Financial Craftsperson & Bookkeeper

We are looking for a Financial Craftsperson & Bookkeeper, who will support the smooth, transparent, participatory, and (dare we say it?) joyful function of our financial, payroll, and benefits systems, in addition to contributing to our collectively-stewarded organization in other ways. Do you think that might be you? 

Our Unique Approach and Values: We view our internal financial work as an opportunity for constant learning, improvement, social transformation, and even fun. We annually party like it’s 990. We share the labor and rotate staff through financial roles to deepen our skills, participation, and transparency, and so that people can have cool role titles, like Expense Squirrel. We turned our audit process into an undercover investigation into the world of GAAP, and we like to ponder the ways that GAAP reinforces capitalism and inequality. We’re endlessly learning and cracking egg jokes about retirement savings. We’ve turned fiscal sponsorship into an opportunity to spread democracy. We engage all staff in participatory budgeting and have an equitable and transparent staff compensation structure. We’re looking for someone who will relish all this along with us, and who also enjoys the detail work of bookkeeping, which includes day-to-day problem-solving of less fun things like: “Hmm, why isn’t Quickbooks syncing to today?” and “Whoopsy, did we pay this bill twice?” 

We expect that your time will break down approximately as follows:

70% financial stuff: You will become the primary person responsible for bookkeeping, financial reporting, payroll, and benefits administration, while collaborating with our teams to share the labor and continually improve the flow in all of these systems. You’ll be meeting with and participating in the work of our Operations, Admin, and Financial Circles.

20% participatory stewardship: All of our core staff contribute to the overall governance and stewardship of our collectively-managed organization (e.g., attending all-staff “General Circle” meetings, contributing to annual grassroots fundraising efforts, participating in staff trainings, etc).

10% magic! Whatever superpowers you bring to the organization, let’s harness them for social transformation! For example, you might bring some of your financial skills to support our clients, who are inspiring BIPOC-led land projects, worker collectives, and more. Or maybe you like teaching or making art or facilitating groups. We do our best work when we all bring our whole selves to our teams!

Our Timeline: We are accepting applications through March 23, 2021. We expect to conduct interviews in early April.

How to Apply: Please find a link to our Application Form at the bottom of the job description and fill out the Application Form by 11:59pm PST on March 23, 2021

Who We Are Looking For

Required Qualities, Skills, & Experience

  • Bookkeeping (we use Quickbooks Online)

  • Kindness

  • Integrity

  • Patience and diligence to handle many tasks with care and attention to detail

  • Commitment to learn a few new software platforms for our financial operations and internal communications

  • An interest in, passion for, and commitment to the Law Center’s mission and vision,  including economic, social, and racial justice

  • Ability to ask for and receive support when facing challenges or the unknown

  • Ability to work independently, remotely, and as part of a team

  • Competency to work across lines of difference, including with communities of color, poor and low-income communities, immigrant communities, and other marginalized groups

  • Willingness to engage in a self-governing staff and collectively-managed organization

Desired Skills & Experience

We encourage you to apply even if you don’t have these qualifications, as long as you are excited to learn them: 

  • Accounting rules and needs unique to nonprofits

  • Payroll administration (we use Gusto)

  • Managing fiscally sponsored projects (there are a few projects under the legal umbrella of the Law Center, and we track their income and expenses separately) 

  • Handling and tracking bill and invoice payments (we use

  • Handling and tracking income from various sources, including grants, earned income and individual donations

  • Employee benefit management

  • Participatory budgeting

  • Teaching others about finances

Employment & Benefit Details

Compensation: Law Center staff are compensated based on an equitable pay structure that starts at a minimum base salary of $60,137 (higher for Alameda County residents) working full time. The salary may be higher depending on a staff person’s need to support children and other dependents.

Hours: We consider a full-time work week to be 30 hours.

Location: Our office is located in downtown Oakland, and we prefer applicants from the Bay Area, but we’re open to applicants outside the region.  If and when the office is reopened, staff are encouraged to work in the office, on average, 2 days per week. Remaining days can be in the office or remote. 

Time Off: We have a “free time off policy,” which means that there is no limit to paid time off during a calendar year. Each core staff member has the opportunity and responsibility to take as much paid time off as they see fit, so long as they can fulfill their roles and responsibilities to the organization.

Health Insurance: We offer health and dental insurance for staff working 20+ hours/week, and children dependents (and cover the premiums for spouses/domestic partners who have no other insurance access). And we offer flexible spending accounts.

Child Care: We contribute $5,000 to a flexible spending account for dependent care for staff with children under the age of 10.

Family Leave: We provide 12 weeks of paid parental and/or caregiving leave.

Sabbatical: Our Sabbatical policy  encourages staff to take a 12-week paid sabbatical after 5 years of working at the Law Center.

Information about Sustainable Economies Law Center

Our mission is to cultivate a new legal landscape that supports community resilience and grassroots economic empowerment. We provide essential legal tools - education, research, advice, and advocacy - so communities everywhere can develop their own sustainable sources of food, housing, energy, jobs, and other vital aspects of a thriving community.

We are a worker self-directed nonprofit. This means that we use democratic governance and decision-making systems that provide all staff with a voice in the management of the organization. We expect  all core staff to participate in decision-making as co-stewards of the entire organization. 

We share roles and responsibilities. Most staff take on a number of diverse roles in the Law Center, based on the Center’s needs and on staff  interests and skills. So there are  some things you will do as a core staff member that are not listed on this job description, including, for example: regular staff meetings, semi-annual participatory budgeting, and quarterly staff trainings.  Also, your roles will likely evolve over time to contribute to other areas of our work. 

There’s more! The Law Center has some unique policies intended to create a healthy, inclusive and effective work environment. Read more about the Law Center’s  systems of accountability, autonomy, and democracy..

Before applying for this position, feel free to watch our informational videos below. They explain a little more about our dynamic organizational structure, our office culture, and what you can expect in our hiring process. Some folks don't  like the way we’re structured to work together. And that's OK! While we believe that  democratically-run  organizations are more effective, equitable, and empowering;, we recognize that they  require an interest in sharing responsibility for the wellbeing and direction of the organization as a whole. 

Video: Take a tour of our (old) office! ("No fancy pants" rules still apply.)

Video: Bringing on new members to our dynamic, constantly evolving Law Center!

Think you’re not qualified? Think again! 

Some people might hesitate to apply because they don’t have absolutely everything on the above lists of skill and experience. Don’t let that stop you! We work to empower new team members, and we’ll support you in learning what you need to be successful. Most importantly, we’re looking for someone that we can  rely upon to calmly and carefully manage important details of our operations.

People of color, transgender and gender nonconforming people, people from poor and working class backgrounds, people with disabilities, and women are encouraged to apply.


Ready to apply? Click here!

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  • Sue Bennett
    published this page in Jobs 2021-02-22 10:40:48 -0800

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