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California College of the Arts
Oakland, California

Category: Program officer
Field of Interest: Education

Job Description:

Donor Events Manager

San Francisco

California College of the Arts educates students to shape culture and society through the power of creative work. Building on a century of excellence in art and design education, CCA is in the quiet phase of its largest-ever capital campaign to build an expanded campus in the heart of San Francisco.

The Donor Events Manager provides leadership in creating and realizing inspired and engaging event-based experiences that cultivate, steward, and solicit support for CCA. This position is a key manager at CCA and leads an annual program of 13-15 events per year that generate one third of the college's annual contributed revenue and are integral to the success of the college-wide philanthropic program. The Donor Events Manager's largest project is the annual gala which the Manager achieves by directing a 12-month process and a team that includes high level contributors such as trustee gala chairs, specialists such as designers and vendors, and professional staff such as major gift officers, facilities personnel, and administrative assistants.

The Donor Events Manager ensures all event content tells the story of CCA in a way that aligns with the college's mission and values. This person works both independently and in close collaboration with high profile volunteers, trustees, senior management, faculty, and frontline fundraisers to maximize participation and contributions, particularly from individual donors, through a range of program-based engagement activity. The Manager serves as an institutional expert on events planning and production and provides advice to senior leaders. The ideal candidate is a creative, resourceful, experienced, responsible, and polished events professional who has the ability to work efficiently with sound judgment in a high-pressure, high-volume environment. Supervises the full-time Events& Individual Giving Assistant.


Creates and realizes the CCA annual gala and 12-15 additional CCA events a year with the goal of growing philanthropic support for the college - 75%

  • Develops, deploys, and manages a six-figure annual budget and multi-year plan to maximize effectiveness of donor events that achieve CCA institutional goals for cultivation, stewardship, fundraising, and community engagement.
  • Oversees an evolving team of multi-level workers from a variety constituencies within Advancement, across CCA departments and outside the college, bringing them together strategically to realize common goals.
  • Sets and meets annual gala fundraising income goal of approximately $1M (one-third of CCA's college-wide annual philanthropic goal.)
  • For gala, works closely managing high-level volunteer event chairs in all aspects of event development, execution, and table/ticket sales and solicitations.
  • Ensures event chairs, committees, and volunteers have a positive experience working with CCA, inspiring long-standing support and investment in the school.
  • Works closely with Marketing Communication and publicists to position events to provide maximum visibility and branding for the school.
  • Negotiates with departments including Facilities, Academic Affairs, Public Safety, etc., on event plans as they impact operations across the school.
  • Directs and realizes the full scope of event production including vendor sourcing, contract negotiation, collateral development, target audience identification and tracking, program (speakers, presentations, run-of-show), technical, operational and decor requirements, and on-site execution.
  • Strategizes event budgets and timelines to ensure events are cost-effective, planned for and implemented effectively, and achieve strategic income or cultivation goals.
  • Oversees “night of” tasks for each event, ensuring load-in and breakdown as needed. Trains staff and volunteers to perform event duties such as check in.
  • Manages creation of effective and appropriate event collateral such as invitations, evites, websites, programs, signage, etc. Writes invitation and remarks copy as needed.
  • Coordinates Marketing Communications, designers, and other vendors to manage production and tight deadlines for print and digital event assets.
  • Prepares key stakeholders and senior management for their role and participation in events. Ensures proper and timely communication of guest lists, attendee bios, remarks and timelines.
  • Directs vendors (i.e. catering, rentals, etc.) on deliverables and monitors proper usage of CCA facilities.
  • Ensures all events meet CCA's highest standards of quality and guest experience.

Supervises Events & Individual Giving Assistant - 10%

  • Hires, trains, and evaluates the performance of the Events & Individual Giving Assistant.
  • Works with individual giving team to develop priorities and an annual work plan for the assistant, identifying and pursuing opportunities for synergies in the events and individual donor programs.
  • Oversees all work tasks of the assistant and ensures that standards for quality and quantity of work are upheld.
  • Identifies and supports professional development opportunities for the assistant.

Formulates, interprets and implements operational protocols and guidelines for event planning - 10%

  • Is CCA events expert, employing extensive knowledge of college assets such as facilities, equipment, staff and faculty and how they can best be used deployed to create donor experiences of various sizes.
  • Wields similar expertise on venues throughout the Bay Area which may be the location of off-site events.
  • Negotiates and commits the college to vendor contracts, some in the large five-figures. Develops excellent relations with vendors (i.e. caterers, decor, print designers) to maximize value and enables economies of scale by negotiating mulit-year and multi project contracts.
  • Is an expert user of Raiser's Edge database events module to train staff and realize the creation of complex queries for mailing lists, and tracking participation and relevant donor/prospect involvement.

Creates a balanced, effective multi-year events program - 5%

  • Evaluates effectiveness of each event and creates multi-year operational plan to set program goals and calendar for the year.
  • Ensures Advancement events are positioned and calendared for greatest impact.
  • Is CCA' donor events program representative to trustees, senior management, and the community at large.


  • Bachelor's degree and four years of significant event planning experience, preferably within a nonprofit organization.
  • Outstanding leadership and interpersonal skills; proven record leading a team as well as working collaboratively.
  • Exceptional organizational skills, with the ability to manage multiple complex projects on strict deadlines and maintain a professional attitude during times of high stress.
  • Excellent communication skills with demonstrated ability to write articulate, effective collateral copy and correspondence.
  • Hands-on, manager-level experience in planning and implementing donor events independently and leading a committee of high-profile stakeholders.
  • Strong analytical and budget management, contract negotiation, and strategic planning experience
  • Ability to tactfully and effectively interface with senior staff, trustees, donors, and high-profile events guests.
  • Superior computer proficiency including Microsoft Office, database management (Raiser's Edge experience highly preferred), and online research.
  • Experience with Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator) and basic graphic design knowledge preferred.
  • Must be able to work nights and weekends as needed.

San Francisco
Additional Locations

Application Instructions
Applicants are required to attach a cover letter and resume. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Recommended document file formats are Word or PDF. If there are multiple attachments, we recommend compressing/zipping your files into a zip format file. There is also a place in the application for you to provide a link to large documents. Please submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified. Applications are not kept on file for future positions.

Application Deadline
For staff positions, screening begins immediately and continues until the position is filled.

EEO Statement
As an educational and cultural institution, California College of the Arts has a responsibility to provide access and opportunities for all people, with special attention to supporting groups historically underrepresented in higher education.

We believe that a culturally diverse campus is integral to academic excellence, and our student, faculty, staff, and trustee bodies should reflect the diverse world in which we live, with attention to race, ethnicity, religious creed, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and ability.

California College of the Arts is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from individuals who will contribute to its diversity.

Please address any questions to

To apply, visit

Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (CCA) is an independent art college with 21 undergraduate programs in architecture, design, fine arts, visual studies, and writing. The college also has graduate programs in architecture, comics, curatorial practice, design, design strategy, film, fine arts, visual and critical studies, and writing. Through these programs, the college has created a dynamic and interdisciplinary environment. Diverse cultural perspectives enrich the CCA community and the college believes that continuing to expand the horizons of the students and faculty is essential to achieving its educational objectives. With campuses in Oakland and San Francisco, CCA currently enrolls 1,950 full-time students.

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