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Gala Coordinator 2019 

Category Development and Donor Relations  
Position Gala Coordinator  
Full-Time/Part-Time Full-Time and/or Part-Time  
Exempt/Non-Exempt Non-Exempt  
Salary Anticipated Starting Rate: $15.00 per hour  

Department: Philanthropy
Supervisor: Director of Philanthropy
FLSA Status: Non-Exempt -- Temporary
Schedule: Up to forty (40) hours per week, February through May 2019; extension possible for up to ten (10) hours per week, June through September 2019.

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is seeking a Gala Coordinator to assist us in creating and delivering an exceptional 26th Annual Gala on Sunday, April 28, 2019. Our goal is to have a fun, enjoyable event, which raises increased net revenues, and provide attendees with greater familiarity with our nonprofit organization and the Sonoran Desert.

The Gala will feature a reception, dinner, appearances by educational animals, raffles, and silent and live auctions, for an expected 550 attendees. The Gala will be promoted as a fundraiser and the focus of the evening will be on raising funds for ASDM. The gross income goal for the event is $500,000.

The Gala Coordinator, in collaboration with other staff and volunteers, will successfully plan, implement, coordinate, wrap up, and evaluate the event. This position also has primary responsibility for data entry, gift processing, and donor acknowledgements.


Applications due by February 11, 2019, but review to begin immediately upon receipt of applications from qualified applicants. This position is considered open until filled. Applications are accepted only for open positions and must be completed online. Unsolicited resumes or related correspondence received by any other means (such as mail, fax, or email) will not be acknowledged, reviewed, or kept on file. Please understand that if offered a position, you will, as a final condition of employment, be required to successfully complete a pre-employment drug screen and criminal background check.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following.

General Management and Finances

  • Is in regular communication with the Gala Chair, committee chairpersons, Director of Philanthropy, Development Officer, and other pertinent staff to provide updates on progress, issues, resources, and budget matters.
  • Manages, updates, and adjusts master event calendars, timelines, and checklists.
  • Helps manage and coordinate general event logistics, such as catering, contracts, staging, entertainment, floor plans, seating plans, décor, volunteers and staffing, technical equipment, presentations, protocol management of VIP guests and dignitaries, and any other relevant tasks, as required.
  • Processes payments for tickets, table ambassadorships, sponsorships, underwriting, raffle ticket purchases, auction purchases, and donations.
  • Ensures tight cost control over all expenses items, including vendor contracts and production costs.
  • Works with ASDM's Volunteer and Internship Programs Coordinator on identifying, detailing, and staffing specific volunteer job duties before, during, and after the gala.

Data Entry and Management

  • Performs data entry in Raiser's Edge and event management software, tracks event and program logistics, invitees, attendees, sponsors, in-kind donors, and all communications.
  • Produces post-event correspondence in a timely manner, including:
    • Acknowledgement letters and tax receipts to sponsors, underwriters, table ambassadors, donors, and attendees.
    • Thank you notes to sponsors, underwriters, donors, attendees, board members, committee members, volunteers, and staff.

Marketing and Communications

  • Helps write copy for the gala social media platforms (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and webpages.
  • In collaboration with marketing staff, schedules and executes Constant Contact e-blasts.
  • Acts as the main point of contact for outside questions about the gala – whether in person, by email, or on the phone.

Printing and Publications

  • In collaboration with graphics staff, plans and generates:
    • Materials related to registration and check in (e.g., guest lists, nametags).
    • Promotional materials for use at the gala venue (e.g. programs, recognition signs, directional signs, table signs, place cards, set-up displays).
    • PowerPoint presentations listing sponsors, underwriters, and committee members, as well as describing live auction items.

Sponsorships and Underwriting

  • Tracks fulfillment of sponsor and underwriter benefits (e.g. complimentary event tickets, use of ASDM logo, posting of sponsor/underwriter’s logo, listing on gala signage).
  • Compiles and stores (digital) sponsor/underwriter logotypes and website addresses.
  • Ensures excellent stewardship of sponsors and underwriters.

Live and Silent Auctions

  • Assists in the solicitation of items for live and silent auctions.
  • Compiles necessary information to enable writing item descriptions.
  • Assures excellent stewardship of those donating items to live or silent auctions.

Weekend of Event

  • Is present at the gala venue Saturday, April 27, Sunday, April 28, and Monday, April 29.
  • Assists with all aspects of gala setup on Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28.
  • Manages the logistics and onsite supervision of the event.
  • Supports the orchestration of event aspects such as catering, audio visual, photography, and speakers.
  • Coordinates opening and closing of various activities at the gala.
  • Acts as “problem solver” at the event.
  • Is on hand to proactively manage any issues that arise in a professional manner and serve as the point person in charge of managing all event logistics.
  • Assists with night-of and day-after tear down and clean up.

Post Gala

  • Removes unclaimed/unsold items and their storage in appropriate locations.
  • Coordinates pickup or delivery of unclaimed, sold items.
  • Supports lead project managers on post-event wrap-up procedures, including tracking event attendance; overseeing event photography delivery and distribution; follow-up on donor pledges, and creating wrap-up reports, if necessary.

Other duties as assigned.

Supervisory Responsibilities
This job has no supervisory responsibilities.

Position 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.


  • Bachelor's degree from four-year college or university and at least two years' demonstrated success and experience working with and coordinating large (500+ attendees) special events and/or galas, preferably in the non-profit sector; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Strong technical and digital capabilities.
  • Project management skills, including demonstrated ability to manage complex projects with multiple and competing deadlines.
  • Must have experience in, and be comfortable with, asking for donations and sponsorships.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills.
  • Flexibility of schedule and availability of time necessary to accomplish event goals.
  • Must have access to personal vehicle, as frequent local travel is required.

Language Skills

Ability to read, analyze, and interpret general business periodicals, professional journals, technical procedures, or governmental regulations. Ability to write reports, business correspondence, and procedure manuals. Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, clients, customers, and the general public.

Mathematical Skills

Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals. Ability to compute rate, ratio, and percent and to draw and interpret bar graphs.

Reasoning Ability

Ability to apply common sense understanding to carry out instructions furnished in written, oral, or diagram form. Ability to deal with problems involving several concrete variables in standardized situations.

Computer Skills

To perform this job successfully, an individual should be:

  • Proficient using PC-based computers and Microsoft Office 2016 (e.g., Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint).
  • Experienced and skilled in entering data into and using Raiser’s Edge donor database and event management software, doing mail merges, using social media, and conducting online research.

Expertise with Raiser’s Edge 7, Auction Maestro Pro, mobile bidding platforms, and Constant Contact are pluses.

Physical Demands

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 talk or hear. The employee is frequently required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel and reach with hands and arms. The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; sit and taste or smell. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.

Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an 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 quiet.

The above description reflects a general overview of the responsibilities, reporting relationships and position requirements for this job classification. It is not intended to be a complete description of all duties and requirements that may be inherent in the position.

Open Date 1/29/2019  

This position is currently not accepting applications.

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