Philanthropy events coordinator

Job Type

Full Time


Minimum: $43,000
Maximum: $50,000



Application Deadline



1483 Alaskan Way
Pier 59
United States


Posted:                     Open to internal and external applicants

Reports to:               Philanthropy events manager

Status:                       Full-time, exempt/salaried, benefitted position

Hours of work:         Standard Monday–Friday workweek, 8am–5pm. Occasional need for weekend or after-hours work as related to events and other projects.

Date needed:            ASAP

Posting expires:       Open until filled

About the Seattle Aquarium:

The Seattle Aquarium is owned by the City of Seattle and under nonprofit management. The Aquarium currently serves over 825,000 visitors and 40,000 schoolchildren and their teachers annually. Guided by its mission of Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment, the Seattle Aquarium has a realistic plan for phased growth based on record-setting attendance, membership and fundraising growth, an energized board of directors and professional management. The current annual budget is $16 million.

Position description:

Seattle Aquarium is hiring an events coordinator to join the philanthropy team. The philanthropy events coordinator contributes to the success of the department’s fundraising goal by providing strategic, creative and thoughtful recommendations toward a solid fundraising events program that builds on a donor-centric model. This includes planning and executing donor recognition and cultivation events and assisting the philanthropy events manager with the Aquarium’s major fundraising events. A successful candidate will be able to provide leadership on strategy, new approaches, collaborate with Aquarium colleagues across departments, and steward key donor and volunteer relationships.

Essential functions:

  • Partner with the philanthropy events manager to create/develop/plan/execute a creative and strategic donor-centric events calendar.
  • Provide overall direction, strategic leadership and execution of: Finding Vino, donor Halloween party and exclusive VIP gatherings with all pre- and post-event activities.
  • In partnership with the philanthropy events manager, assist with planning and execution of Ocean Honors, SeaChange, Splash! and Adult Swim.
  • Solicit and secure in-kind gifts.
  • Project-manage event-related collateral requests.
  • Lead, supervise and steward key volunteers and committees.
  • Assist in identification and recruitment of successful event committee members.
  • Build positive and responsive relationships with board and committee members.
  • Research, identify and assess events, volunteer execution and procedures for ongoing improvements.
  • Manage multiple relationships within the Aquarium (philanthropy team, marketing, events, catering, education, Sodexo and volunteers/board members).
  • Negotiate vendor contracts.
  • Adhere to event budget related to area of responsibility.
  • Assist events manager with auction sales and auction procurement revenue goals.
  • Related event support to include:
  • Creating and maintaining timeline.
  • Managing development of complete event program including schedules and scripts in collaboration with philanthropy staff and president/CEO’s office.
  • Managing, monitoring and tracking expenditures for Finding Vino and premier donor Halloween party.
  • Helping with the documentation and maintaining records for historical analysis and information purposes using Raiser’s Edge, as well as electronic and hard copy filing systems.
  • Assisting with RSVP process and RSVP tracking.
  • Assisting with invitation assembly and mailing, as well as thank you letters for events.
  • Assisting with production of nametags, table tents, place cards, menu cards and guest packets.
  • Event-related Raiser’s Edge activities.
  • Cultivating event-related supplies, including ensuring collateral materials are kept in stock.
  • Regularly attending Aquarium internal event committee meetings and anticipating needs of all parties for clear direction and timely communication of change.

Additional responsibilities:

  • Sit on various internal committees such as special events oversight committee and others as needed.
  • Store and keep account of donated and purchased items; coordinate pickup and delivery.

Required skills and abilities:

  • Demonstrated success managing and forging relationships with a wide range of donors; proven track record in securing in-kind gifts.
  • Proficiency in Raiser’s Edge and Greater Giving event software or other similar auction software programs; Microsoft Office programs.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with keen attention to detail.
  • Independent worker, self-directed.
  • Creative thinker who can honor others’ prior experience but is not always tied to “how we’ve always done it.”
  • Detail-oriented.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Must have good judgment and strong critical thinking skills; able to identify emerging trends and ideas that may lead to new opportunities. 

Experience, education and certifications:

We will consider various combinations of relevant experience and education to meet minimum requirements.



  • Two to four years of relevant experience with fundraising events, professional event production, event fundraising or philanthropy.
  • B.A./B.S. degree in marketing, communications, business or related field.

Working conditions:

  • High energy needed for long hours (some event days stretch to 18 hours), heavy lifting and some intense physical activity.
  • Requires roughly two dozen+ evening or weekend shifts throughout the year.
  • Washington state driver’s license and good driving record required for local travel.
  • Majority of work is performed in a normal office setting. Semi-private work area. Also requires duties to be carried out in exhibit areas, possible outdoor field excursions and off-site training and travel.
  • Frequent interruptions; walking, standing, sitting for extended periods of time. Some exposure to elements as employees are located in campus environment with multiple buildings, outdoor and semi-covered areas. Walking between Aquarium buildings in all types of weather.
  • Must be able to lift 30 pounds or more on occasion.

Salary and benefits:

$43,000–$50,000/year, D.O.E. Please include pay rate expectations in your materials. Full-time staff are eligible for the Seattle Aquarium’s comprehensive benefits package to include medical, vision, dental, health reimbursement account, medical and dental flexible spending accounts, life insurance, short- and long-term disability, long-term care, access to a subsidized ORCA pass, and generous paid time off.

How to apply:

The Seattle Aquarium is a progressive, equal opportunity employer that values a diverse workforce. All candidates are encouraged to apply by uploading a résumé and one-page letter detailing interest and relevant experience to our online application

Application review will begin immediately. Please let us know if you require a reasonable accommodation to apply for this job. 

Note: Must pass a background check upon job offer.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement