Mount Auburn Cemetery: (The Friends of Mount Auburn Cemetery)

Cambridge, MA   |  https://mountauburn.org

Mission

Mount Auburn Cemetery Mission Statement: Mount Auburn Cemetery inspires all who visit, comforts the bereaved, and commemorates the dead in a landscape of exceptional beauty. Friends of Mount Auburn Cemetery Mission Statement: The mission of the Friends of Mount Auburn Cemetery (FOMAC) is to assist in the conservation of the natural beauty and historic integrity of Mount Auburn Cemetery and to increase public knowledge and appreciation of its unique cultural, historic, and natural resources through charitable, scientific, and educational programs. To accomplish these goals, FOMAC raises funds from both public and private sources.

Ruling year info

1991

President & CEO

Dr. David P. Barnett

Main address

580 Mount Auburn Street

Cambridge, MA 02138 USA

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EIN

22-3084639

NTEE code info

Historical Societies and Related Activities (A80)

Botanical Gardens, Arboreta and Botanical Organizations (C41)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Educational Outreach

Mount Auburn Cemetery, founded in 1831, was the first large-scale designed landscape open to the public in North America, and the inspiration for America’s public parks. A National Historic Landmark and accredited arboretum, Mount Auburn’s beauty, historical associations, architecture, monuments, landscapes, and horticultural collections are internationally renowned. Mount Auburn serves as a 175-acre community resource, an urban oasis, and a museum of art and horticultural treasures. It is open 365 days a year, welcoming 250,000 visitors annually from around the world.

We offer more than 100 annual public programs that engage a large audience of community residents, as well as enthusiasts from around the country. Approximately one-third of our annual programs are offered free of charge. More than 500 organized groups—schools and universities, historical societies, garden clubs, professional groups, and senior groups—visit the Cemetery each year, and many of these groups receive a guided tour led by a staff member or volunteer docent. Each year over 5,000 students also visit Mount Auburn on school-sponsored field trips, and we frequently host senior groups, who tour the grounds on bus trips organized by retirement homes. In fact, nearly one-third of Mount Auburn's over 1,000 member households are at the Senior/Student level, and their low-cost membership grants them free admission to all of our public programs. For those who prefer a self-guided experience, we offer a variety of publications to help visitors learn and explore.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Seniors

Mount Auburn has served as a valuable habitat for wildlife since long before its founding in 1831, but in recent decades its ecological uniqueness in the greater Boston metropolitan area has become increasingly apparent. In the last 2 decades, this increased awareness of Mount Auburn's special status and the growing environmental sensitivity throughout society have resulted in management of the grounds as a natural resource and as wildlife habitat as well as a cemetery, historic landscape and arboretum.

Mount Auburn has become a living laboratory for scientists studying
biodiversity. In recent years, we have embarked on projects with consulting scientists, citizen science volunteers of all ages from the local community, and professors and students from Harvard University, Lesley University, the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and Tufts University.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Mount Auburn’s collection of monuments and funerary art give meaning and spiritual significance to the Cemetery’s historic landscape. The diversity represented in the monuments, from contemporary flush markers to lavish Victorian sculptures, helps create the aesthetic richness and unique texture of Mount Auburn’s designed landscape.

Today, preserving our historic monuments and buildings is both a priority and a challenge. After years of exposure to New England weather, many monuments – particularly marble ones – now require an extra level of care and maintenance. Since 2014, the Friends of Mount Auburn has been working closely with Cemetery preservation and curatorial staff on a multi-year initiative to raise funds to conserve the most significant monuments on our grounds. To date, seven significant monuments have been professionally treated by a sculpture conservator working with the Cemetery.

Population(s) Served
Adults

As stewards of this National Historic Landmark, we recognize that the landscape we are working to preserve is significant as much for the monuments, fences, and other built structures as it is for the plant collections and natural environment. We also recognize that as an outdoor museum of art and nature, deterioration of our monuments and structures is an inherent risk over years of exposure to the elements, especially New England winters. Mount Auburn has an experienced preservation staff and established practices in place to ensure that despite wear and tear from the natural elements, our monuments and structures are kept in good repair and stable condition for as long as possible. Our staff emphasizes preventive treatment and maintenance procedures that minimize deterioration, stabilize the stones, and ensure their preservation well into the future.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Mount Auburn is a designated Important Bird Area in Massachusetts and one of the best sites in the region to see migratory birds in the spring, and it is a high priority for us to evaluate and enhance this habitat to address increased urbanization and changing weather patterns. We seek funding to support a breeding bird survey at Mount Auburn in 2019. Conducted by consulting ecologist and educator Brooks Mathewson, the survey will focus on species composition and relative abundance of birds throughout the Cemetery. He will design and lead the study and train a team of fifteen Citizen Science volunteers to help collect data for his analysis.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Funding will support the consulting scientists and educators who are serving as trainers for our Citizen Science Naturalist program, which engages and educates learners of all ages in ecology and natural science using our urban wildlife refuge landscape as the setting. One component of the program is our phenology study, in which seventy-five volunteers are trained to make weekly reports on plant life cycles to see how they align with bird migration and are responding to changing weather. The other part is our Naturalist training program, designed to train volunteers to be research assistants for Mount Auburn’s biodiversity studies, and empower them to act as informal educators to the public.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Mount Auburn is the first U.S. cemetery to establish an artist residency program, supporting the creation of new work by contemporary artists inspired by an in-depth experience here. We seek support for the production of The Mount Auburn Plays, a series of ten original site-specific short plays written award-winning playwright Patrick Gabridge. The plays will be fully staged in Mount Auburn’s landscape with twelve performances in 2019. We are raising funds to support the costs of the full production, including hiring local talent for the director, stage manager, actors, costumes, sound design, marketing, and chair rentals.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Mount Auburn’s annual apprenticeship program provides training and experience to a student or recent graduate seeking a career in public horticulture. Under the guidance of the Superintendent of Grounds and the Horticultural Curator, the apprentice supports important horticultural initiatives such as increasing conifer diversification as a response to Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, exploring ecological sustainability in landscape operations, wildlife habitat enhancement, historic landscape preservation, plant production, and collections management.

Population(s) Served
Young adults

Where we work

Financials

Mount Auburn Cemetery: (The Friends of Mount Auburn Cemetery)
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Mount Auburn Cemetery: (The Friends of Mount Auburn Cemetery)

Board of directors
as of 5/4/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Patricia Jacoby

Retired

Term: 2017 -

David Barnett

Mount Auburn Cemetery, President & CEO

Sean McDonnell

Architectural Heritage Foundation

Caroline Mortimer

Eliza Anderson

Thomas Cooper

Boston College

James Hunnewell

Briar Properties, LLC

Patricia Jacoby

James Levitt

Harvard Forest

Laura Nash

Piper Cove Asset Management

Niels Peetz-Larsen

HighVista Strategies

Frank Reece

Interim Executive Solutions

Lindsay Coolidge

Paul Kuenstner

Robert Airasian

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Dean Hara

Philip Laird

Architectural Resources Cambridge

Susan Mead

Anthony Morris

Morris Company

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/18/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability