Assistant Director of Events and Stewardship


Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Natick, MA

Walnut Hill School for the Arts is seeking an Assistant Director of Events & Stewardship to join the Development Operations team working to provide high-level operational support to advance the School’s fundraising and engagement goals.

This position manages all event planning and logistics for Development events, including volunteer management for successful event execution. This role is the primary staff member responsible for managing the stewardship efforts to strengthen relationships between alumni, parents, students, trustees, and other constituents. This position is responsible for planning, implementing, and managing various initiatives to enhance relationships and increase support for the School.

The Assistant Director assesses the donor and prospect portfolio and the annual fundraising goals to recommend effective event and stewardship strategies. This position is a proactive team player with excellent communication skills and enjoys working in a dynamic, mission-focused organization. The ideal candidate has meticulous event planning, project management, customer service and organizational skills, the ability to think creatively and critically, and is highly collaborative. Attendance at frequent evening and weekend events as well as ability and willingness to travel to event locations is required.

This is a 12-month, exempt, position reporting to the Director of Development Operations. All Walnut Hill faculty/staff are active and engaged members of the School community committed to collaborating and growing in their field, participating in school events and supporting students in their arts, supporting other faculty/staff members, and can self-reflect on their own practice.

Duties and responsibilities include:

Events Planning and Management (60% of time)

  • Develop an annual event plan that supports prospect and donor move management, quantified in a positive impact on year-over-year fundraising program growth; use portfolio data analysis to drive strategy for effective event planning.
  • Partner with front-line fundraisers, School leadership, arts and arts education content experts, and Board leadership to propose and devise content for events that will educate, inform, inspire, and lean heavily into experiential and relational event design;
  • Research, propose, and secure possible venues for functions based on budget, geography, accessibility, aesthetic appeal, and availability;
  • Contract for services from vendors, including caterers, florists, photography, etc.;
  • Prepare formal briefing materials with final details for gift officers and event hosts;
  • Manage onsite and virtual event logistics and develop staffing/volunteer plans to meet quality standards;
  • Travel to regional events to provide on-site support and management, working with gift officers, staff, administrators, and hosts;
  • Collaborate with the Development Associate in creating and distributing event invitations and reminders, tracking responses and event materials, including name tags and swag giveaways;
  • Determine success benchmarks before each assigned event, evaluate their effectiveness after the event, and incorporate improvements in future planning;
  • For recurring events, recommend revisions to the event plan for future versions as appropriate;
  • Maintain master event files and documentation to aid in planning and executing future events;
  • In coordination with the Director of Development Operations, develop and manage budgets for assigned events; partner with Director of Development Operations to review the event budget each month;
  • Negotiate all financial commitments for delivery of products and services by outside vendors for assigned events using Walnut Hill procurement and purchasing policies;
  • Verify invoices and arrange payment of approved event expenses; ensure procurement procedures are followed for any advance purchase requests and invoice payments;
  • Ensure each event stays on budget by monitoring financial commitments during the lead-up to the event and making alternate arrangements if a cost overrun appears likely; and
  • Other event planning and management duties as assigned.

Stewardship Strategy and Execution (25% of time)

  • Develop an annual plan to steward and recognize donors at various giving levels, including Annual Fund (emphasize new, increased, and consistent giving), planned gift members of the Ellison Circle, special projects, and major giving donors;
  • Project manage stewardship reports, including annual Impact Report, reports on endowment, and other customized communication as needed;
  • Manage swag purchase decisions for development activities; and
  • Support gift officers with high-quality, creative stewardship tactics executed promptly to support fundraising strategy for effective portfolio management of individual donors and prospects.

Communications (15% of time)

  • Assess, recommend, and manage the development communications annual plan, which includes print and digital communication vehicles, to support engagement and stewardship of the donor and prospect portfolio by promptly informing constituents about School happenings;
  • Oversee the production of the annual stewardship publication Behind Stowe to be delivered at the target date using an outside contractor and partnering with the Marketing and Communications team; specific project responsibilities include:
    • Co-create content outline and assign writing projects for publication;
  • Collaborate with the Development team members to monitor and manage updates for alumni pages on the website.

Community Involvement & Engagement:

  • Actively participate in the student community by supporting the Student Life program which may include serving as a faculty or club advisor, chaperoning School events, providing weekend duty (4 per year), or other opportunities for community involvement that arise throughout the school year;
  • Speak authentically about the imperative for diversity, equity, and inclusion in schools; be committed to learning about and practicing anti-racist work;
  • Attend student performances, art openings, and art events throughout the year; support and engage richly in arts productions, shows, exhibitions, and performances; and
  • Attend Family Weekend, Open House, Class Night, Boar’s Head, Candlelight, Awards Ceremony, and Graduation; attend other events as required.

Collaboration, Professional Development, and Training:

  • Work collaboratively with colleagues across all departments to foster a positive working and educational environment for students and employees to support the School’s mission, vision, and core values;
  • Attend and participate in all faculty and staff meetings and department meetings; participate and engage fully in individual reviews and evaluations; be open to feedback and work with supervisor to set goals and expectations for the future;
  • Pursue PD opportunities in and out of school; display willingness and ability to grow, learn, explore new approaches, and practice self-reflection; and
  • Perform other administrative or educational duties as assigned by the Head of School or his designee.

Skills & Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience required;
  • 2+ years of experience in fundraising event planning, design, and management; non-profit, arts, or education experience a plus;
  • Strong interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills combined with excellent project management skills, attention to detail, and strong organizational skills;
  • Ability to work effectively both independently and collaboratively in a changing, fast-paced environment with excellent guest service skills;
  • Demonstrated success overseeing volunteers, managing event committees, and working with Board leadership;
  • Ability to work effectively with outside vendors and manage budgets;
  • Demonstrated proficiency with Google applications, Microsoft Office Suite, Veracross or equivalent database;
  • Possess excellent customer service skills and ability to work with a wide range of people – alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff, donors, board members, outside artists, vendors, and community members;
  • Ability to handle confidential information with discretion;
  • Demonstrated commitment to fostering a safe and inclusive community;
  • Possess cultural competence in working with diverse populations and commitment to learning about and practicing anti-racist work; and
  • Share an educational and artistic vision that aligns with the core principles of Walnut Hill.

To Apply: Submit resume and cover letter through the Walnut Hill School for the Arts online Career Center.


Walnut Hill School for the Arts offers a competitive benefit package including Medical, Dental, Vision, Life/Disability Insurance, up to 7% Matching Retirement Contribution through TIAA, Generous Time-off, Meals in the Dining Hall, Fitness Center Access, Tickets to Performances, and Professional Development Opportunities. Learn more about Walnut Hill on our website and come join our community!

Note: All offers of employment are contingent upon the successful completion of state and federal background checks. Walnut Hill does not provide visa sponsorship.

Physical Demands:

Physical demands include dexterity for office machine and supply operation including but not limited to writing, using electronic devices, computer, phone, calculator, copy machine, fax machine, and printers. Stooping, bending, lifting, traveling to/from locations on campus or other locations, ascending/descending stairs, reaching, and sitting or standing for extended periods of time are common. Ability to lift up to 25 lbs.

Walnut Hill School for the Arts

Natick, MA
High School, Post Graduate
Boarding, Day
All Gender