The Summit Foundation is seeking a collaborative, experienced finance professional to lead the financial and administrative operations of the Foundation, including risk management, systems design to ensure accurate financial reporting, and safeguarding the Foundation’s assets. The Director of Finance and Administration will have the opportunity to work with the CEO, Program Directors, and others on Foundation-wide aims in support of the Foundation’s mission to promote the health and well-being of the planet – its people and its natural environment.
The Summit Foundation was founded by Vicki and Roger Sant in 1991 as a private family foundation with a view of creating a multi-generational, collaborative effort built on a common aspiration to use philanthropy as a mechanism to address significant problems. Today, the Foundation seeks to manage the endowment to ensure that it sustains and complements the strategies of its three grantmaking programs:
- Equality for Women and Girls: Achieve gender equality by amplifying the voices and championing the rights of women and girls with programs focusing on Central America and the United States.
- Resilient Mesoamerican Reef: Secure a healthy and resilient Mesoamerican Reef ecosystem to provide for present and future generations.
- Sustainable Cities: Significantly reduce carbon emissions and pollution through city-led, transformative climate action.
Since 1991, the Foundation has supported organizations working to improve our world and the quality of life for its inhabitants. Underlying this commitment are four core values:
- Intention: We seek to be deliberate about our goals and endeavor to remain adaptive to opportunity and in the face of challenges
- Fun: We try to maintain an authentic joy in doing this work together which includes a recognition of the ambition to be of use in the face of enormous challenge.
- Fairness: We seek to understand and learn from perspectives informed by different experiences in order to honor a basic human understanding of fairness in our work.
- Trust: We stipulate a shared belief that all people are worthy of dignity and respect and to succeed, we must trust each other and those with whom we work.
Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Summit Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private non-operating foundation. The Foundation’s current annual operating budget is approximately $13 million and its endowment is expected to be approximately $150 million by the end of the year. For additional information please visit our website.
Reporting to the President, the Director of Finance and Administration (Director of Finance) is an integral member of the Foundation’s leadership team that includes the General Counsel, Treasurer / Chief Investment Officer, Director of Grants Management, and the Directors of the three grantmaking programs. The Director of Finance supervises the Operations and Administration Manager who is responsible for a professional, efficient, smooth-running office environment. A successful candidate will build and sustain relationships with the whole Summit team, including the Director of Grants Management on grantmaking compliance, the Treasurer / Chief Investment Officer on cash management and endowment performance, Program Directors with financial due diligence, and the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, in particular the Board’s finance, audit, and compensation committees.
The Director of Finance is responsible for the financial and administrative operations of the Foundation, including risk management and the development and monitoring of control systems designed to ensure accurate financial reporting and the safeguarding of Foundation assets. The Director of Finance also manages the Foundation’s employee benefit plans and establishes and maintains the organization’s internal human resources policies in compliance with all legal and regulatory requirements. In collaboration with Program Directors, other Summit people, and Trustees, the Director of Finance supports Foundation-wide aims, effective operations and grantmaking practices.
Key Priorities and Responsibilities
The Director of Finance will focus on the following priorities:
- Ensuring the quality and integrity of the Foundation’s financial information,
- Understanding and mitigating key elements of the Foundation’s risk profile and safeguarding the Foundation’s assets,
- Leading accounting and administrative operations in coordination with the Operations and Administration Manager,
- Managing the personnel functions of the Foundation including selection and administration of employee benefit plans, payroll, and development of policies and procedures, and,
- Working strategically with Program Directors on the structure of grantmaking.
In addition to these priorities, the Director of Finance is responsible for the following:
Finance and Accounting
- Developing and maintaining an effective financial infrastructure to ensure accurate financial reporting, safeguarding of assets, and compliance with GAAP.
- Overseeing the timely and accurate processing and recording of all financial transactions, including creation and maintenance of appropriate workpapers.
- Preparing accurate and timely financial reports, including monthly reports for the President and all staff, semi-annual financial statements for the Board, and time-sensitive financial reports for executive and programmatic leadership to inform necessary decision-making.
- Leading the Foundation’s financial planning, budgeting, and long-term forecasting process.
- Assessing the financial health of, and reviewing program budgets for potential grantees, and advising Program Directors accordingly.
- Driving financial accountability throughout the organization through regular financial reporting.
- Remaining current with evolving financial practices and accounting standards through continuing education and professional exposure.
Risk Management and Governance
- Understanding and mitigating the key elements of the Foundation’s risk profile.
- Developing and monitoring reliable control systems.
- Overseeing the annual audit, ensuring a prompt, successful and unmodified closure of each annual audit.
- Ensuring that the Foundation is in compliance with all legal and regulatory requirements (federal, state and local) including preparation and timely filing of tax returns.
- Working with the President and the General Counsel on governance issues.
- Ensuring the Foundation’s assets are safeguarded from all reasonable exposure including reporting risk issues to the Board’s finance and audit committees, maintaining appropriate insurance coverage, and maintaining and implementing the document retention policy.
Office and Personnel/Benefits Administration
- Supporting the Operations and Administration Manager in ensuring a professional, efficient, smooth-running office environment and a secure and appropriate IT infrastructure. This includes:
- Supervising the accounts payable process,
- Assisting with oversight of third-party IT managed services and timely resolution of staff IT issues,
- Establishing and monitoring policies and procedures for IT security and document retention, and,
- Supporting the evaluation, selection, and maintenance of other third-party vendors (copier/printers, phone service, etc.).
- Evaluating and managing the Foundation’s employee benefits plan, including assessing employee benefit needs and trends, recommending benefit programs to management, and obtaining and evaluating benefit contract proposals and awarding contracts.
- Ensuring legal compliance by monitoring and implementing applicable federal and state requirements.
- Developing personnel policies and procedures in conjunction with the President and preparing and maintaining the employee handbook.
The Foundation uses a variety of technology to support finance and operations: QuickBooks; GivingData; Expensify; MS Office 365 and Sharepoint, among others.
Experience and Attributes
Successful candidates for this position will bring a variety of experiences and attributes to the Foundation, including:
- At least 10 years of progressively increasing responsibility in a relevant finance environment.
- Sophisticated knowledge of generally accepted accounting practices and principles and the aptitude to stay current and learn new practices and policies; understanding of nonprofit entities or family foundations, including grants management, a plus.
- Certified Public Accountant designation preferred.
- Strong communications skills: both written and oral.
- A good relationship builder who is trustworthy, willing to share information, and develops strong working relationships with colleagues.
- Capacity to think strategically along with sound technical skills, analytical ability, good judgment and strong operational focus.
- A self-directed individual; a team player who works autonomously and collegially within a minimal hierarchy, small staff structure and with limited administrative support.
- Excellent listener, engaging collaborator, and proactive solution developer.
- Commitment to the Foundation’s values, principles, and mission.
Work Environment & Benefits
The Summit Foundation values innovation, leadership, and forward-thinking, and provides a friendly and intellectually challenging work environment where employees can thrive and grow.
The Summit Foundation has established a salary range of $215 - $260k for the position. The organization offers a competitive benefits package including health insurance, a range of additional insurance, a 403b retirement plan, employer contributions to a Simplified Employee Pension Plan after a 1-year vesting period, 10 paid holidays in addition to a 2-week summer and 1-week winter holiday, as well as vacation, personal, and sick leave. After 6 years of service, the candidate will also be eligible to apply for paid sabbatical leave.
The Director of Finance position is based in our Washington, DC office that is conveniently located at Farragut Square, within walking distance of restaurants, shops, and the Metro. During the post-pandemic era, our staff has transitioned to a hybrid work structure; Summit people currently work at least one or two days per week in the office with the remainder of their work conducted remotely.
To apply, please submit resume and cover letter here or email to Shreya Mahatwo at Shreya.firstname.lastname@example.org. Only complete applications will be considered. For other inquiries contact Adrienne O’Rourke at email@example.com. Resume reviews begin immediately.
The Summit Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. We strongly encourage individuals of all cultures, backgrounds, communities, and experiences to apply. Summit considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, family responsibilities, political affiliation, disability, matriculation, genetic information, credit information, military/veteran status, or any other status protected by federal or District of Columbia law.
About Marcum’s Nonprofit & Social Sector Group
On behalf of The Summit Foundation, Marcum’s Nonprofit & Social Sector Group is working with the organization to advance the search. Founded in 1984, we are, and always have been, a mission-driven professional services firm seeking to do more for nonprofits and socially conscious companies like The Summit Foundation. Learn more about our work at Marcum Nonprofit & Social Sector.