Finance Washington, District Of Columbia





JOB TITLE:  Controller

CLASSIFICATION: Professional 6

SALARY: $100,000 to $103,000

FLSA:  Exempt


LOCATION: Headquarters, Washington DC

REPORTS TO:  Vice President of Finance / CFO


LAST REVISED:  June 2021



The Controller is responsible for the cash receipts process, the restricted grant process, and month-end close process for Defenders of Wildlife.  The Controller ensures optimum compliance with generally accepted accounting principles in completion of these areas of responsibility; the efficient and effective use of internal controls; and regular application of best practices.  The Controller has supervisory responsibilities over three accounting staff members.  




Cash Receipts

  • Own the integrity of cash receipts data from the CRM Database and the import of this data into the Accounting Database
  • Oversee the recording of all third-party cash receipts and in-house cash receipts in the Accounting Database
  • Ensure proper application of accounting principles for cash receipts representing split interest agreements
  • Work closely with the Marketing department on all matters impacting the accounting and reconciliation of cash receipts from the CRM Database to the Accounting Database


Restricted Grants

  • Own the operations and integrity of the Restricted Grant/Project Management Database used to track and manage grant spending activity over the life cycle of the grant
  • Ensure proper accounting of restricted grants in accordance with FAS 116
  • Ensure proper accounting for all government grants in accordance with relevant OMB circulars
  • Oversee accounting for all restricted grants including allocation of overhead
  • Ensure timely reconciliation of all restricted grants, working with Development department and Program departments and Development to address any over or underspending on grants
  • Conduct monthly restricted grant meetings with Development department and Program departments to review status of all restricted grants
  • Work closely with Development department and Program departments to develop the annual Board Approved budgets for all restricted grants



Month-End Close

  • Responsible for the coordination of the month-end close process
  • Responsible for proper completion of monthly investment account reconciliations
  • Responsible for proper completion of additional balance sheet account reconciliations related to the cash receipts and restricted grants processes including accounts receivable (grants /bequests/ misc.), deferred revenue, etc.
  • Manage the communication and reporting related to month-end close to all relevant staff


Year-End Close

  • Responsible for the coordination of the year-end audit process and annual Form 990 process, including communicating with the external auditors, distributing audit requests to relevant Finance staff and ensuring that all audit requests are fulfilled
  • Work closely with the Marketing Department and Senior Manager, Compliance on annual data collection from the Marketing department related to cause marketing partners, commercial co-ventures, professional fundraisers, etc.
  • Work closely with Senior Manager, Compliance to ensure consistent reporting of all fiscal year-end data across the Audited Financials, Form 990 and state solicitation registrations.


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 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 remain flexible and adaptable to shifting priorities while remaining responsive to urgent requests
  3. Ability to take ownership of a project or process and to use problem solving skills to resolve issues
  4. Ability to manage deadlines on multiple cross-functional projects in a dynamic environment
  5. Demonstrated ability in managing competing interests on complex issues
  6. 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.

Conservation Knowledge (if applicable)

  1. Expert-level knowledge of Defenders’ legal, scientific, and/or political issues
  2. Expert-level knowledge of national and regional social, political, and ecological landscapes

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

  1. CPA Certification preferred
  2. Experience in application of non-profit GAAP, including FAS 116 and FAS 117
  3. Experience in application of OMB circulars for Federal Grants/Awards
  4. Intermediate to advanced Excel skills
  5. Microsoft Dynamics SL/GP or similar accounting database experience a plus
  6. NetSuite OpenAir or similar project management database experience a plus
  7. Revolution Online or similar CRM database experience a plus

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.