Join us for the Gala of Hope, celebrating the Tutoring Program?s 60th Anniversary.

Fundraising Special Events Manager

Manage the annual Chicago Lights Gala of Hope and other events, as well as the Chicago Lights Associates Board.

The Special Events Manager is responsible for developing strategies, establishing goals, and implementing a program focused on special events for Chicago Lights. The funds raised through this position support the development plan and account for over 25% of the annual fundraising budget.

This position works closely with the Associate Director of Development, event fundraising committees, board members, and colleagues to build long-term relationships to increase awareness of and support for our mission. This position is responsible for a portfolio of fundraising special events; developing and managing budgets; planning, oversight, and execution of fundraising and development events for the organization in a manner consistent with Chicago Lights goals, mission, and values.


  • Plan and produce Chicago Lights annual Gala of Hope, from start to finish. With year-round focus on budgets, vendor contacts, coordinating volunteer committees, event collateral and marketing, securing auction items, and other reports.

  • Event planning and production of all current donor cultivation and fundraising events – governing board events, peer-to-peer fundraisers, Associate Board casual bar events and more.

  • Lead all event solicitation activities (such as sponsorships, auction donations, reservations, etc.) to meet event revenue goals; engage Chicago Lights staff, board, and event committee members as appropriate; monitor progress and provide regular reports.

  • Maintain accurate record keeping and ensure superior guest experiences through the utilization of platforms: OneCause event management software, and the Raiser’s Edge database. Coordinate with the gift processing team to ensure accurate records are maintained for event-related gifts.

  • Assist the Accounting department with auditing and research tasks as related to event income/expense reconciliation.

  • Serve as the liaison to the Chicago Lights Associates Board, attending monthly meetings, helping the executive team determine their goals, problem solving as needed and providing support.

  • Provide trauma informed care to all, ensuring that program environments and interactions are safe, inviting, and demonstrate best practice.

  • Use the S.P.I.R.I.T. principles of hospitality when interacting with visitors, guests, members, and staff of Fourth Presbyterian Church and Chicago Lights.

  • Attend staff meetings as required.

  • It is impossible to convey every single task into one job description. As the role evolves over time, this job description will be adjusted accordingly.


The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • 3+ years of fundraising experience with a focus on peer to peer fundraising and special events
  • Experience managing committees, team members, volunteers, and outside vendors/relationships
  • Demonstrated passion for and understanding of the organization’s mission, vision, and values
  • Knowledge of the not for profit development, fundraising, business, and civic community in the Chicagoland area are a plus
  • A progressive thinker and visionary with a complete understanding of fundraising management and external relations
  • Demonstrated fundraising success and budget attainment
  • Leadership ability and previous project management experience
  • Ability to relate to individuals in a highly diverse environment
  • Demonstrated initiative, ability to work with multiple teams and manage functional areas
  • Experience managing multiple responsibilities simultaneously
  • Ability to motivate others to produce quality materials with tight deadlines
  • Excellent interpersonal and intercultural communication skills; excellent written and oral communication and ability to participate in public speaking events
  • Professional and cooperative manner and the ability to work with community leaders, board members, and donors outside the organization
  • Working knowledge of Raiser’s Edge donor management system and research methods for funding sources
  • Ability to work flexible hours including occasional evenings and weekends

Additional Licensing/Certifications:

Must have a valid driver’s license and reliable transportation

Physical Demands

While performing the responsibilities of the job, the employee is often required to execute event setup and breakdown. This includes but is not limited to extended hours of work, ability to lift 50 lbs. or more, ability to load and unload vehicles, and long hours of standing.


Full time, 40 hours per week

Monday-Friday 9:00 AM–5:00 PM with occasional required work outside of normal hours and on weekends.


This is a full-time position with a salary range of $45,000-$55,000 and includes our robust benefits package::

  • Medical insurance (church pays 85% of employee monthly premium and 75% of eligible dependents)
  • Optional dental and vision insurance plans
  • Generous PTO plus eleven holidays
  • 403b retirement plan (employer contributions after one year of employment)
  • FSA for unreimbursed medical and dependent daycare expenses
  • Mass transit and commuter parking benefits
  • Life and short-term disability insurances, optional life insurance and long-term disability plan


Please send cover letters and resumes to No phone calls, please.

Fourth Presbyterian Church and Chicago Lights are committed to equal employment opportunity for all qualified persons, without regard to race, color, citizenship status, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, age, creed, physical or mental disability, marital status or familial status, veteran status, military status, source of income, political affiliation, or any other factor protected by law.