Director of Special Events

Jun 22, 2017

Department: Development
Supervisor: Chief Development Officer                        
FLSA: Exempt


The Director of Special Events supports all ICP’s efforts by serving as the senior event professional and as a vital member of the fundraising team. The Director coordinates and implements all fundraising, donor cultivation, and stewardship events to help ICP meet its goals for philanthropic support. Additionally, the Director will design, market, and implement a program for space rentals inclusive of all ICP’s properties. The Director of Special Events reports to the Chief Development Officer and works closely with senior staff and the Development team to anticipate priorities, respond to opportunities, identify project needs, build strong relationships with Trustees and other stakeholders, and manage deadlines. Occasional weekends and evenings are required.

The ideal candidate will be a dedicated, detail-oriented, highly organized professional with outstanding interpersonal and communications skills, a passion for creating and executing dynamic events in a fundraising context, and the maturity and presence to work closely with the organization’s Trustees and most generous donors.

Essential Functions


  • Set and meet goals for the growth of the Special Events program, with particular focus on the planning and execution of two annual fundraising events: the Infinity Awards and Spotlights.
  • Promote success of fundraising events by developing and managing thorough and accurate invitation and solicitation lists, and by coordinating closely with staff and volunteer leadership to develop and distribute branded, customized, and personalized invitations and other event communications.
  • In collaboration with the Director of Marketing, coordinate internal and external communications to promote the visibility of events and manage the production of print materials.
  • Ensure accurate tracking of attendance lists, seating assignments, program listings, etc.
  • Ensure creative, highest-quality, cost-effective event services by closely managing approved event budgets; obtaining competitive bids from, contracting with, and managing relationships with event vendors; and remaining in control of all aspects and moving parts associated with event activities.
  • Develop tracking and reporting tools to effectively assess the overall profitability of events; capture direct and indirect associated costs to allow for accurate understanding of the ROI of ICP resource utilization.
  • Manage and support effective benefit committees and guide the participation of staff, committee members, trustees, and other volunteers in events. Manage VIP participation, including travel arrangements and speaking engagements.
  • Demonstrate extremely creative thinking and bring to all events, new and exciting ideas and concepts to enhance event appeal, attract media/press and public interest, increase fundraising results, and set ICP apart from other event offerings in and around the New York City area.
  • Manage and ensure smooth and efficient day-of-event coordination.
  • Write, edit, compile, and prepare event materials and collateral. Draft remarks, speaking points, and overall run-of-show guidelines. Demonstrate clear and effective communication to ensure understanding and collaboration between all areas of ICP.
  • Supervise event consultants, as needed, and stay abreast of event trends, venues, vendors, and technologies.


  • Working closely with Development department and other ICP staff, coordinate logistics and execution of cultivation and other donor events, including but not limited to exhibition openings and events.
  • Hire and manage vendors and production staff; oversee budgets, timelines, etc.
  • In collaboration with the Marketing department, coordinate event-related print materials.
  • Execute day-to-day logistics and staffing plans.
  • Prepare post-event acknowledgments and debriefs.


  • Working closely with the institutional giving team, design and implement a space rental program for corporate members and other interested parties.
  • Meet with prospective corporate members and interested renters to tour ICP’s space options amongst all three locations and maximize commitments. Track revenue and invoices.
  • Coordinate with ICP staff, ICP’s café partner, and other vendors as required to offer venue rental support options to interested parties. Attend and monitor events and/or ensure appropriate staffing is in place to oversee activities within ICP’s facilities and assist rental clients as needed.
  • In collaboration with the Marketing department, prepare marketing materials and web updates highlighting rental opportunities.

Additional Responsibilities

  • Recruit, train, and supervise event interns and volunteers.
  • Prepare budgets and periodic progress reports to staff directors for each event, including financial reports on progress toward fundraising goals and detailed expense budgets.
  • Prepare and submit check requests and invoices.
  • In collaboration with Development Services, ensure the production of accurate and timely acknowledgement letters.
  • Undertake other duties and responsibilities, as assigned from time to time. 

Minimum Qualifications


Bachelor’s degree required.


At least 7-10 years’ experience working in special events and fundraising capacities, ideally at a cultural institution in New York City. Experience using Raiser’s Edge or similar donor tracking database. Experience managing staff and interns.


Superlative interpersonal skills and customer-service orientation; a warm, friendly, confident, polished, and engaging style and demeanor; and the ability to forge positive working relationships with senior staff, trustees, donors, vendors, and others. Well-developed communications skills, including writing and proofreading; excellent data management and technology skills (Office suite, Raiser’s Edge preferred); exceptional organizational skills and follow-up. Able to effectively multi-task and demonstrate responsiveness combined with common sense and a positive attitude.

How to Apply

Send résumé, cover letter, and salary requirement to:

Director of Human Resources
International Center of Photography
1114 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036

Fax: 212.857.0089
No telephone calls please.

The International Center of Photography is an Equal Opportunity Employer.