Established in 1991, Chicago Cares mobilizes volunteers to build a stronger, more unified Chicago.
The Manager, Special Events is responsible for planning and executing all of Chicago Cares’ special events. Chicago Cares hosts several large-scale events throughout the year to generate revenue, mobilize volunteers, and build brand awareness. Events include:
MLK Day of Service (January): Corporate and general volunteer projects to commemorate this national day of service.
State of Volunteerism Address (April): Breakfast, networking, and educational event for 200+ leaders in the corporate, government, philanthropy, and nonprofit sectors
Serve-a-thon (June): Chicago’s largest day of volunteering for 5,000 volunteers at 20+ sites and Chicago Cares’ largest fundraiser
Find Your Cause (October): After-work volunteer fair for 300+ young professionals
Cheers to our Volunteers (November): Annual thank you event for 200+ volunteers and partners, including presentation of Star Awards
Chicago Cares also participates in other annual events such as On the Table (May). Additional events may be added over time.
The goal of this position is to ensure that all events are executed effectively and that organizational priorities are met. An ideal candidate will strive to make the client experience at events innovative and interactive, testing and adapting new strategies for the Chicago Cares audience to keep events compelling and to drive attendance. The Manager will also be responsible for building and managing key relationships with vendors, venues, and partners; soliciting in-kind donations; and working closely with other Chicago Cares staff to coordinate event support.
Essential Duties & Responsibilities
Participate in planning, strategy setting, and reporting on annual projections for special events.
Develop and implement planning timelines for each event.
Maintain regular relationships with vendors and venues, and source new relationships.
Prepare high-quality requests or applications to in-kind donors for event support.
Coordinate the involvement of Chicago Cares’ staff in event planning by assigning work appropriately, training and supporting staff as needed, and regularly checking in on staff members’ progress.
Work closely with the External Affairs team to promote events effectively and recruit attendees.
Contribute to the development of collateral marketing materials as well as website and social media content specifically for special events.
Manage and report on event registration.
Plan lively, creative, and memorable events focused on the attendee experience.
Research new trends in event planning and execution to keep Chicago Cares’ events innovative and relevant.
Coordinate all venue details, including but not limited to: food/beverage, staging, equipment, audio/video, permits, maintenance, security, and storage.
Manage any fundraising done at events, including raffles.
Manage relationships with in-kind donors.
Oversee supply ordering, delivery, and inventory.
Day of event: manage vendors, staff, and event logistics.
Ensure post-event duties are accomplished, including data entry, post-event follow-up, supply return, and event performance analysis and reporting.
External Affairs Support
Advance brand identity by reinforcing strategic messages and company values.
Participate in and provide support to other fundraising and stewardship activities as assigned.
Other duties as assigned including some administrative tasks.
Bachelor’s Degree or related experience
2 to 4 years of experience in event planning, customer service, sales, marketing, and/or fundraising
Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills with ability to make effective oral presentations to large and small groups
Excellent project management skills, including the ability to take initiative, work independently, prioritize tasks, meet deadlines, and handle multiple projects at once
Proven ability to produce high-quality results in a fast-paced, goal-oriented environment
Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite required
Ability to maintain composure and enthusiasm when working with a variety of personalities
A flexible schedule, including the ability to work occasional evenings and weekends and take on other functions/duties as assigned
Be able to adjust to various physical and environmental conditions as the position may require including computer work, sitting or standing for long periods of time, etc.
Able to life up to 50 pounds and engage in physical labor associated with loading, unloading, and moving project supplies
Comfortable driving a cargo van or box truck for event supply deliveries
Additional Salary Information: A unique opportunity to build a stronger, more unified Chicago. An outstanding chance to partner with our senior leadership. Icing on the cake? A competitive compensation package including salary, health, 401(k) and paid-time-off benefits.
Chicago Cares mobilizes volunteers to build a stronger, more unified Chicago. Founded in 1991, Chicago Cares envisions a city where we’re all active participants, fully invested in the city we call home and the success of all of our neighbors. We inspire volunteers to meet Chicago’s immediate needs, while also creating a movement for long-term change – building trust and empathy among people who ...might not otherwise meet, and empowering Chicagoans to roll up their sleeves to solve the city’s most pressing challenges.