Fundraising and Advancement

Vice President of Institutional Advancement

  • Mount Auburn Cemetery
  • Boston, MA

This position has been filled.

Mount Auburn Cemetery seeks a strategic, ambitious, creative, and dynamic leader to be the Vice President of Institutional Advancement (VPIA). Reporting to the President, the VPIA will have the opportunity to provide strategic and operational leadership to the leadership and Trustees of Mount Auburn Cemetery to achieve its ambitious fundraising and revenue objectives for the organization. The new VPIA will play a key role in developing and implementing strategies that advance the cemetery’s efforts to be a high-performance team that is fueled by a skilled, engaged, diverse workforce with a vibrant and inclusive culture.

This is an exciting time to join the leadership team of the Mount Auburn Cemetery as their new President, Matthew Stephens, builds his leadership team. This role is one of three leadership opportunities that will contribute their talents and energy towards the new vision planning, landscape design, and sustainability initiatives that are part of the exciting re-imagining of the potential of the Mount Auburn Cemetery as a place of peace, reflection, art, culture, beauty, and inspiration.

About Mount Auburn Cemetery

Mount Auburn Cemetery inspires all who visit, comforts the bereaved, and commemorates the dead in a landscape of exceptional beauty. Mount Auburn, the nation’s premier garden cemetery, provides innovative and comprehensive end-of-life services while leveraging a public garden landscape and serving as an arts organization while being a model for environmental stewardship, horticultural practices, and historic preservation practices. Tranquil, yet energizing and historic, and innovative, Mount Auburn is one of a kind in its diverse offerings, including a cemetery, garden, arboretum, cultural landscape, and outdoor museum. Recognized as one of the most significant designed landscapes in the country, Mount Auburn was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2003.

Mount Auburn Cemetery attracts over 200,000 visitors per year, and they visit for many different reasons. Families and friends come to pay tribute to loved ones every day, and others come to enjoy the beautiful landscape, the magnificent trees, the birds and other wildlife, or the amazing collection of funerary art and architecture. Many visitors attend Mount Auburn’s educational programs and tours, and still others come to study history and learn about the notable “permanent residents” of the Cemetery.

Throughout its 175 acres are more than 60,000 monuments that commemorate the lives and legacies of those now buried at Mount Auburn. Each monument tells an important story about the individuals it celebrates. In addition, the diverse collection of over 5,000 spectacular trees attracts many people to Mount Auburn. It is this combination of the topography, the plants, the wildlife, the monuments, and other built structures that make Mount Auburn the unique landscape and National Historic Landmark that it is. Mount Auburn also offers educational opportunities, programs, and activities, including meditation events, community recycling events, lectures and talks at Bigelow Chapel, performances, holiday wreath-making workshops and other programs.

Mount Auburn has an annual operating budget of approximately $13M and an endowment of approximately $260 million. The organization has a total staff of 76 year-round employees plus 46 seasonal employees and interns, as well as over 150 volunteers. Mount Auburn Cemetery is governed by a Board of Trustees.


Bostonians founded Mount Auburn Cemetery in 1831 for both practical and aesthetic reasons: to solve an urban land use problem created by an increasing number of burials in the city and to create a tranquil and beautiful place where families could commemorate their loved ones with tasteful works of art in an inviting and natural setting. The public flocked to the new cemetery and Mount Auburn quickly became the model for the American “rural” cemetery movement. Today, Mount Auburn continues its historic dual role as a sacred site and beloved cultural landscape.

More than 100,000 individuals are buried and commemorated at Mount Auburn, with more than 500 new burials each ongoing year. The organization honors the lives and legacies of all those now resting at the Cemetery who have helped to shape the world in which we live. Writers, educators, reformers, artists, scientists, and inventors are among those whose influence can still be seen throughout Boston, the New England region, nationally, and beyond.

For more information on Mount Auburn Cemetery, please visit their website.

The Opportunity

The Vice President of Institutional Advancement provides leadership and guidance to the staff and Trustees of Mount Auburn Cemetery in achieving the ambitious fundraising objectives for the organization. The VPIA is responsible for the management of the Institutional Advancement Team, which plans, implements, and coordinates the total fundraising program of the Cemetery. The Friends of Mount Auburn Cemetery (FOMAC) program includes annual giving and membership, major and planned gifts, grants, capital projects, and an expected planned giving program. In the coming year and foreseeable future, emphasis will be on increasing leadership giving to prepare for a capital campaign. For the foreseeable future, Mount Auburn will be aggressively pursuing aspirational levels of growth for contributed income, and this position will be the primary driver of this growth.

The VPIA has overall responsibility for preparation of the annual departmental budget for approval by the Board of Trustees, and is responsible for prioritizing, setting, and achieving annual and long-range goals for the Institutional Advancement Department, while adhering to the approved budget. The VPIA works with the Chair of the Institutional Advancement Committee of the Trustees to schedule meetings, set agendas, and prepare materials. The Vice President of Institutional Advancement serves as a member of the Executive Team (ET), along with the President & CEO, Executive Vice President & CFO, Vice President of Preservation & Facilities, Vice President of Cemetery & Visitor Services, Vice President of Horticulture & Landscape and Vice President of People & Culture. The ET is responsible for assisting the Trustees of the Cemetery in formulating the strategic vision for the organization and implementing programs and policies associated with this vision in accordance with the Cemetery’s mission and values.

The Vice President of Institutional Advancement will be responsible for the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Serve as principal fundraising strategist for driving significant growth in contributed revenue. In collaboration with the President & CEO develop a comprehensive, data-driven fundraising plan that includes donor segmentation, objectives for individual and institutional fundraising and success metrics, identification of staff and Trustees who will be actively involved in identifying, cultivating, and stewarding relationships with existing and new donors, and donor recognition programs. Collaborate and provide inspirational leadership with the President, ET, Institutional Advancement Committee, the Institutional Advancement Department staff, and outside consultants to achieve or exceed annual and long-range fundraising goals for Mount Auburn.
  • Work closely with the ET to recommend institutional fundraising goals and communicate those to the Trustees.
  • Attend all meetings of the Executive Team.
  • Lead the creation of strategic development advice to the President, ET, Trustees, and staff to ensure proper cultivation and stewardship activities occur, and that a long-term multiyear strategy emerges with time that enables increased levels of sustainable annual operating funding. Manage the work of the IA Committee/FOMAC Trustees with the Board Chair, including preparation of meeting agendas materials and reports, and follow-up with both staff and Committee members on assigned tasks.
  • Systemically assess, screen, and cultivate potential future Trustee members who have a significant capacity and desire to support Mount Auburn in a philanthropic manner.
  • Attend regular Board of Trustees meetings and other relevant Trustee committee meetings, providing fundraising reports and analyses as appropriate at those meetings.
  • In coordination with the other Vice Presidents, prepare and present annual and long-range budgets to the Trustee Finance Committee.
  • Work with the staff, Trustees, and other volunteers to develop a path to cultivate and solicit prospects and major gift donors by initiating and following through on visits and contacts made with prospects to discuss giving opportunities. Direct them to appropriate giving opportunities and vehicles.
  • Develop a culture of raising money that is rooted in prospect research, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of targeted leadership and planned gift prospects and donors.
  • Oversee IA Communications across multiple channels to help build positive relationships with donors and potential donors.
  • Develop and implement strategic calendar of cultivation and stewardship events to engage donors and prospects and promote fundraising goals, working with other Cemetery departments as appropriate. Use Mount Auburn events as a primary cultivation tactic to meet both current and future IA goals.
  • Participates in professional development and networking conferences and events.
  • Supervise the grants program consisting of foundation, state, and federal grants.
  • Expand and market Mount Auburn’s planned giving program, including The 1831 Society, and for the creation and implementation of a strategic plan for the program, including mailings and newsletters and occasional planned giving/family wealth preservation/estate planning seminars.
  • Foster a culture of philanthropy within the whole organization by serving as a spokesperson, trainer, and mentor regarding fundraising to Trustees, staff and volunteers.
  • Maintain good morale, communication, and ensure a high standard of conduct, productivity, and appropriate professional development within the Institutional Advancement Department.
  • Serves as the primary staff liaison for the Institutional Advancement Committee of the Trustees, working with the Committee Chair and Board Relations Officer to schedule meetings, set agendas, and prepare meeting. materials. Responsible for following up with Committee members and staff on all assigned tasks.
  • Work with the Executive Vice President & CFO to ensure that gift figures and reports are accurate, on deadline, and reconciled with the Finance Office.
Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will possess the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics: 

Mission Alignment

  • Demonstrated commitment and reverence for the mission, vision, and values of Mt. Auburn Cemetery.

Strategy, Vision, and Leadership in Fundraising

  • Proven strategic ability to scale breadth and depth of funding with a focus on program alignment with donors; track record of success soliciting major gifts and experience raising funds from individuals, corporations, and foundations.
  • Experience developing, executing, and implementing robust fundraising plans (diversifying funding), campaign planning, events, and execution.

Collaboration and Relationship-Building

  • Experience working in close partnership with senior leaders, staff, boards, and committees on fundraising initiatives with strategy and implementation.
  • Senior fundraising professional who has significant experience building partnerships and trust with supporters and staff.
  • Excellent communication and customer service skills with the ability to interact with diverse groups and work successfully in a fast-paced, collaborative, team-oriented organization.

Team Leadership and Management 

  • Strong manager and team player with experience leading through influence and coaching and developing staff.
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain a professional demeanor and an empathetic manner in stressful, emotional situations.
  • Promote a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment.
  • Foster a culture of belonging by building relationships and developing processes to ensure employees at all levels and from all backgrounds feel welcome, valued, integrated, and included in the Mount Auburn workforce.

In addition, strong candidates will offer: 

  • Bachelor’s Degree in related field and a Master’s degree preferred.
  • Minimum of ten years of diverse fundraising experience, including a demonstrated track record of success with major gifts, private and family foundations, gift planning, volunteer leadership management and capital campaigns.
  • Extensive knowledge of fundraising principles, strategies and approaches that span capital campaigns, annual giving, membership, planned-giving and grants.
  • Strong leadership qualities, including the ability to lead a team and to inspire performance.
  • Proven ability to actively build and manage a portfolio of major gift prospects.
  • Demonstrated record of personal solicitations from individuals that have given seven-figure gifts, including the design and execution of the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies.
  • Strong interpersonal and communications skills including public speaking.
  • Familiarity with donor communication channels including social media.
  • Familiarity with donor databases, preferably Raiser’s Edge.
  • Highly organized and able to meet deadlines and manage budgets.
  • Ability to work collaboratively as part of a close-knit team.
  • High energy, flexible, self-confident, and self-motivated.
  • Strategic thinker.
  • Sense of humor.
  • Interest in gardening, horticulture, and historic preservation a plus.
Compensation & Benefits

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.


Beth Schaefer, Liz Lombard, Marisa Chock, and Angie Sessoms of Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, have been exclusively retained for this engagement. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume here.

Koya Partners is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need assistance applying online, please email If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

Mount Auburn Cemetery is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of the Diversified Search Group firm, is dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world. At Koya, we don’t just accept difference—we celebrate it, support it, and thrive on it for the benefit of our team, our clients, and the communities we serve.

Koya is an equal opportunity employer fully committed to creating an environment and team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, styles, and experiences. We encourage all to apply because we believe a diversity of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone. Koya does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, military status, veteran status, genetic information, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit

Scroll to top