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CNM CFO of the Year Award

Award Summary:

While nonprofits are busy providing much-needed services to their communities, one critical member of the staff makes certain that they are fiscally sound, sustainable, and in compliance with public regulations: the Chief Financial Officer.
With the heightened challenges of late, sound financial leadership is more crucial to organizations now than ever. On a nonprofit team, this person might be a CFO, an internal accountant, a bookkeeper, or a fiscal manager. In any case, this award will be given to the staff person who has made a financial difference to his or her agency either in creatively working through a time of financial difficulty or in taking advantage of a financial opportunity.

The CFO Award will focus on how the financial manager has enabled his or her agency to continue or improve its programs through sound financial management practices. Specifically, the CFO, accountant, or bookkeeper has provided excellence in these four areas:

•Being a steward for the agency by preserving its assets, minimizing risk, and making certain the books are correct
•Serving as an operator, running a tight finance operation that is efficient and effective, and adapting the agency’s financial model as necessary
•Being a strategist, helping to shape the overall strategy and direction of the agency, including giving a financial perspective on innovation and growth
•Serving as a catalyst, instilling a financial approach and mind set throughout the agency to make certain that the nonprofit performs well as a whole

Finalists Awards:
An award of $5,000 will be presented to the category winner. This amount is to be split equally between the individual and the organization ($2,500 to CFO and $2,500 to organization). $1,000 will be presented to each of the two finalists. This amount is to be split between the individual and the organization ($500 to CFO and $500 to organization).

Requirements for the CFO of the Year Award:
• Must be an organization that has been a 501(c)(3) for at least three years, is a member of CNM, and provides significant services to the Middle Tennessee area.
•Local chapters of national organizations may apply provided the chapters are locally managed and have financial information available on a local basis.

Previous Winners and Finalists:
•Winners and finalists of this award are not eligible to reapply for one year. (For example, if the agency was a finalist in 2022, the agency is eligible to re-apply for this award in 2024)


CNM believes in creating an equitable, connected community. We aspire to be a brave, inclusive, collaborative space for nonprofits, their partners, and the communities they serve. If applicable, we encourage responses that reflect how diversity, equity, and inclusion may have informed your nominee’s approach to being a CFO and leader.

Thank you for taking the time to share this nomination – Providing specific examples will help our panelists get to know your nominee best. We look forward to learning about your exceptional nominee!

1.  Identify the nominee for this award by name, title, years with the agency, and short job description. (Limit response to 100 words)
2. How did this individual engage their board of directors and leadership team to help facilitate necessary shifts in financial leadership and any given challenges of 2023? (Limit response to 400 words)
3. Describe other ways this CFO / accountant / bookkeeper made a difference to the financial health and mission delivery of the agency. (Limit response to 400 words)
4. How has this effort made a difference in the effectiveness of the agency’s service to the community? (Limit response to 200 words)