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Vice President for Advancement and Executive Director of the MassArt Foundation

Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Massachusetts, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Dec 9, 2023

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Position Type
Academic Centers, Arts, Education
Employment Type
Full Time


Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) comprises an institution and community that innovates on a daily basis. It has continued to evolve over the course of its 150-year history to become a world-class college of art and design, demonstrating in a myriad of compelling ways the power of art and design to transform our world, as well as leveraging a campus community and distinctive facilities that are critical resources in the regional ecosystem. MassArt alumni are showcasing how design is a key differentiator in training the next generation of artists, designers, innovators, and educators in applying their talents and skills in creative problem solving as a means of advancing the creative economy.

This artistic community has a unique role as a public educational institution. MassArt’s public mission and distinctive focus on art, design, making, teaching, and innovating has created countless opportunities for generations of talented, creative, hardworking, inspiring students. The nation's first and only independent, free-standing public college of art and design, MassArt has emerged from the Pandemic with strong enrollments and a keen awareness of the critical role of this important, historic, one-of-a-kind institution. Students come to MassArt from all walks of life, brought together by their shared creative drive, passion for making, and belief in a more just and beautiful world. In the context of these shared values, students have the unique opportunity to work with faculty who are renowned both nationally and internationally as experts and leaders in their disciplines and enjoy access to an array of world-class facilities. The College’s commitment to access and equity is demonstrated in part by creating pathways through programs that include – but are not limited to – Youth Programs, Saturday Studios, Continuing Education, the MassArt Art Museum, the Aspire Program, the Center for Art and Community Partnerships, and Artward Bound.

Joining MassArt as President in 2021, Dr. Mary Grant has led the College through challenging times while earning the trust and harnessing the passion and goodwill of the MassArt community to build upon and shape an ambitious vision for the future. Under her leadership, MassArt is strengthening its diverse points of connectivity to the world it serves, elevating its visibility as an interdisciplinary place for art and design training and education, and enhancing its value proposition for philanthropy and alumni engagement. Further, the College has embarked on institutional rebranding that is emphasizing its tandem profile of being both public and preeminent.

Amid this environment of distinction and growing connectivity, MassArt seeks candidates for the role of Vice President of Advancement and Executive Director of the MassArt Foundation. Reporting to the President, the Vice President will join a talented leadership team, world-class faculty, engaged and committed staff, loyal alumni, and an exceptional student body that carries forward the College’s 150-year-old commitment to the power of a public art and design education. MassArt is prioritizing the ongoing evolution of fundraising and alumni relations under the Vice President’s leadership such that they are commensurate with the College’s overall excellence and meet strategic needs.

The primary responsibility of the Vice President is to provide overall vision, leadership, fundraising expertise, and transparent, collaborative partnership to assist the President in attaining the College’s fundraising and alumni relations goals. The Vice President oversees the Institutional Advancement division that works closely with the MassArt Foundation and is responsible for building relationships with alumni, corporations, foundations, and friends, and for generating contributed revenue to support College programs. The Vice President oversees the MassArt Foundation and an Institutional Advancement team comprising of approximately 14 staff.

While MassArt will consider a broad range of backgrounds, the ideal candidate will have the following qualifications/experience:

  • Commitment to the mission and values of MassArt.
  • Ten or more years of experience in nonprofit fundraising, serving in roles with progressive levels of responsibility, including a sophisticated understanding of the following: individual giving, institutional giving, major gifts, annual giving, planned giving, capital and comprehensive campaigns, fundraising operations, stewardship, board relations, alumni relations, and events. Demonstrated success in setting and achieving ambitious fundraising goals. Preference for experience in higher education or another nonprofit environment of similar complexity.
  • Knowledge of and fundamental adherence to the principles, ethics, and best practices of modern fundraising and alumni relations.
  • Deep knowledge of soliciting philanthropic support within an arts-focused institution and a strong appreciation for working within a culture that values creativity, innovation, access, and community engagement.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide strategic and operational management, leadership, and coaching, including developing a diverse, multi-disciplinary team of advancement professionals.
  • Track record of setting strategic direction, establishing goals, benchmarking, and shared accountability, as well as working across divisional/departmental lines when necessary to achieve results. Experience in building and enhancing advancement infrastructure as well as effectively leveraging technology to streamline or integrate processes and expand the team’s reach.
  • Demonstrated commitment to and understanding of how to build diversity, equity, and inclusion in fundraising and alumni relations functions; competent with respect to issues such as racial, cultural, religious, sexual, and gender identity.
  • Demonstrated success in developing and establishing strategic and innovative strategic plans, and executing those plans to grow fundraising and engagement.
  • Demonstrated experience working in partnership with the President/CEO/Chancellor to develop, and execute strategies and the ability to successfully collaborate with senior staff, programmatic leaders, and volunteer leaders on advancement-related activities, providing them with quality support and intelligence and increasing their comfort with and success in fundraising.
  • Proven ability to personally cultivate, solicit, and steward major gifts from individual and institutional donors at six and seven-figure levels. A high level of comfort and effectiveness working with high-net-worth individuals and corporate business leaders, domestically and internationally.
  • Demonstrated strength in prospect discovery and in building effective strategies to compel new major donor investment. A forward thinker with a track record of utilizing new methods of donor engagement and connectivity.
  • Demonstrated ability in planning and executing integrated, strategic, and innovative communications in support of building an extended MassArt community and achieving ad goals.
  • Capacity to extract and analyze data to make effective, efficient decisions about donor strategy and process. Working knowledge of modern data management practices.
  • A keen eye for operational efficiency and optimal use of resources; the ability to plan, monitor, and tightly manage a budget.
  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally on behalf of MassArt.

Download the full position description via the following link:

MassArt provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, genetic information, pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition, or membership in any other legally protected class. MassArt complies with all applicable federal, state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the College operates. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment.

MassArt has retained the DSG Fundraising & Advancement Practice of the Diversified Search Group to assist in this confidential search process. Inquiries, nominations, and applications (current resumes and cover letters) may be submitted via the following link – or directed to:

Gerard F. Cattie, Jr.
Managing Director and DSG Fundraising & Advancement Practice Leader
Diversified Search Group
The Chrysler Building, 405 Lexington Avenue, 49th Floor, New York, New York 10174 | 212.542.2587


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