Associates of the Boston Public Library

700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116

Date Posted:
March 31, 2021

Eastern Massachusetts



Director of Development and External Affairs

BackgroundFounded in 1972, the Associates of the Boston Public Library is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to preserving, protecting and promoting the Boston Public Library’s Special Collections of rare books, manuscripts, prints and drawings, musical scores, and other items of historic, cultural, and literary interest. The Associates’ mission is to ensure continued public access to these irreplaceable treasures by underwriting their conservation, cataloging, digitization, and exhibition.

Key Responsibilities
The Associates’ signature fundraising event, Literary Lights, is a formal dinner honoring outstanding authors from New England. The organization also hosts periodic public programming, including the Hundred-Year Retroactive Book Award competition and the Pierce Performance Series, recently launched a literary auction “Bid it! Book it!,” and annually awards a Writer-in-Residence fellowship to an emerging author. For more information, please

The Associates is seeking an experienced, highly motivated, and energetic Director of Development and External Affairs to oversee fundraising and outreach on behalf of our mission. Working closely with the Executive Director, the Development Committee, and the Associates’ Board of Directors, the Director will play a strategic role in long-term development planning and oversee day-to-day development activities. This includes the annual appeal, membership campaign, major gift cultivation and solicitation, corporate sponsorship solicitation, grant applications and reporting, and donor stewardship. The candidate will also play a key role in planning events of varying sizes, from the annual 400-person gala to small cultivation events, and donor programs. Job responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

• Oversee all of the Associates’ fundraising efforts, including establishing and implementing strategic plans for short and long term fundraising, with the goal of increasing support from new, existing, and lapsed donors;

• Refine and fully implement a major gifts program, including identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding a portfolio of donors and prospects, partnering with Board members when appropriate;

• Manage and supervise all annual fundraising, including the annual appeal, membership solicitations, online giving, and donor stewardship;

• Jointly supervise, manage, and evaluate the Communications and Development Coordinator who oversees the donor database, designs and implements social media, prepares quarterly electronic newsletters, and coordinates targeted outreach to a variety of constituencies, as well as carrying out many of the administrative functions of the organization;

• Establish relationships with key donors;

• Cultivate new donors through special events and other opportunities;

• Identify prospects and solicit corporate sponsorship for events, when appropriate in partnership with the event committee;

• Coordinate annual Bid it! Book it! literary auction in partnership with the auction committee;

• Research grant opportunities, write grant applications and prepare grant reports, while ensuring alignment with funding priorities of the BPL’s Special Collections;

• Oversee the creation of materials for fundraising and donor communications, ensuring consistency across channels;

• Lead special projects with external organizations and manage strategic collaborative relationships;

• Assist with planning logistical details for events, including Literary Lights, and event follow-up;

• Track, monitor, analyze, and report on key metrics relevant to development efforts in support of the Associates’ strategic planning efforts;

• Work with the Executive Director to provide updates and reports to the Board of Directors;

• Represent the Associates in occasional external public speaking opportunities and public-facing events; and

• Staff Associates’ events (occasional evening hours).


• Five-plus years of development experience and proven fundraising success in a nonprofit setting;

• Willingness to understand, embrace, and authentically promote the Associates’ mission and goals;

• Experience managing both staff and projects;

• Exceptional communication skills, with demonstrable ability to write effectively, speak persuasively, and listen attentively;

• Knowledge of and experience in major gift cultivation and solicitation;

• Experience in working with, engaging and motivating staff, board members, and volunteers in cultivation and solicitation activities;

• Ability to work as part of a team with regular collaboration and communication;

• Ability to take initiative, meet deadlines, and work under pressure on multiple priorities;

• Ability to exercise sound judgment, diplomacy, and discretion in handling confidential information with tact and professionalism;

• Keen attention to detail;

• Strong computer skills, including Raiser’s Edge, NXT, and Microsoft Office;

• Bachelor’s degree required, preferably in a humanities field; and

• Genuine interest in libraries, literature, or history is a plus.


• Must successfully clear a Criminal Offenders Record Information (CORI) check; and

• There are no residency requirements.


Competitive benefit package and salary commensurate with experience in the range of $85,000–$95,000.

How To Apply:

Interested candidates should email a cover letter and resume to the email subject line, please write “Director of Development and External Affairs.” Alternatively, the materials can be mailed to: Recruitment Committee, Associates of the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116. Please do not submit both electronic and hardcopy materials.

Apply by:
May 26, 2021
$85,000 - $95,000
About this Organization:
Founded in 1972, The Associates of the Boston Public Library is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to conserving the Boston Public Library’s Special Collections of rare books, manuscripts, prints and drawings, musical scores, and items of historic, literary and cultural interest. The Associates mission is to ensure continued public access to these irreplaceable treasures by underwriting their cataloging, repair, restoration, digitization, and exhibition.