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Special Events & Stewardship Manager

Every Arizona Opera event presents a unique opportunity to share not only what we do, but why we do it. This position is responsible for helping to produce exceptional events that enhance patron experience, and inviting both new and current patrons to develop a deeper relationship with Arizona Opera.

The Special Events & Stewardship Manager works closely with the Director of Development and the rest of the development team to advance the philanthropic goals of Arizona Opera through patron events that support the company’s full array of programmatic, educational, and strategic initiatives. The Special Events & Stewardship Manager is responsible for managing all logistical aspects of donor recruitment, cultivation, and benefit events, including the company’s two signature special events: the RED Party, and the annual Gala Luncheon.

This position is also responsible for liaising with the company’s 4 statewide performance venues to provide exceptional in-hall experiences for Arizona Opera patrons, in partnership with the department of marketing, communications, and public relations. This position further supports the Individual Giving team by coordinating annual fund operations, donor benefits administration and stewardship. The Special Events & Stewardship Manager attends all Arizona Opera performances and special events for logistical support and donor cultivation.


Essential Job Functions:

Special Events Management (approx. 75%)

• Serve as the primary point of contact with vendors, attendees, sponsors, artists, volunteers, and staff for all development events

• Lead all event planning activities, including creation and management of timelines, programs, and task lists

• Organize and lead collaboration with the Marketing team on event needs, including graphic design/production/printing, social media, and other event marketing needs.

• Make inquiries and secure quotes for costs and services with vendors; book event space, arrange food and beverage, order all supplies/decorations, coordinate audiovisual equipment & operation, make travel arrangements.

• Work with venue to create/revise room layouts/seating arrangements for each event, as needed

• Manage on-site production and clean up for events

• Organize and manage the invitation, registration and attendee check-in processes

• Organize and manage post-event follow-up with attendees, vendors, volunteers, or staff

• Track and process invoices from event vendors and manage individual event budgets

• Prepare and run Development related front of house logistics for Arizona Opera performances; works to resolve front of house conflicts in coordination with the house manager on duty

• Position front-line fundraisers for success in relationships with donors, potential donors, volunteers and other supports by providing accurate and updated information, participating in strategy meetings, as requested, and providing recommendations and information pertinent to successful cultivation efforts

• Serve as primary internal contact for all development events. Ensure appropriate staffing and dissemination of event information to all involved parties

• Carry out all other event operations tasks and assignments as directed by the Director of Development Annual Fund Operations & Stewardship (approx. 15%)

• Work with Individual Giving team to meet annual solicitation calendar deadlines, increase retention rates, acquire new donors, and increase current support from lower level donors

• Oversee deployment of all solicitation collateral, including solicitation letters and emails, and liaising with mail house vendors to ensure quality and meet mailing deadlines

• Liaise with Marketing department colleagues on materials creation, timely distribution, and results tracking through Arizona Opera e-marketing tools

Donor Relations & Benefits Administration (approx. 10%)

• Ensure accurate and timely donor recognition for all individual and institutional donors in printed materials, programs, and digital communication

• Manage timely distribution of Welcome Packets to new donors, including communication regarding parking, upcoming events, and other benefits as appropriate

• Ensure excellent customer service is provided to donors through accessibility to staff and leadership, timely responsiveness, quality in all interactions and personalized communications

The Successful Candidate Will:

• Have an attitude of service, a commitment to ongoing learning, and the desire and ability to contribute to a team

• Demonstrate a donor-centric attitude while maintaining high expectations for quality

• Have the ability to work under pressure, and keep multiple projects on track without compromising performance

• Take ownership and responsibility to solve problems and achieve business goals while seeking help from others when appropriate

• Be a proactive, self-starter with superior time management skills, able to lead an area of responsibility with minimal supervision

• Display a positive attitude, show concern for people and community, demonstrate self-confidence, common sense, and good listening ability

• Exercise sound judgment, handle confidential matters with discretion, and develop a broad knowledge of the institution’s programs, practices, policies, and procedures


• Minimum of 1-2 years of experience in special events, hospitality, or nonprofit operations; nonprofit fundraising events experience preferred

• Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent combination of experience and education required

• Experience in graphic design or other print media a plus

• Previous experience in the arts/opera strongly preferred

• Experience working on a team with high volume of activity undergoing transition and growth

Computer Skills:

• Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite, including Outlook, Word, Excel & PowerPoint

• Proficiency with Tessitura or other CRM/donor database software

• Proficiency with Adobe Creative Suite or other publication design software

Physical Demands:

Extended periods at work station, using a keyboard, viewing a computer screen and communicating by telephone and in person. Special event set up and break down may be required.

Travel/Other Requirements:

Reliable transportation required and must be able to travel statewide, sometimes overnight. Schedule intensifies during periods when the company is in production. Schedule will require working some nights and weekends to attend events, performances, rehearsals, etc.


To apply: Interested candidates, please send a cover letter and resume to:


The duties listed above are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position. The job description does not constitute an employment agreement between the employer and employee and is subject to change by the employer as the needs of the employer and requirements of the position change.

The Arizona Opera is an Equal Opportunity employer. The Arizona Opera does not discriminate against an Employee or candidate for employment because of his or her race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin or nationality, age, disability, veteran status, marital status or any other legally protected status. We prohibit discrimination in all aspects of employment, including recruitment, hiring, compensation, benefits, engagements, assignments, training, discipline, termination, promotions or other conditions of employment or career development. We offer Reasonable Accommodations where necessary to candidates for employment and to our qualified employees with disabilities.

Reports To: 
Director of Development
Job Category: 
Not Eligible for OT (Exempt), Full-time