Zoos Hiring

Job board dedicated to the zoo industry

Event Manager

Minnesota Zoo Foundation
Apple Valley, United States Posted: June 28, 2024

The Minnesota Zoo Foundation seeks an experienced event management professional to join the Foundation's team and coordinate the planning and day-of logistics related to a wide range of fundraising and stewardship events. This is a hybrid work position, and requires being onsite at the Minnesota Zoo Foundation offices 3+ days per week.

  • Interested applicants should apply through the Minnesota Zoo Foundation's online application at https://minnesotazoofoundation.applytojob.com/apply/fYvH2N6hdP/Event-Manager-Hybrid?source=MCN Applications received by Sunday, July 21, 2024 will receive first consideration. 
The Organization
  • The Minnesota Zoo Foundation (Foundation) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that accelerates the Zoo’s impact as a driving force for the health and well-being of people, animals and the planet by providing critical support and resources to fuel their mission.
  • Our support propels leading-edge ideas that redefine the role and impact of modern zoos, such as the creation of innovative nature experiences, best-in-class education programs and industry-leading conservation efforts.
  • We help open doors to uniquely immersive nature experiences that benefit the well-being of all by sponsoring programs that bring the Zoo experience to Minnesota communities and reduce physical, financial and cultural barriers to the Zoo.
  • We broaden the reach and impact of the Zoo’s mission by leading critical fundraising initiatives, attracting Zoo volunteerism and advocacy and supporting critical conservation work.
  • We empower the Zoo to continuously raise the bar for excellence in animal care and operations by funding the most advanced equipment, best-in-class facilities and industry-leading staff development opportunities. 
Position Summary
  • The Event Manager collaborates closely with both the Minnesota Zoo Foundation staff and the Minnesota Zoo special events team to plan, coordinate, and provide day-of oversight and logistical support for donor programs and events for the Minnesota Zoo Foundation, including fundraising events, donor cultivation events, corporate and foundation events, VIP openings for new or seasonal exhibits, virtual donor events, behind-the-scenes tours, donor meetings, and donor preview events.
Distribution of responsibilities by department and project include:
  • Major Gifts Programs/Events: 30%
  • Annual Giving Programs/Events: 20%
  • Institutional Giving Programs/Events: 5%
  • Organization-wide Fundraising Events (Beastly Bash, Wildlife Conservation Benefit etc): 30%
  • Capital Campaign Events: 15%
Duties / Responsibilities
Foundation Event Management
  • Serve as the project manager and logistics coordinator for Minnesota Zoo Foundation events, in response to the workplans and direction of Foundation department needs and requests.
  • Work closely with the Minnesota Zoo events team to assure event and calendar alignment identifying opportunities to create engaging experiences that develop and steward relationships between the Foundation with donors, volunteers, and trustees through a variety of programs and events.
  • Meet on a regular basis (weekly) with Zoo Events staff to collaborate on joint events and share resources for onsite donor events.
  • Present ideas for new donor programs and events to the Foundation Leadership based on Zoo exhibits, Zoo programs, special events, animals, and other opportunities.
  • Coordinate and project manage ongoing donor cultivation and stewardship events such as capital campaign events, major donor cultivation events, Foundation Friends Events, donor previews, donor VIP experiences, unique donor experiences, donor meetings, exhibit and special event nights and more.
  • Consult with Foundation team on scope, invite capacity, and development of event-related communications for both online and printed materials.
  • Provide guidance on creation of event budgets, support tracking all revenue and expenses responsibly, and coordinate with Foundation Operations for contract review and payment of invoices.
  • Serve as primary liaison with the Minnesota Zoo events team and with external vendors for Foundation events (as applicable), soliciting and reviewing contracts and invoices.
  • Serve as primary liaison with in-house catering (SSA), for all catering related requests from the Foundation, including private donor meetings and non-event catering needs.
  • Off-Site Events: Coordinate logistics for off-site donor events such as house parties and hosted dinners. Out of State Events: Plan and remotely coordinate logistics for out of state donor cultivation events for major donors when Foundation staff travel to locations such as Naples, FL, and Alaska.
  • Attend pertinent meetings including monthly Foundation All-Staff meetings, weekly Foundation Staff check-ins, and Zoo Events team meetings. Lead a monthly Foundation Events meeting with Foundation staff, and other individual event specific planning and logistics meetings as needed.
  • Manage Foundation Programs and Events Calendar.
  • Create event FAQ documents for Foundation and Zoo staff to reference for each event.
  • Coordinate and schedule volunteers and Foundation staff needed for each event.
Major Fundraising Events
  • Work with Foundation and Zoo leadership teams to coordinate and project manage major fundraising events, including the Beastly Bash, Wildlife Conservation Benefit, and other major cross-organizational fundraising events.
  • This will include the following and other tasks:
  • Help to develop and craft an appropriate event charter and scope for the fundraising event.
  • Based on the event charter, define roles and responsibilities including creation of pertinent sub teams and ensuring team composition/leaders have the subject matter expertise to achieve project and tactical goals.
  • Definition of roles & responsibilities extends to event committee and contracted external partners such as the events consultant, external vendors, and others as applicable.
  • detailed project timeline to include major milestones and decision points.
  • Assure deadlines and goals are met by both internal and external workgroups (i.e., marketing, operations, auction, volunteer, etc.)
  • Support external committee (if necessary for event structure) with various tasks on a regular basis such as scheduling meetings, soliciting auction items, etc.
  • Coordinate Foundation and Zoo team members as well as outside event consultants, volunteers, and work with Zoo events team to coordinate onsite event vendors (tent rental, entertainment, etc.)
  • Coordinate or delegate communication with event participants, auctioneer, emcee, band, golf carts, valet, etc.
  • Ensure event wrap-up and reporting to committee and board, as well as delegation or management of auction item fulfillment and follow-up (if included in event).
  • Create project debrief and performance summary documents.
  • Other
  • Participate through active involvement in team and all staff meetings, events, and training.
  • Provide on-site support for events, programs, and donor meetings as needed by the Foundation, which typically occur on the weekends or in the evenings.
  • Additional responsibilities may be assigned based on the changing needs of the organization and the successful candidate’s interests, aptitude, and experience.
Skills, Experience, and Qualifications
Minimum Skills & Experience Required
  • 2+ years previous event planning experience with increasing responsibility. Preference given for experience in fundraising and nonprofits.
  • Strong project management skills organizing diverse aspects of events (registrations, entertainment, catering, staffing, communications, etc.), including the ability to prioritize and manage multiple deadlines.
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule and the ability to “change course” quickly.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Strong presentation and collaborative skills especially working with executive leadership stakeholders
  • Proficiency with virtual presentation platforms like Zoom Webinar, Microsoft Teams, etc.
  • Experience with Visio or other layout tools for space and floorplan visualizations
  • A valid driver’s license, with a safe driving record, and at least one year of driving experience travel to offsite meetings or other responsibilities.
  • Background checks required.
Preferred Skills & Experience
  • 4+ years previous nonprofit fundraising event planning experience with increasing responsibility
  • Proficiency with donor or CRM contact management databases.
  • Experience with Tessitura CRM and/or AES event management software.
  • Experience working in a nonprofit organization
  • Minnesota Zoo Foundation Qualification Requirements
  • Collaborative style and the ability to work with a diverse group of individuals both inside the organization and out in the community.
  • Experience, ability, and commitment to working with individuals and teams that are mixed across lines of difference such as race, gender-identity, sexual orientation, religion, ability, age, class and immigrant status.
  • Ability to clearly represent and present the mission and vision of the Minnesota Zoo.
  • Ability to work independently and proactively while keeping supervisor apprised of issues, opportunities, and progress.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and effectively with colleagues in multiple departments/divisions.
  • Strong organizational skills, including the ability to prioritize and manage multiple deadlines.
  • High degree of integrity, ethical decision making, and commitment to maintaining confidentiality.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Occasional evening and weekend work required and must be capable of planning and managing independent travel.
  • Bachelor’s Degree or demonstrated relevant experience
  • Physical, Travel, and Additional Requirements
  • Must be able to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • May need to work occasional weekends and evenings dependent on Foundation events.
  • Required to use a computer and phone; Frequent use of hands for data entry/keystrokes and simple grasping.
  • Ability to navigate the Zoo premises and accompany donors and prospects on tours in variable weather conditions, both indoor and outdoor.
  • Exerting up to 50 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 25 pounds of force frequently, and/or a negligible amount of force constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects, including lifting objects up to shoulder level.
  • Moderate noise level in an office setting, semi-loud noise level during indoor or outdoor events, occasional exposure to prevalent weather conditions on the campus of the Minnesota Zoo.
  • Time spent on computer: 75%. Time spent in virtual or in-person meetings: 20%.
  • Occasional driving personal vehicle to run errands for the Foundation will be required.
  • This is a hybrid work position, onsite at the Foundation Offices or Zoo campus 3+ days per week, including semi-regular mornings, evenings, or weekends to support events.
  • Some travel may be required to assist with off-site and out-of-state events (<10%).
  • Other Job Details, Salary, Benefits, etc
Reports to:
  • Director of Operations
  • n/a (some day-of task direction to volunteers and other staff)
Type of Position:
  • Full-time, exempt
Salary Range:
  • $60,000-$66,000, set range based on experienced & qualifications, + competitive benefits
Benefits Eligible:
  • Health,
  • Dental,
  • Vision Insurance,
  • Life / Short Term / Long Term Disability Insurance,
  • 401K,
  • HSA (including employer contribution)
Equal Opportunity Employer
  • It is the policy of the Minnesota Zoo Foundation to comply with all applicable equal employment opportunity laws and regulations.
  • The Foundation provides equal opportunity employment for all qualified persons.
  • All our employment practices, benefits and programs will be administered without regard to actual or perceived race (inclusive of traits associated with race, such as hair texture and hair styles such as braids, locs, and twists), color, religion, sex, national origin or ancestry, age, disability, veteran status or military history, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, pregnancy, family history or familial status, genetic information, union membership, creed, status with respect to receipt of public assistance, membership or activity in a local human rights commission, use of lawful consumable products, or any other basis protected by Federal, State or local law.
  • This commitment extends to all phases of employment including, but not limited to, recruitment, selection, job assignment, transfers, training and development, promotions, demotions, discipline, compensation, benefits, terminations, layoff, recall, transfer, access to benefits, leaves of absences, and all other conditions or privileges associated with employment.
  • The Foundation expressly prohibits any form of unlawful employee harassment or discrimination based on any of the characteristics mentioned above.
  • Improper interference with the ability of other employees to perform their expected job duties is not tolerated.
  • The Foundation will endeavor to make a reasonable accommodation of an otherwise qualified applicant or employee related to an individual’s physical or mental disability, pregnancy, sincerely held religious beliefs and practices, and/or any other reason required by applicable law, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship upon the Foundation’s business operations.
  • Benefits include Health,
  • Dental,
  • Vision Insurance,
  • Life / Short Term / Long Term Disability Insurance,
  • 401K,
  • HSA (including employer contribution)
  • $60K-$66K

Be the First to Know About Similar Jobs

Your next opportunity could be an email away. Let us make your job search easier. Join our email list now.