Finance and Operations Manager opening at Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

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The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is seeking a Finance and Operations Manager to support our growing team. This position will help ensure that the Center is a well-run organization whose values are reflected in finance, human resources and hiring, and build the organizational infrastructure to transform journalism in Wisconsin while maintaining an empowering and inclusive workplace. 

Reporting to the Associate Director, this position is ideal for a highly organized person and strong communicator who is comfortable joining a small, committed and flexible staff working toward a mission to inform diverse communities and create local journalism that strengthens democracy.

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We seek a candidate who understands the important role journalism plays in our society and works to create an environment that is inclusive, empowering, and diverse, supporting staff across the organization to grow and create impact at the Center and in Wisconsin.  

The complex issues we face as a society require respect for different viewpoints. Race, class, generation, sexual orientation, gender, disability and geography all affect point of view. Reflecting these differences in our work leads to better, more-nuanced stories and a better-informed community.

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We especially encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply, including Black, Indigenous and people of color, LGBTQ+ people and people with disabilities. 

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This position is funded by – and will receive support from – the American Journalism Project, a venture philanthropy dedicated to local news. The American Journalism Project believes in civic journalism as a public good and is reimagining its future by building a model to finance and sustain the local news our democracy requires.

About us

The Center is an independent, nonpartisan and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that focuses on government accountability and quality of life issues important to diverse communities of Wisconsin. Our multimedia journalism digs into undercovered issues, documents inequitable systems, puts findings into regional and national context, and explores potential solutions. The Center also trains diverse current and future investigative journalists through workshops, internships and fellowships, mentoring, and collaborations with journalism classes and news organizations. And we share information about journalistic practices, ethics and impact with the public. 

Wisconsin Watch, the Center’s news outlet, publishes its award-winning reports at WisconsinWatch.org and content is made available at no charge to news organizations through its own distribution system plus a nationwide partnership with the Associated Press.

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The Position

This new position will report to the Associate Director and support business operations for our rapidly growing, diverse team. As Finance and Operations Manager you will work on projects big and small to further the Center’s work and support the organization’s staff and overall mission. You will play a central strategy role across key areas of our operations to further the impact of journalism that plays a vital role in Wisconsin and in our democracy.

Responsibilities

People and culture

  • Manage onboarding process for new employees, interns and contractors
  • Manage employee offboarding process
  • Administer biweekly payroll for entire staff
  • Manage HR/Benefits provider and ongoing benefits administration/selection
  • Maintain an employee handbook that is aligned with organizational strategy and values
  • Lead recruitment efforts, including posting job descriptions, fostering a diverse candidate pool, developing consistent and equitable hiring procedures, and overseeing screening of candidates
  • Assist leaders of WCIJ DEI working groups in implementing structural, cultural and policy changes in the organization
  • Plan, lead, develop, implement and coordinate policies, training, initiatives and surveys to support the organization’s mission and staff needs
  • Support other human resources consultants, at first, and lead HR activities when established
  • Help to coordinate meetings and travel schedules; assist staff with calendar management
  • Manage general/admin email inbox
  • Be a go-to person for senior colleagues to help resolve operational issues
  • Research and recommend in-person and remote work solutions, including co-working space and technology
  • Procure and manage laptops and office equipment for all staff

Finance

  • Assist with bookkeeping and monthly financial reporting in coordination with staff and CPA including processing invoices, payments, Quickbooks entries and budget tracking
  • Support the development of an inclusive annual budgeting process
  • Administer various financial platforms and assist team members and vendors with time sensitive deadlines and action items.
  • Maintain vendor relationships, with an emphasis on procurement and sourcing of diverse businesses and vendors 
  • Manage mail collection and bank deposits
  • Closely support our annual audit
  • Provide support to the development team with donor platforms (Paypal, Benevity, etc.) and financial information for grant reporting purposes

Qualifications

If you have just some of the skills listed below, or others we failed to list, please consider applying for this position. We are an organization that makes the best use of the skills of its staff and is dedicated to developing them.

  • Great task and project management skills, including the ability to integrate big picture goals with specific tasks needed to move complex projects forward effectively 
  • Dedication to building a more diverse and inclusive team 
  • Ability to handle the autonomy as the first finance and operations staff member 
  • Strong organizational skills and problem-solving ability
  • Discretion and confidentiality when communicating about sensitive topics 
  • Ability to build trust-based relationships with WCIJ’s full team, even in a virtual setting. (We may be remote but we use tools to stay engaged and attentive to one another. We also have regular in-person meetings to help us remain unified as a team.) 
  • Proficient with office software, primarily the Google Suite
  • Relevant work experience (e.g. nonprofit operations, finance, human resources, executive support, back-office support for a growing company)

Bonus points if you’ve got: 

  • Curiosity about philanthropy or nonprofit journalism, and a connection to our mission 
  • Experience using customer relationship management tools (Salesforce) and document management solutions (e.g. Box.com, Google Drive) 
  • Experience with human resources software and policies

Location: The Finance and Operations Manager should be located in or within 60 minutes of Madison or Milwaukee and expect to travel regularly to the other city and other Wisconsin locations. 

Salary range: $65,000+, commensurate with experience.

Benefits: Generous vacation (25 days or five weeks) and holiday time (seven days of your choosing), 10 sick days, 12 weeks of paid family or caregiver leave, 75% subsidy on medical and dental premiums, $200/year transportation allowance and self-funded 403(b) retirement plan.

Deadline: Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

To apply: Please submit a PDF of your resume and answer some brief questions in this application form. If you’d like to chat about the job before applying, contact Jay Burseth, WCIJ development director, via email: jburseth@wisconsinwatch.org 

The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism embraces diversity and inclusiveness in its journalism, training activities, hiring practices and workplace operations. The complex issues we face as a society require respect for different viewpoints. Race, class, generation, gender and geography all affect point of view. We especially encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply, including women, people of color, LGBTQ people and people with disabilities.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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