Director, Anchor Events

Posted on 01/17/2023

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN

The Director of Anchor Events will be responsible for driving strategy, development, planning and evaluation of key events, including hallmark series, originating in Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving (AE/AG). These events vary is complexity and scope though the intent is to create a holistic experience for guests of AE/AG events.

Events programming plays an integral role in the connection of our vibrant, diverse communities. The Director will work collaboratively within a cross-functional team environment to strategize and execute on high-impact experiences that result in progressive engagement and philanthropic opportunities for alumni, parents, students, and friends of the global Vanderbilt network.

Anchor Events range in format and size, including virtual and hybrid programs, on-campus events, and regional engagement series. The Director of Anchor Events collaborates with DAR and university partners to align strategies and execution tactics to drive impact for university priorities, including admissions yield, belonging and inclusion, community connection, lifelong learning, and constituent involvement through engagement and philanthropy.

This position reports to the Executive Director for Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving.

About the Work Unit: 

The Department of Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) assists Vanderbilt University in securing the resources, both human and financial, that are required to achieve its mission and goals.  The Department is responsible for the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individuals and organizations whose charitable objectives are consistent with those of Vanderbilt University’s teaching and research programs.

Key Functions and Expected Performance: 

  • Serves as strategy partner with Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving teams to ensure cohesive and strategic event planning. Directly manages a team of up to three to execute on strategy, planning, and logistics support to relevant areas. These FTEs will be positioned in Anchor Events.
  • Delivers best-in-class event experiences (face-to-face, virtual, and hybrid) through a constituent-oriented mindset. Continuously evaluates events, utilizing data to inform decision-making and adopts technology to elevate experiences.
  • Serves in a consultative capacity for other partner events – sharing best practices, developing guidelines and administrative support, where requested.
  • Engages in close partnership with Development and Alumni Relations (DAR), Marketing and Communications, and other key university partners. Serves as representative in appropriate vendor relationship groups.
  • Provides budgetary oversight to team and partners, and trains those responsible on financial processes.
  • Works in close coordination with DAR partners to capture event data and develop relevant reporting.
  • The Director of Anchor Events must be able to manage multiple projects effectively and efficiently, all while ensuring that key goals and deadlines are met. The Director must be skilled in the use of all Office products, and well versed in digital tools (e.g., Zoom/Teams/YouTube). Additional experience with project management and client management tools are a must. Experience in Salesforce is a plus.
  • In addition to being a strong program manager, the Director must possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Further, the Director should have the ability to use sound judgement in all situations. Demonstrated experience in event management and customer service is required, and experience in higher education is preferred. The Director must be able to travel domestically and internationally, perform physical labor and work extended hours as needed

Education and Certifications: 

  • A Bachelor’s Degree, or the equivalent, is necessary.

Experience and Skills: 

  • Three or more years of experience, or the equivalent, is necessary; Prefer experience with higher education development
  • Strong organizational and communication skills
  • Ability to work independently but also collaboratively in a team environment
  • Goal-oriented mindset and innovative thinking
  • Interpersonal skills and judgment suitable for exercising appropriate discretion and demeanor when dealing with alumni, parents, friends, and employees
  • Ability to exercise good judgment in the handling of confidential information
  • Ability to use current computer technology, such as Windows, Excel, Word, and Vanderbilt’s donor management system
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to work independently, take initiative, manage multiple projects simultaneously, meet deadlines, and adapt to ever changing priorities
  • Values the importance of equity as an organizational operating principle and is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Some evening and weekend work, as needed

Key Characteristics of a Successful Team Member in this Work Unit:

  • Holds oneself accountable; takes responsibility for failures as well as successes; and recognizes that trust is required to hold a team together.
  • Shares information; communicates proactively; transmits knowledge; asks for advice and considers it thoughtfully.
  • Genuinely values teamwork and co-workers.
  • Expects and delivers excellence. Is proactive and focused on creative problem solving. Welcomes input to making things better. Places a high value on learning and improving.
  • Is motivated. Manages time, activities and outcomes well so that progress stays on track. Balances multiple, competing priorities simultaneously without becoming overwhelmed.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: 

At Vanderbilt University, we are intentional about and assume accountability for fostering advancement and respect for equity, diversity, and inclusion for all students, faculty, and staff. Our commitment to diversity makes us who we are. We have created a community that celebrates differences and lets individuality thrive. As part of this commitment, we actively value diversity in our workplace and learning environments as we seek to take advantage of the rich backgrounds and abilities of everyone. The diverse voices of Vanderbilt represent an invaluable resource for the University in its efforts to fulfill its mission and strive to be an example of excellence in higher education.

Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities, and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.

Please note, all candidates selected for an offer of employment are subject to pre-employment background checks, which may include but are not limited to, based on the role for which they have been selected: criminal history, education verification, social media review, motor vehicle records, credit history, and professional license verification.

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