Massachusetts Historical Society

1154 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02215

Date Posted:
April 13, 2018

Eastern Massachusetts



Vice President of Development


Purpose: The Vice President of Development is responsible for establishing and implementing a development program to increase the Society’s financial support for ongoing operations, special projects, endowment, and capital needs, in collaboration with the staff, Board of Trustees, Council of Overseers, and Development Committee. This position is also responsible for growing and sustaining the Membership program and for helping to build recognition of and appreciation for the Society.

Reporting Relationships: This position reports to the President of the MHS.

Supervisory Responsibility: Directly manages theAssistant Director of Development and Development Associate and other supplemental staff. Total full-time staff of 2.

Scope: Gifts and grants totaling over $2.5M; approximately 1,500 active MHS Fellows and Members; more than 600 annual MHS Fund donors

Major Responsibilities:

  • Secures major gift donations through identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of major donors, including individuals, foundations, and corporations
  • Develops, monitors, and evaluates specific fundraising concepts, including solicitation strategies, donor and campaign publications, cultivation, stewardship, events, reports, and other related activities
  • Grows the Planned Giving program to include bequests, charitable annuities, and other vehicles
  • Develops and executes strategies to achieve growth goals for the MHS Fund and membership
  • Tracks the growth of the institution’s fundraising program, projects future revenues and expenses, and determines organizational priorities in collaboration with the President
  • Researches, writes, edits, and/or oversees the preparation of persuasive, accurate, and professional solicitations, proposals, brochures, case statements, reports, correspondence, and other development-related communication materials
  • Develops and seeks Trustee and other volunteer involvement in fundraising, including prospect identification, screening, cultivation, and solicitation
  • Ensures that all donors and key external contacts are appropriately thanked and engaged through good communication, donor stewardship, and strong database integrity
  • Develops, administers, and reports on department budget
  • Assists the President with Trustee and Overseer management and growth
  • Assists the President, Development Committee, and Committee and Trustee Chairs with short- and long-range strategic planning activities to create and implement fund-raising goals and objectives.
  • Collaborates with the President and Cabinet members to create and manage development special events, including the Society’s annual fundraiser Cocktails with Clio, the MHS Fellows Annual Meeting, MHS Fund Giving Circle, James Sullivan, and Belknap Society events, small cultivation events for major donors, membership events, and other activities
  • Supervises and coordinates the work of department employees
  • Designs, implements, and manages development infrastructure to support fundraising activities
  • Writes, tracks, and reports on grants in collaboration with MHS staff
  • Develops opportunities to generate revenue by renting the MHS facility for corporate events and meetings
  • Requires attendance at evening and weekend events sponsored by the MHS or related to the work of the Society
  • Other duties as assigned.

Key Contacts

External – Chair of the Board of Trustees, Chairs of the Development, Fellows, and Governance Committees, Trustees and Overseers (including Trustee Emeriti and Life Trustees), higher level donors, Members, Fellows, prospects, government agencies, community groups, public officials, and corporate and foundation representatives

Internal –President, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, other senior-level Cabinet members



  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Graduate degree in Nonprofit Management or related field a plus


  • Minimum of 10 years of increasingly more responsible senior positions in fundraising
  • Interest in American history and an understanding and engagement with the Society’s mission
  • Building and managing successful annual fund programs including raising a minimum of $500,000 through an annual fund campaign or equivalent
  • Demonstrated success building and managing a membership program
  • Demonstrated success building and managing a planned giving program
  • Writing fundraising/promotional materials and grant proposals; knowledge of federal grants a plus


  • Demonstrated ability to identify, steward, and secure major individual gifts
  • Ability to work collaboratively inside an organization and build long-term relationships with external constituencies
  • Relates well to volunteer leadership, donors, and other staff
  • Strong planning and organization skills with ability to prioritize and multi-task
  • Ability to maintain a “big picture” perspective while effectively managing the details
  • Understanding of finance within the context of fundraising and financial operations within the MHS
  • Excellent writing skills and the ability to communicate clearly and enthusiastically
  • Ability to speak well in public
  • Knowledge of Raiser’s Edge or other fundraising database software and database managerial skills
  • Ability to exercise good judgement, to demonstrate an understanding of ethics related to development activities and to use discretion in interactions with donors, prospects, volunteers, and others
  • Demonstrated organizational skills and experience in managing events and other complex activities in support of Development objectives

Travel: Minimal

Note: Nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.

How To Apply:
Please send resume and cover letter to
Apply by:
June 08, 2018
About this Organization:
The Massachusetts Historical Society is an independent research library that collects, preserves, makes accessible, and communicates manuscripts and other materials in order to promote the study of the history of Massachusetts and the nation - a mission it has pursued since 1791.