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Job ID: 220598

Director Special Events - University Advancement
Tufts University

Date Posted Aug. 31, 2023
Title Director Special Events - University Advancement
University Tufts University
Medford, MA, United States
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Director/Manager
  • Development/Institutional Advancement
    Development/Institutional Advancement
    Development/Institutional Advancement


Tufts University Advancement Division (UA) seeks an experienced and talented creative professional to serve as Director of Special Events.


UA is a comprehensive development and alumni engagement enterprise with a staff complement of approximately 200 full time employees. Units within UA include development/fundraising, alumni engagement, campaign management, special events, stewardship and donor relations, gift processing, research and prospect management, gift planning, corporate and foundation relations, and information systems and management. UA’s mission is to build strong relationships with Tufts University’s constituents, match donor interests with the University’s needs and priorities, and secure the financial resources necessary for Tufts to achieve excellence in teaching, research and scholarship. The Division is strongly committed to serving the academic agenda of the University and creating a culture of philanthropy in the extended Tufts community. Integrity, collegiality, diversity, accountability, mutual trust and respect for the individual, as well as the intentions of our donors, are the values that guide the work of the division.


UA’s current work is building off the momentum of the recently completed 10-year Brighter World comprehensive campaign, which raised more than $1.5 billion. Under the leadership of a dynamic new University President, UA is embarking on an ambitious series of events in support of the president’s vision and emerging priorities.

What You'll Do

Reporting to the executive director of campaign management and working in partnership with the senior management team within UA, the Director is responsible for designing and executing a comprehensive events strategy to support Tufts’ fundraising priorities, campaign initiatives, and the cultivation, recognition and stewardship of the University’s top donors and prospects. The Director oversees a team of four FTEs, with event portfolios that engage with the senior leadership of the University and all the schools at Tufts.



Essential Functions include:


• Ensure that all special events are aligned with division and university priorities and initiatives, and coordinated with related event functions at the university.
• Develop and oversee multi-faceted cultivation, recognition, stewardship and campaign events of significant scope and visibility, locally, nationally, and internationally.
• Develop goals and strategies for the unit, as well as serving as a thought leader for event strategy across the entire division.
• Develop goals and ensure objectives are realized for special events, including key messaging, program content, design concepts, audience segmentation and invitation strategies, and venue and implementation plans.
• Personally oversee events of the greatest visibility, including those hosted by the Board of Trustees, the University President, and the highest-level donors and volunteers.
• Direct and oversee provision of university services, including catering, facilities, police, and technology services. Review and approve all activities for sourcing, negotiations, selection, and contracts with external vendors.
• Partner closely with University Communications and Marketing—and other outside vendors—for design, editorial, and various creative services (including print, physical collateral, and videos) for all special events.
• Serve as an individual contributor for specific communications and marketing tasks—as required—including writing and editing speeches/talking points, reviewing and editing video scripts, and contributing to related creative briefs. Approve communication designs and content for all special events.
• Provide strategic leadership and direction for marketing, communication, and social media strategies for event publicity. Brief donors, Trustees, university leadership and officials on event details.
• Review and approve all budgets for special events, related reports and projections, and participate in budget planning with senior management.
• Direct on-site event management, for events both within a personal portfolio, as well as select events managed by team members. Conduct walk-throughs with staff and program participants, greet donors and guests, direct logistics, and manage event volunteers. In some cases, perform the role of stage manager or production manager for events that are theatrical in structure.
• Oversee detailed documentation and reporting for all special events. Prepare and present reports to leadership on event outcomes and advise on future directions.
• Manage staff, including hiring decisions, providing training and professional development opportunities, evaluating performance, and ensuring proper staffing levels for the unit. Track goals and monitor metrics for staff and the unit.

What We're Looking For

Basic Requirements:


• Knowledge and skills typically acquired through a bachelor’s degree and 10+ years of experience.
• Extensive knowledge and experience in event planning in a non-profit and/or philanthropic environment.
• Advanced interpersonal and relationship building skills.
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills, with specific experience in writing and editing event-related communications (e.g., scripts, leadership briefings, video outlines, and proposals).
• Demonstrated track record of developing and executing complex events, with demonstrated mastery of related tasks, including on-site production and stage management.
• Experiencing managing and mentoring staff.

Pay Range

Minimum $102,400.00, Midpoint $128,050.00, Maximum $153,700.00

Salary is based on related experience, expertise, and internal equity; generally, new hires can expect pay between the minimum and midpoint of the range.

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