Event Specialist

Location: Topeka, Kansas
Date Posted: 09-13-2017
Washburn University Alumni Association and Foundation is committed to building a community of support to continuously strengthen Washburn University and enhance the educational opportunities and experiences of our students.  We build life-long partnerships with alumni and friends, and secure, invest, and steward private financial support.   
Company: Washburn University Alumni Association and Foundation
Job Title: Event Specialist
Job Classification: Non-Exempt, Full-time
Work Schedule: Monday-Friday, 8 am – 5 pm Occasional evening and weekend hours
Reporting Relationship:   Director of Donor Relations
Primary Accountability:
The event specialist is responsible for the implementation of a comprehensive event program that engages various audiences and builds key relationships with prospects, supporters, donors, board and committee members at all levels to support the Alumni Association and Foundation’s overall fundraising goals and initiatives. They will be responsible for event goals and outcomes which support the Alumni Association and Foundation to meet its goals.  The event specialist will develop and create events which have a lasting impact and create lifelong development opportunities and relationships with all constituents. The event specialist must establish and nurture effective, collegial working relationships with co-workers, university partners, donors and external contacts representing the Alumni Association and Foundation in a positive and professional manner, relying on experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. The event specialist will collaborate with colleagues in Donor Relations regarding all aspects of stewardship, recognition and cultivation events having a strategic impact on the success of the Alumni Association and Foundation.
Ongoing activities include increasing stewardship and events and participation among donors, alumni and other constituencies, increasing philanthropic support and boosting retention. In addition, the event specialist will provide graphic design to create, design and print event invitations and other collateral materials using Adobe products.  The event specialist should have a passion for event management, provide outstanding customer service, be an enthusiastic professional and be able to build relationships with internal and external customers. The event specialist must be able to anticipate project needs, discern work priorities and meet deadlines with little supervision.
The event specialist will play a significant role in carrying out these engagement and stewardship efforts along with promoting the Alumni Association and Foundation’s mission and goals through a number of venues.  The event specialist will work closely with the Director of Donor Relations to support the overall stewardship, engagement and recognition plan of the Alumni Association and Foundation. 
Major Duties:
  • Plan, coordinate, and implement stewardship and engagement events. This includes program development, invitation lists, catering, decor, vendor coordination, logistics management including travel arrangements, budget and other duties to ensure top quality, professional events;
  • Ability to work early days, evenings and weekends as required, as well as some overnight travel;
  • Aggressively gather information on each project to achieve quality event productions;
  • Implement, attend, direct and oversee on-site needs for events/programs;
  • Create, design, print and distribute event invitations and other event-related collateral material maintaining Alumni Association and Foundation branding concepts;
  • Responsible for goals and outcomes of events in order to help the Alumni Association and Foundation meet its goals;
  • Develop, create and implement events which establish a lasting impact and lifetime development opportunities;
  • Develop and implement strategic opportunities for top and major donors to enhance lifetime relationships;
  • Prepare and coordinate all appropriate personal stewardship following events;
  • Analyze all aspects of logistics to determine the most cost-effective and efficient means for planning and implementing stewardship and engagement events;
  • Propose new ideas to improve the event planning and implementation process through review and analysis of previous events;
  • Study the objectives and needs of the University and/or the Alumni Association and Foundation to develop strategies to influence event outcome;
  • Assist with budget preparation and provide periodic progress reports to director for each event/project;
  • Track event finances including check requests, invoicing and reporting;
  • Collaborate with Alumni Association on specific events as assigned;
  • Write, plan and implement event/program follow-up communications;
  • Manage all event correspondence, invitation and attendance lists;
  • Responsible for database management by ensuring interaction with constituents is entered into Raisers Edge in a timely manner;
  • Maintain and manage photo files;
  • Work on special projects and perform other duties as assigned;
  • Work collaboratively with the Director of Donor Relations;
  • Represent the Alumni Association and Foundation in a professional and diplomatic manner at all times. 

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred from an accredited college/university in communications, marketing, public relations or related discipline; significant work experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience can be substituted;
  • 3-5 years event planning experience preferred;
  • Graphic design experience using Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop preferred;
  • Working knowledge and understanding of concepts, principles and practices of event planning required;
  • Outstanding organization and time management skills with attention to detail required;
  • Experience in meeting deadlines, juggling multiple responsibilities and initiating and maintaining professional relationships required;
  • Significant judgment and effective problem-solving skills required to recognize and deal effectively and appropriately with real and potential problem areas, including skill to determine the issues/problems that need to be brought to the attention of higher level staff and/or management;
  • Experience tracking and understanding budgets and budget process is required;
  • Superior writing and editing skills;
  • Strong communication, interpersonal and customer service skills;
  • Creative and strategic-thinking abilities;
  • Exceptional ability to manage and maintain multiple projects and work assignments simultaneously;
  • Ability to gather and independently analyze data and generate reports;
  • Must be able to take the initiative to coordinate processes;
  • Professional attitude and the ability to maintain confidentiality;
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as a team member;
  • Intermediate to advanced level skills in Word and Excel programs;
  • Familiarity with relational databases;
  • Reliable and predictable attendance. 

Physical Demands:
  • Ability to sit for extended periods of time;
  • Ability to read computer screens and mail; and,
  • Ability to unpack and move supplies up to 50 lbs. 
    Work Environment:
  • Professional and deadline-oriented environment in an office setting;
  • Interaction with staff and customers.
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