Position Description: Controller, The Lenfest Institute for Journalism

The Lenfest Institute for Journalism is a non-profit organization devoted to sustaining and advancing local journalism. The Institute was founded in 2016 by cable television entrepreneur H.F. (Gerry) Lenfest when he gifted both an endowment and sole ownership of the Philadelphia Media Network (The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and philly.com) to the Institute.

The Institute, while a subsidiary of The Philadelphia Foundation, has an independent board and management, along with more than $80 million in net assets to support its programs and investments in Philadelphia and around the country.   These focus on high-impact journalism, new technology and sustainable business models for local journalism, and on serving diverse and growing audiences.

The Institute is seeking a Controller to be responsible for the Institute’s financial operations and reporting.   Responsibilities include:


  • Maintaining the books and records of the Institute in the detail necessary for reporting and effective management.
  • Developing and maintaining internal controls around cash, revenue, expenses and budget management.
  • Producing monthly financial statements, including budget to actual, balance sheet, income statement and statement of cash flows.
  • Monthly reporting on the uses of grant or other restricted funds to facilitate reporting to donors and grantors
  • Processing accounts payable and receivable transactions, including generating checks and preparing bank deposits.
  • Recording monthly general ledger activity, including, but not limited to, cash receipts, contribution/grant revenue, investments, payroll, and accruals.
  • Preparing account reconciliations and analyses for key balance sheet and income statement accounts in accordance with reconciliation schedule.
  • Maintaining copies of pledge and grant documentation. Reviewing to determine whether criteria are met for recording in accordance with GAAP.
  • Calculating and recording quarterly match on grant and pledge payments in accordance with match agreement.
  • Compliance with Institute records retention, and other policies
  • Any other financial record keeping necessary to the proper functioning of the Institute, including maintaining contract and insurance files.

Tax and Audit:

  • Primary liaison with annual auditors. Preparing audit work papers  for significant balance sheet and income statement accounts.
  • Preparing tax filings for the IRS, including, but not limited to, Form 990 and 1099 MISC, in conjunction with The Philadelphia Foundation


  • Maintaining bank accounts as necessary to Institute operations
  • Receiving and disbursing funds as necessary
  • Reviewing all disbursements of funds to ensure that they are in accordance with Institute policies
  • Monitoring investment performance of the Institute portfolio
  • Ensuring that funds in the portfolio are segregated, managed and accounted for in accordance with Institute Policies

Things we look for in a successful candidate:

  • Knowledge of, and experience with, nonprofit accounting rules
  • A skilled user of financial and reporting systems and tools
  • Ability to analyze/assess impact, situations and data
  • Ability to examine, develop and recommend finance policies and procedures.
  • Strong communication skills
  • A good team member
  • Familiarity with the news industry is a plus
  • Familiarity with Great Plains accounting software is a plus
  • CPA preferred

The job will be located at the Institute offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The Institute seeks qualified candidates from all backgrounds

To apply, send cover letter and resume to [email protected]