Director of Special Events

Position Summary: The Director of Special Events is responsible for creating, leading and managing multiple donor cultivation events and a major high-level fundraising event on behalf of S:US. This position must be filled by a person with an outstanding sense of customer service and someone who is an enthusiastic professional, able to build constructive relationships with internal and external constituents.

Working with a staff of 2,200 in multiple locations, the Director of Special Events will be charged with harnessing the breath and depth of S:US so that the services being provided are supported, expanded and enhanced by event opportunities that put the best face of S:US forward.

The Director of Special Events must be even-tempered and a team player, able to work well independently with a take-charge attitude. He/She must be extremely detail oriented and exacting. This position reports directly to the Chief Development Officer.

Job Expectations

  • Initiate, plan, develop and manage fundraising and cultivation events to achieve strategic objectives.
  • Propose new ideas to improve the cultivation of donors at multiple levels, including small impactful interactions as well as large, multi-pronged events.
  • Gather information on each project to achieve the highest possible quality event, and track all aspects of events using Raisers Edge fundraising software.
  • Negotiate space contracts and book events space(s), as well as all other logistical arrangements as necessary.

Job Functions

  • Work with Development Committee of the Board at the direction of the Chief Development Officer to manage all aspects of annual high-end fundraising event: Dinner for a Better New York
  • Arrange small theme-driven dinners, just as but not limited to Jeffersonian Dinners, that help advance conversations consistent with the S:US mission
  • Directly solicit corporate sponsors and donations from individuals, ticket sales and in-kind gifts to achieve fundraising goals.
  • Work with vendors (e.g., printers, designers, caterers, etc.) to ensure high-quality and timely delivery of products and services
  • Help organize and recruit volunteers and leaders for fundraising co-chairs and committees
  • Plan, coordinate, and facilitate meetings, prepare agendas, and act as liaison to handle meeting logistics
  • Coordinate with event co-chairs and committees, Board and staff to facilitate the exchange of ideas and ensure the effective and efficient use of volunteer talents
  • Update and provide regular communications to fundraising event committees on the progress of sales and contribution, and the event planning process.
  • Ensure the quick and timely recognition (e.g., formal thank you notes, phone calls, etc.) of all event donors, sponsors and volunteers
  • Develop budgets for fundraising events. Monitor expenditures to ensure compliance with budgetary constraints, and ensure related bills/invoices are processed in a timely and accurate manner. Identify budget issues and provide recommendation for resolution
  • Keep abreast of event fundraising trends and recommend innovative, lucrative ideas for special events to the CDO.
  • Track and report on event results.
  • Participate in special projects and perform other duties as required.


  • Bachelors degree required and 3 years professional experience
  • Proven track record of experience in managing events of all sizes
  • Demonstrated organizational capacity and refined communications skills, both written and verbal
  • Ability to work effectively under pressure and meet necessary deadlines
  • Comfort and assurance in working independently and as an effective member of a team
  • High level of personal motivation, initiative and creativity, unafraid to make out-of-the-box suggestions
  • Passion for supporting the organization’s mission
  • A spirit of innovation, creativity, leadership and initiative


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