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Special Events Planner

Smithsonian Institution
District of Columbia, United States
$78,592.00 - $89,069.00
Closing date
Sep 29, 2023

View more

Position Type
Fundraising, Capital Campaigns, Special Events
Arts, Museum
Employment Type
Full Time

Come join a team of dedicated staff at an exceptional time in the Smithsonian’s history as we prepare for the Smithsonian Campaign for Our Shared Future. This ambitious fundraising campaign’s public phase will run from 2024 to 2026, culminating with the nation’s 250th anniversary. It will expand the Smithsonian’s reach and impact, empowering the institution to find solutions to today’s most pressing challenges. The Smithsonian is also planning two exciting new museums. The National Museum of the American Latino and the Smithsonian American Women's History Museum share the experiences and perspectives of Latinos and women across history and deepen our shared understanding of what it means to be an American. The Smithsonian has built a model fundraising organization, driven by talented staff across our many museums, research centers and cultural centers. This position offers exciting opportunities for the successful candidate to make a significant impact on the future of the Smithsonian. There is no better time to join this amazing Institution.

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is a leading voice for contemporary art and culture and provides a national platform for the art and artists of our time. We seek to share the transformative power of modern and contemporary art with audiences at all levels of awareness and understanding by creating meaningful, personal experiences in which art, artists, audiences, and ideas converge. We enhance public understanding and appreciation of contemporary art through acquisition, exhibitions, education and public programs, conservation, and research. 


Duties and Responsibilities

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden has an immediate opening for an experienced Special Events Planner for a position that will manage logistics and assist in fundraising for Advancement events at the Hirshhorn including four annual fundraisers, exhibition openings, cultivation events, and external event rental. This candidate will also manage select donor relationships, assist with gift solicitations, and be responsible for a variety of donor communications, including writing letters on behalf of the Museum Director, event sponsorship decks, invitations, solicitations, program calendars, remarks for events, briefings, and website content updates. This position will work closely with the Director of Advancement, to ensure all events are executed properly and event fundraising goals are achieved.


Skills, Knowledge, and Expertise

The successful candidates will have:

  • Four or more years of successful experience in planning, executing, and fundraising for special events, preferably at a museum or other cultural institution. Experience in an art museum is highly desired.
  • Demonstrated experience with gala event planning and fundraising.
  • Demonstrated experience with designing and writing materials in support of fundraising.
  • Superior communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Ability to easily change writing styles to fit the author, audience, and voice of the piece.
  • Successful experience in meeting aggressive revenue goals.
  • Superior communication skills, both oral and written, and excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Superior organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Understanding of and dedication to the mission of the Hirshhorn Museum.
  • Bachelor’s degree is required; master’s degree is highly desired.
  • Willingness to work evenings and weekends and to travel as needed.

Applicants, who wish to qualify based on education completed outside the United States, must be deemed equivalent to higher education programs of U.S. Institutions by an organization that specializes in the interpretation of foreign educational credentials. This documentation is the responsibility of the applicant and should be included as part of your application package.

Any false statement in your application may result in your application being rejected and may also result in termination after employment begins.


Benefits and Application Instructions

The Smithsonian Institution values and seeks a diverse workforce. Join us in "Inspiring Generations through Knowledge and Discovery".  The Smithsonian Institution offers a competitive salary and a comprehensive package of benefits. Relocation expenses are not paid.
Interested candidates should submit their resumes and a cover letter using this link by 11:59 pm on September 29, 2023. Resumes should include a description of your paid and non-paid work experience that is related to this job; starting and ending dates of job (Month and Year); and average number of hours worked per week.

What To Expect Next: Once the vacancy announcement closes, a review of your resume will be compared against the qualification and experience requirements related to this job. After review of applicant resumes is complete, qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Smithsonian Institution provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation should contact  Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.  To learn more, please review the Smithsonian’s Accommodation Procedures.

The Smithsonian Institution is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We believe that a workforce comprising a variety of educational, cultural, and experiential backgrounds support and enhance our daily work life and contribute to the richness of our exhibitions and programs. See Smithsonian EEO program information:

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