Organization: buildOn

Location: Stamford, CT

Express Interest!

About buildOn

buildOn is a movement not a charity.  Its mission is to break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectations through service and education.  The organization was founded 25 years ago by Jim Ziolkowski who made it his mission to change the world one community at a time by building schools in developing countries and empowering inner-city youth through service learning programs in the United States.  The results have been staggering with nearly 2,000,000 people touched by buildOn to date.

In the United States, buildOn runs intensive service learning programs in 44 of America’s lowest performing high schools.  They empower youth to contribute direct service to their communities – working with senior citizens, the homeless and younger children.  The same students then help to build schools in some of the economically poorest countries in the world.  buildOn students have contributed more than 1.7 million hours of service in the US and have joined community members to help build more than 950 schools in Burkina Faso, Haiti, Nepal, Nicaragua, Malawi, Mali and Senegal.  Community members have contributed more than 1.5 million volunteer work days to build these schools!

Service is the core of buildOn’s mission and is the vehicle for youth development and empowerment. Through service, students address problems in their communities while developing personal leadership and teamwork skills. By making a positive difference in the lives of others, they learn more about themselves and the power they have to transform their schools, their communities, and our world. The results speak for themselves:  92% of buildOn students in the US not only graduate high school but go on to college. Internationally, buildOn schools provide access to education for more than 120,000 children, parents and grandparents every day.

For more information on buildOn, please visit

The Opportunity

buildOn is seeking an experienced and committed Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to chart the financial direction of the organization and serve as its strategic and tactical financial expert and to lead the global finance team. The CFO will set the vision and direction for both short and long-term budgeting, analysis and forecasting in order to support a high-growth social enterprise with operations across the United States and in seven developing countries.  This individual will balance a strong vision for growing a finance team with a hands-on approach to managing the financial operations and human resources for a fast-paced, $19 million organization.

The CFO must have a genuine passion for the mission of buildOn and the ability to inspire those around him/her to join together to serve that mission. S/he will run their team in a strategic, collaborative manner and have demonstrated a keen understanding of the financial and administrative functions that they will be responsible for. Reporting directly to the CEO and with significant interaction with the national Board of Directors, the CFO will be a key member of the strategic leadership team.  This role is an exciting opportunity for an energetic, motivated finance leader to join the movement and play a critical role in helping an innovative, award-winning organization continue to change the world!


  • Develop and implement a vision for the global finance team in alignment with the strategic plan
  • Provide leadership, direction and supervision to financial and human resources staff and oversee the day-to-day operations of the buildOn finance function.
  • Provide leadership to the Data and Operations function which is responsible for the collection, analysis and reporting of data using the Salesforce platform. The operations function is also responsible for technology and facilities.
  • Work with department heads to develop the annual and three-year budget for approval by the CEO and the national Board of Directors
  • Generate monthly financial statements and reports which analyze all expenses, revenues and the balance sheet
  • Generate a monthly financial dashboard which accurately forecasts cash position, revenue and expenses; help CEO and Board of Directors to “see around the corner”
  • Provide leadership to a growing Human Resources department by overseeing staff, payroll and benefits administration and 403(b) plan management
  • Manage the buildOn Fund Acting as an Endowment under the guidance of the Finance Committee
  • Foster a culture of boundary spanning and collaboration across departments, regions and countries with the goal of increasing organization-wide financial transparency and ownership
  • Ensure that the necessary systems and controls are in place to maintain compliance with the highest ethical standards as well as all applicable laws, regulations and requirements of funders
  • Work closely with the Development Team to provide the necessary financial analysis and support for revenue generation
  • Strengthen internal controls to manage cash flow, protect financial assets and ensure a focus on efficiencies and cost savings where possible
  • Lead the annual audit process and act as primary liaison to the Audit Committee of the Board and the audit firm
  • Prepare and manage all tax submissions to the IRS, including the Form 990
  • Manage insurance programs for both domestic and international programs, liability, directors and officers and worker’s compensation; negotiate annual renewals with vendors
  • Ensure financial controls and procedures are streamlined and clear to all so as to ensure proper checks and balances and best practices


  • Ability to articulate a passion for and commitment to the mission and core values of buildOn
  • 10+ years of senior financial leadership experience in a nonprofit or business environment; experience in an international nonprofit a plus
  • Strong leadership skills featuring a collaborative style and an entrepreneurial spirit, along with demonstrated experience leading teams to excellent results
  • Highly strategic mindset, including the ability to develop and execute plans for growth and reach those goals
  • Strong organizational and financial management skills and excellent budgeting and business planning skills; experience with nonprofit/fund accounting a plus
  • Ability to manage complex financial operations in a decentralized, high-growth organization
  • Exposure to Human Resources (HR) and an ability to provide strategic leadership in the HR Department
  • Familiarity with US GAAP, International Reporting Standards (IFRS) and International Accounting Standards (IAS) a plus
  • Strong affinity for technology and experience working with financial systems; knowledge of Salesforce and MIP a strong plus
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and an ability to connect with and present to a variety of stakeholders including staff, leadership and the Board of Directors
  • Bright and compassionate with grit, a drive to excel and an unwillingness to give up
  • Reserves of energy, a good sense of humor and an ability to understand and respect the perspectives of others
  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant field; CPA or Master’s preferred

Compensation & Benefits

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.


buildOn has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Erin Reedy here.

buildOn is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBT applicants.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit