Special Events and Outreach Manager


Department: External Relations (ER)
Location: Hybrid - central London office and work from home
Reports to: UK Director
Salary: Commensurate with experience and dependent on availability
Contract Type: Permanent
Start Date: Immediate

Who We Are: Ubuntu Pathways

Ubuntu Pathways is a nonprofit organisation that provides an integrated support system of health, education, and social support in the townships of Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth), South Africa. Over the past 23 years, what began as a fortuitous meeting between two strangers has grown into an internationally-recognised blueprint for community transformation. Ubuntu has redefined mainstream development models by focusing on the depth rather than breadth of our impact on a community of 400,000. We believe in trusting those closest to the problem to create the solution so 95% of our team are leaders from the community we serve. Even in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, Ubuntu's model is creating a pathway out of poverty for thousands of children and their families, from crisis to opportunity and from cradle to career. To learn more, please visit www.ubuntupathways.org.

Our Team At-a-Glance:

  • Founded 20 years ago in 1999
  • Over 120 global staff with 4 in the UK External Relations team
  • 2,000 vulnerable children on pathways out of poverty

Role Purpose

To lead the implementation and delivery of high-end events (mainly but not exclusively special events) which showcase Ubuntu’s work to high net-worth individuals, foundations and corporations in order to raise essential event revenue, secure new support, maintain existing major donor relationships and increase Ubuntu’s profile in the UK. We were forced to cancel all our events during the pandemic, so our 2023 Gala will be our first event in London in 4 years. Check out our 20th Anniversary Gala from 2019 here: https://ubuntupathways.org/galas/2019/uk

The successful candidate will join our 4-person London office and work closely with our larger External Relations team based in New York and South Africa. This is an excellent opportunity for an individual to deliver award-winning events while making a positive contribution to Ubuntu’s work in the townships of Gqeberha and the field of international development.

Primary Responsibilities

Maintain the current special events and outreach portfolio by planning, developing, and delivering successful:

  • High-end annual UK Galas. Our next UK Gala will be on 11th May 2022. Ubuntu Galas normally raise at least £500,000 - £750,000.
  • Annual young professional parties: Ubuntu Social (when we are ready to re-launch these)
  • Other donor-led or third-party events, including those to assist with our Capital Campaign to build a High School.
  • Small-scale challenge / peer-to-peer fundraising events or opportunities.

Project management of the annual UK Gala, Ubuntu Social, donor-led, third-party, and other smaller-scale outreach events:

  • Delivery of all project plans, timelines, and supplier briefs. Includes supplier search, appointment, negotiation and management to ensure we remain on brief, within budget and produce an exceptional event. This includes but is not limited to venue, event / production company, caterers, entertainment, printers, designers, auctioneer etc.
  • Budget creation, management and end–of-year reconciliation.
  • Attend supplier meeting and site visits.
  • Creation of run of show, briefing documents and any other onsite documentation required to ensure a smooth running event.
  • Work alongside lawyers for all contract reviews and sign off.
  • Work with the marketing team to deliver event collateral that forms part of the year’s messaging campaign across all mediums (print, digital, oral), and manage the print process locally.
  • Liaise with and manage speakers, international staff, and entertainment (visas, flights, accommodation and rehearsals etc).
  • Recruit and manage Events Coordinator and event volunteers.
  • Onsite management of suppliers, performers, and internal Ubuntu staff and volunteers.
  • Organise logistics of transporting event items to and from site and thank all event contacts appropriately
  • Full de-brief, evaluation and recommendations moving forward.
  • Ensure all supporters have an exceptional unique experience throughout all event activities.

Help Ubuntu’s SA and US offices to deliver our global event portfolio in South Africa and the US including but not limited to:

  • Johannesburg Gala (annually in October / November)
  • NYC Gala (normally in June) or other major donor-focused events

Fundraising and outreach responsibilities for all events:

  • Present to and gain buy-in of ideas from our key stakeholders including event host committees.
  • Assist UK Director to secure tickets and table sales in order to hit fundraising targets.
  • Contribute to the fundraising strategy and development of auction and pledge moments.
  • Research and source potential musicians & entertainment options, as well as suppliers for paid and sponsored in-kind goods (food, beverages and other elements of the event) that will reduce costs
  • Solicit auction prizes and manage live auction and plege moment, ensuring an exceptional donor experience
  • Build relationships with supporters to maintain and grow their giving.
  • Manage relationships with outreach challenge / peer-to-peer opportunities to help them hit their fundraising targets.
  • Develop relationships and solicit support towards Ubuntu’s monthly giving programme, THRIVE, and other relevant campaigns.


  • Keep projects on track, to deadlines, ensuring efficient and effective processes and communication throughout.
  • Liaise with internal customers, suppliers, sponsors and donors via all modes of communication, ensuring excellent customer service.
  • Ensure continuous improvements of events / processes are undertaken and necessary remedial actions are introduced as effectively as possible.
  • Work alongside the Chief External Relations Officer (CERO), UK Director, US Director, and multiple members of the External Relations team to execute fundraising and event strategies in the UK, and support Ubuntu’s Events in the US and SA.
  • Maintain a broad awareness of developments and trends in the wider events industry by developing and maintaining an active network of industry peers and ensure that Ubuntu benefits from any new innovations or opportunities.

Ideal Candidate

We are looking for a confident, intelligent, highly-motivated, efficient and experienced event professional with a ‘can-do’ attitude to join us and help put our children on a pathway out of poverty. The following skills are essential to this role:

  • Availability on 11th May 2023 for the Ubuntu Gala (including the weeks before, during and after)
  • Minimum 5 years end-to-end operational and administrative experience in events.
  • Minimum 3 years event management experience, ideally in Gala dinners or other special events, charity fundraisers or corporate dinners / awards, and managing complex projects and stakeholders.
  • Excellent project management skills - confidence and ability to project manage a portfolio of events, prioritising one high-end gala and one young professionals party, whilst motivating and co-ordinating internal teams to deliver the projects on time and within budget.
  • Excellent organisational and time management skills with the ability to work under pressure on multiple tasks/projects at the same time, to tight deadlines.
  • Strong negotiation skills.
  • Competent to work with people at all levels, both internally and externally and especially with key suppliers to ensure value for money and that services are delivered effectively and efficiently.
  • Ability to actively contribute in management meetings and strategic planning.
  • Efficient and sound decision-making.
  • Calm and professional approach under all circumstances, especially under pressure.
  • Ability to think creatively and innovatively.
  • Self-motivated, highly enthusiastic, positive team-player, problem-solver and willing to go that extra mile.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Excellent attention to detail.
  • Experience and understanding of live auction and pledge moment.
  • IT Literate (Microsoft Office – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook; Google suite / drive; Salesforce database; social media).

Conditions, including but not limited to the below:

  • Appointment subject to: Satisfactory references.
  • Salary: Commensurate with experience and dependent on availability
  • Contract: Permanent
  • Expenses: Work-related expenses in accordance with organisational policy will be paid
  • Pension: There is a pension scheme which employees may join if they choose to do so, and to which Ubuntu contributes
  • Work Base: Hybrid work policy, with 2-3 days working from home / office per week.
  • Normal Hours of Work: Your normal hours of work are 9am to 6pm, Monday – Friday, although some evenings and weekends / bank holidays may be required also
  • Holiday Entitlement: 20 working days’ paid holiday in each holiday year, as well as the standard 8 bank holidays per year. In addition, the Company’s offices will be closed for one week at the end of each calendar year between Christmas and the New Year during which you will not be required to work but will be paid as usual.
  • Eligibility: Applicants must already be eligible to work in the UK, with a valid visa and work permit if required.

Please submit your CV and a cover letter no longer than 2 pages to Beth Honig at jobsuk@ubuntupathways.org, stating your availability, relevant experience and why you are the best person for the role. Closing date: 12th January but applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis so candidates are advised to submit as soon as possible. We welcome all candidates to apply, regardless of age, sex/gender, disability, race, religion, sexual orientation, marital status or pregnancy/maternity. If you have any disability and require reasonable adjustment/s to any part of the application process then please contact Beth Honig at jobsuk@ubuntupathways.org.