Special Events Associate Director

About the Role:

Heal the Bay’s Associate Director of Special Events will be spearheading the planning, execution, and reporting of the organization’s signature fundraising events. These include Bring Back the Beach Gala $1.2M, Golf Tournament $600,000, and ONE Water $80,000, as well as new opportunities and sponsorships for programmatic events. With a keen focus on enhancing year-round cultivation and stewardship, this position oversees every aspect of event management, from conception to post-event reporting and review. Under the direction of the Chief Development Officer, the Associate Director of Special Events collaborates closely with internal teams, external partners, and stakeholders to ensure seamless operations, exceptional attendee experiences, and meeting or exceeding budget goals. By leveraging fundraising expertise, this position plays a crucial role in driving revenue generation and fostering donor engagement to support Heal the Bay’s mission of environmental conservation and community empowerment

Roles and Responsibilities:

Event Planning and Actualization:

  • Drive the planning, execution, and goal achievement of Heal the Bay’s signature events with a particular focus on gala and golf tournament.
  • Develop annual, comprehensive event plans, including timelines, budgets, and logistics, to ensure smooth operations and successful outcomes.
  • Engage staff, Board of Directors, and external partners in Heal the Bay’s mission and opportunities to align with organizational goals and member needs.
  • Oversee contract negotiation and vendor management to secure resources necessary for event success.
  • Steward all aspects of event production, including set-up, technical requirements, staffing, registration, and participant engagement.
  • Ensure compliance with all legal, safety, and accessibility requirements throughout the event planning and development process.

Member and Attendee Experience:

  • Prioritize the delivery of exceptional member and attendee experiences by understanding their needs, preferences, and feedback.
  • Implement strategies to enhance participant engagement, interaction, and satisfaction before, during, and after events.
  • Provide personalized guidance to attendees, speakers, and sponsors to address inquiries, resolve issues, and foster positive relationships.
  • Collect and assess data on participant demographics, satisfaction levels, and event impact to inform future program enhancements.

Collaboration and Communication:

  • Foster strong relationships with internal stakeholders, external partners, and event collaborators to ensure effective teamwork and coordination.
  • Remain calm under pressure and the ability to handle multiple tasks at the same time.
  • Communicate event objectives, requirements, and expectations clearly and consistently to all relevant parties.
  • Collaborate with the marketing and communications team to develop promotional materials (save-the-dates, sponsorship decks, invitations, etc.), outreach strategies, and post-event content to maximize event visibility and impact.
  • Serve as a liaison between Heal the Bay and event sponsors, ensuring alignment with organizational values and objectives.

Evaluation and Continuous Improvement

  • Conduct post-event debriefs and evaluations to assess event effectiveness, identify strengths and areas for improvement, and capture lessons learned.
  • Use evaluation findings and participant feedback to refine event strategies, processes, and content for future iterations.
  • Stay informed about industry trends, best practices, and emerging technologies related to event management, nonprofit capacity building, and grantmaking to inform program development and innovation.


  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in six- or seven-figure fundraising event planning and management, preferably in the nonprofit sector or related fields, with a strong awareness of fundraising practices and strategies.
  • Proven track record of successfully planning and executing fundraising events, campaigns, or initiatives, with a focus on donor cultivation, stewardship, and retention.
  • Experience in large-scale events including galas and golf tournaments.
  • Proven track record in securing five- or six-figure corporate and individual event donors.
  • Experience in developing and presiding over event budgets, sponsorship packages, and revenue goals to aid organizational fundraising objectives.
  • Excellent relationship-building experience, with the ability to engage and inspire donors, sponsors, volunteers, and other stakeholders in support of the organization’s mission.
  • Strong analytical experience, with the knowledge of how to evaluate event performance, donor engagement metrics, and fundraising outcomes to inform strategic resolution-making and continuous improvement efforts.
  • Knowledge in fundraising software, (i.e Salesforce, OneCause, Classy) or similar donor management systems, and CRM platforms, with the ability to leverage data and technology to maximize fundraising efforts and maximize donor impact.
  • Pledge to diversity, equity, and inclusion practices, with a demonstrated aptitude to engage diverse communities and foster inclusive fundraising practices.
  • Passion for environmental conservation, social justice, and community engagement, with a desire to make a positive impact through meaningful philanthropy and collective action.

Compensation & Benefits:

$75,000 – $85,000 depending on experience, with appropriate state and federal taxes withheld. This position is non-exempt and full-time and includes a full benefits package with dental, vision, health, and vacation as part of employment.  Heal the Bay covers 90% of the benefit package.


Full-time, 40 hours per week. Heal the Bay currently operates on a hybrid schedule of 2 days in the Santa Monica office per week.  Heal the Bay offers a dynamic work environment with highly motivated staff and volunteers.

Heal the Bay is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal-opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status and we strongly encourage applications from individuals that reflect the diversity of Los Angeles County. 
Heal the Bay complies with AB 1008, the Fair Chance Act, during the hiring process. Once a conditional job offer has been made the candidate will be asked to complete a Live Scan criminal background check. A thorough assessment of conviction history will be considered including the nature and gravity of the criminal history, the time that has passed since the conviction, and the nature of the job the candidate is seeking.