Special Events Manager

District of Columbia, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Jan 05, 2021
Feb 03, 2021
Position Type
Fundraising, Special Events
Employment Type
Full Time
Food & Water Watch is working to create a healthy future for all people and generations to come—a world where everyone has food they can trust, clean drinking water and a livable climate. Making this happen requires involving people in the pressing issues of our time at the local, state, and federal level, building on one win after another, as we develop a larger movement that has the political power to make our democratic process work.

Reporting to the Director of Individual Philanthropy, and working closely with Senior Leadership, the Special Events Manager plays a key role on our development team and is responsible for planning, coordinating and executing donor-centric events throughout the year including at least one major fundraising benefit. 

Bargaining Unit Position.


  • Work with supervisor to create comprehensive annual event plan including at least one fundraising event and smaller cultivation and stewardship events including digital event planning.
  • Plan, coordinate, execute and review special events and regional events for the Development Department with a focus on major donor events.
  • Execute and plan virtual events through internal and external resources including zoom or other platforms.
  • Consult and work with non-development staff on program events to ensure a donor-centric focus.
  • Travel to some assigned regional events to provide on-site support and management, working with gift officers, and hosts.
  • Collaborate with the digital and graphics team in the creation and distribution of event invitations.
  • Track responses and create Salesforce reports to share information with key stakeholders.
  • Determine benchmarks for success prior to each assigned event, evaluate their effectiveness after the event, and incorporate improvements in future planning.
  • For recurring events, recommend revisions to event plan for future versions as appropriate.
  • Maintain master event files and documentation to aid in planning and executing future events.
  • In coordination with supervisor, develop and manage budgets and projections for assigned events.
  • Negotiate all financial commitments for delivery of products and services by outside vendors for assigned events using Food & Water Watch’s procurement and purchasing policies.Verify invoices and arrange for payment of approved event expenses. Ensure procurement procedures are followed for any request and payment of invoices. Ensure event stays on budget, monitoring financial commitments during lead-up to event and making alternate arrangements if cost overrun appears likely.
  • Research, propose and secure venues for functions based on budget, geography, accessibility, aesthetic appeal and availability.Contract for services from vendors including caterers, florists, parking services, photography, etc.
  • Prepare formal briefing materials with final details for gift officers and event hosts.
  • Develop staffing plans for in-person and virtual events.
  • Other duties as assigned.



To perform this job successfully, the person in this position has a high degree of contact with donors and prospects; a high degree of contact with other staff; and a moderate degree of contact with non-development related activities.


The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.                                                                                                                                                                                          

Education/Experience: Bachelor’s Degree and minimum of five years fundraising and special event planning experience, preferably within an advocacy environment.


Computer Skills: An individual should be able to work in a computerized environment and have adequate knowledge of fundraising databases (such as Salesforce) word processing, email, internet and spreadsheet software; in particular have coursework or certification in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Power Point and proficiency with all other Microsoft Office products. Experience with social media platforms and event platforms like Zoom, and Streamyard.



  • 100% employer-paid health care, dental, vision, and long-term disability insurance.
  • Three weeks paid vacation to start and three personal days.
  • Food & Water Watch offices are closed for all federal holidays and an extra week at the end of December.
  • Paid sick days.
  • Paid family and medical leave.
  • 403(b) retirement plan with annual employer contribution after the first year on staff.
  • Professional development opportunities on an ongoing basis