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Manager of Events & Donor Relations

Organizational Summary:
After School Matters is a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that annually offers after-school and summer programs to nearly 19,000 Chicago high school teens to explore and develop their talents while gaining critical skills that will set them up for success in college and beyond.
Thirty years later, now known as After School Matters, our program has engaged more than 350,000 Chicago teens and is the nation’s largest and most successful provider of after-school and summer programs for high school teens. No other organization offers programs to high school students at the scale and quality that we do.

We offer paid apprenticeships led by professionals in the fields of arts, communications and leadership, sports, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Our nationally respected youth development model has been replicated in cities across the country and earned us the City Livability Award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Programs take place at community locations throughout the city, including three ASM buildings: downtown at Gallery 37 Center for the Arts, the Michael and Karyn Lutz Center in Belmont Cragin, and the Pullman community at Gately Park.

Currently, After School Matters' annual operating budget is approximately $35M and employs approximately 500 staff across the organization.
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Summary of Position:
A key member of the development team, the Manager of Events & Donor Relations will be responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive event fundraising strategy that promotes the mission and organizational goals of After School Matters. The Manager of Events & Donor Relations will be a strategic thinker with strong project management skills and a proven track record for implementing highly visible, complex fundraising events resulting in significant revenue.

This employee will have a keen ability to leverage available data, organizational resources, and partnerships to design, document, and implement a systematic and integrated donor relations program that fosters donor stewardship and cultivation. Utilizing best practices, the Manager of Events & Donor Relations will implement numerous fundraising, cultivation, and stewardship events as well as collaboratively manage all programmatic events.

The incumbent must be willing and able to travel to vendor, meeting and event sites during planning and implementing programmatic events which will include evening and weekend work.
Major Duties and Responsibilities:
  • Oversee and implement an annual comprehensive event fundraising program that incorporates in-kind, volunteer, and sponsorship support to ensure financial goals of the organization are met on an annual basis.
  • Monitor event trends and make recommendations for new revenue sources and to maximize existing event revenue.
  • Be the expert in the Chicago event landscape including familiarity with venues, event best practices, etc.
  • In collaboration with the Senior Director of Development, design and implement new fundraising, cultivation and stewardship events.
  • Oversee targeted post-event follow-up strategies in partnership with Development Team.
  • Manage relationships with event consultants and vendors including RFP process, contract and price negotiation, on-site management, payment, and quality evaluation.
  • Oversee and steward the Gala Arrangements Committee.
  • Develop and monitor event budgets to ensure revenue and expenses are kept within established boundaries.
  • Provide detailed updates and financial summary reports for Board and executive leadership.
  • Design and implement project plans incorporating key benchmarks and targets, including complex logistics, timelines, and detailed budgets.
  • Oversee all logistical details of events including venue selection, food and beverage, BEOs, décor, entertainment, collateral materials, transportation, audio/visual, staffing, volunteer coordination, etc.
  • Secure and coordinate all appropriate permits and licensing prior to events, as well as ensure legal, health and safety obligations are met.
  • Manage Raiser’s Edge database processes and procedures for events to ensure accurate, efficient data entry of donor/participant information, proposals and actions.
  • Collaborate with Marketing and Communications Department on comprehensive marketing and communications strategies for events, including collateral materials, website design, signage, photography, videography, and event communications.
  • Develop and monitor timelines and promotional schedules for events, working with communications staff to ensure adequate and proper promotion.
  • Visit website regularly to ensure event sections are up-to-date and current. Provide content to marketing and communications team.
  • Provide direct supervision of the Development team intern.
  • Other duties as assigned.
Physical Demands:
The physical demands 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.
  • Must be able to sit for long periods of time.
  • Must be able to lift 25 lbs. or more at times.
Work Environment:
  • After School Matters’ Manager of Events and Donor Relations will be required to work nights and weekends when necessary.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
  • Solid background and demonstrated competence in specials events for fundraising and donor solicitation and cultivation.
  • Experience developing marketing materials and donor communications.
  • Ability to work and communicate with a wide range of external and internal constituents including C-Suite executives, development staff, program staff, finance staff, and ASM leadership.
  • Outstanding written and presentation skills to persuasively convey the mission of After School Matters to diverse external constituencies.
  • Ability to function independently in a fast-paced, high volume, multi-faceted, results-oriented work environment.
  • Ability to analyze issues, identify priorities, manage projects, and make decisions expeditiously while maintaining a close attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated strong analytical skills, including an ability to synthesize large amounts of detailed information and to focus quickly on the essence of an issue. Strong commitment to producing measurable results.
  • Team oriented with a full understanding of the dynamics of working with a diverse group to meet organizational goals
  • Proficient in all Microsoft Office applications and Raisers Edge
  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • 3 to 5 years of experience managing special events in a nonprofit setting
  • Cook County residency required
Additional Requirements:
Staff are required to provide proof of COVID-19 Vaccination or have an approved medical or sincerely held religious beliefs exemption prior to starting employment. If a medical or sincerely held religious belief exemption is approved, weekly Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing is required part of any reasonable accommodation.
How to Apply
Submit a cover letter and resume at
After School Matters is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, protected veteran status, military discharge status, age, marital status, parental status, or source of income.