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Executive Director
Category: Manager

Lake View Cemetery Foundation
Cleveland, Ohio

Posted: Tuesday, June 4, 2013



Cleveland, Ohio is home to a large collection of cultural and historic assets, among them The Lake View Cemetery, a horticulturally significant memorial park spread over 285-acres of Cleveland’s urban landscape.

Founded in 1869, Lake View Cemetery attracts 400,000 visitors every year to enjoy the grounds and architectural wonders. As a working cemetery, Lake View is open to people of all races, religions, and walks of life. Lake View is also the final resting place of John D. Rockefeller, Eliot Ness, Garrett Morgan, and Carl B. Stokes; members of President Lincoln's cabinet, Civil War generals and Revolutionary War soldiers, twenty-two Cleveland mayors, and United States President James A. Garfield.

Lake View Cemetery also features two significant monuments. The James A. Garfield Monument is the final resting place for President Garfield and his family. Dedicated in 1890, the Monument sits at the highest point in the Cemetery. The Jeptha Wade Memorial Chapel, named for the founder of the Western Union Telegraph Company, features one of the few interiors in the world designed entirely by 20th century American stained glass artist Louis Comfort Tiffany.

The Lake View Cemetery also operates as one of the country’s most unique English landscape garden cemeteries, featuring hundreds of varieties of trees and shrubs, lush natural areas, and specimen trees dating back to Moses Cleveland’s arrival on the banks of the Cuyahoga River more than 200 years ago. Visitors enjoy the gardens throughout the seasons, beginning with the spring bloom of Daffodil Hill.

The Lake View Cemetery Association oversees the operation and maintenance of Lake View Cemetery and generates earned revenue to support those operations through sales of memorial services and burial plots. The contributed income raised by The Lake View Cemetery Foundation is critical to maintaining and sustaining the Cemetery and its programs that are enjoyed and explored by the public free or for a small charge.


About Our Client

The Lake View Cemetery Foundation is seeking an Executive Director to build, lead, and grow a robust fundraising initiative to generate unearned income in support of The Lake View Cemetery.

As an independent 501©3 organization, The Lake View Cemetery Foundation was established in 1984 with a mission of maintaining, preserving and enhancing the historically and architecturally significant buildings, and monuments as well as the horticulture, botanical gardens, and landscape of The Lake View Cemetery. The Foundation also is responsible for developing and presenting public education programs. Reporting to the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, it is essential that the Executive Director also work collaboratively with the Association President and CEO. The Executive Director will be responsible for the development of fundraising strategies designed to achieve specific capital improvements and support educational programs whose objectives may include increasing awareness and interest in The Lake View Cemetery as a burial option. The Lake View Cemetery Foundation holds an Endowment Fund valued at approximately $10 million, and currently expends approximately $500,000 annually to enhance and preserve The Lake View Cemetery.


Executive Director, The Lake View Cemetery Foundation

The position of Executive Director for The Lake View Cemetery Foundation is an expanded role for which the Foundation seeks a highly accomplished executive-level fundraiser with solid management and people skills. He or she will lead the staff of the Foundation in service of The Lake View Cemetery by increasing unearned revenue to help sustain this historic cemetery, its maintenance, and operations. Of chief concern is the growth of philanthropic support, particularly in the areas of annual and major giving. The selected candidate must bring experience in all areas of fundraising in order to craft strategies in major and planned giving, annual campaigns, grants, and special events. Key to success will be the candidate’s capacity to operate effectively and consistently at a high level with diplomacy and flexibility, reflecting both full accountability to the Foundation President and a dotted line to the Association executive.



  • Oversee all activities of The Lake View Cemetery Foundation: set fundraising goals based on needs of The Lake View Cemetery, develop and manage budgets, lead staff, disperse Foundation funds, and prepare reports to The Lake View Cemetery Foundation Board of Trustees.
  • Serve as staff liaison to the Foundation Board of Trustees and its committees (Executive, Governance, Institutional Advancement, Finance and Investment, Outreach, and Horticulture) and work closely with the Board President to address board-related business. In the spirit of collaboration, cultivate a collegial working relationship with the Trustees of The Lake View Cemetery Association.
  • With the Board and its President, identify existing and potential donors at all levels to develop cultivation and solicitation strategies for annual gift and membership acquisition and retention.
  • Strengthen and better define major giving programs for individual, foundation, and corporate supporters. Identify prospects across all categories and develop cultivation, solicitation and moves management strategies for all.
  • Identify and present to the Board opportunities for foundation and government grant support and prepare and submit applications in cooperation with Association finance and executive staff.
  • Craft and institute a planned giving strategy incorporating ideas from the Foundation board as well as Lake View Cemetery Association Board and Staff: prospect research, outreach, and preparation of collateral materials on various planned giving instruments available to donors.
  • Oversee the Foundation’s quality cultural and educational programs as well as special events aimed at informing the public and generating new contributed income.
  • Oversee the maintenance and integrity of donor/prospect records, data base management and research for program evaluation.



  • Bachelor’s degree and 5 to 10 years of professional development experience, including at least two years in a management leadership role (advanced degree preferred)
  • Experience with and broad knowledge of the full range of fundraising tools and techniques, including recent trends in the use of social media and online fundraising. Some capital campaign experience preferred.
  • Confident professional who can initiate genuine relationships with individuals of significant net worth; demonstrated success at cultivating and closing five, six, and seven-figure gifts
  • Highly polished, poised, credible professional at ease with donors and volunteers at all levels
  • Ability both to think strategically and operate tactically in a complex environment that requires savvy and effective communication skills across a wide range of constituencies
  • Proven success working in a highly collaborative and transparent environment
  • Highly organized, detail-oriented professional with solid ability to prioritize, multi-task, and make decisions
  • Solid grasp of the numbers; ability to make accurate revenue projections
  • Leader who brings out the best in staff and can inspire and motivate a team
  • Positive, energetic individual who will naturally generate enthusiasm and support for The Lake View Cemetery and its value
  • Computer proficiency with donor management software along with basic Microsoft Office products
  • Flexible and adaptable, ability to work outside normal business hours as necessary



Competitive with excellent benefits.


For Consideration:

Applicants and sources may call or send credentials immediately to:


Herbert Smith, Ph.D. or Jennie Dawes – Subject Line, “LVCF”

H C Smith Ltd.

24000 Mercantile Road, Beachwood, OH 44122


OFFICE: (216) 752--9966 or (800) 442--7583



Our client is an equal opportunity employer.

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