Apr 30, 2021

Associate Director, Special Events

  • The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
  • Remote

Job Description

About us:
The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) was founded in 2000 with one clear objective: finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease (PD) in our lifetime. The Foundation applies extraordinary scientific, business and media assets to this singular focus—thus creating a unique and dynamic organization. Since inception, MJFF has quickly grown into the largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson’s disease research worldwide, having funded more than $1 billion in research projects in academic and industry labs worldwide. We exist to put ourselves out of business, so we deliberately hold no endowment but instead spend what we raise quickly and efficiently; 88 cents of every dollar spent goes directly to research programs. Core to our philosophy is how we think of our capital and its risk profile relative to other stakeholders in the drug development pipeline. We work aggressively to de- risk various treatment ideas and tools in the hopes of building a robust pipeline of new treatments for patients. Today, the Foundation has about 150 full-time employees.

Located in Midtown Manhattan, MJFF is an international organization with a national funding base. This role is based in New York City; however, we expect to continue working remotely through Labor Day. To learn more please visit michaeljfox.org.


The Team:

The Development team at The Michael J. Fox Foundation works to ensure that the Foundation raises sufficient dollars to fund its ambitious research agenda. Our team is determined, collaborative and nimble. The Special Events team contributes to the Significant Giving program which sits within the larger Development team. A small but mighty team of two, Special Events leads the Foundation’s signature events program—a revenue line that generates over $7M annually. The Foundation typically hosts 3-5 high-quality events a year ranging from our Breaking PAR Golf Outing for 150 guests to our Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Cure Parkinson’s Gala for 1,000 people. 


Position Description: 

Reporting to the Director of Special Events, the Associate Director of Special Events will play a vital role in contributing to the high-quality production and fundraising efforts of the Foundation’s signature events program. 


The successful candidate must be a self-starter with incredible attention to detail and a strong interest in fundraising through special events. It will be important for this individual to have strong interpersonal skills, positive disposition, and excellent written and verbal communication skills. 


The ideal candidate will exhibit excellent organizational skills, comfort with data and analytics, decision-making deftness, and the ability to problem-solve in a dynamic and fast-paced environment. The Associate Director must also possess sound time management skills as well as an innate sense of curiosity and urgency. Equally important is the ability to work productively and proactively, both independently and within a team and be able to contribute to a collaborative team working environment and have a positive roll-up-your sleeves attitude. The successful candidate will energize and motivate those around them and will regularly demonstrate the Foundation’s core values of Optimism, Urgency, Resourcefulness, Collaboration, Accountability and Persistence.


 Event Promotion, Production and Execution:

  • Partner with the Director of Special Events on strategy, development and execution of Foundation signature events and all aspects of event production including securing collateral, vendor negotiations, contracting, budgeting, event ticket purchases, program creation, gift bag solicitation/procurement and on-site event management
  • Oversee and manage collateral process in a timely manner (internal routing, collaborate with Director, Special Events, by providing creative direction to graphic designers/Marketing and Communications team) 
  • Serve as a key contributor to the foundations project management process, including all areas of partnership between the special events, donor operations and marcomms.
  • Manage, compile and update invite mailing list reviews for Board, Leadership and Advancement teams
  • Communicate with attendees and donors to collect appropriate details include guest information
  • Supervise Foundation staff responsibilities at signature events (pre-event staff briefing meeting, check-in, gift bag distribution, prize table, coordinating prizes for event winners, etc.) 
  • Coordinate and execute travel planning and itineraries for VIP’s attending events
  • Occasional weekend and work outside of traditional business hours is required. 


Event Revenue/Budget Management and Reporting:

  • Support the Director of Special Events on developing and implementing fundraising strategy plan to further enhance and increase Special Events revenue and event supporter engagement 
  • Partner with Director, Special Events in the creation of event based fundraising reports for Foundation senior leadership, Board of Directors and event chairs
  • Collaborate with Development team to ensure appropriate donor touchpoints to drive special event revenue and increased participation 
  • Manage guests post-event follow up process to solidify pledge payments/contributions 
  • Maintain and update revenue tracking and special event opportunity records
  • Update and maintain budgets including expenses and pledges/contributions
  • Secure, code and process bills from outside vendors for timely payment; update budget as necessary 
  • Oversee receipting process in partnership with Donor Operations team and draft donor acknowledgement letters and invoices for outstanding pledges 
  • Input and update all pertinent donor information and guest lists into CRM (pre- and post-event) 
  • Contribute to monthly reconciliation process to ensure that all gifts have been coded properly and ensure gift amounts align with the Finance team 
  • Research, introduce and oversee execution of new event enhancement concepts and impactful channels (print, online and social media) for promoting signature events 


Hiring Organization

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research


Required Qualifications: 

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of experience and education 
  • Minimum of 3-5 years of event logistic and execution experience 
  • Excellent computer skills including Word, Excel and PowerPoint 
  • Database experience preferred (Salesforce) 
  • Experience and comfort working with data, numbers and analytics for special event and fundraising purposes
  • Must have a flexible, team player approach to work and exhibit a high level of professionalism
  • Ability to take initiative and be hands-on with all aspects of event preparations and logistics

Industry/Service Area




Application Instructions

How to Apply 

Interested candidates should submit a resume. Please, no telephone inquiries and do not contact our staff directly. Only applicants who best match the position needs will be contacted.  

The Michael J. Fox Foundation strongly encourages applications from individuals who will contribute to our efforts to build and support a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce. Diversity may refer to characteristics including, but not limited to, race, religion, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic circumstance, geographic background, ability and disability, political ideology and age.

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