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Associate Director of Strategic Special Events, Development and Alumni Relations

Apply now Job no: 499539
College / VP Area: Development & Alumni Rel
Work type: Staff
Location: Newark/Hybrid
Categories: Development & Alumni Relations, Full Time



Under the general direction of the Director of Strategic Special Events, the Associate Director of Strategic Special Events manages the planning and execution of special events designed to engage, cultivate and steward prospective and current donors for the University of Delaware. Working closely with front-line fundraisers and the leadership team in Development and Alumni Relations, the Associate Director identifies and outlines strategies to create and manage high-end, strategic presidential and UD leadership events, including, receptions, private dinners, insider weekends, regional events, virtual experiences and other high-profile activities involving high-level officials and administrators. 


  • Plan and manage high-end development events that support fundraising goals through creation of strategic programming and effective experience design to achieve established event objectives and outcomes.
  • Serve as a primary point person and resource for other staff, such as Alumni Engagement, gift officers, Colleges, Athletics, senior leadership, and UD leaders in event identification and planning to ensure consistent event standards, collaborative strategies and defined partnerships that best serve University Constituents.
  • Work collaboratively with DAR and campus partners to identify, propose, and plan strategic event opportunities that incorporate the President and other senior level leaders (Provost, Deans, Board of Trustees) in building and strengthening relationships with prospective and current donors.
  • Drive the creative development of event programming, immersive experiences, and event strategies aligned to fundraising goals, strategies, and desired outcomes for moving donors and prospects through the donor engagement process
  • Lead collaboration within Development and Alumni Relations as well as campus partners to ensure event program and experience alignment with philanthropic strategies working to formulate event strategy and budget while also proactively communicating to ensure deadlines, goals, and budgets are met.
  • Guide other event team members and campus partners on incorporating in person event strategies and develop management practices for virtual and hybrid events that expand donor engagement opportunities and enhance relationships between donors, prospects and the University.
  • Provide mentorship and training for new strategic event staff members through application of best practices, processes, feedback and review of event plans.
  • Manage all on-site event logistics; travel to event locations, conduct site visits, direct on-site staff, volunteers, and vendors, and oversees all event details including the orientation of University leaders, VIP hosts, speakers, and program participants.
  • Serve as liaison to event attendees and steward them through the event process.  Execute an optimal frontline experience from start to finish by providing high-level, personalized service with consistent messaging and information to drive fundraising goals and enhance engagement. 
  • Craft and manage effective production and event timelines with clearly defined goals, responsibilities, and deadlines to ensure timely completion of tasks.
  • Arrange logistics for event operations through the selection process for event venues, including site visits, contract negotiations, and relationships with vendors, event staffing, menus, set up and floor plans, seating, parking, transportation, signage, décor, floral, lighting, photography and media services.
  • Build effective working relationships with on-campus and off-campus vendors and suppliers, including tent companies, lighting companies, movers, catering, florists, electricians, etc.  Ensure smooth execution of events through continuous communication with all departments involved.
  • Manage multiple, simultaneous deadlines and event-related process.
  • Monitor and evaluate event outcomes providing actionable recommendations for continuous improvement


  • Bachelor’s degree and four years’ experience in high-end event planning and/or project management, preferably in a higher-education environment, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Strong project management, discernment, and problem-solving skills. 
  • Ability to work well under pressure and manage projects simultaneously.
  • Effective time management and organizational skills.
  • Ability to work with diverse constituents from all disciplines including donors, faculty, staff, and students.
  • Proficiency with basic computer programs such as Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook).
  • Demonstrated understanding and consideration of the differing needs and concerns of individuals with varying identities, cultures, and backgrounds.
  • Committed to fostering a workplace culture of belonging, where diversity is celebrated, and equity is a core value.


  • Flexibility to work nights and weekends, as needed.
  • Willingness to travel to event locations in other states, and if needed, countries.

Notice of Non-Discrimination, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
The University of Delaware does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, marital status, disability, religion, age, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by applicable law in its employment, educational programs and activities, admissions policies, and scholarship and loan programs as required by Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other applicable statutes and University policies. The University of Delaware also prohibits unlawful harassment including sexual harassment and sexual violence.

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