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Project Return, Inc.

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Project Return, Inc.


Job Summary

The Organization

Project Return is a high-impact, high-volume Tennessee nonprofit dedicated solely to the successful new beginnings of people who are returning to our community from prison. Project Return was founded in Nashville, TN in 1979. We opened our second location in Chattanooga, TN in the summer of 2021. Our vision is a full and free life after incarceration, and we achieve that with a relationship- and strengths-based approach comprised of workforce development plus a full array of wraparound support and signature services. Our efforts are amplified by our three (to date!) award-winning social enterprises, which are mission-centered, revenue-generating businesses under our nonprofit roof: with two of the enterprises, we create employment opportunities for the people we serve, and the third is an innovative affordable housing initiative. 

Our financial management is complex and integral to our success, including dashboarding for critical financial analysis of each enterprise, as well as significant capital (homes and vehicles), earned revenue, large grant contracts, expansion to a new market, and a new construction project underway. We bring an ends-of-the-earth mindset and the pursuit of excellence to every aspect of the operation, including the fiscal office. For more information about Project Return, please visit our website at: www.projectreturninc.org

The Position

The CFO position has leadership and management responsibilities for all financial functions of Project Return (PR) as well as a leadership role in business strategy and long-term planning. This hands-on position reports to the CEO and collaborates with the Leadership Team. The CFO also partners with the CEO in working with the Executive Committee of the Board and serves as liaison and ambassador to our partners and the community.  The CFO Provides managerial oversight to the accounting department which includes a Bookkeeper, Senior Accountant, and Inventory Specialist. Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization’s policies and applicable laws.

Job Responsibilities

Key Responsibilities

  • Direct all financial management, accounting, and treasury functions including accounts payable and receivable, general ledger, payroll, and weekly and monthly financial statements and reporting
  • Provide financial leadership for the organization and support the CEO in interactions with the Board to develop and communicate the financial strategy of the organization
  • Establish and maintain effective financial systems and internal controls
  • Undertake deep-dive analyses and fiscal projects as needed, including financial modeling and pro forma creation; draft project budgets for proposals and grant applications
  • Effectively communicate financial results, forecasts, and budgets (dashboard) to the leadership team
  • Prepare, monitor, and assist in generating capital and operations budgets
  • Manage activities and relationships with external auditors and tax accountants. Assist with annual fiscal audit, including preparation of select schedules, drafting financial statements, and organizing key data
  • Ensure adequate working capital for the organization and direct/manage banking activities and relationships
  • Direct activities to ensure adequate accounting and safekeeping of assets/records; manage relationships with insurance and risk management providers
  • Provide organizational support activities in the evaluation, development, and implementation of operational internal controls to ensure transactional processing systems are properly controlled to ensure data integrity, completeness, and timeliness
  • Provides input and participates in the development and update of the strategic planning process
  • Assist the CEO in coordinating information and reports
  • Establish and maintain systems and controls, that verify the integrity of all systems, processes, and data, and enhance the Organization’s value
  • Oversight of all leases and management of real estate portfolio
  • Be knowledgeable of and ensure compliance with all company policies and procedures, as well as legal requirements, at all times
  • Other duties as assigned by the CEO


Qualifications and Skills

  • Ten years of progressive experience in accounting, finance, or related business activities, with a minimum of five years in a management role
  • Master’s degree in accounting/finance, business, or related field preferred. Bachelor’s degree required
  • Current Certified Public Accountant certification
  • Proven ability to engage managers and staff in an effective and inclusive budgeting process
  • Ability to monitor budgets and provide timely information on expenditures and monitoring of the annual budget
  • Able to make the business case for adopting sound financial practices
  • Social enterprise management experience is a plus
  • Nonprofit experience a plus
  • Capable of translating financial expertise into lay terms for non-accountants
  • A passion for the mission of PR and the population served
  • Able to multi-task in a fast-paced environment
  • Very good interpersonal skills and ability to work well with others
  • Excellent computer skills with demonstrated proficiency and speed in a Windows environment, Microsoft Office, and common accounting software

Additional Information


Project Return partners with the state of TN for our benefits package which includes full coverage of vision, dental, and medical for the Project Return employee.

Project Return provides equal employment opportunities to employees and applicants for employment.  No person will be discriminated against because of race, religion, color, sex, age, sexual orientation national origin, genetic information, veteran status, disability, or any other class protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.  Each person is judged on their merit in determining employment and advancement opportunities.  Employees who make good faith reports or potential violations of this policy will not experience retaliation for making the report.

How to Apply

Please submit your resume and expression of interest to Sydney Spalding at sspalding@vaco.com.


  • Date Posted: March 29, 2024
  • Type: Full-Time
  • Job Function: Accounting / Financial Management
  • Service Area: Social / Human Services
  • Start Date: 06/03/2024
  • Salary Range: $110,000-$120,000
  • Working Hours: M-F, 8:00am-4:30pm