Good Jobs With Purpose for Finance-Focused MBAs

The Impact CFO Fellowship is a new program designed to meet an emerging market need: finance leadership roles in a social impact organization. The program will include rigorous analytic courses, industry mentorship, internships, career advancement support, and, eventually, scholarships.

Strong Demand for Impact CFOs

The demand for top talent in the role of chief financial officer (CFO) at social impact organizations is on the rise. In February 2023, LinkedIn advertised nearly 7,000 social impact finance roles in the US, with 800 of those posted in California and over 350 in the Bay Area alone. Foundations, nonprofits, and social enterprise organizations with annual budgets more than $10 million offer competitive compensation packages, excellent work-life balance, and the opportunity to support a meaningful mission.

A Haas alum who is an impact CFO says:

“I’m constantly getting inbound recruitment. Our organization needs people who have not just the technical skills–those are table stakes–but also the strategic tool kit and communication skills to be a leader. That’s the hard-to-find value that an MBA brings.”

The Plan

In 2023, we will launch the first cohort of ten fellows, and the program will expand to twenty students in 2024. In order to attract the best analytical talent to Haas, candidates with a strong background in finance will receive preference. We are collaborating with Haas faculty and administration to finalize the list of courses required to complete the program and are exploring ways to align Impact CFO with the Haas sustainability certification.

Students Can Secure Meaningful Jobs with Good Salaries

The starting salary for Impact CFOs ranges from $120,000 to $140,000, which is about the same as the average of $140,000 for finance roles obtained by the MBA class of 2022. However, five years after graduation, salaries for these roles range from $200,000 to $350,000. Given the high market demand, participants in this fellowship will be in an advantageous position to secure meaningful and well-paying roles after graduation.

The Cost

CSSL will be responsible for raising funds to support the program. The program’s growth will depend on the availability of resources. To ensure program continuity, long-term financial sustainability, and the ability to offer significant scholarships, CSSL will seek an endowment. However, initial program costs are very modest and the program will grow only as fast as fundraising allows.

Faculty Driving the Impact CFO Fellowship

Assistant Professor Omri Even-Tov in the Accounting Group, and Nora Silver, the Faculty Director at CSSL, received feedback from alumni that their organizations require MBA talent that Haas can offer. Interestingly, they also learned that two Haas CFOs were poached by nonprofit organizations. Prof. Even-Tov and Silver worked with four MBAs for six months to conduct a market analysis and review the offerings at peer MBA programs. They will continue to work with additional faculty members to finalize the curriculum. CSSL, in partnership with Prof. Even-Tov, will secure funds and support the program.