Director of Finance & Administration

Great Plains Institute

Location: Minneapolis
Reports to: Chief Operating Officer
Position Type: Full time
Compensation: Salary range: $80,000- $90,000, commensurate with experience. Benefits include a Health Reimbursement Arrangement, 401(k) retirement plan, paid time off, and a communication stipend.


Great Plains Institute’s Vision and Working Culture

The mission of Great Plains Institute (GPI) is to transform the energy system to benefit the economy and the environment. Increasing demand for GPI’s unique blend of energy expertise and consensus-oriented solutions has driven rapid organizational and programmatic growth, roughly tripling GPI in the last five years with an annual budget of nearly $6 million. Indeed, GPI’s footprint is now national in scope (see map), even as the organization retains a core competency in the vast Midcontinent. GPI is powered by more than 30 professionals in MN, IL, ND, and NY, with an increasing presence in Washington DC; and is supported by some of the nation’s most respected philanthropies. Please visit to learn more.

This Position:
The Director of Finance & Administration (Director) is responsible for accounting, budgeting, and financial reporting, as well as financial aspects of HR and IT. The latter includes working with vendors and monitoring and evaluating expenses. She or he will report to and work closely with the Chief Operating Officer (COO), to anticipate and support the organization’s growing needs. The Director will partner with the COO, CEO, leadership team, and the Board of Directors to proactively develop and implement financial strategies that enable GPI’s growing impact, ensure a sustainable revenue model, and maintain its high marks from nonprofit rating agencies for financial management and transparency. The Director will oversee compliance for all sources of GPI revenue, including government (federal, state, and local) contracts, and private grants. She or he must be able to adapt to a continually evolving environment and thrive in an autonomous and entrepreneurial workplace while managing a current finance and admin staff of three (two full-time, one part-time).

Specific responsibilities include:


  • Oversee budgeting and the implementation of budgets across five program areas and administration, so as to monitor progress and regularly present financial metrics both internally and externally.
  • Ensure that finance staff maintains financial record systems in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, and monitor the use of all funds.
  • Oversee the preparation and approval of all financial reporting materials and metrics for GPI’s executive team, funding organizations, and Great Plain’s Board of Directors; prepare and communicate monthly and annual financial statements.
  • Manage cash flow and provide monthly forecasting to inform organizational decisions and maintain a healthy Operating Reserve.
  • Direct all financial, project-based, and departmental accounting.
  • Work closely with the COO and Development Team to ensure that GPI’s fundraising and finance functions are well-integrated.
  • Coordinate all audit, accounting, and payroll activities.
  • Ensure maintenance of appropriate internal controls and financial procedures.
  • Provide staff support to the Board of Directors’ Finance & Audit Committee.

Administration and Strategy

  • Supervise payroll.
  • Evaluate and oversee all benefits, thus providing the most competitive and feasible packages.
  • Work with the COO to review all formal finance-, HR-, and IT-related procedures, processes, and administration, recommending improvements to the systems in place and managing financial aspects of the systems going forward.
  • Lead GPI’s financial and program staff to design an IT plan for the future, including project management and accounting, and implement it successfully to meet IT needs (hardware and software), as the organization grows.
  • Provide strategic recommendations to the CEO and COO based on financial analysis and projections, cost identification and allocation, and revenue/expense analysis.
  • Partner with the CEO and COO around issues, trends, and changes in the revenue model and operational delivery.


The successful candidate will have at least five to eight years of financial management experience, including the full array of financial matters, from managing an audit to evaluating financial information and making actionable recommendations to senior leadership. She or he will ideally have experience managing finance, HR, and IT for a complex nonprofit with multiple funding sources including government (federal, state, and local), contracts and a structure with diverse program areas.

The Director of Finance & Administration will have the following additional experience and attributes:

  • Bachelor’s degree (MA/MBA preferred) in Business, Management, or Finance
  • Excellent people skills, with experience collaborating in a multidisciplinary, diverse, and dynamic team
  • Demonstrated leadership experience in financial management and accounting, HR, and IT, ideally in the nonprofit sector
  • Knowledge and experience of Quickbooks
  • Demonstrated expertise in a Windows environment with working knowledge of Apple products
  • Experience should include legal, audit, compliance, budget, and resource development
  • Demonstrated resourcefulness in setting priorities, proposing new ways of creating efficiencies, and guiding investment in people and systems
  • Proven effectiveness supervising staff in finance and accounting
  • Technologically savvy, with an ability to point to examples of having worked with IT staff to develop and implement new processes and systems that increase efficiency in a fast-moving environment
  • Strategic, proactive, flexible and a self-starter; able to multitask while also being highly detail-oriented
  • Personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and a commitment GPI’s mission.


Desktop computer and/or laptop, copier, fax machine, calculator, printer, telephone


Requires working at a desk (either sitting or standing) for extended periods. Extensive use of devices (e.g., keyboard, mouse), as well as usage of telephone/headset. May require lifting of boxes up to 20 pounds on occasion. 


Send your application materials including a one-page cover letter and resume, with the subject line: “Director of Finance & Administration  – [your surname]” to A single PDF of all materials is preferred.  Deadline for application is 9 a.m. Central Time, June 7, 2019.


The Great Plains Institute (GPI) is a tax-exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation based in Minneapolis, MN, and dedicated to transforming the energy system to benefit the economy and environment. We specialize in using consensus-based strategies to solve our energy and environmental challenges. Through research and analysis, consensus policy development, technology acceleration, and local action, we are leading the transition to clean, efficient, and secure energy:

GPI has a fast-paced entrepreneurial culture in which people enjoy both great freedom and great responsibility. People who thrive in this culture take personal responsibility for seeing what needs doing and getting it done. They are self-starters, problem-solvers, and quick to help others. They work hard because they believe in the mission and get to spend most of their time at the intersection of what they love to do and are good at. It’s a working environment in which performance is judged more on results than on time spent in a particular chair. We aspire to make this the best job anyone has ever had.

The Great Plains Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes a wide diversity of applicants.