Current Posting


We are looking for a positive, motivated self-starter with excellent judgement, discretion, initiative and drive, and who possesses a growth mindset with a focus on personal learning, intellectual curiosity and excitement when presented with new opportunities. The right candidate will:

  • Have a strong understanding of best practices in the financial field
  • Be active in peer networks and affinity groups
  • Be a strong influencer with exceptional listening and engagement skills
  • Demonstrate a positive approach with a focus on identifying pragmatic solutions that support multiple perspectives and needs: employee, supervisor, team and organizational.


This position, reporting to and working closely with the Vice President of Finance & Administration/CFO, is responsible for the strategic analysis, recommendations to senior management, and implementation of the Foundation’s financial plans and policies, its accounting practices, the maintenance of its fiscal records, and the preparation of all financial reports. In addition, the Controller leads all accounting activities including general ledger, payroll, cash management, and some investment transactions. This position is also responsible for preparing audit and tax documents and for budget preparation. Integrity, accuracy, and timeliness are critical for these functions, as is the monitoring of external developments that may have a potential impact on the Foundation.

The work of the Controller and accounting staff address the following key areas:

Financial Reporting & Analysis:  Regular preparation of financial reports for management, Board, and other publications; Monitoring of financial performance vs. targets, including payout status; Financial analysis, forecasts, and variance analysis as needed; Development and maintenance of strong internal controls.

Audit & Taxes (990-PF):  Preparation of audit and tax return (990-PF) timelines and completion of required schedules; Provide support to Audit Committee; Coordinate with tax firm to ensure timely 990-PF, 990-T, and state UBIT filings.

Budget:  Lead preparation of annual budget and updating of information by internal teams; Facilitate education, understanding, and criticality of budget process.

Cash Management:  Project monthly cash requirements to ensure adequate funds to cover obligations and work with the Investment Director to identify funding sources as needed; Manage payroll, pension contributions, grant payments, and fixed asset and depreciation schedules activities.

Investments:  Work with Investment Director to maintain alternative asset management procedures to ensure compliance with AICPA guidelines; Ensure generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) are applied in all transactions; Oversee financial health and repayment status of program-related investments (PRIs).

System Manager: Understand the key functions/features of the assigned system(s), ensure users are properly trained, lead system adoption and compliance, maintain system relevancy, and collaborate with other System Managers regarding the overall management of NWAF systems. Work closely with IT resources to determine responsibility for and maintenance of the following: user support and access, vendor management, and system upgrades and enhancements.

Leadership & Management:  Participate in efforts to improve NWAF systems and culture by engaging employees/Board members, as relevant, and by considering user input in the development and application of policies while remaining compliant with legal requirements; Conduct external research and build external networks to determine options and best practices for consideration by the Foundation; Supervise accountant, including providing workload and technical direction, managing performance, and supporting appropriate professional growth and development.

Other:  Maintain effective insurance coverage, and monthly and year-end closing activities; Maintain effective relationships with banking, custodial services, and pension service contacts; Administer 403(b) and money purchase pension plans; Complete all relevant surveys and participate in list serve discussions on behalf of the Foundation as appropriate; Manage Conflict of Interest and Self-Dealing policies and procedures; Provide project management as needed including understanding full scope and implications, conducting research, identifying needs and potential outcomes, applying best practices, and driving to excellent and robust solutions.


  • Bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting, CPA is required
  • 8-10+ years of hands-on accounting experience using Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) in a nonprofit environment
  • Automated accounting systems experience
  • Very strong spreadsheet skills; Microsoft Excel required
  • Strong analytical, research, and creative problem-solving skills
  • An ability to think broadly, explore ideas and potential solutions objectively, and drive to pragmatic solutions
  • Demonstrated process improvement experience (especially as it relates to automation) and project management skills to effectively implement new decisions and solutions
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and customer service orientation, including the ability to translate financial information and its key impacts and implications to a non-financial audience
  • Ability to work independently with minimal direction, organize, prioritize, and manage time effectively
  • Ability to work both independently and within a team environment, as well as with internal stakeholders; ability to be flexible, collaborative, and develop shared solutions is essential
  • Ability to provide strategic leadership on accounting and tax issues
  • Demonstrated ability in managing vendor relationships required
  • Supervisory experience required


  • A graduate degree
  • Experience as a Controller in a foundation or non-profit
  • Experience with Great Plains and ADP
  • Experience with a grant making system preferred; Fluxx experience a plus
  • Working knowledge of complex portfolios preferred including traditional and alternative investments, i.e. private equity, hedge funds, capital calls, valuations, etc. strongly preferred; familiarity with BackStop or similar investment database a plus
  • Experience conducting an RFP for potential transition to a new custodian bank and/or accounting system
  • Experience working in or moving to a paperless environment
  • Experience with self-dealing, government officials, and disqualified persons issues
  • Familiarity with managing employee benefits, compliance and benefit/leave requirements and laws


Work is performed in a professional office environment with frequent use of office equipment including computers, printers, and copiers.  Minimal travel is required for this position.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable employees with disabilities to perform the principle duties and responsibilities for the position.

To apply, submit an email application that includes a cover letter, resume, & salary requirements.

Resumes may also be sent to:
Northwest Area Foundation
Attn: Human Resources
60 Plato Blvd. E., Suite 400
Saint Paul, MN 55107

NWAF is an equal opportunity employer.