Japanese American National Museum
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Special Events Manager

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The Special Events Manager is responsible for overseeing the development, implementation and evaluation of the National Museum’s development-related events (fundraising, member / donor events), both on- and off-site. A primary focus will be on the Gala Dinner. This position works closely with key volunteers that include members of the Gala Dinner Committee, Board of Trustees and Board of Governors to achieve the revenue goals from corporate sponsors and individual donors. This position also coordinates staff and consultant resources assigned to various events.


  • 1. Work with Associate Vice President of Development and Director of Development to create and successfully implement a plan for all fundraising and development-related events consistent with the financial, strategic and programmatic goals of the Museum.
  • 2. Serve as lead staff person for the Gala Dinner & Silent Auction (including the VIP Reception) and is responsible for managing Museum staff and consultant resources, as well as the Dinner Committee.
  • 3. Create and monitor a master work plan with critical due dates including weekly updates and reminders to key staff and Committee members of upcoming deadlines.
  • 4. Provide financial updates to Museum executive team on a regular basis and as requested.
  • 5. Serve as the primary point of contact with Gala Dinner consultants on the fulfillment of their contractual tasks up to and on the day of the Gala Dinner, guest list management, venue set-up, and reports requested by executive team and/or Committee Chair(s)
  • 6. Responsible for creating and monitoring contracts and payment schedule for all consultants, vendors, and venue. This includes all program-related consultants, development/marketing consultants, hotel catering, A/V vendors and other third-party vendors.
  • 7. Track and manage revenue and expenses for the special events department
  • 8. Manage the sponsorship and other solicitation follow up with Development staff
  • 9. Manage the production of the Dinner Journal, interfacing with staff team, Marketing unit, designer and printer.
  • 10. Oversee all aspects of the Lexus Opportunity Drawing
  • 11. Ensure the Dinner Program team has adequate support, information and guidance on direction of the annual dinner theme, potential honorees, and other considerations.
  • 12. Attend and provide follow up to all Dinner Committee meetings
  • 13. Serve as the lead, or provide support on, all Development events including exhibition openings and other special fundraising events
  • 14. Provide support on other Museum events in public programs and facility rentals.
  • 15. Staff members must be able to work with visitors of all ages to support the various events sponsored by the National Museum. Each staff member will be expected to work on various museum-wide events per year, such as the quarterly Family Free Saturdays and Annual Family Festivals.

This list is not exhaustive and may be supplemented as necessary. Incumbent will perform related duties as assigned.


Qualification Requirements: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Education: Bachelors degree preferred; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Experience/Knowledge: At least 5 years of event management experience with fundraising and donor relations focus. Willingness to learn and apply new skills. Ability to multi-task and prioritize. Ability to work well under pressure to meet deadlines. Excellent organizational skills and be detail oriented. Strong proofreading skills. Professional phone manner is essential. Ability to work in a fast paced team-environment, be a self-starter. Demonstrate commitment and flexibility at all times in order to ensure high quality service. Ability to adjust and provide appropriate action when unanticipated need arises. Knowledge of Japanese American history and culture a plus.

Communication: Excellent communication and negotiation skills. Must be able to provide courteous and effective service to donors, event guests, vendors, co-workers, volunteers and the general public. Ability to read and comprehend documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals. Ability to write routine reports and correspondence. Ability to effectively present information in one-on-one and small group format.

Computer: Computer literate, Internet savvy, and experience with MS Word, Excel, and Power Point preferred. Must be able to use Altru and/or comparable donor database system. Familiarity with Gmail and Google docs beneficial. Speed and accuracy are essential.

Math: Ability to calculate figures and amounts such as discounts, interest, proportions, percentages, area, circumference, and volume. Ability to apply concepts of basic algebra and geometry.

Reasoning: Act on own initiative. Must be able to comply with institutional policies and procedures. Ability to apply common sense understanding to carry out instructions furnished in written, oral, or diagram form. Perform successfully when juggling and re-prioritizing multiple assignments in a fast-paced, changing work environment. Reliable follow-through on assigned projects in a complete, well conceived and timely manner.

Physical: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools, or controls. The employee frequently is required to talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to stand, walk, sit, reach with hands and arms, climb or balance, and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. Must be able to work weekends and evenings. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 20 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, and the ability to adjust focus.

Environment: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those the employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.


Reports to: Associate Vice President of Development
Positions supervised: Gala Dinner Consultants and Volunteers

The Japanese American National Museum reserves the discretion to change this job description at any time.The Japanese American National Museum is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to their race, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, genetic information, disability, marital status, domestic partner status, or medical condition.



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