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Special Events Manager

Posted: 07/18/2021

Wayside Waifs is Kansas City's largest and most comprehensive no kill pet adoption campus. Since 1944, we have been working diligently to partner pets and community for life. Wayside Waifs strives to enrich the lives of abandoned, abused and homeless animals until they find a new family home. We care for more than 5,000 animals every year. Wayside is a private, independent, nonprofit 501 (c)(3) charity with no government funding. We depend on the generosity of the community to continue our life-saving work.

Our Mission is preparing pets and people for the bond of their lives. 

Wayside Waifs is currently seeking an accomplished professional to serve as our Special Events Manager. Reporting to the Vice President of Donor Relations & Communications, the Special Events Manager is the primary staff person leading Wayside Waifs' special event fundraising program. This position is responsible for coordinating, implementing, expanding and evaluating internal and external special event fundraising.

Job Summary: Lead Wayside Waifs’ special events fundraising program, while working with the Donor Relations Team. Coordinate, implement, expand, and evaluate internal and external special event fundraising activities to meet fundraising goals.

Principle Responsibilities:

  1. Primary staff person leading Wayside Waifs’ special event fundraising program. Work closely with Donor Relations Team to plan, implement, expand and evaluate internal and external events, including Wayside’s two signature events; the Fur Ball Gala and Strutt With Your Mutt to meet fundraising goals. This includes, but not limited to, promotion logistics, event creative/décor, vendor relations, printing, set up/tear down, donor correspondence, volunteer recruitment and supervision, audio/visual needs, participant check in, donation documentation, data analysis/trends, and working with event committee/chairs. Facilitating Fur Ball silent auction by securing, organizing and cataloging items using computer auction services software equating to $40,000+ in revenue.
  2. Identify and coordinate marketing and promotion of third party/external event partners, raising $100,000 annually. Work with cause marketing partners to deliver marketing benefits.
  3. With support, actively manage a donor portfolio of 25 donors in the $1,000-$5,000 annual gift range, serving as their Primary Relationship Manager.
  4. Implement onsite, offsite, and virtual donor receptions/events/educational sessions on an as-needed basis to cultivate and recognize donors.
  5. Manage rental space for outside groups utilizing shelter’s community spaces.
  6. Work with development staff on special event invoicing, fulfillment and reconciliation of donations, expenses and correspondence as needed.
  7. Answer Donor Relations department telephone line as needed.  Make cultivation and thank you calls as appropriate.
  8. Perform other duties as required.
Other Aspects of the Job
  1. Have a commitment to the mission of Wayside Waifs.
  2. Must be able to work independently as well as have the ability to multi-task and collaborate with others on a team to achieve goals in a busy office environment.
  3. The ability to effectively communicate, interact with, and influence current and prospective donors, volunteers, co-workers and the general public is required.
  4. This position functions in an office environment and requires local travel in the service area. It requires the use of general office equipment such as computers and copiers. Incumbent will spend 75% of time stationary working at a desk.  Some light lifting and evening and weekend hours are required.
  5. This position requires an understanding of all of Wayside Waifs’ safety policies and compliance with all safety related procedures.
  1. Required Experience and Skills
    1. 3 years in special events, fund development, or communications in the non-profit environment.
    2. Computer literacy with experience in Word, Excel, Microsoft Office
    3. Excellent communication, interpersonal and organizational skills
    4. Ability to take initiative, coordinate with others and follow through in a fast-paced environment
    5. Ability to proactively problem solve and find creative solutions
    6. Social media expertise
    7. Strategic thinker
    8. Excellent customer/donor service skills
    9. Experience working with high-level donors and corporate executives to engage them in the fundraising process.
  2. Preferred Experience
    1. 5+ years in special events, fund development or non-profit environment
    2. Donor database management; experience with Raisers’ Edge software and online event management software preferred
    3. Managing and implementing large scale special events (500+ attendees/gross revenues of $350,000+)
    4. Documented history of growing special event fundraising revenue.
    5. 3+ years working with individual donors and/or corporate sponsors; including identification, cultivation, solicitation, and recognition.
  3. Required Education
    1. Bachelor’s Degree in communications, public relations, journalism, nonprofit management, or similar field
  4. Preferred Certification(s)
    1. CFRE or Event Planning
Working Environment  
Work in office setting; travel to area events in year-round weather conditions. The employee may be exposed to fumes or airborne particles. The noise level in the work environment is moderate to high. Will frequently be working with and exposed to a variety of animals. 

Benefits: Wayside Waifs offers the following benefits:

- Medical, Dental, Life, Vision and Long Term Disability
- 401(k)
- PTO (Vacation and Sick Time)
- Six and a half paid Holidays

To apply for this position, please visit our website at

Just as Wayside Waifs has committed to providing compassionate care for the thousands of homeless animals who enter our shelter each year, we are equally committed to providing a healthy and humane working environment for our employees. Wayside Waifs is an EOE and is looking for diversity in candidates for employment.


Job Type: Full Time

Salary Range: $50,000 - 74,999