Defend democracy in the South.

POSITION AVAILABLE: Finance and Administration Manager

The Institute for Southern Studies, an award-winning nonprofit research and media center based in Durham, North Carolina, is seeking a full-time Finance and Administration Manager. This will be the first position of its kind, offering an exciting opportunity for a mid-level professional to take leadership and build skills on a range of financial, administrative, human resources, and operational functions for a small Southern social justice organization with deep roots and a powerful reach across the South.


Founded in 1970 by Julian Bond and other veterans of the civil rights movement, the Institute for Southern Studies (ISS) is a research and media nonprofit dedicated to exposing injustice, strengthening democracy, and building a community for change in the South. The Institute publishes the online magazine, Facing South, and has earned numerous awards for its media and reporting projects on issues ranging from voting rights and money in Southern politics to key trends and issues relating to demographic change and racial justice.

Over the last 50 years, we have cultivated a national reputation as an essential resource for grassroots activists, community leaders, scholars, policy makers and others working to bring lasting social and economic change to the U.S. South. The Institute draws attention to the South’s national importance and offers an exciting vision of the region as a place brimming with a capacity for progressive change that challenges its reputation as a monolithic, conservative stronghold.

Throughout its history, the Institute has maintained a small staff and a modest operating budget. At this moment in our institutional development, we are seeking to strengthen our internal systems and capacities in several key areas. The Finance & Administration Manager will play a central role in that process, while offering administrative support for critical organizational functions related to finance, human resources, and operations.


Reporting directly to the Executive Director, the Finance and Administration Manager will be responsible for managing key aspects of the Institute’s financial, administrative, human resources, and operational systems, with support from external consultants and contractors. Specific responsibilities include:

Finance (Approximately 50%)

  • In partnership with the Executive Director and accounting firm, update and maintaim systems for managing the Institute’s financial records, cash flow, internal budgeting, and financial forecasts
  • Serve as the main point of contact for the Institute’s accounting firm, payroll contractors, insurance brokers, and other administrative and financial vendors; set up systems and practices to support regular communication and provide needed documentation (bank statements, credit card statements, copies of invoices, etc.)
  • Work with the Executive Director and external accountants to ensure that the Institute’s policies and practices are in compliance with the IRS, as well as relevant laws, regulations, and good practices for 501(c)(3) organizations (e.g. manage annual 990 preparation and filing, filing of taxes, renewal of charitable solicitation license and nonprofit registration; ensure that required insurances are up to date, etc.)
  • Track internal spending and establish budget guidelines in needed areas
  • Process all invoices and ensure that contractors and other vendors are paid in a timely manner; log and deposit donations and other income; maintain online accounts
  • Manage reimbursement process for staff expenses and internal processes for staff payroll (completion and delivery of time logs, keeping track of PTO, etc.) with support from payroll contractors
  • Work with auditors and Executive Director to complete financial audits if requested by funders

Human Resources (Approximately 25%)

  • Manage staff benefits; liaise with insurance brokers to address staff questions and communicate changes in employee status
  • Support hiring and onboarding of new staff, including tax form completion, insurance enrollment, setting up payroll, etc.
  • Update and maintain the Institute’s employee manual
  • Prepare and administer all contracts, agreements, and related documents for staff, vendors, consultants, contractors, fellows, and interns
  • With support from specialized consultants, explore how to strengthen human resource policies and practices

Administrative and Operational Support (Approximately 25%)

  • Oversee office management, including maintaining organizational, administrative, and financial files, purchasing office equipment and supplies, and liaising with landlord, building management, and any maintenance contractors as needed
  • Provide support for board and staff meetings, including logistics and materials
  • Provide support for individual donor fundraising efforts, including direct mail campaigns and donor acknowledgment
  • Manage the Institute’s database system, including updating donor and other contact records, troubleshooting, and maintenance

We recognize that the responsibilities laid out above represent a broad range of functions. We are seeking a candidate who has training and/or practical experience in at least one of the areas outlined above (financial management, human resources, and administration/operations), and an interest in growing their skills and capacities in the remaining areas. To that end, the Institute is committed to providing the training and support needed to ensure that the candidate is able to build the skills and capacities necessary to succeed in their role. Additionally, a variety of consultants and contractors already support key financial and administrative functions for the Institute, and the Finance and Administration Manager would have a budget for additional consultants to manage other areas of work.

Specifically, we are seeking candidates with the following profile:

  • Commitment to the Institute’s social justice mission and values, including a belief in the progressive power and potential of the U.S. South
  • Experience or familiarity with general nonprofit management and human resources
  • Highly organized and reliable with strong attention to detail
  • Willingness to grow and build skills in new areas
  • Willingness to be part of a small, flexible team, to work in partnership with others, and to develop and maintain systems and solutions to fill gaps and address challenges
  • Able to take initiative, juggle multiple tasks and work independently
  • Strong communication skills
  • Please note: The person in this role will be interacting with colleagues, partners, and consultants in person at the ISS office, so to minimize risk, we are asking that candidates show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 upon commencing employment. Reasonable accommodations will be considered on a case-by-case basis for exemptions to this requirement in accordance with applicable laws.

Studies show that Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, women, and LGBTQI+ people are less likely to apply for positions for which they do not meet all requirements. We encourage all those who meet at least some of the requirements above to apply!


This position is full time (40 hours per week) and is exempt. Annual starting salary is $75,000 and includes medical, dental, and vision insurance with 100% employee premium coverage, 3 weeks of paid personal leave with additional leave accrued over first 2 years of employment, 9 paid holidays annually, and a $1,500 annual professional development budget.

Due to the ways in which salary negotiations can perpetuate existing structural inequities, the Institute as a practice does not negotiate starting salary once an offer is made.


This position will be based at the Institute’s office located in Durham, North Carolina. The Institute’s remote working policies continue to evolve in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, our employees spend a minimum of 3 days a week in the office and have the option of working remotely 2 days a week, but this policy is subject to adjustment in the coming months.


To apply, please fill out the Google form at this link. Only those applicants being considered for an interview will be contacted. The deadline for applications is November 18, 2022 at 5 p.m. Questions? Email us at No phone calls, please.

The Institute for Southern Studies aims to be an anti-racist organization committed to gender equity and building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive staff team. We strongly encourage applicants who are people of color, LGBTQ, women, trans, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming people, people with disabilities, and/or returning citizens (formerly incarcerated people).