Development Events Specialist

Job Type

Full Time



Start Date:



1530 P Street Northwest
District of Columbia
United States


About Carnegie Institute for Science


Andrew Carnegie founded the Carnegie Institution of Washington (“Carnegie”) in 1902 as an organization for scientific discovery. His intention was for the institution to be home to exceptional individuals—men and women with imagination and extraordinary dedication capable of working at the cutting edge of their fields. The Carnegie Institution of Washington is an endowed, independent, nonprofit institution.

Carnegie is headquartered in Washington, D.C. And has departments in Baltimore, MD, Pasadena, CA, Palo Alto, CA, Chicago, IL and Chile. Carnegie is seeking a Full-time Development Events Specialist to initiate, plan, and execute Carnegie’s annual cycle of development events for the institution. Please see below for details on the vacancy.


Development Events Specialist


The Development Events Specialist is a consummate events administrator who will work closely with the Manager of Donor Relations and the Advancement Department to initiate, plan, and execute Carnegie Science’s annual cycle of development events--a combination of onsite and off-site recognition, cultivation, stewardship, and/or fundraising events. 


In-person engagement opportunities--whether intimate dinners with prospective donors, or larger donor appreciation events--are crucial components of Carnegie’s major and principal gift cultivation strategies. The ideal candidate will understand how to use events featuring the president, senior leadership, and trustees to strategically engage donors.


The Development Events Specialist ensures that donor engagement and stewardship goals are met through tailored, well-executed events. Events play a crucial role in connecting donors and prospects with Carnegie Science’s mission, top researchers, and most engaging science. The successful Development Events Specialist will be adept at soliciting ideas and driving the process of translating vision into reality.


Primary Responsibilities:

Event Strategy

  • In consultation with the Manager of Donor Relations and gift officers, develop the annual events strategy and maintain the execution calendar.
  • Collaborate with Development Team to determine how to best utilize events as part of overarching engagement and stewardship initiatives, and recommend events (type, location, size) to cultivate and steward specific donor groups, including Carnegie Friends and other giving societies.
  • Act as a liaison with departments and coordinate headquarters events calendar with regional/department events calendars.
  • Identify and network with key local partners to execute engaging events.
  • Maintain vendor relationships to secure the best rate or donation of services needed for events.
  • Build a development events resource hub, with curated resources on partners, vendors, event best practices, samples, templates, and protocols.


Event Coordination

  • Act as staff lead and on-site manager during development events, overseeing activities, staff, vendors, and volunteers to ensure satisfaction of participants, and flawless event execution.
  • Lead the planning and execution of all engagement and stewardship events attached to the semiannual Board of Trustee meetings, including dinners, departmental tours, etc.
  • Working closely with prospect relationship managers, lead the planning and execution of donor engagement and stewardship events, including donor appreciation events, intimate donor cultivation dinners, small group educational travel programs, and house parties. 
  • Work with Advancement team and relevant departmental staff to develop event theme and program and assist in securing or preparing feature program speakers as needed.
  • Export invitation lists from Salesforce, and track invitations and responses in database.
  • Arrange for appropriate event space.
  • Secure vendors for AV, catering, decorations, etc.
  • Recruit event volunteers--internal and external--as needed.
  • Create detailed briefings and event event staffing plans and schedules.
  • Ensure all relevant Carnegie staff are briefed on logistics and attendees.
  • Manage the design, copy and production deadlines for all event collateral including invitations (electronic and hardcopy), scripts/talking points, program, signage, etc.
  • Manage table assignments, nametags, event look-and-feel, AV, signage, check-in


Event Follow-up

  • Develop a consistent event follow-up strategy, and execute with key staff follow-up communications, including thank-yous, acknowledgments, cultivation materials, and other collateral.
  • Lead post-event debriefs and collects and analyzes feedback from staff and guests to make recommendations for improving future effects.
  • Work with Carnegie Science staff to collect and upload qualitative and quantitative event data.


Key Attributes

  • Strategic, creative, imaginative, and critical thinker with the ability to link Carnegie Science’s mission and program objectives with donors’ interests and priorities.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and thorough follow-up.
  • Superior project and process management skills including planning, coordinating, and organization.
  • Can build internal and external partnerships, and can balance a partner organization’s vision with Carnegie’s for co-sponsored events. 
  • Highly proactive, responsive, timely, accurate and thorough in follow-through.
  • Can advance projects independently; knows when to include key decision-makers, and when to be proactive in moving projects along.
  • Can manage spending and work creatively within a budget to execute high-quality engagement opportunities.
  • Ability to prioritize and work in a fast-paced environment and to juggle multiple projects.
  • Superior customer service skills.


  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Three to five years of experience in event coordination, preferably in a development environment.
  • Demonstrated capacity to create and execute a variety of events: from intimate gatherings, to high-profile, large-scale events.
  • Superior organizational skills, accuracy and precision in handling timelines and details.
  • Proficiency in Word and Excel, and experience with donor databases (Salesforce preferred).
  • Ability to work in a collaborative team atmosphere.
  • Budget management experience, preferably for events.
  • Ability to adapt to changing priorities and balance competing assignments.
  • Experience in communications, marketing, or design a plus.
  • Flexibility to travel and work extended hours. 

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

To apply for this position please submit a cover letter and resume. Only applications with both cover letters and resumes will be considered. No phone or email inquiries please. Please apply by clicking on the above link:

All applicants will receive consideration of employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.