talent. Additionally, s/he will work closely with globally-dispersed teams and diverse business units and programmatic areas. Thus, strong relationship building and influencing skills will be critical to success. Water.org is comprised of a multicultural team operating in twelve countries out of two domestic and seven international offices. Global experience is required.
- MBA or equivalent degree; CPA desirable
- Minimum 20 years’ experience in progressively responsible financial and operational leadership roles within a global entity. Blend of both for-profit and not-for-profit experience a plus.
- Exceptional analytical capabilities. Ability to quickly digest complex information and connect dots to determine future action. Data-driven and results oriented.
- Ability to “zoom in” and “zoom out”, rolling up their sleeves to understand underlying details while still being able to maintain a view of the big picture and to guide executive level decisions and communications.
- Proven experience translating strategic vision into operational success, experience setting and measuring performance against targets within a complex and evolving operational environment.
- Proven track record of building and developing high-performing teams and of developing self.
- Effective and insightful presentation skills, adept at conveying complex concepts and detailed analysis in a strategic and compelling manner across audiences.
- Willing and able to travel domestically and internationally, estimate 15%.
- Bias for action and results, entrepreneurial spirit.
- Quick study – able to distill highly complex information into essential elements.
- Excellent communicator, both written and oral. Candid, forthright.
- Adept at working within collaborative teams.
- High ethical standards.
- Financial stewardship
- Plans and aligns, operationally disciplined
- Builds effective teams
- Strategic mindset
- Drives results
Up to 30% of domestic and global travel.
Salary and benefits
This position offers full-time benefits inclusive of medical/dental insurance, life and disability insurance, retirement program; as well as periodic review for merit and incentive pay based on performance.
Water.org is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to providing an inclusive environment. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, gender identity, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, pregnancy status, military and veteran status, genetic information, and any other status protected by law. We provide qualified applicants and employees reasonable accommodation, when necessary, to enable individuals to complete the application process and/or perform the essential functions of the job.