Arts, Culture, and Humanities

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

  • Cambridge, MA
  • www.mountauburn.org

Mission Statement

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.

Main Programs

  1. Educational Outreach
  2. Care & Maintenance of Horticultural Collections and Landscape.
  3. Wildlife Habitat Enhancement
  4. Significant Monuments Collection
  5. Preservation of Monuments & Structures
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

As the #1 attraction in the City of Cambridge on the popular website TripAdvisor, we welcome 250,000 visitors annually, free of charge. The majority of our audience is in the surrounding towns and greater Boston area, however, we do have many national and international visitors as well.

ruling year

1991

Principal Officer since 1993

Self-reported

Dr. David P. Barnett

Keywords

Self-reported

National Historic Landmark, historic cemetery, arboretum, MAC, Important Bird Area

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EIN

22-3084639

 Number

2222305248

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

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.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

During the past fiscal year, we assembled a team of experts in bird and amphibian habitat, water quality management, ecology, and landscape design to participate in a 3-day meeting to review wildlife habitat improvements we have made over the past 20 years and develop a Wildlife Action Plan to guide future projects.We continued our multi-year efforts to replace high maintenance and/or overgrown plants with slower-growing and more compact plant varieties in order to improve the aesthetic qualities of the landscape, as well as increase the sustainability of our horticulture efforts. Our new greenhouse enabled us to grow over 32,000 annual bedding plants for cemetery use. In addition, some 2,000 woody plants and over 7,000 herbaceous perennials and groundcovers were propagated from seed or cuttings as part of our efforts to enhance various historic landscape character zones and increase the diversity of our plant collections. We completed an ambitious project that combined monument preservation and landscape improvements with the conservation of the Binney monument. This 1847 marble memorial, carved by Thomas Crawford, is the only monument at Mount Auburn that has been designated an American Treasure by the National Trust, and is considered one of the outstanding works of funerary art in the US. We offer a variety of low cost programs to the public and, in FY2015, FOMAC hosted 2,929 attendees at 84 on-site programs including walks, lectures, and concerts. Some of the year's most successful programs included a screening of the documentary ""A Will for the Woods,"" as part of Graves in the Garden, a day of free events highlighting the natural burial movement; the launch of a series of free seasonal bingo activities for children; ""A Glimpse Beyond,"" a multi-cultural celebration of life and death told through art, music, dance and poetry; and finally, a series of free staged readings for high school students of Thornton Wilder's ""Our Town"" out in the Cemetery grounds.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

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

Program 1

Educational Outreach

FOMAC offers a wide variety of public programs and publications to help visitors to learn and explore through self-guided tours, and engages a large audience of local community residents and tourists from around the world. Approximately one third of FOMAC's 100+ 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 last year 150 of these groups attended 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 or reduced admission to all of our public programs. FOMAC also engages with the local community, with nearly one quarter of all our members living in Cambridge.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

General Public/Unspecified

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

$118,775.00

Program 2

Care & Maintenance of Horticultural Collections and Landscape.

Mount Auburn is an invaluable resource for the Greater Boston area and for the horticultural world at large. The Cemetery, which covers 175 acres, maintains a nationally significant collection of woody and herbaceous plants. More than 5,000 trees, representing over 620 different species and cultivars, are tracked in a computerized plant records system (BG-Base and BG-Map). Another 1,200 additional taxa in the form of shrubs and groundcover plants are represented by the more than 11,000 plants or plant masses in those collections. Some species, indeed some actual trees, pre-date the earliest period of the Cemetery and serve as links to the original local flora. Other species represent the burgeoning selection of horticultural materials brought to New England from abroad and cultivated in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Category

Environment, General/Other

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

General Public/Unspecified

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

$1,236,995.00

Program 3

Wildlife Habitat Enhancement

Mount Auburn Cemetery has served as 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. In 2002 Mount Auburn was designated as one of the 79 Important Bird Areas (IBA) in Massachusetts by the Massachusetts Audubon Society. While there are populations of suburban breeding birds year-round and a full complement of winter residents, Mount Auburn is famous for its rich display of migratory birds each spring.

Category

Animal-Related, General/Other

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

General Public/Unspecified

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

$227,966.00

Program 4

Significant Monuments Collection

In August 2013, with support from a federal grant, we began a project to research and document thirty monuments in the Cemetery's Significant Monument Collection in order to create a baseline for preservation. The Significant Monument Collection represents a range of commemorative artwork by prominent 19th and 20th-century sculptors, architects, and craftsmen. This project has given us the opportunity to provide the full stewardship that our significant monuments require. We have now completed many projects related to this collection, including photography, cataloging, research in the historical collections, a print publication, an online exhibition, and short documentary films. With this project, we are establishing standards for the care of outdoor sculpture in a horticultural setting, both for our institution and as a model for others. Currently, we are continuing to seek funding to undertake conservation and preservation work on key monuments in this collection.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

General Public/Unspecified

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

$30,000.00

Program 5

Preservation of Monuments & Structures

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.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

General Public/Unspecified

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

$224,212.00

Service Areas

Self-reported

National

As the #1 attraction in the City of Cambridge on the popular website TripAdvisor, we welcome 250,000 visitors annually, free of charge. The majority of our audience is in the surrounding towns and greater Boston area, however, we do have many national and international visitors as well.

Funding Needs

The Friends of Mount Auburn Cemetery has made it a priority to raise funds to support the preservation of its Egyptian Revival Gateway, a Cambridge City Landmark. FOMAC has also made a priority to secure funds to implement horticultural projects to support wildlife outlined in our new Wildlife Action Plan. Another priority project is the renovation of the Asa Gray Garden, near the Cemetery's entrance. This landscaped garden, named for the famed Harvard botanist buried at Mount Auburn, is in urgent need of updates to better welcome guests and accommodate pedestrians who use our visitors entry precinct. We also are hoping to replant the area with plants that Asa Gray himself studied from around the world. FOMAC is also raising funds to support the Cemetery's ongoing conifer diversification project. The diversification of our conifer tree collection is our highest priority among our plant collections because of the threat of the woolly adelgid, a tiny, sap-sucking insect destroying hemlocks throughout the region. FOMAC also continues to raise funds to support a wide array of public programming, through which we educate visitors and community members about the unique cultural, historical, and natural value of Mount Auburn.

photos


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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

FRIENDS OF MOUNT AUBURN CEMETERY
Fiscal year: Apr 01-Mar 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

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

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

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2014
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Dr. David P. Barnett

BIO

Dave is the President & CEO of Mount Auburn. He serves as an ex officio member on all standing committees. Dave came to Mount Auburn in 1993 as the Director of Horticulture. In 1999 he became the Cemetery's Vice President of Operations & Horticulture, and in January 2008 he was appointed Mount Auburn's first Executive Vice President. He became Acting President on July 1, 2008 upon the retirement of former President William C. Clendaniel, and was appointed President & CEO on September 10, 2008. Dave was President of the American Public Gardens Association (APGA) from 2007 to 2009 and served on the APGA Board for a total of nine years. He was Chair of the Host Committee for the 2003 APGA Annual Conference held in Boston. He is currently President of the Horticultural Club of Boston. Recently, he was the 2016 recipient of the Garden Club of America's (GCA) Distinguished Service Medal. Dave received his B.S. in Environmental Horticulture, summa cum laude, from the University of Connecticut; and an M.S. in Environmental Horticulture and a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California at Davis. Prior to coming to Mount Auburn, he served for eight years as Assistant Director at Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay, NY.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"Mount Auburn Cemetery, founded in 1831 by members of the newly organized Massachusetts Horticultural Society, was the first large-scale designed landscape in North America open to the public. Created with the purpose of consoling the bereaved in a tranquil, natural setting, the Cemetery represents a turning point in 19th-century attitudes about death, burial, and commemoration. The Cemetery's concept was imitated widely throughout the United States and inspired the subsequent rural cemetery movement as well as the establishment of America's public parks and picturesque suburbs. Mount Auburn's role as a historic site, arboretum, nature sanctuary, and evolving place of community memory has never been more essential. The many facets of Mount Auburn create a truly dynamic place that is comforting, beautiful, and a valuable educational and community resource. Our ability to honor the intentions of our founders and properly steward this distinctive landscape into the coming years is subject to increasing outside support from those who value this national treasure. We often summarize our mission as one of ""preservation and service with excellence and innovation."" We have an enthusiastic, dedicated staff and Board of Trustees who take great pride in managing and maintaining Mount Auburn as an active cemetery and a significant cultural institution. Environmental stewardship and historic preservation are key components of Mount Auburn's organizational culture, reflected in virtually all projects and activities during the year. Our ""Eternally Green"" newsletter, distributed monthly to staff and volunteers, focuses on sustainable practices throughout the organization, and ""eternally green"" articles are regularly included in our FOMAC monthly e-newsletter, helping to spread Mount Auburn's philosophy to the general public. "

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Thomas C. Cooper

Boston College

Term: Jan 1994 - Jan 2017

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & 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?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?