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Summit Insights
May, 24

What Does a NonProfit CFO Do?


There is a common thread uniting all CFO roles, despite industry-specific differences. But when talking about what a CFO for a nonprofit does, there are unique elements to understand.

Generally, a CFO oversees an organization’s financial operations, guiding its financial strategy, planning, and maintaining fiscal stability. They collaborate with executive management to establish long-term goals and policies. Key duties include:

  • Financial management
  • Strategic planning
  • Financial policies and procedures
  • Legal and regulatory compliance
  • Accounting/finance team leadership

Nonprofit vs. For-Profit CFO

However, a CFO's responsibilities for nonprofit organizations differ in two key ways:

  1. Nonprofits need money to operate, but their primary goal is furthering their mission, not generating revenue. (Cash is a means to an end, not the end itself.)
  2. Nonprofits have boards with management oversight, influencing financial decision-making.

Their unique focus is on making sure the organization has the resources to fulfill its mission and can spend more time in the community and less time worrying about finances. As a result, a nonprofit organization’s CFO will have somewhat different duties and responsibilities than a CFO at a for-profit company will.

This article explores the differences between nonprofit and for-profit CFOs in greater detail.

Fractional CFO Services for Nonprofits

Providing Fractional CFO services since 2001, FocusCFO has worked with numerous nonprofits. If your nonprofit could benefit from an experienced CFO's financial guidance, please reach out to us to schedule a complimentary consultation.