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Assistant Director of Development Events

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Massachusetts, United States
Salary Not specified
Closing date
Jul 1, 2022

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Position Type
Fundraising, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Donor Relations, Grant Seeking, Prospect Research, Programs, Grant Administration, Grant Making
Employment Type
Full Time
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At Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), our mission is to understand the ocean for our planet and our future.  In pursuit of this aspiration are some of the most world’s most talented ocean scientists and engineers who are pushing the boundaries of knowledge about the ocean to reveal its impacts on our planet and our lives.  If you would like to support the people who go to impossible places to do impossible things, you can be part of making a difference.  We are looking for a strategic, organized, proactive, team-oriented, problem-solving events professional to join our talented Development team as an Assistant Director of Development Events . This is a regular, full-time, exempt position and is eligible for full benefits.

Reporting to the Director of Events and Donor Engagement, this position is one of three events professionals working to increase WHOI’s fundraising presence by planning, managing, and executing 50 plus Development events annually. Cultivates the positive participant experience and ensures flawless execution of the event. The Events team is part of the overall Development and Advancement Offices, which have had tremendous success in recent years. The events team is critical to the success of an ongoing Capital Campaign. The environment is fast-paced and exciting as the Campaign looks to engage new and long-time donors, community members and ocean lovers around the world.

Essential Functions
  • Collaborates with Director of Events and Donor Engagement, Directorate’s Office, Chapter Steering Committees and Key Volunteer Leaders, Advancement and Communication colleagues to manage engaging events that showcase WHOI research and attract new donors.
  • Responsible for the development of concepts, themes and formats that engage supporters, increase brand awareness and grow revenue.
  • Provides expertise to staff in the planning and execution of events.
    • Recruits and prepares scientists to attend/present at each event. Provides briefings for the same.
    • Creates and updates event records and appeal codes for the events in Raiser’s Edge.
    • Coordinates with internal and external event volunteers before and on the event.
    • Purchases event swag as appropriate.
    • Communicates with volunteers and hosts around event details.
  • Manages consultants and vendors prior to and during the event to ensure flawless efficiency.
    • Negotiates with venues, consultants and vendors to secure rates that enhance budgets. Books venue, selects menu and oversees audio/visual needs. Provides onsite oversite of event.
    • Develops and oversees budgets and creating event financial reports.
    • Works closely with the event administrative assistant to create monthly ROI report.  This includes tracking event costs and gifts received as a result of the event.
  • Oversees the post-event coordination including but not limited to debrief meetings, recognition to key constituents, and data transfer as appropriate.
    • Sends host thank you gift.
  • Informs and updates staff members and other involved parties throughout the event cycle.
    • Schedules and leads kick-off meeting for each event with staff involved.
    • Sits on Volunteer Leadership Committee as related to events.
  • Schedules travel for event presenters and coordinates presentations (and pre-event practice sessions)
  • Travel, after-business hours, and weekend work required (approximately 3-6 days monthly).


  • Other responsibilities as deemed necessary by your supervisor 
Education & Experience
  • Bachelor’s degree is required.  
  • 3-5 years of event management experpience, including virtual and hybrid events
  • Portfolio of previously maneged events should include luncheons, meetings, dinners, galas and lectures that promote fundraising
  • Adept at working with donors, trustees, corporation members, organizational leadership, and colleagues at all levels of the organization, often in collaboration with volunteer committees.
  • Proven experience having led projects successfully from inception through completion
  • Experience in budget management, the creation of invitee lists, event invitations, and working with event professionals including caterers, florists, entertainers, audio visual and transportation companies.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident status as well as pass a background check to satisfy the requirements set by the U.S. Department of State to serve as an Alternate Responsible Officer for the Institution’s Exchange Visitor Program
  • Experience in a Not-for-Profit Organization, University, Life Sciences, and/or Research institution is preferred
  • Must exhibit excellent communication skills both written and verbal
  • Able to establish relationships in all levels of an organization, while gaining and maintaining credibility
  • Must be proficient in MS Office and be highly computer literate and able to learn new software
  • Knowledge of Raiser's Edge fundraising software and E-vite programs such as SplashThat!, Engaging Networks, Mailchimp, etc. is preferred.
  • Maintain a sense of urgency and sense of commitment to tasks, projects, the team and the organization
  • Attention to detail is critical
  • Must be known as a proactive individual who takes initiative and successfully contributes to help create a positive team environment
  • Must prioritize work, work effectively under pressure, successfully handle sensitive situations with a high level of professionalism
  • Manage multiple projects simultaneously while on time and under budget
Special Requirements

WHOI is a federal contractor required to comply with Executive Order 14042. As such, WHOI has enacted a Mandated COVID19 vaccination policy effective December 8, 2021 where you must register your vaccination status in order to begin your employment. The registration process entails confidentially submitting a vaccination card and/or your vaccination status or requesting to engage in the interactive exemption process for either a medical or religious reason.  

Physical Requirements

Physical duties for this position include but are not limited to: occasional standing and/or walking along with being mostly and continuously sedentary.  Other occupational requirements include talking, traveling, working around others, and with others. Physical duties are subject to change.

WHOI is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer/Disabled/Veterans/M/F. We encourage Veterans and those with Disabilities to apply. Applications are reviewed confidentially. Applicants that require accommodation in the job application process are encouraged to contact us at (508) 289-2253 or email for assistance.

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