Special Event Manager

GiGi’s Playhouse is a series of Achievment Centers serving children & adults with Down syndrome through free educational and therapeutic programs. The Special Events Manager is responsible for leading, planning and implementing strategies to grow revenues through special events. S/he is the point person for all marquee fundraising events and will manage all aspects of fundraising events with the support of voluneteer event committees and minimal staff. S/he will also coordinate annual training seminars and board retreat events. The ideal candidate has 5+ years of special event experience, ideally in the nonprofit sector, with a track record of generating annual revenues in excess of $500,000 by way of Galas, walks/runs, golf outings, etc. Routine travel within the Chicagoland area as well as select markets nationwide to train affiliate Playhouses in event planning best practices and assist with event management and sponsor solicitation is expected. S/he 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, 5k’s, 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 and 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.

Qualifications include:

  • Bachelor’s Degree;
  • 5+ yrs. special event experience generating annual event revenues in excess of $500,000;
  • 3+ yrs. experience of identifying, approaching and soliciting event sponsors for levels of $10,000 or higher;
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communications 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, 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 meeting;
  • Assist in Development Department activities;
  • Prepare event meeting agendas; record and distribute meeting minutes.

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Hoffman Estates, Illinois
GiGi's Playhouse
Sue Schultz

1069 W Golf Road, Hoffman Estates, Illinois, 60169, United States