Noetic Search Tapped by After School Matters for CFO Search

August 10, 2020 – After School Matters (ASM), a non-profit that provides life-changing after-school and summer program opportunities to Chicago high school teens, has retained Noetic Search to lead its search for a new chief financial officer.

The CFO reports to the CEO and is responsible for promoting integrity and transparency in all matters relating to fiscal operations, human resources, information technology, facilities, procurement, government regulations and the warehouse. “The CFO will provide effective leadership and strategies in the areas of finance and administration to support growth and mission impact for ASM,” the search firm said. “The CFO is responsible for developing and administering the budget as well as developing long-term financial models and fiscal projections.  Experience with non-profit accounting, purchasing and experience with government funding will greatly benefit the entire organization.”

According to Noetic Search, the successful candidate will “not only be a talented financial professional, they will also be able to oversee strategic goals and continuous improvement of human resources functions to support all employees.” These include recruitment and onboarding, compensation and benefits, performance management, training and development, and employee relations. The CFO will also be the principal liaison with banks, investment consultants and auditors. The CFO develops both written and facilitated presentations for the board of directors.

“We seek a proven financial and operational strategist who has a successful track record of fiscal integrity and strong management skills,” the search firm said. “The person we seek should demonstrate a commitment to the mission of ASM, will embrace diversity and will have the best interests of under-resourced teens. A balance between management acumen and creative thinking as well as the ability to assess and maintain policies, procedures and systems that enhance the capacities of a dynamic, growing organization is sought. The successful candidate will have exemplary analytical skills and will excel in financial planning, forecasting, effective communication and the judgment to determine the best courses of action.”

In addition, the firm is looking for a strategic thinker and imaginative problem solver whose experiences in addressing budgetary challenges are characterized by an open style of communication. This person will possess interpersonal skills to influence others to become more effective managers.

Focused on the Charity Sector

After School Matters  was found in 1991. Since then, more than 300,000 teens have participated in the hands-on, project based after-school and summer programs in the arts, communications and leadership, sports and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

Headquartered in Chicago, Noetic Search specializes in finding leaders in the non-profit sector. Its clients include animal welfare organizations, cultural institutions, foundations and human service groups, among others.

The search firm is led by founder and president Rhyan Zweifler. Throughout her 30-year career, Ms. Zweifler has focused on the charity sector through her work in executive recruitment, museum management and development. She launched Noetic Search in 2010. Specializing in CEO and senior management searches, she has placed more than 170 national leaders for cultural, human service, educational and grant-making organizations. Ms. Zweifler has overseen all aspects of the search process, including marketing and sales, client management, candidate development and closing.

CFOs for Non-Profits

For corporate finance executives who want to de-stress their lives, moving into the non-profit world is one obvious avenue. But a new report by professional services firm BDO USA pointed out that some of the issues they would face there might remind them of their for-profit jobs. For one, their fellow C-suiters may not fully appreciate some of the challenges CFOs face. Non-profit CFOs are much more attuned to the difficulty of dealing with regulatory and legislative changes.

Noetic Search Recruits CEO for the Hawaiian Humane Society
Noetic Search placed Anna Neubauer as the new president and CEO of the Hawaiian Humane Society. Lisa Fowler resigned for personal reasons in March. “Our selection of Anna Neubauer as president and CEO of the Hawaiian Humane Society comes after a nationwide search for a leader with vision, passion, experience in shelter leadership, and a deep commitment to collaboration,” said Ginny Tiu, board chair of the Hawaiian Humane Society.

Like their for-profit counterparts, non-profit CFOs have also been tasked with assessing the impact of the new tax-reform law, implementing the necessary changes and determining the most beneficial tax strategies going forward. They were also involved in implementing accounting changes for revenue recognition and leasing arrangements. Finally, the CFOs were somewhat less concerned about cybersecurity than were the others. Exactly half of the former respondents, but 57 percent of the latter, said it’s a high or moderate challenge for non-profits’ boards.

BDO appeared to lightly criticize the finance chiefs for not taking cybersecurity seriously enough, saying that “CFOs could be overlooking tech-related challenges.”

“While information technology is often not under [non-profit] CFOs’ immediate responsibilities,” BDO said in its survey report, “the security of financial technology systems — including donor databases — is a crucial element of a non-profit’s overall cyber hygiene.

“Anecdotally,” the report said, “protecting organizations from cyber threats is consistently on board agendas. A CFO’s role might primarily live within the organization’s finance arm, but as veterans of the non-profit space know well, an effective leader in the dynamic non-profit world is a jack of all trades.”

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor  – Hunt Scanlon Media

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