Director, Special Events

Manager, Event Planning

External Affairs Intern

Job Title: Director, Special Events
Department: Development
Reports To: Managing Director, Development
Updated: August 2016
Supervisory Responsibilities: No
Budget Responsibilities: Yes
Classifications: Exempt


The director of special events is responsible for aspects of strategy, planning and execution of the Foundation’s fundraising events, including, but not limited to, the annual spring gala, a high profile, black-tie event (and the foundation’s largest fundraiser generating over $1.6 million annually) and the annual 5k walk/run and health fair. This position requires a goal oriented and skilled tactician who can execute complex fundraising events flawlessly, the ability to multi-task and problem-solve, excellent interpersonal, collaboration and negotiation skills, and management of volunteer leadership and sponsorship committees.


The director of special events reports to the managing director of development and works with staff from development, marketing and communications, finance, programs and advocacy. This position works very closely with the Foundation’s president and founder in planning and executing the annual spring gala, and the COO on the planning and execution of the 5k and health fair. The director works in close coordination and collaboratively with the manager of special events on all aspects of the events and to maintain regular contact with outside organizations and individuals, including diplomats and legislators, volunteers, sponsors and vendors.

Primary Responsibilities Events

• Develop a comprehensive understanding of the Foundation’s research, education, community outreach and advocacy programs, in order to effectively communicate the Foundation’s mission.

• Work collaboratively with manager of special events to develop detailed event timelines and run-of-show for successful execution of events, including preparing event briefings for staff and volunteers prior to each event.

• Maintain strong relationships and coordination of event vendors (including, but not limited to, invitation and program design, printing and mailing, venue, caterers, AV, florists, photographers, entertainment).

• Oversee the development of print and online materials associated with each event, including website, invitation, program, banners and signage, etc.

• Recruit and coordinate activities for volunteers for Foundation events.

• Take responsibility for various administrative duties tied to events and managing event committees, including, but not limited to, list preparation, scheduling meetings, invoicing corporate and individual sponsors.

• Negotiate cost-effective rates and secure in-kind donations of goods and services.

• Draft and edit solicitation letters, acknowledgments, reports and necessary supporting documents for event solicitation; analyze and conduct event “post mortems”; reconcile event budgets; and ensure all follow-up is conducted in a timely manner.

• Develop, foster and manage relationships with corporate sponsors and committee members, including identifying personal connections to properly steward institutional funders.

• Maintain up-to-date records and both electronic and paper files; manage events using the donor database for tracking, reporting and follow-up in coordination with database manager and the director of major gifts.

• Work closely with the marketing and communications division on all pre- and post-event marketing materials and publicity.

• Work with special events manager to support third party events and serve as liaison with event coordinators, when appropriate.

• Assist with other fundraising projects as requested.

Additional Responsibilities for Gala

• Work closely with the president and founder and volunteer leadership to solicit and secure sponsors, in-kind donations and auction items for the annual spring gala.

• In coordination with the president and founder, serve as the liaison with diplomats who have been selected as the gala’s Honorary Patrons.

• Serve as liaison for celebrity designer, David Tutera, and his representatives in conjunction with the design at the National Building Museum.

• Assist in securing Honorary Congressional co-chairs and committee in coordination with director of policy/advocacy and president and founder.

• Manage corporate committees and provide committee support, including prospecting, solicitation, follow-up and stewardship.

• Manage the recording of individual and corporate sponsorships and reservations, including developing seating plan and securing guest names for 800-1000 guests.

• Ensure corporate sponsor deliverables are met (e.g, program advertisements, recognition on website, logo presence at the event)

• Work collaboratively with special events manager for auction item solicitation and management of auction items working with BidPal (posting items on a web portal pre-event and handheld bidding devices at event).

• Recruit and coordinate activities of 40-50 volunteers for the evening of the event.

• Work collaboratively with special events manager to manage and troubleshoot all facets of the gala on the day and evening of the event.

Additional Responsibilities for the 5k walk/run and health fair.

• Work closely with the COO and volunteer leadership to solicit and secure sponsors, in-kind donations and teams for the 5k and health fair.

• Maintain strong relationships and coordination of event vendors (includes venue, prizes, printing and mailing, venue, photographers, entertainment, etc.).

• Manage 5k sponsorship committees and provide committee support, including prospecting, solicitation, follow-up and stewardship.

• Ensure 5k corporate sponsor deliverables are met (program advertisements, recognition on website, logo presence at the event, etc.)

• Work with special events manager to recruit and coordinate 120 volunteers.

• Lead a core team of staff to expand health fair activities offered to participants of the 5k.

Experience/Skills required:

• Minimum of 8 years experience planning and producing high-level fundraising events with a proven track record of reaching or exceeding fundraising goals and managing a diverse array of events, including a high-profile gala.

• Ability to monitor and meet income goals. Solid understanding of non-profit fundraising and sponsorship principles; some major gift fundraising experience preferred.

• Comfortable working closely with high-level donors and volunteers.

• Knowledge and understanding of non-profit financial and accounting principles.

• Strong leadership, organizational, project and time management skills, coupled with the ability to take initiative and work independently.

• Strong attention to detail. Ability to manage multiple high-level projects and priorities simultaneously.

• Ability to exercise sound judgment and decision-making skills.

• Excellent oral and written communication skills, with the ability to interface with all departments/levels of the organization and outside third parties, including diplomats and legislators.

• Working knowledge of Raiser’s Edge preferred.

• Able to work collaboratively in a team environment, share multiple assignments and meet deadlines.

Highly proficient in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and Microsoft Outlook.

• Bachelor’s degree required.

Manager, Event Planning, Programs Division

The Manager of Event Planning is a full-time professional position. As part of the dynamic Programs Division, the Manager supports the mission of cancer prevention and early detection by working on the planning and implementing of professional conferences and workshops convened by the Foundation.

Core responsibilities include working on a cross-division project team to ensure a quality, well-run conference or workshop; communicating with internal and external audiences; helping to maintain Foundation relationships with hotels and vendors; tracking logistics related to speakers; assisting in monitoring and trouble-shooting challenges or issues before, during and after a conference or workshop; managing the registration process from developing the interactive form to reporting on registration trends; tracking logistics related to speakers; other duties as assigned. The Manager works closely with the Senior Manager of Community Education & Conference Planning and the Vice President of Programs.

The salary is $50,000 with a good benefits package.

Qualifications:  Bachelor’s degree and two or three years’ experience working on project teams, with increasing levels of responsibility in planning and implementing professional meetings and conferences.

Skills: Excellent project management and verbal and written communication; good initiative and follow-through; strong organizational, problem-solving and ‘people’ skills. Ability to identify opportunities to grow the conference; to integrate innovations; and to adapt to changing project demands. Good grasp of online conference registration and payment tools such as RegOnline; Microsoft Office.

To apply: Email cover letter with salary history and attached resume to Lisa.Han@preventcancer.org with Subject: Manager, Event Planning. Deadline to apply is 5 pm ET on Monday September 12, 2016. The Prevent Cancer Foundation is located near the King Street Metro stop in Old Town Alexandria, VA; no moving allowance is available. For further information about the Foundation, go to www.preventcancer.org. Please, no phone calls

External Affairs Intern

Send to: Christine.Walters@preventcancer.org. Please list “Intern Inquiry” in the subject line and include the information below as well as a cover letter and resume. All candidates must interview either in person or through a conference call.

Required Information:

  • Full Name

  • Current University Name

  • Current School Year

  • Undergraduate: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior, Graduate Student

  • Anticipated Graduation Date

  • Hours Needed per Semester

  • Potential Start/End Dates

  • Other Degree(s) and/or Credentials Obtained

  • Email Address

  • Phone Number

  • Mailing Address

  • City, State, Zip

Primary Interest Area:

  • Development

  • External Affairs (Communications, Marketing, and Advocacy) Programs

  • Would you like to receive school credit rather than a stipend? Yes No

Potential interns should address the following questions in their cover letter:

  • Why do you want to intern at the Prevent Cancer Foundation?

  • What are your qualifications and relevant experience?

  • What do you wish to accomplish as an intern for the Prevent Cancer Foundation?

  • What are your career goals?

  • Where have you previously interned, worked, or gained relevant professional experience?