Vice President of Operations & Finance

Company: First Peoples Fund

Location: Rapid City, SD

Job Function: Finance


First Peoples Fund is a national non-profit organization founded in 1995. Its mission is to honor and support the Collective Spirit® of First Peoples artists and culture bearers. Collective Spirit® is that which manifests a self-awareness and sense of responsibility to sustain the cultural fabric of a community. Collective Spirit® moves each of us to stand up and make a difference, pass on ancestral knowledge and extend a hand of generosity. First Peoples Fund recognizes the power of art and culture to bring about positive change in Native communities, beginning with individual artists and their families. 

Through grants and awards, FPF provides Native artists, culture bearers, and cultural practitioners with monetary support, networks, financial services and training to flourish as entrepreneurs and community leaders. Through community and youth development programs, FPF supports the work of artists and culture bearers to teach cultural and entrepreneurial practices, deepen artistic and cultural identity and increase their access to financial resources. Our programs include the training and mentorship our partners need to succeed.


The Vice President of Operations and Finance (VPOF) reports to the President. The VPOF provides leadership, strategy and vision for the operations and finance functions of the organization. The VPOF embraces keeping things organized, effective and efficient and loves the details of leading a healthy structure that frees the team up to focus on program excellence and the leadership team to focus on growth, development and measurable impact. Fundamentally, the VPOF manages the day-to-day operations and finance, providing a work environment and culture that’s supportive of organizational accomplishments and individual growth. This includes conducting analysis of and improving financial policies and practices, providing leadership and guidance around the organization’s HR operations, and ensuring that organizational systems and tools are effectively and efficiently supporting program deliverables, evaluation, advancement and communications. As part of the leadership team, the VPOF helps address a range of issues including enhancing organizational effectiveness and integrity, providing leadership to staff, and helping to develop the strategic direction for the organization. 

The ideal candidate will have an entrepreneurial spirit and have experience managing all aspects of the operations of a seasoned organization.This is an outstanding opportunity for a finance executive with operational experience and a proven track record of creative problem-solving and change management to join a high-growth, mission-driven organization.



  • Work with the President, Executive and Leadership Teams to ensure that FPF’s resources are aligned effectively with the mission and strategic plan of the organization and to act as a strategic advisor to the President.
  • Collaborate with the President, Executive and Leadership Teams to lead the strategic planning process.
  • Participate with the President, Executive and Leadership Teams in institutional planning, policy development, and problem resolution.
  • Be responsible for providing leadership and management of the finance department, information technology services, facilities, human resources, purchasing, investments, financial planning and reporting, budgeting, internal control, and risk management.
  • Oversee recruitment, training, supervision, and evaluation of staff for finance, operations and human resources.
  • Implement strategic operational program and business plans annually, integrating all aspects of the organization’s work including programs, communications, development, evaluation and finance.
  • Oversee the development of the annual budget, meeting budget goals, reviewing financial performance, and improving program budgeting and reporting practices. Coordinating staff contributions in partnership with the other Vice Presidents.
  • Work closely with the VP of Programs and VP of Advancement & Communications to ensure alignment of programs, budget and funding opportunities and to support the involvement of program leaders in fundraising and budget and grants management.
  • Working with the Executive and Leadership Team, create, maintain, and oversee systems and processes to ensure effective management of the daily activities of operations and to support the organization’s goals and objectives.
  • Work with the Executive and Leadership Team to effectively support and manage the Board, including planning for and participating in regular Board meetings, committee meetings, and annual Board Retreat.
  • As needed, serve as an ambassador and effective speaker for the organization at both FPF led and select external events.


  • Develop and implement effective financial systems, including policies, internal controls, accounting standards, and operating procedures.
  • Working with the Executive and Leadership Team, effectively manage the organization’s budget ($6 million) in unrestricted and restricted funds.
  • Keep and support the development of up to date, detailed quantitative information on financial expenditures and revenues across the organization, gather and present data and visualization on investment portfolios and internal budget expenditures, and work with advancement, sponsored research, and program management to generate financial reports for federal agencies, foundations, and other required entities.
  • Oversee the work of the finance and accounting team, composed of the Director of Finance & Compliance (direct report) and two full-time accounting staff (indirect reports).
  • Provide analytical support to FPF’s internal management team and develop internal management reporting capabilities and financial metrics.
  • Assess and strengthen Finance Departments operational accounting systems and policies  such as security management, retirement plan, grants payment processing, payroll, accounts payable, and purchasing policies.
  • Implement up-to-date procedures, processes, and disciplines fundamental to maintaining a solid and reliable financial control environment.
  • Review and provide input into the creation of financial reports and presentations prepared by the Finance Department for the Board of Directors and Executive Team.
  • Manage financial management systems related to finance and administration with an emphasis on the effective use of these systems to generate useful and understandable information that facilitate financial and institutional decision making based on data.
  • Be responsible for the quality, accuracy, and timeliness of financial information provided to internal and external parties including banks and external auditors to ensure compliance with laws and regulations of various regulatory bodies.
  • Serves as the primary liaison to external audit and investment groups.


  • Work with the Executive and Leadership team to identify ways to support the mission through talent management.
  • Identify key performance indicators for the organization’s operations and human resource functions; assess the organization’s success and market competitiveness based on these metrics.
  • Monitor and evaluate operations and establish performance benchmarks and measurement systems, and effect changes required for improvement where needed.
  • Research, develop, and implement competitive compensation, benefits, performance appraisal, and employee incentive programs.
  • Provide guidance and leadership to the human resource director; assist with resolution of human resource, compensation, and benefits questions, concerns, and issues.
  • Ensure compliance with employment, benefits, insurance, safety, and other laws, regulations, and requirements.
  • ​​Maintain knowledge of laws, regulations, and best practices in employment law, human resources, and talent management.
  • Draft and implement the organization’s staffing budget, and the budget for the human resource department.


  • Analyze and manage the organization’s investments and capital growth plan.
  • Working with the Executive Team and Investment Committee, develop and manage Investment Policies that ensure a strong and enduring financial resource for the organization. 
  • Serve as a liaison with investment firms and leads. 


  • Manage operational program milestones and strategic objectives including development of annual goals through a collaborative, staff-based process.
  • Establish benchmarks and metrics to evaluate reporting staff and their department performance.
  • Create an environment of teamwork, appreciation and recognition.
  • Facilitate internal staff meetings including preparing agendas and troubleshooting internal management issues.
  • Identify and support appropriate training and professional development for staff.
  • Work with and support the success of Finance, Human Resources and Operations to manage internal controls, operating systems and performance tools. 


  • Assess and update the onboarding and orientation processes for new employees.
  • Assess and update financial procedures and processes to match FPFs current organizational size and structure.
  • Assess current investment policies and provide status updates.
  • Lead an organizational assessment of internal shared systems and capacity.
  • Develop and map operational systems to provide clarity and understanding to all staff.
  • Provide shared leadership in the strategic planning process.


  • Bachelor’s degree (Master’s or MBA preferred) in business or administration/management, or related field.
  • At least 6-8 years’ experience in senior management positions in nonprofit and/or Native organizations or a comparable combination of education + experience.
  • Broad knowledge of tribal communities and cultures across the US.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of human resource policies and procedures.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of financial management, operations and strategic planning.
  • Proven track record of success facilitating progressive organizational change and development within a growing, hybrid organization.
  • Demonstrated experience in the development and management of operational and finance systems for organizations, including project management, data collection and useful reporting.
  • Experience in facilities management.
  • Ability to effectively interface with and work collaboratively and collectively with the executive and leadership teams and First Peoples Fund’s board of directors.
  • Superior management skills with the ability and interest to work closely with staff to set and achieve individual and team goals.
  • Strong initiative and motivation, with the ability to excel in a demanding and fast-paced environment.
  • Team player who can multitask.
  • Self-reliant, problem solver, results oriented. 
  • Energetic, flexible, collaborative, and proactive; an entrepreneurial team leader who can positively and productively impact both strategic and tactical finance and operational initiatives.
  • Exceptional written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills. 
  • Excellent computer skills – Quickbooks, MS Office Suite; Google Suite, Basecamp with a basic technical understanding of office systems, tools and platforms.
  • Some travel may be necessary, so willingness and ability to travel is required.


Compensation and Benefits

Salary: $95,000-$120,000 per year (commensurate with experience)

Benefits:  + Comprehensive benefits package

How to Apply

To apply, please upload a cover letter + resume as one PDF document using this URL: