Finance Washington, District Of Columbia





JOB TITLE:  Controller

CLASSIFICATION: Professional 6

SALARY: $120,000 - $133,000

FLSA:  Exempt

DEPARTMENT: Finance and Compliance 

LOCATION: Headquarters, Washington DC

REPORTS TO:  Vice President of Finance / CFO


LAST REVISED:  September 2023



The Controller supervises the Accountant and the Senior Accountant, Grants Management. The Controller is responsible for proper recognition and recording of all revenue for the Organization. The Controller ensures optimum compliance with generally accepted accounting principles; the efficient and effective use of internal controls; and regular application of best practices. 



Cash Receipts and Unrestricted Revenue

  • Supervise the Accountant in the cash receipts process
  • Ensure proper accounting for cash receipts; ensure the integrity of cash receipts data imported into the Accounting database from the from the CRM Database
  • Work closely with the Marketing department on all matters related to cash receipts data imported into the Accounting database from the from the CRM Database
  • Ensure proper recording of all Bequest revenue, working closely with the Development Planned Giving department
  • Ensure proper accounting / revenue recognition for all contracts
  • Manage the invoicing process for any reimbursement-based contracts

Restricted Revenue

  • Supervise the Senior Accountant, Grants Accounting in the restricted grant management process.
  • Ensure proper accounting of restricted grants in accordance with FAS 116
  • Ensure compliance with relevant OMB circulars for all federal restricted grants
  • Oversee proper allocation of overhead to restricted grants
  • Manage the restricted grant lifecycle within the Project Management System
  • Manage monthly restricted grant meetings, using the Project Management System, to include members of the Development department and Conservation Program departments to review the life cycle of all active restricted grants ensuring timely spend down

Cash Management

  • Supervise the Accountant in the cash management process
  • Oversee for the daily cash management and reporting process
  • Manage the communication of wire/ach/stock gift information to appropriate departments
  • Manage the communication of retuned bank items information to the appropriate departments
  • Manage the communication of banking information to appropriate departments

Month-End Close/Reconciliations

  • Manage the completion of monthly investment account reconciliations
  • Manage the proper completion of revenue related balance sheet account reconciliations including accounts receivable (grants /bequests/ list rental/misc.), deferred revenue, etc.
  • Responsible for the generation of month-end restricted and unrestricted revenue reporting for distribution to relevant staff

Annual Budget

  • Work closely with Development department to develop annual restricted revenue budget
  • Work closely with Conservation Program departments to develop annual restricted and unrestricted expense budgets
  • Develop annual overhead expense budget

Year-End Close

  • Work with Director, Accounting and Database Administration and the Vice President, Finance on the year-end audit process and annual Form 990 process, including communicating with the external auditors and completing audit requests

Leadership, Supervision and Coaching

  • With the CFO, lead the Finance team in effective support of the Organizations’ Finance needs
  • Communicate duties and responsibilities to direct report and monitor performance
  • Provide regular coaching and counseling
  • Prepare and deliver performance appraisals for direct reports


  • Undertake special projects as assigned
  • Continually identify and implement process improvements
  • Perform all other related duties as assigned


Education: Bachelor’s (B.A./B.S.) degree or equivalent

Experience: 10 years of relevant experience; 5 years supervisory experience

An equivalent combination of education and experience may be accepted as a satisfactory substitute for the specific education and experience listed above.


Knowledge, Skills, Abilities for All Defenders

KSAs for all Defenders will be linked back to the website


Knowledge, Skills, Abilities for Professional 6



  1. Ability to accurately maintain electronic and physical records
  2. Anticipate and meet the needs of internal and/or external stakeholders delivering excellent service


  1. Ability to clearly and accurately communicate with internal and external stakeholders
  2. Ability to articulate complex ideas clearly, accurately and concisely
  3. Ability to convey effective messages to broad and diverse constituencies
  4. Ability and willingness to effectively represent Defenders’ interests in external environments
  5. Ability to exert influence and build consensus with internal and external stakeholders

Critical Thinking

  1. Ability to handle sensitive and confidential matters with discretion
  2. Strong research and data analysis skills, including ability to gather and synthesize information from multiple sources to produce high quality work products in a consistent, efficient, accurate, and timely manner
  3. Creative problem-solving and troubleshooting skills with willingness to experiment and innovate new methods.
  4. Facilitate and promote the integration of diversity, equity and inclusion strategies into Defenders’ work
  5. Ability to independently exercise appropriate judgment in response to complex and/or fluid environments
  6. Strategic thinker with the ability to create high-level strategy, identify organizational-level impact, and translate strategy into relatable points and action steps.

Project Management

  1. Ability to work well under pressure and tight deadlines while balancing competing assignments
  2. Ability to administer and enforce department procedures inside and outside of the Finance department to ensure efficient operations
  3. Ability to remain flexible and adaptable to shifting priorities while remaining responsive to urgent requests and adhering to established policies and procedures
  4. Ability to take ownership of a project or process and to use problem solving skills to resolve issues
  5. Ability to manage deadlines on multiple cross-functional projects in a dynamic environment
  6. Demonstrated ability in managing competing interests on complex issues
  7. Ability to independently initiate project and initiative ideas; managing projects and initiatives through to completion

Coalition and Community Engagement (if applicable)

  1. Strong interpersonal skills and ability to form effective working relationships with diverse constituencies including federal/state agencies; elected officials and their staff; Defenders’ members and donors; private landowners; hunters and anglers; community leaders; religious, scientific, and academic communities; and /or the general public.
  2. Ability to lead diverse stakeholders in collaborative activities, to anticipate policy issues impacting wildlife and make recommendations within Defenders, other organizations, and coalitions.
  3. Networking skills to engage with leaders in the conservation community, federal and state agencies, NGOs, and other organizations.

Leadership and Management

  1. Ability to foster a team culture which models the tenets of the Commitment Statement
  2. Ability to connect employees and their work to Defenders’ mission
  3. Ability to set and maintain clear expectations, ensuring clarity of roles, accountabilities, and responsibilities
  4. Ability to ensure that staff have the skills and support required to perform at the highest level
  5. Working knowledge of Defenders’ business and people systems and processes
  6. Ability to create and maintain a diverse, inclusive, and high-functioning environment
  7. Ability to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion in team/department-level decisions
  8. Ability to manage employee conflict and resolve escalations in an inclusive and healthy manner
  9. Ability to effectively lead and manage change
  10. Ability to develop staff to their highest capabilities, through delegation, coaching, empowerment, and professional growth opportunities
  11. Ability to provide effective feedback in real-time
  12. Ability to create and implement team/department strategies in support of Defenders’ Strategic Plan

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities for Controller

CPA Certification preferred

Experience in application of non-profit GAAP, including FAS 116 and FAS 117

Experience in application of OMB circulars for Federal Grants/Awards

Intermediate to advanced Excel skills

Microsoft Dynamics SL/GP or similar accounting database experience a plus

NetSuite OpenAir or similar project management database experience a plus

Revolution Online or similar CRM database experience a plus



Physical Activities

Check all that apply


(N)Never, (O)Occasionally or (C)Constantly

Ascending or descending ladders, stairs, scaffolding, ramps, poles and the like.


Moving self in different positions to accomplish tasks in various environments including tight and confined spaces.


Remaining in a stationary position, often standing or sitting for prolonged periods.


Moving about to accomplish tasks or moving from one worksite to another.


Adjusting or moving objects up to __ pounds in all directions.


Communicating with others to exchange information.


Repeating motions that may include the wrists, hands and/or fingers.


Operating machinery and/or power tools.


Operating motor vehicles or heavy equipment.


Assessing the accuracy, neatness and thoroughness of the work assigned.



Environmental Conditions

Check all that apply


(N)Never, (O)Occasionally or (C)Constantly

Low temperatures.


High temperatures.


Outdoor elements such as precipitation and wind.


Noisy environments.


Hazardous conditions.


Poor ventilation.


Small and/or enclosed spaces.


No adverse environmental conditions expected.



Physical Demands

Check only one


Sedentary work that primarily involves sitting/standing.


Light work that includes moving objects up to 20 pounds.


Medium work that includes moving objects up to 50 pounds.


Heavy work that includes moving objects up to 100 pounds or more.



Visit to apply.

All employees are required to satisfactorily perform the essential duties and responsibilities of their positions. The essential duties and responsibilities listed above are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

Defenders requires employees who engage in in-person work activities, including business travel or onsite work, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  An applicant (i) who is disabled or pregnant or who has a qualifying medical condition that contraindicates a COVID-19 vaccination or (ii) who objects to being vaccinated on the basis of a sincerely held religious belief, observance or practice may request an exemption from this vaccination policy. This determination will be made on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with applicable law. Any medical information concerning an applicant's disability will be treated as a confidential medical record in compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws.

Defenders of Wildlife provides equal employment opportunity to all qualified individuals without regard to their race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, physical or mental disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, personal appearance, family/parental status, matriculation, political affiliation, genetic information, or any other legally protected characteristic in all personnel actions.

Please be advised that this position is NON union-eligible.