Chicago Artists Coalition helps people connect with opportunities including calls for artists, jobs, grants, and art advising


Full-time ,
submitted by
Saloni Dar

Director of Finance

Title: Director of Finance

Classification: Full time, exempt

Reports to: Executive Director

Manages: Accountant / Book Keeper


The Chicago Humanities Festival connects people to the ideas that shape and define us, and promotes the lifelong exploration of what it means to be human. CHF fosters curiosity, celebrates creativity, explores the boundaries of contemporary knowledge and culture, and challenges us to see ourselves and the world anew. Collaborating with many of Chicago’s major cultural and educational institutions, civic enterprises and community organizations, CHF produces over 130 events annually across Chicago. CHF has an international reputation for innovation and creativity, featuring an exceptional roster of writers, scholars, performers, and visual artists live on stage and online. We program across Chicago neighborhoods and bring people and ideas that invite participation and dialogue among audience members. CHF values programming that is accessible and inclusive, and is committed to diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion throughout the institution.

The Festival has a $4 million operating budget and a $10.5 million endowment.


The Director of Finance provides vital financial and budget and works closely with the Festival’s Executive Director, Board of Directors, and Senior Management. The Director provides financial advice and guidance for the Festival’s daily operations and strategic planning, ensuring strong financial systems and high performance metrics are set within each area of the organization.

The Director has oversight and responsibility (in partnership with the Executive Director) for: financial planning, budgeting and goal setting; accounting and auditing oversight; accounts payable/receivable; and, other related concerns. He/she is responsible for: timely, accurate, and useful monthly reports reflecting the Festival’s financial position and activities, maintains accurate and proper corporate records, and assures compliance with all state and federal regulatory requirements.


Strategy, Planning and Management

• Acts as financial and strategic business partner to Executive Director, Board of Directors and Senior Management, setting and helping deliver the Festival’s annual objectives and long-term financial goals.

• Serves as liaison to Board Finance and Audit Committee—which oversees CHF’s annual budget, financial protocols, audit review, and investments (endowment and operating), ensuring the Festival’s financial considerations are conducted in accordance with GAAP, the policies and procedures set forth by the Board, and city, state and federal laws.

• Works with Senior Management and individual departments to prepare budgets maximizing financial resources and ensuring proper investment in the Festival’s staff, program and strategic initiatives.

• Invests the Festival’s Endowment, Board Reserves and excess operating funds in accordance with the Investment Policy and Procedures set forth by the Board’s Finance and Audit Committee.

• In partnership with the Development team, assists in the preparation of letters of inquiry, grant budgets and proposals, compliance and grant reports for institutional and individual donors.

• Maintains the Festival’s relationships with investment advisors and financial institutions (operating funds, endowments, and lines-of-credit) and manages a line of credit to ensure adequate cash flow for Festival operations.

• Oversees risk management including insurance coverage.

Financial Analysis, Budgeting and Forecasting

• Develop and maintain annual and monthly operating budget.

• Prepare and present monthly financial reports (e.g. forecast to budget, cash flow by account and department), analyzing results and providing recommendations.

• Identify, develop and execute analysis of business initiatives (e.g. ROI).

• Assesses and evaluates financial performance with regard to long-term strategic and operational goals, budgets and forecasts. Provides insight and recommendations on both short-term and long-term financial concerns and growth.

Accounting, General Ledger, Operations and Cash Management

• Oversees Festival Accountant / Book Keeper, managing accounts receivable/payables, maintaining records of all business transactions and contracts (including: capital investments; rental and lease agreements, communications equipment, hardware and software; presenter and production agreements, etc.).

• Reviews and ensures application of appropriate internal controls and financial procedures.

• Oversee month-end reconciliation and closing activities including general ledger account, and monthly and annual financial statements.

• Constantly reviewing procedures while eliminating inefficiencies, and monitoring Festival assets.

• Oversees financial management systems:

o Implements policies, procedures and processes as appropriate for the Festival’s goals.

o Identifies, acquires and implements systems and software to provide critical financial and operational information.

o Evaluates departments and makes suggestions for automating processes and increasing efficiency.

• Manages and prepares support documentation for annual audit and federal Form 990, serving as key point of contact with auditors.

• Oversee weekly cash management and accounts payable, approves all payables (e.g. sign checks), authorize wire transfers, and process stock transfers from donors.

• Supervise accounts receivable and provide guidance relating to collection process.

Professional Requirements

• Excellent planning, budgeting and financial management skills.

• Experience in stewardship and accounting requirements for individual, institutional, and government grants.

• Outstanding communication and presentation skills.

• Desire to work in a collegial, mission driven organization focused on improving quality, reducing costs and developing people and systems to enhance the organization

• 8–10 years of experience in business and financial management.

• Master’s degree in Business Administration, CPA, or equivalent preferred.

• Strong technical skills and experience with a Windows-based computing environment, including Quickbooks and Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge.

• A personal interest in the arts and humanities is helpful in understanding the Festival’s culture and vision.

• Experience working with external auditors and internal controls and compliance issues.


Please send your resume and cover letter to:

Saloni Dar

Director, Human Resources and Administration

No phone calls please.

The Chicago Humanities Festival is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Job Type: Permanent
Location: Chicago, IL