Director of Finance and Business Operations

Washington, DC, USA
Posted on  

Job Description

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP) provides pro bono legal representation, amicus curiae support, and other legal resources to protect First Amendment freedoms and the newsgathering rights of journalists. RCFP serves news organizations, reporters, editors, documentary filmmakers, media lawyers, and many more who use its online resources.

Job Description

The Director of Finance and Business Operations is RCFP’s top finance and operational position and is a collaborative professional who will maintain the organization’s record of fiscal excellence and contribute to the strategic vision for RCFP’s continued growth and development. Reporting to the Executive Director, the person in this role will partner with the ED and other directors, as well as with RCFP’s Steering Committee, on all financial matters, including setting the annual budget of a $7 million organization, ensuring cash flow throughout the year, managing investment accounts of $15 million with outside advisers, reporting to funders, completing IRS filings and other financial statements, and coordinating with the board committees that oversee the organization’s audits and spending.

Scope and Impact of the Role

As the nation’s leading nonprofit protecting the legal rights of the press, the Reporter Committee works on the front lines of democracy. The Director of Finance and Business Operations at RCFP will be serving in a key capacity at the center of press freedom and accountability journalism in the U.S. The Reporters Committee’s mission since its founding in 1970 has been to provide free legal services to journalists and news organizations that couldn’t otherwise afford it — helping with government access and Freedom of Information Act cases, defending against seizure of notes and phone records, litigating when necessary, and writing amicus briefs defending the First Amendment and advancing government transparency.

Long known for its role at the national level working with major media organizations in the most difficult cases, the Reporters Committee recently has intensified its efforts to support local journalists doing critical investigative and enterprise reporting throughout the country. 

All of this work is especially urgent in light of the simultaneous challenges to democracy and the financial well-being of journalism. The Director of Finance and Business Operations will be joining an organization that has grown substantially in response to the threats to press freedom, and is continuing to lean into its ambitious effort to improve our democracy by ensuring every reporter and newsroom around the country has the legal resources they need.

Key Responsibilities

The Director of Finance and Business Operations engages across the organization in the following areas, leading in some and supervising the work of the Finance and Operations Manager in others.


  • In conjunction with the Executive Director, oversee and lead annual budgeting and planning process to develop organization and program budgets that support strategic plans
  • Proactively manage financial activities within the approved budget and keep the senior leadership team abreast of the organization’s financial status
  • Prepare financial reports for the staff and the Steering Committee
  • Meet monthly to review financial reports with Steering Committee Treasurer and ED
  • Provide forecasting and analysis for grant proposals and development of programs
  • Maintain a bookkeeping system that provides for approvals and internal controls and manage cashflow across multiple accounts to ensure adequate reserves and to maximize earnings ability
  • Oversee accounting for more than twenty restricted and general operating grants
  • Maintain internal financial controls
  • Track interest and dividend income and litigation expenses as well as purchases and redemptions of equities, bonds and CD’s in the Reporters Committee’s portfolio
  • Lead the annual audit process and liaise with external auditors and the audit committee
  • Prepare financial statements and work with auditors on IRS Form 990


  • Build capacity though the implementation of systems for payroll, human resources and benefits, databases, file and case management, and expense reimbursement
  • Oversee outsourced IT consultant
  • Manage vendor relationships (IT, PEO) and review and execute contracts
  • Oversee all infrastructure and facilities and maintain relationships with landlord and facilities vendors to ensure a safe and vibrant workspace
  • Manage and execute cross-organizational projects such as compensation review and retreats


  • Renew business licenses and annual state charitable solicitation registrations
  • Maintain general office digital and paper files, office equipment leases, and insurance policies
  • Provide staff leadership and support to the finance and audit committees and support to the executive committee

Development / Fundraising

  • Work with the development team to maintain calendar for grant proposals and reports
  • Oversee grant and donor receivables and coordinate tracking with development team
  • Prepare financial statements as needed for grant proposals and reports
  • Provide operations support for annual fundraising event in New York

Human Resources Management

  • With the ED, leadership team, and PEO, develop, maintain, and revise human resources policies and procedures
  • With PEO, manage all employee benefit programs, including health, life, and disability insurance; health savings accounts; dependent care savings; and pre-tax transportation benefits
  • Manage PEO relationship to employ staff across ten states and administer benefits compliant with local regulations
  • Maintain employment files
  • Administer employee reimbursements
  • Work with organization directors to recruit, hire and onboard new staff, fellows, and interns, and strive to increase diversity and promote a culture of equity and inclusion



  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree, MBA/CPA or related degree preferred
  • Experience with accounting, financial forecasting, and grant-tracking
  • At least five years of financial and operations management experience, preferably in a nonprofit, legal services, or media organization
  • Demonstrated success as a team leader and senior executive
  • Ability to develop and implement strategies that support continued growth of an organization with both in-person and remote staff
  • Excellent communication and relationship-building skills
  • Highly organized, detail oriented, and able to manage multiple deadlines and balance competing priorities
  • Proficiency with MS office suite

Desired Attributes

  • High energy, creativity, and passion for RCFP’s mission is essential
  • Proven ability to work in a complex organization with multiple priorities and initiatives that require attention
  • Experience managing organization relationship with PEO
  • Experience working with nonprofit boards

Additional information

Salary range for the role is expected to be $150,000 to $168,000 depending on prior experience. Our generous benefit package should also be considered. For all regular full-time positions, RCFP offers:

  • A competitive base salary with 3 weeks paid time off, 4 annual floating days, and all federal holidays
  • A retirement savings plan, including a 5% employer contribution after 3 months of service
  • Comprehensive employer paid insurance coverage, including medical, dental, and vision, life and accidental death, and disability
  • Ability to use pre-tax dollars for dependent care and commuting expenses

To Apply

Submit a resume, cover letter and contact information for three references to SmartRecruiters by the priority deadline of March 10, 2023. NOTE: Please submit materials in one PDF or Word file

COVID Vaccination

All RCFP employees must be fully vaccinated/boosted against COVID or present a satisfactory medical or religious/ethical/moral accommodation.

RCFP is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all employees and to providing employees with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. All employment decisions at RCFP are based on business needs, job requirements and individual qualifications, without regard to race, ethnicity, age, religion or belief, family or parental status, or any other status protected by the laws or regulations in the locations where we operate. RCFP will not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on any of these characteristics.