Executive Affairs and Special Projects Officer (NEFA)

About the New England Foundation for the Arts:

The New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) is a 501(c)3 organization with an annual budget of $7.5 million. NEFA invests in artists and communities and fosters equitable access to the arts, enriching the cultural landscape in New England and the nation.

As an organization, NEFA values an equitable, diverse, and inclusive world, which we interpret as all people having fair access to the tools and resources they need to realize creative and community endeavors. We acknowledge structural inequities that have excluded individuals and communities from opportunities based on race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, class, age, and geography and strive to counter those inequities in our work.

NEFA is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and is invested in creating an equitable and inclusive working environment and organizational culture. We are committed to hiring individuals who share, value, and support these goals, and who reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. NEFA does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

About the Position:

The Executive Affairs and Special Projects Officer is the principal support staff for the Executive Director and fulfills an array of strategic functions including serving as chief administrative liaison to the Board of Directors and Advisory Council. The person in this position reports directly to the Executive Director. They will assist the Executive Director with special projects including some program initiatives and will work closely with development staff to support fundraising activities and stewardship of individual donors. The Executive Affairs and Special Projects Officer provides an essential communications and logistics interface between the Executive Director and NEFA staff, board, and council members, external partners, and constituents on a day-to-day basis.

The Executive Affairs and Special Projects Officer will be highly organized and able to prioritize and manage multiple and varied projects; have strong administrative, organizational, and communication skills; develop and maintain positive interpersonal relations with all levels of staff, Board of Directors and Advisory Council members, and outside contacts; and exercise a high degree of integrity while managing highly sensitive and confidential information. The Executive Affairs and Special Projects Officer will be able to work effectively both within teams and independently, as well as with remote supervision due to Executive Director travel schedule, to accomplish goals and implement initiatives. The successful candidate works proactively, anticipating needs, conflicts, and opportunities while exercising considerable judgment, initiative, and discretion, and is comfortable advancing projects with remote supervision due to Executive Director’s travel schedule.

This is a new position and may evolve over time.


Essential Functions

Executive Support – 35%

  • Coordinate calendar management, travel arrangements, professional association memberships, event attendance, and expense reporting for the Executive Director;
  • Ensure the Executive Director is provided with detailed itineraries and briefing materials for meetings and events, by developing and/or coordinating with appropriate NEFA staff to create reports, briefings, presentations, and responses on organizational issues as appropriate;
  • Interact with board members, donors, community leaders, and the public on the phone, via email, at meetings, and in correspondence; greet and direct office visitors;
  • Prepare draft correspondence from the Executive Director to board, advisory council, donors, and other constituencies as needed;
  • Collect, sort, and distribute office mail and voicemail; open and process all incoming mail for the Executive Director

Governance & Board Relations – 30% of time

  • Plan and execute all meetings of the Board of Directors, board committees, Advisory Council, and special advisory committees, including annual board retreat which rotates locations throughout the six New England states;
  • Plan and coordinate logistical support for meetings including accommodations, meals, technology support, presentation documents, and materials;
  • Take minutes for Executive Committee meetings, board meetings and other meetings as assigned;
  • Maintain Board-related content including class lists and pipeline, cultivation and orientation packets, board service correspondence, individual board member information files, and content for restricted board page on nefa.org;
  • Partner closely with Executive Director and Trustees Committee on board membership and recruitment processes

Donor Stewardship – 15% of time

  • Partner with development staff to plan and execute donor cultivation events such as meetings, lunches, dinners, performances, receptions, etc.;
  • Support executive and development staff in stewarding individual donors including board and advisory council members and funding partners;
  • Assist development staff with drafting donor communications and preparing solicitation materials for individual donors

Special Projects & Program Support – 10% of time

  • Provide skilled support to the Executive Director and Senior Leadership Team on a variety of strategic initiatives, including implementation of special program initiatives;
  • Support the Rebecca Blunk Fund awards process by soliciting nominations, scheduling and coordinating an annual donor advised panel meeting, and follow up with awardees; support communications and development staff with donor and public announcements

Connecting & Learning – 10% of time

  • Represent the organization at conferences, meetings, performances, and other events in line with NEFA’s standard of excellence and strong reputation in the field; report on learning and outcomes;
  • Participate in/support organization-wide convenings and events, planning sessions, and working groups


Does this position supervise others?   No

Internal/External Contacts

Indicate internal staff and external contacts with whom this position regularly interacts to successfully perform the essential functions (e.g. donors, government agencies, artists, vendors, etc.)

Works with all staff, board, and advisory council members; fields all inquiries and scheduling requests from internal and external contacts, including artists, individual donors, contacts at private foundations, and partners at government agencies; provides logistical and administrative support to the development team.

Some events (3-5 per year) may require work/travel outside of normal business hours.

Financial/Operational Resources Impacted:  $50,000

Decision Making/Problem Solving

Describe the types of independent decisions routinely made by this position and the types of problems routinely solved by this position to ensure the achievement of the essential functions.

Responsible for managing the Executive Director’s calendar and responding to all scheduling requests; preparing all expense reports accurately and in line with NEFA fiscal policies and procedures; planning logistics and agenda items for all board and committee meetings; coordinating meeting material contents with appropriate staff; and collaborating with board members on committee reports.

Salary Range: $50,000 – 55,000


Opportunities for Advancement

Employees at the officer level are eligible for promotion after two years of employment and having demonstrated satisfactory progress on performance goals as determined by their immediate supervisor.



  • 4-6 years of professional experience in administrative support or similar roles
  • Experience working directly with executive leadership, boards, donors or in fundraising/stewardship roles; past work in meeting/event planning and/or volunteer management a plus;
  • Highly organized and able to prioritize and manage multiple varied projects; specificity to detail, protocols, and professionalism, including highest level of discretion with confidential information;
  • Outstanding communication skills - verbal, written, and interpersonal;
  • Impeccable attention to detail;
  • Comfort with notetaking during meetings; past experience preparing meeting minutes a plus;
  • Proficiency in Windows, Microsoft Office, and familiarity with CRM databases; experience with Salesforce CRM a plus;
  • Familiarity with calendar and scheduling tools such as Outlook, Doodle, Slotted, etc.;
  • Self-directed and able to work independently with remote supervision;
  • A passion for/interest in working in the arts


  • Past work in the arts/arts administration, nonprofits, or philanthropy;
  • Comfortable with writing in a variety of personal and brand voices;
  • Familiarity with the people and cultures of New England and interest in exploring its artistic communities


Physical/Mental Demands: 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for a person with a disability to perform the essential functions.  Please note if the following are necessary for this specific position:

Physical Demands: travel (occasional), stationary position, sits in a workstation in an open office environment

Mental Demands: computational skills, reasoning, decision-making, detailed work, communication, organizational skills, reading, notetaking

Additional Requirements (please note): None

Application Instructions

All applicants must submit a resume and cover letter using the online application form at: https://www.nefa.org/about_us/employment. The deadline to apply for this position is Monday, November 11. A review of applications will begin immediately. Applications received after the deadline may not be reviewed if the existing candidate pool is deemed sufficient.


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