Director of Events (College Advancement)

Posted on 08/05/2022

Colby College

Waterville, ME

The Division of College Advancement at Colby College is seeking a highly motivated and detail-oriented director of events at an exciting and defining moment in the College’s history. A member of the communications and engagement leadership team, this individual will be responsible for conceptualizing and executing high-impact and strategic alumni, donor, prospect, and family programming on campus, in key geographic locations, and virtually.

Reporting to the senior director of advancement communications and engagement, the director of events will lead all aspects of on- and off-campus events and programming. The individual will develop and implement strategic event plans designed to support frontline fundraising, increase alumni and family participation and engagement, and generate more substantial philanthropy. Responsible for managing all members of the advancement events team, the director must ensure all events and programming are innovative, creative, memorable, and executed at the highest level.

A highly visible representative of the College, the director of events will work in close partnership with senior leaders, faculty, staff, as well as alumni and family volunteers. We encourage inquiries from candidates who will contribute to the diversity of our College, including its cultural and ethnic diversity.

Essential Functions and Responsibilities

  • Conceptualize and produce engagement, stewardship, and cultivation events with alumni, families, donors, and prospects
  • Develop and maintain highly professional standards and procedures for production of events in keeping with the image and reputation of the College; serve as the campus resource for matters of divisional event protocol and etiquette
  • Supervise a team of staff members focused on developing new and engaging experiences based on interests and affinities to the College and Dare Northward campaign priorities
  • Manage budgets and vendors for all special events and regional programs as assigned; prepare related budget reports when needed
  • Gather and analyze data around event attendance and event marketing in order to assess effectiveness at increasing alumni engagement and commitment
  • Serve as the primary event manager and experience designer for special advancement events on campus, off campus, and virtual
  • Lead the planning and production for events such as Reunion, Homecoming, and other high impact events planned by the Division of College Advancement and for partners across campus
  • Conduct pre-event trainings with all advancement staff involved in events to ensure role clarity and alignment of expectations
  • Inform and update staff members and other involved parties throughout the event cycle to ensure alignment across Advancement and across campus.
  • Contribute to event promotion and marketing in collaboration with colleagues on the Communications and Engagement team, leveraging digital tools and platforms, including web and social media management
  • Prepare briefing materials and talking points for College and volunteer leadership
  • Manage the speaker preparation process, including partnering with Advancement marketing and communications colleagues, frontline staff, senior leadership, and others to develop content and coordinate rehearsals
  • Develop strategic partnerships with staff and faculty across campus to make proactive and holistic plans for the cadence of events in a given year and to make sure the planning process includes all key stakeholders such as Office of Campus Events, DavisConnects, Department of Athletics, Department of Recreation, Colby Museum of Art, Office of Campus Life, Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, and other campus units
  • Strive continually for more efficient and effective methods of service delivery
  • In partnership with the Office of Campus Events and independently, hire and manage vendors; coordinate travel, lodging, meals, and production schedules
  • Provide on-site leadership at events, including managing load-in, vendors, working staff, and the overall production of the event
  • Provide on-site direct support to senior leadership and key stakeholders as required
  • Perform additional duties as assigned; duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice


  • Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in education and experience
  • At least 5 years of event and/or program management experience with an in-depth understanding and direct experience in the areas of event design, marketing, and planning required, including partnership with external vendors and speaker preparation
  • Experience working with staff and volunteers, the ability to manage complex relationships, and proven collaboration and teamwork skills to leverage activities, initiatives, and programs for multiple purposes
  • Strong written and oral communication skills required, including the ability to write in multiple styles/voices and proactively edit as necessary
  • The ability to meet multiple simultaneous deadlines in a timely manner; demonstrated attention to detail
  • Demonstrated data-driven analysis skills
  • Experience with risk management, insurance, and contracts
  • Aptitude to address complex issues in-the-moment utilizing a clear, thoughtful manner and to come to resolution quickly without jeopardizing the event or relationships with people involved
  • Proven ability to listen carefully; to understand, respond, and problem-solve effectively; and to address concerns and interests of campus constituents, guests, vendors, and others as needed
  • An entrepreneurial spirit and creative thinker
  • Highly developed computer skills including extensive experience using Microsoft Office Suite; Google Suite; email, web, and database applications, as well as an interest in and ability to learn new computer programs with ease and in a self-guided manner; experience with fundraising software, customer relationship management (CRM) and email marketing system is a plus
  • Willingness and ability to work outside normal working hours (i.e. nights and weekends)
  • Commitment to the core values of liberal arts education, including the ability to work as a member of a diverse community
  • Valid driver’s license required and must meet the College’s Fleet Safety Policy requirements

Key Relationships

Reporting to the senior director of communications and engagement, the position will work closely with division colleagues and the Office of Campus Events. The position also has signification interaction with students, faculty, staff, College leadership, alumni, donors, prospects, visitors, and outside constituencies.

Working Conditions/Physical Requirements

General open office and campus environment. Position involves sitting, although frequent movement is necessary. Computer usage involving repetitive hand/wrist motion is also necessary. Ability to move around campus and interact with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and external constituencies regularly is crucial. Some travel and work outside of normal business hours are required.

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