Skip to main content

Open Positions

Application Accommodations:

If you are unable or limited in your ability to access our career website as a result of a physical or mental impairment, please contact Human Resources at (616) 331-2215 or to request a reasonable accommodation. You may also access this resource to request accommodations prior to or during the interview process. Your privacy is important to us, therefore, we will only share information regarding accommodations on a need to know basis.

Special Events Manager - University Development

Apply now Job no: 493269
Work type: EAP - Executive, Administrative, Professional
Location: Grand Rapids
Categories: Development/Alumni Relations

Summary: The Special Events Manager plans and executes high-profile events designed to engage, cultivate, and steward prospective and current donors to Grand Valley State University. This position has direct contact with the President, university leadership, and major donors, and requires a high level of detail and organization to execute multi-faceted projects successfully.

Required Qualifications and Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Three years of experience in complex event planning.
  • Demonstrated project management experience with the ability to manage multiple projects, successfully work under pressure, and meet deadlines.
  • Well organized with ability to delegate tasks and monitor progress.
  • Experience in coordinating offsite events, venue selection, estimates, contracts, and budgeting.
  • Technical digital literacy including advanced Excel skills and data base experience.
  • Strong problem-solving skills.
  • A high degree of personal and professional integrity, poise, experience, and excellent judgment.
  • Creativity, flexibility, self-motivation, and accountability are critical.
  • Ability to maintain positive interpersonal relationships and provide quality customer service.
  • Clear and concise written and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Available to work evenings and occasional weekends.
  • Candidates must be committed to GVSU’s vision of inclusion and equity.

Preferred Qualifications and Education:

  • Five years of experience in high-end event planning and management.
  • Experience with content management software, donor database systems, and email distribution systems.
  • Experience in higher education.

Responsibilities – Essential Functions:

  • Provide leadership and direction in a growing program of fundraising events including galas, receptions, dedications, tours, and private gatherings.
  • Collaborate with front-line fundraisers to develop high-profile, high-touch events that lead to stronger relationships and increased support for GVSU.
  • Manage the selection process for event venues, including site visits, contracts, relationships with vendors and donor hosts, and budgets and expenses for each event.
  • Partner with list manager and communications team on design and distribution of event invitations, mailing lists, and follow up materials.
  • Prepare event documents for distribution to the President, senior leadership, and gift officers prior to each event, including detailed timelines, guest bios, seating charts, and staffing plans.
  • Work with systems analyst to develop and maintain event reports, processes, and procedures that provide consistent quality, information, and analysis. Train other team members in the Millennium events module.
  • Support stewardship of GVU Foundation directors through personal contact, mailings, and events. Develop and maintain ongoing relationships with directors and their personal assistants.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with key personnel involved in the successful execution of events on and off campus.
  • Develop, write, and maintain event procedures.
  • Train and mentor support staff and student workers.
  • Attend, as appropriate, other university and community events to represent Grand Valley.
  • Includes some travel, evenings, and weekends.

Salary: Commensurate with experience

Department/Division: University Development

Campus: Pew Campus

Application Deadline: November 22, 2019

How To Apply: Apply online at and select “Apply now”. Please include a cover letter and resume. The online application will allow you to attach these documents electronically. On the application, you will be required to provide names, phone numbers, and e-mail address for three professional references. Applicants selected for interviews will be required to submit official transcripts prior to the interview. If you need assistance, call Human Resources at 616-331-2215.

Grand Valley State University is guided by values for inclusiveness and community which are integral to our mission to educate students to shape their lives, their professions, and their societies, and to enrich the community through excellent teaching, active scholarship, and public service. The University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution. It encourages diversity and provides equal opportunity in education, employment, all of its programs, and the use of its facilities. Members of the University community, including candidates for employment or admissions, and visitors or guests have the right to be free from acts of harassment and discrimination, including sexual misconduct, which are prohibited if they discriminate or harass on the basis of age, color, disability, familial status, height, marital status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex/gender (including gender identity and expression), sexual orientation, veteran or active duty military status or weight. The University will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities. See TDD Callers: Call Michigan Relay Center at 711 (in State) or 1-800-833-7833 (out of State)

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Must have the physical stamina to work long hours and/or more than 5 days per week. The requirements listed 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. The information contained in this job description is for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act as amended by the ADA Amendment Act (2008), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and other applicable federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. GVSU will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request.

Advertised: Eastern Standard Time
Applications close: Eastern Standard Time

Back to search results Apply now Refer a friend

Share this:

| More

Applicant Login

Login to check status of existing applications

Applicant Login

Filter Results

Work type