Nonprofit CFO: Katie Dailey, Arkansas Humanities Council

Nonprofit CFO: Katie Dailey, Arkansas Humanities Council
Katie Dailey, CFO / Arkansas Humanities Council / Little Rock

Growing up in Texarkana, Arkansas, and in Parsons, Kansas, Katie Dailey found a home in nonprofit youth organizations like the Girl Scouts. “I joined and participated in Texarkana and then was able to do the same thing in Kansas, with the same organizations,” she said.

Dailey has made her career in the nonprofit world, first in programming and then, as she recognized the importance of finances to nonprofit work, in financial roles. 

She joined the Arkansas Humanities Council as operations officer in March 2020, just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and “immediately recognized the need to structure, update and reorganize the financial records of the organization.” The council provides funding to local organizations like museums, historic preservation groups and others so “Arkansans can connect with the humanities by discovering and understanding our mutual experiences,” Dailey said.

She came to the office “about four days before everyone went home. That provided challenges in and of itself, learning the organization, learning our grants processes, learning the back-end, paperwork side of things and how we actually did things.”

The next challenge was “moving everything online. The Humanities Council is a small organization and wasn’t using cloud-based services,” Dailey said. The goal, of course, was “to get payments to the folks who needed it.” And during the pandemic, that meant federal COVID-relief funding to help Arkansas nonprofits meet payroll and continue offering their services to the people who needed them.

Dailey was named CFO within a few months of joining the council. And she’s proud that by working with the executive director and the council’s audit firm, “I was able to bring the AHC finances and records up to federal standards.”

What keeps her going, Dailey said, “is focusing on the end result. The reason I work in nonprofits is to help and make a difference in my community.”

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