Job Announcements

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 the Assistant 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.

Please send CV and cover letter to



Part-time Library Assistant (Temporary)

The Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) seeks a part-time library assistant (up to 21 hours per week) to greet visitors and provide services to researchers who make use of the Society’s collections in the MHS library. This position is available June 18th through September 1st with the possibility of extension

The MHS is an independent research library that collects, preserves, and makes accessible manuscripts and other materials that promote the study of the history of our nation—a mission that has remained constant since 1791. The MHS holds more than 3,600 manuscript collections, as well as extensive collections of early American imprints, newspapers, maps, printed ephemera, photographs, engravings, and other research materials.

The library is staffed Monday through Friday 8:45 AM to 4:45 PM and Saturday 8:45 AM to 4:00 PM. The ideal candidate would have a flexible schedule including Saturday availability.  

Duties: The library assistant works as part of the reference team and reports to the Reference Librarian. Duties include staffing the library reception area, answering telephone and email reference queries, monitoring the reading room, paging materials, and assisting the reference staff with various library tasks. The library assistant greets, authorizes, and directs all researchers entering the library; explains MHS library policies and procedures; and directs incoming telephone calls for the MHS as a whole. The majority of the library assistant’s time is spent interacting directly with the public. This position is essential in promoting the Society’s public image and in maintaining the security of the collections.

All library assistants are cross-trained on visitor services functions and may be called on to cover the Society’s reception desk.

Requirements: The successful candidate will possess a demonstrated interest in American history, with strong interest in Early American or Massachusetts/New England history; be proficient with Microsoft Office applications; have strong research skills, excellent written and verbal communication skills, and strong planning and organization skills; possess the ability to work well in a team environment; and have experience working with a diverse public in a customer service or similar position.

Completion of some coursework in Library and Information Science, American history, American studies, public history, or an archives program strongly preferred; familiarity with user-end functions of an integrated library system (Voyager and/or Aeon) and providing reference assistance, as well as previous experience working with archival materials in a library, museum, or other historical organization are preferred.

This position requires the ability to lift boxes weighing up to fifty pounds and to transport materials loaded onto wheeled carts. 

Salary: $14.00/hour.

Application procedure:  Please send an application by email (preferred) or postal mail, including a cover letter, brief resume, and list of three references to Dan Hinchen, at or Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215

Applications must be received by 5PM on Friday, 8 June 2018, to be considered.    

The Society is an equal opportunity employer.

We are proud of the Society’s policy to administer all human resources actions and policies without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, military service or application for military service, pregnancy, gender identity and genetic information or membership in any other category protected under the law. All of the Society’s employment decisions and personnel actions, including, without limitation, recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, compensation, benefits, transfer, termination, layoffs, and training, are and will continue to be administered in accordance with and to further the principle of equal employment opportunity. Employment decisions are made based on merit, qualifications, and skill.