The Events and External Communications Manager is an essential member of the team, helping to advance the mission of Friends-Boston by supporting the work of the Development Department. This person reports to the Director of Development and is responsible for ensuring high quality communications and execution of events that engage the public, donors, and potential volunteers in the mission of Friends-Boston. The Events and External Communications Manager works collaboratively with the Director of Development, Executive Director and all other members of the development and program teams to manage and implement external communications and development events.
Friends-Boston must build and deepen relationships with key stakeholders and influencers in government, private sector, philanthropy, local communities and peer organizations. S/he will play an instrumental role in helping put in place the Brand Awareness component of our new Strategic Plan and launching the communications strategy and efforts of the organization.
The Events and External Communications Manager must have excellent verbal and written communications skills and a deep understanding of donor and constituent-centered communications. The Events and External Communications Manager must also be able to balance multiple projects and meet deadlines while maintaining a can do attitude. The Events and External Communications Manager must be able to work independently as well as be a team player willing to help wherever is needed.
Strategic Events Management with an Emphasis on Donor Cultivation/Stewardship (estimated at 40% of time):
- Conceptualize, plan and execute an annual event strategy designed to diversify Friends-Boston’s revenue streams by attracting new sources of support, cultivating new supporters, stewarding and renewing existing donors and increasing visibility for the agency’s mission.
- Successfully oversee and execute all Friends-Boston events from inception to completion including but not limited to Annual Friend Raiser, House Parties, Rodman Ride for Kids, Corporate Leadership Council events, cultivation, recognition and stewardship events, and other existing and new development events.
- Work with the Director of Development to set revenue goals, solicitation strategies, timelines and post event evaluation and analysis. Ensures all goals, strategies, timelines and analysis are met, adhered to and completed.
- Strategically manage Friends-Boston’s annual events calendar in a cadence optimized for steady success throughout the fiscal year.
- Develop systems, protocols and best practices to ensure all Friends-Boston events are consistently exceptional, high-caliber occasions that showcase our positive impact on Achievers.
- Work with the Director of Development and other leaders to identify, develop and implement new opportunities for Friends-Boston’s events portfolio.
- Work with the Director of Development to create regular, content-based opportunities for specific funder and donor groups to learn more about Friends-Boston and related key issues.
- Adapt current events & propose new engagement opportunities based on criteria including stakeholder feedback, community-driven sensibility, brand awareness for the organization, revenue generation, etc.
- Work with the Development Team to create a full suite of event sponsorship benefits designed to maximize revenue generation and align with the goals of the funding community.
- Work with the Director of Development to create mission-focused event programs that foster a clear understanding of Friends-Boston’s impact as a leading professional mentoring based, youth development agency in greater Boston.
- Work with Friends-Boston’s leadership to identify and recruit event chair people and committee members tasked with revenue generation and word-of-mouth promotion.
- Provide leadership, oversight, and follow up for all event committee activities and ensure committee members have the resources necessary to be successful Friends-Boston solicitors.
- Serve as primary project manager and engage internal staff in collaboration and event support to design events that meet both the needs of partners and the organization. Create buy-in and opportunities for staff to contribute their talents and skills to support events.
- Work with the Philanthropy Coordinator to ensure timely data entry, financial transactions, gift acknowledgements and financial reporting as it pertains to event attendees and donors.
- Provide leadership while overseeing all aspects of guest experience, event production, logistics, speaking programs, printed and digital materials.
- Develop and manage all event expense budgets, stay within budget, and strive for a 35% cost to raise ratio.
- Manage all key vendor and consultant relationships.
- Support Program and Operations event activities as necessary.
Communications (estimated at 25% of time):
- Work collaboratively to create content and design for Friends-Boston’s monthly e-newsletter, quarterly newsletter, and donor recognition packages.
- Maintain an active social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
- Create and update all marketing materials ensuring consistent Friends-Boston branding and messaging.
- Help create and manage Friends-Boston’s photo and video library, incorporating it into communications strategy.
- Coordinate with outside resources including but not limited to graphic designers, Friends National Office, printers, etc.
- Create and use photo library of images that help tell each Achiever’s story.
- Ability to use constituent centric and donor focused language in communications.
PR and Media Relations (estimated at 25% of time):
- Devise a PR & Media strategy to increase name recognition with key influencers within communities of donors, government officials, non-profit leaders, and business champions.
- Identify main client groups and audiences and determine the best way to communicate publicity information to them.
- Work with key staff to increase our involvement in public discussions and strategic movement in the arenas of proven risks youth, mentoring, education, criminal justice, social work, and trauma informed practices.
- Write interesting and effective press releases, prepare information for media kits, and develop and maintain the Friends-Boston website as needed in order to keep content current and engaging.
- Work with Friends-National and other chapters to promote Friends of the Children and its impact both locally and nationally.
- Develop and maintain Friends-Boston’s image and identity, which includes the use of logos and signage as well as complying with the Friend of the Children Brand standard.
Organizational Support (estimated at 10% of time)
- Support programmatic efforts as needed and when appropriate.
- Support organizational fundraising efforts, including but not limited to, events, donor cultivation, annual mailing and funder visits.
- Actively contribute and participate in organizational-wide activities to advance the overall success of our organization and delivery of our mission.
Position Requirements (Education, Experience, Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Work Demands):
- Bachelor’s Degree required
- Minimum of three years’ full-time experience in Development, communications, public relations, marketing and/or event management.
- Self-motivated and resourceful with superior organizational and time management skills.
- Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work collaboratively with other development and finance team members, senior management and Friends-Boston’s Board volunteers/members.
- Must be a team player with the ability to work independently.
- Attention to detail and ability to manage multiple projects is critical.
- Ability to problem solve on the spot and respond with tact, diplomacy and poise.
- Ability to represent Friends-Boston at fundraising events and meetings and to work well with a broad range of constituencies.
- Proven experience working with and managing vendors.
- Solid writing and verbal communication skills.
- Ability to maintain high level of donor confidentiality.
- Willingness to work occasional evenings and weekends as event and project deadlines dictate.
- Able to travel to meetings and events as needed.
- Valid driver’s license required but car not required.
- Must be willing to join a quick-paced energetic Development team, and work with a group of talented, committed volunteers.
- Strong computer skills required. Knowledge of Microsoft Office, Greater Giving, and InDesign or comparable software strongly preferred.