Top 5 Tips to Drive Organizational Success as a Mission-Infused CFO
Be the financial leader you are called to be
The role of CFO at a contemporary nonprofit is a large role to fill. They hold responsibilities beyond traditional finance and accounting duties. According to Grant Thornton’s 2017 CFO Survey, respondents reported an increase in the finance department’s involvement in multiple functional areas, including strategic planning, performance management, and IT.
As CFOs become more involved in determining the organization’s goals and strategies to achieve them, it is more important than ever for CFOs to lead the effort in forging strong partnerships that keep finance and mission connected. We put together 5 pieces of advice that will help you become the best CFO you can be.
Build sustainable systems to support mission successStrategic decision-making requires confidence in the underlying integrity of the financial systems. It is critical to develop a dynamic, sustainable business model that can meet the fixed and variable needs of your organization today and in the future.
Be a proactive strategic partnerAs the financial leader of the organization, the CFO plays a very important role in determining the organization's strategies and ultimately, in driving success financially. Therefore, it is crucial that the CFO is proactive in decision-making so the organization will move along the path to success in the overall mission.
Be an organizational leaderThe CFO must be an organizational leader, partner, and participant in the work and success of the nonprofit. When the CFO and finance team are driven by the mission and grounded in organization this shared experience helps to build partnerships and create alignment between finance, programs, and development.
Effectively communicate goals and outcomes to internal stakeholdersEnsure that you articulate your organization’s finance and mission story in a way that is compelling to your board and other internal stakeholders. Short-term and long-term strategic planning is predicated on the numbers. You must keep organizational goals and outcomes communicated constantly so every person within the organization is clear on the path you are on. Clarity and transparency is key.
Make strategic investments in IT infrastructureMake sure you carefully researched investment in new or existing software. This will not only increase transparency and improve company culture, but also integrate organization-wide systems so teams can more clearly understand links between programmatic and financial success.
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