We are currently searching for a Director of Special Events to work in our Advancement Department. This is a full-time, year round, benefited position. Working Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm, with evenings and weekends as required by events. The Harker School is a coeducational, non-sectarian, college preparatory school serving grades Preschool through 12. Located in San Jose, Harker has four campuses located within minutes of each other. For over 100 years, Harker's mission has remained constant: to create an environment that promotes academic excellence, inspires intellectual curiosity, expects personal accountability and forever instills a genuine passion for learning. For more information on The Harker School, please visit the website at www.harker.org.
The Harker School holds one to three school wide fundraising events each year: the Family & Alumni Picnic, the Harker Gala, and the Golf Classic. The Director of Special Events is responsible for coordinating the logistics and execution of all components of these events, including but not limited to volunteer management, fundraising, marketing, catering, ticket sales, logistics, décor. The Director, with the support of committees of volunteers, will manage well-attended and enjoyable events, which are in line with the budget and meet targets for dollars raised.
The Family & Alumni Picnic is The Harker School’s longest running school event, involving approximately 300 staff, 3,000 attendees, and a committee of parent volunteers. This community builder and fundraiser is a fun-filled day for the whole family with games, activities, food, student performances, a raffle, and an auction. The Picnic takes place in October and kicks off the school year by bringing the community together. Proceeds from the event go to the school’s general endowment.
The Harker Gala (branded “Night on the Town” in recent years), started in 2004 as a fashion show and has evolved over the years. In the past, this elegant event has showcased the school’s students performing and modeling fashions and has included a live auction. The Gala takes place in February, and proceeds benefit the school’s capital building projects or general endowment.
The Golf Classic is held in the spring and is organized jointly between Advancement and an alumni committee. Proceeds from the event go to the alumni scholarship endowment.
The Advancement department also holds several cultivation and stewardship functions throughout the year; the number of these varies year by year. The Director of Special Events will assist with these events as needed. This person is also responsible for organizing the school’s Welcome Reception at the beginning of the school year and several year-end parties.
College degree required. Five to seven years’ experience in fundraising, volunteer management and event management at a non-profit. Independent school experience preferred. Catering experience preferred.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
1. Volunteer Management
Volunteers play a key role in the planning and execution of the Picnic. The Director will:
Plan and implement committee meetings and sub-committee meetings
Track and record volunteers for stewardship purposes
Manage all pre-event volunteer jobs, including work schedules, job descriptions, materials, sign-ups, training
Work closely with and provide support to parent volunteer committee chairs and all other event-related volunteers
Work with Office of Communication on website creation; write content for web pages
Work with graphic designer on logo creation and look of printed materials
Set up timeline for emails and online news articles; write content for these
Write articles for appropriate Harker Quarterly publications
Develop email and other materials to promote admission/reservations, donations, auction
Determine signage needs; work with vendor and designer to create and distribute signage
Develop ways to promote these events on campus with students
Approve and sign all contracts with and authorize all payments to vendors related to these events
Communicate and coordinate on a variety of tasks with multiple internal departments, including office of communication, performing arts, facilities, security, transportation, finance, catering, and faculty/staff
Develop timeline and calendar; ensure that all elements of the evens stay on schedule
Understand and monitor budget in each category
Negotiate with and manage vendors
Create booth assignments for all faculty and staff for Picnic
Establish and communicate procedures for day of event
Oversee event set-up and tear-down
Responsible for continued evaluation and innovation to ensure long-term success of the events
Other Duties and Responsibilities
Know and follow all school policies – The Director will have to understand completely and support the policies of the school in order to be able to accurately communicate these policies to the volunteers and to the general community
Keep Administration and Advancement informed of areas of parent interests or concerns; serve as spokesperson for the Administration and direct parents to the administrator who can best address their inquiry
Learn as much as possible about our parents and proactively try to remember as many names as possible
Build relationships with, cultivate, solicit and steward specific constituents in the process of carrying out duties of the director
Understand the independent school financial model
Support our department’s other events, such as donor events, volunteer recognition events, welcome BBQs, grade-level events. This support may include helping with set-up and tear-down, décor, managing volunteer schedules, and registration, among other tasks
Understand the key role that volunteerism and events play in Advancement’s relationship cycle
Understand and enthusiastically support the mission of Advancement
Knowledge, Skill & Ability Requirements
Understanding and supportive of the role of philanthropy. Extremely comfortable with procurement, fundraising and soliciting gifts and sponsorships
Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, together with the ability to work collaboratively and courteously with colleagues, volunteers, other constituents and the public
Outstanding presentation and demonstrably strong writing, planning and organizational skills
Team player with the ability to adapt to multiple situations and tasks
Creativity and resourcefulness
Outstanding prioritization skills of multiple, concurrent tasks and projects
Outstanding time management skills
Ability to work efficiently
Proficiency with computers and technology, particularly Microsoft Office; experience with The Raiser’s Edge a plus
Ability to work evenings and weekends as needed
Ability to communicate in effective English with staff, outside firms, etc. in person and by telephone
Hear individuals, groups, telephone and intercom communications, public address announcements, emergency signals, etc.
See and read computer screen
Reliable means of transportation to attend meetings, events and other functions both on and off site
Use Computer, fax machine, copier
Lift boxes up to 30 lbs.
Be able to set up functions and carry equipment such as chairs, tables, audio visuals, charts, posters, etc.
Prior to beginning work for The Harker School, and as a condition of employment, all employees must go through Live Scan Fingerprinting as well as provide a copy of a negative TB test.
The Harker School will respond only to those candidates who meet the qualifications and requirements of the position. The Harker School is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Please click the following link to apply: