Special Events Coordinator - Fixed Contract


Department: External Relations (ER)
Location: Hybrid - central London office and work from home
Reports to: UK Director & Special Events and Outreach Manager
Salary: Competitive: Commensurate with experience, and dependent on availability
Contract Type: 2.5 - 3 month fixed contract (likely mid-March – End May 2023) – Ideally starting soon as possible
Start Date: Immediate

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 us at www.ubuntupathways.org

Team Purpose

To deliver a high-end gala event which showcases Ubuntu’s work to high net-worth individuals, in order to raise essential event revenue, secure new support, maintain existing major donor relationships and increase Ubuntu’s profile in the UK.

Role Purpose

The role of the Special Events Coordinator is to provide administrative, project and fundraising support to the UK Director and Special Events Manager, focusing on maintaining organised, efficient and effective processes in the three key areas outlined below, ensuring all tasks are completed in a timely manner. In addition, you will be expected to lead coordination of certain key projects on your own, with minimal supervision.

The successful candidate will join our 3-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 make a positive contribution to Ubuntu’s work in the townships of Gqeberha and the field of international development, be directly involved with Ubuntu’s fundraising events, and expand upon their own experience in events administration and strategy.

Primary Responsibilities

Project Coordination and Fundraising:

  • Salesforce data entry of in-kind sponsors and other event information into the database
  • Assist UK Director to meet fundraising targets by maintaining internal systems for tracking Gala table and ticket sales (spreadsheets and database tools), as well as auction prizes in collaboration with Fundraising Assistant. The next UK Gala will take place on 11th May 2023.
  • Assist UK Director to manage Gala Host Committee in collaboration with Fundraising Assistant
  • Assist with the print for all event collateral from start to finish, keeping the projects on track, to deadlines, and ensuring effective communication throughout
  • Attend supplier meeting and site visits
  • Assist in the solicitation of auction prizes and event sponsorship, tracking of prizes and all relevant information, and creation of prize itineraries
  • Recruit, brief and manage volunteers for the Gala – pre, during and post-event
  • Help organise the logistics of transporting event items to and from site and thanking event contacts appropriately
  • Book all staff, musician, speaker, and staff travel and accommodation
  • Research and source potential musicians & entertainment options, as well as suppliers for paid and sponsored goods (food, beverages and other elements of the event) that will reduce costs
  • Help with the workload of the UK Director, Special Events Manager, and UK office
  • Prepare emails, documents, donor-specific and materials to enable the UK Director and Special Events Manager to develop their relationships with supporters to ultimately increase event income
  • Assistance in the solicitation of auction prizes and event sponsorship, tracking of prizes and all relevant information, and creation of prize itineraries

Onsite Support:

  • Provide hands-on support on the day and evening of the event to the Special Events Manager and UK Director and team
  • Brief and manage a team of volunteers during the day and evening of the event
  • Assist with coordination of the live auction process – ensuring an exceptional donor experience
  • Manage some suppliers onsite if required
  • Assist with guest check-in; pledge and auction moments and the finance desk


  • Liaise with internal customers, suppliers, sponsors and donors via all modes of communication ensuring excellent customer service is given in all correspondence
  • Arrange couriers, deliveries of materials, props etc.
  • Proof-reading, copyediting, photocopying, faxing, mailing, filing, shredding
  • Undertake any other relevant duties or projects delegated by the UK Director and Special Events Manager, which are in line with the responsibilities of this role
  • Research and identify new prospects - individuals, grant-making bodies and corporate partners
  • Other administrative duties and projects, as assigned by the UK Director.

Ideal Candidate

This is an ideal position for someone who wishes to progress in the fields of events and fundraising within the charity sector and is an excellent opportunity to make a positive contribution to Ubuntu’s growth and work in South Africa.

The following skills are essential to this role:

  • Availability on 11th May 2023 for the Ubuntu Gala (including the week before, during and after)
  • Excellent organisation, administration and time management skills with the ability to work under pressure on multiple tasks/projects at the same time whilst managing changing priorities
  • Ability to deliver a high standard of work to tight deadlines in a timely and effective manner
  • Experience in events and fundraising, ideally a Gala dinner
  • Competent to work with people at all levels, both internally and externally to the organisation – especially key suppliers to ensure services are delivered effectively and expectations are exceeded
  • Confidence and ability to lead coordination on certain key projects from start to finish with minimal supervision
  • Confidence and ability to manage volunteers under time pressure onsite
  • Ability to research thoroughly, summarise and offer sound recommendations
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent attention to detail and ability to proof-read a MUST
  • IT Literate (Microsoft Office – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook; G Suite / google drive; and experience using a database, ideally Salesforce)
  • Ability to remain calm and professional in any circumstance
  • Self-motivated, highly enthusiastic, a positive attitude and willing to go that extra mile
  • Proactive, independent worker but also an effective team player
  • Flexible to work some evenings and bank holidays if and when required
  • Administrative & operational experience ideally gained in events or hospitality, specifically charity fundraisers, corporate awards and galas

The following skills are desirable:

  • Ability to contribute creative ideas to fundraising strategies and marketing materials

Conditions, including but not limited to the below:

  • Appointment subject to: Satisfactory references.
  • Salary: Competitive, depending on availability and commensurate with experience.
  • Contract: Fixed term (2.5 months) – soon as possible to End of May 2023
  • 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.

Closing date: applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so we recommend submitting your application as soon as possible in order to be considered.

Please submit your CV and a cover letter no longer than 2 pages to Kerry Dunlop at kerry@ubuntupathways.org, stating your availability, relevant experience and why you are the best person for the role. 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.