Associate Director of Special Events

Job Type

Full Time



Start Date



50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco
United States


The Development department of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco is seeking an Associate Director of Special Events. The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, which comprises the de Young and Legion of Honor Museums, is experiencing an exciting renaissance with several innovative and groundbreaking projects underway, including the launch of a Contemporary Arts program in 2017, an institutional brand refresh in mid-2018, and the building of an interactive Children's Gallery in late 2018. As the largest public arts institution in San Francisco, the Museums welcome more than 1.5 million visitors annually, present an ambitious schedule of more than 20 exhibitions per year, house a world-class collection of 151,000 important artworks, and have a member base of 100,000 households. 

Fundraising efforts have also excelled in the past year, and the museums' events are a critical driver for this. Most recently, the museums have launched a domestic and international travel program, an events series for Contemporary Arts supporters, and an events series for a new premier level of annual giving, the Leadership Circle.

The Associate Director of Special Events will play a major role in this plan by overseeing all aspects of the museums' fundraising events, which generate $1.5 million in revenue. The Associate Director will be responsible for increasing revenue and improving ROI for all fundraising events.

The ideal candidate will be a strategic, creative, and innovative leader who has strong project management skills, is highly organized and deadline driven, and who has the drive and collaborative spirit to enhance the museum's events and maximize their fundraising potential.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities: 

  1. Direct the strategy for the museums' fundraising events with the goal of increasing revenue, maximizing ROI, and positioning the museums as the Bay Area leader in presenting signature events and experiences.
  2. Responsible for meeting revenue target of $1.5 million in first year and growing in each subsequent year.
  3. Supervise and mentor the Special Events Coordinator.
  4. Enhance the overall creativity, innovation, organization, profitability, and donor engagement for museum events.
  5. Lead the annual Art Party, a fundraising event for families that raises funds for education programs. Manage the event Committee, oversee solicitations and logistics, and identify ways to increase revenue and improve the guest experience.
  6. Lead the annual Bouquets to Art (BTA) Opening Night Gala, the opening event for BTA that raises funds for museum programs. Manage the San Francisco Auxiliary Committee, oversee solicitations and logistics, increase revenue, improve ROI, and streamline the process.
  7. Lead a cross-departmental staff team in executing the Bouquets to Art week, which features 120 floral installations and attracts tens of thousands of visitors. Partner with the Auxiliary on any other revenue-generating activities during BTA week.
  8. Lead the annual winter dinner and dance fundraiser, An Elegant Evening in the Court of Honor. Manage the Committee, oversee solicitations and logistics, to improve the donor experience and the revenue opportunities.
  9. When Director of Special Events is not available, serve in their role as the lead for the Special Events team.
  10. Manage event committees and work closely with the individual and corporate giving teams to increase contributions to events.
  11. Work with the Director of Special Events to plan and execute the Museum's annual fundraising gala, including overall concept, fundraising, committee management, and production.
  12. Serve as event manager for donor rentals (donors who rent the museum for their own event), overseeing all logistics and vendor/internal coordination.
  13. For all assigned events, oversee event design and theme, timeline, floor plan, invitation, menu, invitation list, seating plans, collateral materials, sponsor fulfillment, staffing, reporting, pre- and post-event meetings, etc..
  14. Prepare budgets for assigned events, monitor revenues and expenditures, handle invoices, and reconcile accounts.
  15. Contract with and oversee outside vendors for all aspects of fundraising events, such as catering, invitations, decor, lighting, entertainment, photography, valet parking, rental equipment, etc. 
  16. Work all appropriate events and perform other duties as assigned. 

Minimum Qualifications: 

Education: A B.A. degree from an accredited college or university. 

Work Experience: 5 years progressively responsible experience in planning and implementing special events. 

Skills and Abilities: 

  • Strategic, creative, and innovative leader.
  • Highly organized and deadline-driven; very skilled in project management.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with an ability to achieve cross-functional teamwork.
  • Ability to establish and maintain positive working relationships.
  • Ability to work simultaneously on multiple projects in a complex, highly demanding, and fast-paced work environment.
  • Must possess excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment, tact, and diplomacy especially with donors, volunteers, collectors, patrons, trustees and museum staff.
  • Microsoft Word and Excel spreadsheet skills essential. Raiser's Edge or Salesforce (or other CRM) experience preferred.
  • Flexibility in meeting shifting demands and priorities.
  • Demonstrated commitment to quality customer-service.
  • Must have a positive attitude and a sense of humor.
  • Must be available to work evenings and weekends as needed for special events.
  • Knowledge of Bay Area philanthropic community and art museums are desirable.

FAMSF offers a competitive salary and generous benefits package.

Application Deadline: Open until filled


FAMSF offers a competitive salary and generous benefits package, including medical, dental and vision.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

Cover letter and resume