Director of Finance and Operations

GI Research Foundation | Chicago, IL

Who We Are:
The GI Research Foundation (GIRF) is a non-profit 501(c)3 dedicated to supporting the physicians and scientists at the University of Chicago Medicine Digestive Diseases Center in their efforts to provide outstanding care, train future leaders and perform innovative clinical and laboratory research in order to treat, cure, and prevent digestive diseases.

Organizational History:
In 1961, two Chicago businessmen, Martin N. Sandler and Joseph E. Valenti, Sr., joined Dr. Joseph B. Kirsner in establishing the Gastro-Intestinal Research Foundation. In the early 1960s, GIRF hosted their inaugural dinner, published the GIRF newsletter and launched a Women’s Division.

In the late 1960s GIRF initiated an “equipment program,” which identified important pieces of medical research equipment that could be purchased by individual members in support of the research. The Center for the Study of Digestive Diseases at the University of Chicago was established, the results of which include an immunology laboratory. In the 1980s, the construction of the Joseph B. Kirsner Center was completed and GIRF contributed $500,000 over a three-year period to develop a new research program on the biology of the intestinal epithelium called The Cell-Tech Research Program. In the early 1990s, GIRF established a research facility to investigate the scientific aspects of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and the Associates Board began raising funds to support young investigators’ research in digestive diseases.

In the late 1990s, GIRF accepted the challenge of developing a research program on the genetics of inflammatory bowel disease. As a result, the first gastroenterology DNA research lab was established where Dr. Judy Cho was responsible for the studies that led to the discovery of the first gene known to be responsible for Crohn’s disease. In the 2000s, GIRF raised over $7 million dollars for equipment and laboratories to further GI research.

Position Overview:

After almost 60 years of growth, GIRF seeks a skilled and collaborative professional for the position of Director of Finance and Operations.

In partnership with the board treasurer and Executive Director, the Director of Finance and Operations is responsible for the organization’s financial operations and oversight, effective use of resources and management of daily operations to ensure sound financial practices and sustainable growth.

This position reports to the Executive Director.

Competitive salary and benefits package available.

Please send resume, cover letter and salary expectations to

Required Qualifications, Characteristics and Skill Sets:

  • 5+ years non-profit management experience with at least 2 years of finance and operations/human resources experience.
  • Bachelor’s degree (master’s degree preferred) in accounting/finance, non-profit management or related field.
  • Proven financial management skills, including the ability to prepare and analyze data for budgeting, operations and auditing purposes.
  • Superior written and oral communication skills.
  • Self-starter with experience managing multiple projects concurrently; comfortable working autonomously.
  • Highly motivated, goal oriented, organized, detailed, collaborative, creative and persistent.
  • Proficient use of Microsoft Office Suite, financial (QuickBooks) and fundraising (Results Plus) software.
  • Experience within a higher education advancement environment (or the healthcare sector) preferred.


  • Financial Management:
    • Recommend annual budget for board approval and prudently manage foundation’s resources within budgetary guidelines and according to current state and federal regulations, ensuring adherence to the annual budget.
    • Collaborate with the board treasurer to produce financial reports, analyze financial statements, develop revenue projections, and present financial information to the board of directors.
    • Manage and perform all accounting and tax functions, including those necessary for audit, budget, bookkeeping and general ledger maintenance, financial analysis and payroll, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principals.
  • Operations and People:
    • Effectively manage human resources according to personnel policies and procedures. Including but not limited to hiring and overseeing contractors, developing position descriptions, providing supervision and support to the foundation’s administrative assistant, and identifying and overseeing the employee benefits package.
    • Assess and oversee office space requirements.
    • Develop and implement internal systems and processes to drive efficiency, effectiveness, and collaboration.
    • Evaluate and oversee fundraising and business office software; support all fundraising needs.
    • Work in partnership with the board of directors to achieve the foundation’s vision; support board and committee leadership as needed.
  • Fundraising:
    • Support the Executive Director’s fundraising activity by using the database (currently Results Plus) to produce donor reports and analysis as required.
  • Strategy and Vision:
    • Work with the board and Executive Director to develop the organization’s strategic plan, communications plan, and vision; serve as a thought partner to board leadership and staff.
    • Support the work of the Director of Major Gifts; provide administrative assistance and data/reporting as needed.
    • Develop individual portfolio of mid-level donors; cultivate, solicit and steward donors according to the foundation’s fundraising strategy.
    • Oversee/manage all fundraising events, including all ball-related committee work and the work of the foundation’s event planning contractor.


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