Manager, Individual Giving & Special Events

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Salary commensurate with experience and organizational size.



Start Date:



50 Broad Street
Suite 1720
New York
New York
United States


Mission & Vision

Read Ahead develops in students the social-emotional skills essential for academic and lifelong success through reading-based mentoring. Our vision is that our students have the opportunity to unlock their full potential through mentoring relationships based on a love of reading.

About Read Ahead

Read Ahead supports NYC children experiencing the adverse effects of poverty by connecting them to caring adult mentors who increase their chances for healthy social-emotional development. Centered around the foundational experience of reading together, mentors help their mentees develop the confidence, motivation, and improved skills to succeed in school and in life. Read Ahead matches volunteer mentors from over 40 corporate and community partners with public elementary school students, facilitating weekly lunchtime mentoring sessions throughout the school year. In 2017-2018, Read Ahead served over 1,000 children and engaged over 1,400 mentors.

About the Position

Read Ahead seeks a driven, organized, and entrepreneurial Manager, Individual Giving & Special Events to join our development team. This is an exciting opportunity for someone who is passionate about youth development and event planning, and is eager to contribute to a growing and dynamic organization. The Manager, Individual Giving & Special Events will play a key role on a small, collaborative, and results-oriented team, and be responsible for executing events and online initiatives that account for approximately 50% of Read Ahead’s overall revenue. The person in this position will have the opportunity to build on Read Ahead’s established calendar of successful signature events and online giving campaigns, as well as develop new and creative fundraising strategies. The Manager, Individual Giving & Special Events will report to the Senior Director, Development & Communications (SDDC).


Plan and execute successful events, including annual gala, in collaboration with staff and board leadership

  • Lead strategy for all components of the annual gala’s design, production, and execution, creating a fun, inspiring, and impactful experience for 300+ attendees 
  • Lead fundraising strategy for gala silent and online auctions
  • With support from Executive Director, identify, create strategy for, and support Host Committee to successfully solicit auction items
  • In collaboration with Program Department and SDDC, identify student speaker(s), develop compelling program script, and prep student, Board, staff, and celebrity speakers
  • With the support of the Development Operations Associate and Development team, manage all aspects of event operations and logistics, including managing invite and RSVP lists and liaising with venue and vendors
  • Lead gala communications efforts with the support of the Gala Chair, Executive Director, and SDDC
  • Plan 1-2 smaller-scale donor appreciation/stewardship events

Junior Board management and fundraising

  • Serve as primary relationship manager and point person for Read Ahead Junior Board
  • Support planning and execution of Junior Board quarterly meetings
  • Support Junior Board fundraising campaigns and events, including Giving Tuesday, annual bowling fundraiser, and stewardship events
  • Design campaign fundraising website and support donor outreach and recognition
  • Collaborate with Junior Board leadership to plan and execute successful bowling event for 150+ attendees

Collaborate with SDDC to execute annual calendar of online fundraising campaigns

  • Serve as Read Ahead’s Charity Manager for New York Road Runners in support of marathon and half-marathon campaigns, building relationships with NYRR staff and leading runner recruitment, fundraising, and recognition cycle
  • Identify and cultivate effective peer-to-peer fundraisers from Read Ahead’s network of mentors, volunteers, and supporters
  • Support fundraisers throughout each campaign through regular communication and sharing of best practices
  • Create compelling fundraising pages and campaign messaging, donor recognition and stewardship plan, and communications/social media collateral

Skills and qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • Minimum 2-3 years experience in a development/fundraising role
  • Experience and excitement for planning and executing events for 250+ guests required; experience with online fundraising and/or as a charity partner with the New York City marathon/half-marathon strongly preferred
  • Excellent project management skills, with the ability to stay organized, anticipate needs, and work collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders
  • Demonstrated ability to remain calm under pressure, juggle multiple priorities, manage time independently, and pivot when needed
  • Ability to build relationships with diverse stakeholders, and communicate in a clear, compelling, and diplomatic way
  • Strong desire for continuous growth and improvement on an individual and organizational level
  • Comfort with learning new systems and technologies, and a commitment to leveraging data to build organizational knowledge and drive strategy
  • Enthusiasm for Read Ahead’s mission and vision, and a strong desire to continuously grow and improve on an individual and organizational level


Highly competitive benefits package:

  • 90% health and 100% dental care coverage
  • $3,000 annual employer-funded HRA
  • 3% 403(b) match
  • Pre-tax FSA and Vision Plans offered
  • TransitChek pre-tax commuter travel benefit.
  • Three weeks’ paid vacation in first year; four weeks’ vacation after initial year; one week off between Christmas and New Year’s Day. 13 paid sick/personal days.
  • Read Ahead office closed for all federal holidays.
  • Remote work policy offered.

Read Ahead is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

Please send a resume and thoughtful cover letter explaining how your experience, skills, and interests make you a fit for this position to Ariel Grace, Senior Director, Development & Communications at Please write “Manager, Individual Giving & Special Events” in the subject line. Applications without all requested information will not be considered. No phone calls please.