Employment Opportunity: Senior Manager of Events, East Coast | Oceana USA

Senior Manager of Events, East Coast

Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Together, we are rebuilding abundant and biodiverse oceans by winning science-based policies in countries that control one third of the world’s wild fish catch. With over 200 victories that stop overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution and killing of threatened species like turtles and sharks, Oceana’s Campaigns are delivering results. A restored ocean means that one billion people can enjoy a healthy seafood meal, every day, forever. Together we can save the oceans and help feed the world.


General Summary

The Senior Manager of Events, East Coast is a senior member of Oceana’s fundraising team. S/he leads the fundraising efforts for Oceana’s signature East Coast events, the New York Gala. This annual event raises more than $1 million in revenue. It’s a high-touch and exquisite event that draws honorees and attendees from the entertainment industry as well as leading members of the philanthropic and business communities. The Senior Manager of Events, East Coast also directs Oceana’s national volunteer group, the Ocean Council. The Council leverages its exceptional environmental commitment and financial means in support of Oceana’s mission.

Throughout the year, the Senior Manager of Events, East Coast also manages receptions in conjunction with Oceana’s Board of Directors meetings and several high-touch cultivation events, principally along the East Coast. S/he skillfully stewards relationships with existing supporters and engages them to help open doors to prospective donors. The Senior Manager will also identify new East Coast donors, placing a premium on sustaining strong and long-lasting working relationships.

The Senior Manager of Events, East Coast supports the Vice President for Development and Director of Major Gifts and Events in a fast-paced special events environment. S/he must be able to anticipate project needs, discern work priorities, meet deadlines with little supervision and be willing to work occasional evenings and weekends. The Senior Manager of Events, East Coast will provide outstanding customer service and be an enthusiastic professional who wants to build working relationships internally and externally. As a member of an integrated team with a commitment to excellence, this position involves event leadership and management, engagement in high-level donor and corporate working relationships, excellence in written and oral communications, keen attention to detail, and information and data management. This job is located at Oceana’s Headquarters in Washington, DC.


Principal Duties and Responsibilities

Essential Functions:

The Senior Manager of Events, East Coast leads efforts to increase revenue through fundraising events, cultivation events and high touch initiatives.  The geographical area of focus is the East Coast of the Unites States. The position includes the leadership and management of events, meetings, programs and other elements designed to cultivate prospects and donors as well as outreach to and cultivation of corporate event sponsors. S/he will liaise with Event Co- and Vice-Chairs to strategize and achieve event goals.

Planning and analyzing cost-effective events, setting and achieving revenue goals, and forming working relationships with the goal of securing event sponsorships, auction lots, and donors. The Senior Manager of Events, East Coast will coordinate and manage sponsors, contractors, vendors, employees and volunteers with assistance from the Director of Major Gifts and Events and other staff.


Key responsibilities include:


  • Lead all aspects of Oceana’s annual New York Gala including working with the Co-Chairs and Vice-Chair committee.
  • Leads the execution and coordination of special events primarily on the East Coast, including Board of Directors cultivation events, Fish School, high touch donor cocktail receptions, house parties and Ocean Council events.
  • Manages the Ocean Council, including organizing events, membership and correspondence.
  • Meets or exceeds revenue goals for each event by selling tickets and tables, obtaining donations of auction items and cultivating corporate sponsors.
  • Monitors event timelines and production schedules to keep all activities on track and timely.
  • Prepares and tracks the guest list for each event. 
  • Coordinates events directly with Event Planner and event vendors. Organizes load-in and load-out schedules.
  • Processes contracts for legal review, and reviews invoices and check requests.
  • Manages auction spreadsheet and outreach to auction donors.
  • Tracks all expenses and revenue for each event, supplies that information to the Vice President for Development, and makes recommendations for future events as needed.
  • Cultivates working relationships with event gala Co- and Vice-Chairs, corporate sponsors, and special events hosts and attendees.
  • Manages income reconciliations with the Accounting department, ensuring timely collection of revenue.
  • Enters all special event related information into Salesforce for East Coast events.
  • Researches and analyzes corporate and individual donors and prospects to develop strategies for giving.


  • Coordinates the creation of all Save the Dates, invitations, programs and mailings for each event; liaises with graphic artists and printers for all printed collateral and mail houses for mailings.
  • Manages solicitation packages and materials for fundraising efforts.
  • Manages the production of all thank you, tax acknowledgement and auction donor letters following each event.
  • Oversees the creation and management of Oceana’s event websites.

Corporate Sponsorship Outreach

  • Identifies and creates strategies to secure new sponsorships.
  • Creates pitch decks and proposals for new and existing corporate partners.
  • Leads and/or attends pitch meetings with corporate prospects.
  • Negotiates corporate sponsorship agreements to ensure mutually beneficial partnerships.
  • Stewards relationships with corporate contacts to maintain and grow partnerships.
  • Solicits auction items for the New York Gala and other possible East Coast fundraising events while coordinating with Corporate Sponsorship Consultant.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Major Gifts

  • Supports the Vice President for Development in benefits and cultivation events, primarily in the Eastern region of the United States.


Job Requirements

Education and work experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Minimum 8 years of experience in fundraising and managing all aspects of event planning.


Skills and knowledge:

  • Possess excellent organizational, written and verbal communication skills.
  • Must be willing to accept varied workload, including travel and working outside of normal workweek hours.
  • Responsive, detail-oriented, well-organized, comfortable managing multiple tasks and priorities simultaneously.
  • Proficient in latest versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, mail merges. Experience with Salesforce is a plus.
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