Founded in 2003, GiGi’s Playhouse Inc.’s mission is to change the way the world views Down syndrome through national campaigns, educational programs, and by empowering individuals with Down syndrome, their families and the community. All Programs are free and are therapeutic in nature. Each program is designed to work on specific skill development, including speech and language, socialization and fine and gross motor skills.
Job Description: Events Manager
The Special Events Manager is responsible for leading, planning and implementing strategies to grow revenues through special events. They will be the point person for all marquee fundraising events at GiGi's Inc. and will manage all aspects of fundraising events with the support of volunteer event committees and minimal staff. They will also coordinate annual training seminars and board retreat events. The ideal candidate has had 360 degree responsibility for executing successful galas, walks/runs, and golf outings, lifestyle events such as wine tastings, craft expositions, art events, and fashion events. They will have the ability to travel routinely within the greater Chicagoland area as well as to select markets nationwide to train affiliate Playhouses in event planning best practices and possibly assist with event management and sponsorship solicitation. They will demonstrate strong project/event management, volunteer management, and relationship development skills.
Meet the revenue goals for each fundraising event in the defined timeframe by generating income via attendance, sponsorship, and in-kind donations.
Plan, implement and manage unique and memorable “signature” events including Galas, 5Ks and other special events in collaboration with volunteer chairpersons and committee members.
Oversee event marketing efforts to strategic target audiences.
Coordinate necessary branding, print, and mailing activities for all assigned events with staff and vendors.
Train Playhouse leadership and site coordinators on fundraising event best practices.
Work with Playhouse families, staff and community leaders to identify, solicit, recruit and develop volunteers including event chairs and committee members.
Effectively delegate and accomplish goals through development of volunteers by ensuring that clearly defined positions and responsibilities are implemented for each of the events and committees.
Lead communication of accurate and up-to-date event plans, activities and benchmarks with leadership, staff.
Build successful relationships with sponsors, attendees and volunteers for the purposes of promoting facilitating additional donation and partnership opportunities.
Cultivates a strategic team environment; recognizing volunteer strengths and taking ownership and responsibility for development of volunteers through communication, training and positive reinforcement.
Leads and influences staff and Board members through effective motivation, leveraging individual strengths to encourage outreach within personal and professional networks.
Ensures event staffing levels are appropriate to meet the needs of each event.
Builds rapport with all team members through active listening and problem solving skills.
Research and report opportunities to “innovate” event and fundraising opportunities.
Manage process of donor acknowledgements and sponsor recognition; as well as venue and vendor contracts, insurance requests, accounts payable and receivable as related to assigned fundraising events.
5+ years of special event experience, ideally in the nonprofit sector, with a track record of generating annual event revenues in excess of $500,000.
3+ years of identifying, approaching and soliciting event sponsors for levels of $10,000 or higher.
Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills.
Demonstrated ability to remain ultra-organized.
Effective multi-tasking skills.
Proven track record of creativity and excellence in event planning.
Proven team building and team management skills, particularly with volunteers.
Ability to work effectively and persuasively with various groups and personalities including Board members, executive staff, volunteer chairpersons, Playhouse families and more.
Ability to address complex issues and challenges utilizing a clear and thoughtful manner, and work toward a resolution in an efficient manner without jeopardizing the success of the event or relationships with families, donors and sponsors.
Participate in weekly staff meetings and assist in Development Department activities.
Prepare event meeting agendas; record and distribute meeting minutes.
GiGi’s Playhouse Core Values :
GiGi’s challenges all staff and volunteers to embody the following core values:
Enthusiasm: Bringing positive, high energy to our work
Best of All: Always looking to improve in all that we do. Challenge yourself every day.
Get It Done: Making things happen and blasting through barriers when needed
Believe: Believe in ourselves, believe in our mission, believe we can achieve all that we set out to achieve
Locally Concerned, Enterprise Minded: Bringing our Best of All to our local playhouse while being mindful of how our work affects the broader GiGi’s network.
The mission of GiGi’s Playhouse is to increase positive awareness of Down syndrome through national campaigns, educational programs and by empowering individuals with Down syndrome, their families and the community. Our vision is to help create a world where individuals with Down syndrome are accepted and embraced by their families, peers and communities.