Development Associate, Donor Events and Stewardship

Minneapolis, MN

The Walker Art Center is more than a museum.   

  • We commission and present pioneering contemporary art; 
  • We foster collaboration among visual, performing, and media artists; 
  • We engage diverse audiences in the excitement of the creative process;  
  • We serve communities by inspiring and encouraging social and civic dialogue and participation; and 
  • We are home to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden 


Reporting to the Director of the Annual Fund, the Development Associate, Donor Events and Stewardship plans, executes, and evaluates all events and experiences for Walker members and donors. The Walker seeks a dynamic, experienced, and creative special events professional to manage member and donor events, including but not limited to tours, receptions, luncheons, and dinners; donor affinity group experiences; cultivation, stewardship, and campaign-related events; and fundraising benefits, including Avant Garden. The position also manages all member and benefits, including VIP ticket pre-sales and the Walker’s Travel Program, among other benefits. Working at various levels, the Development Associate, Donor Events and Stewardship is engaged in both high-level strategy as well as detailed event execution. This position collaborates with Development colleagues, interdepartmental teams, Walker trustees, committees, vendors, partners, special guests, and volunteers to design a wide range of events and experiences, all intended to move members and donors toward greater engagement with the Walker along a continuum from interest to ownership.


Ensure Walker members and donors receive outstanding service, meaningful communications, and a compelling array of benefits, events, and experiences designed to move them toward increased engagement.

  • Lead planning meetings with Development/Membership leadership team for all events, experiences, and stewardship offerings.
  • Create, implement, and evaluate an annual plan and schedule for member/donor events.
  • Coordinate events with the Development team’s communications plan for members and donors.
  • Serve as interdepartmental liaison for all member/donor event related matters, and represent Development team at standing institutional scheduling meetings.
  • Collaborate across departments on with senior staff, curators/programmers, events production, visitor experiences, facility and catering teams, security, and other teams as needed.

Oversee the planning, execution, and evaluation of the full program of Walker member and donor events (in-person and virtual), experiences, and stewardship, including:

  • General Members (up to $500), including Member Nights, After Hours, A Think & A Drink, and Member Double Discount Days.
  • Contributing Members ($500-$2,499), including tours, luncheons, and receptions.
  • Curators’ Circle ($2,500-$9,999), including dinners, artist talks, panels, tours, field trips, and other programs.
  • Director’s Circle ($10,000+), including special travel opportunities and private events.
  • Donor groups, e.g. Corporate and Foundation Partners and Legacy Circle.
  • Campaign-related events for prospects and donors.
  • Advance ticket services for Rock the Garden and other events with VIP pre-sales.

Manage all aspects of planning and execution for member/donor events and fundraising benefits, e.g. Avant Garden, including but not limited to:

  • Meet or exceed revenue goals for fundraising benefit events to support Walker operations and programs.
  • Serve as a key partner to the Director, Annual Fund with scheduling, organizing, and leading planning meetings with co-chairs, committee members, vendors, partners, staff, and volunteers.
  • Liaise with event committees, Development colleagues, and across departments on key event deliverables, e.g. table and ticket sales; auction procurement and solicitations; art experience packages; Fund A Need auction; and event sponsorships.
  • Coordinate events communications with schedules for both institutional and member/donor communications, and liaise with the Marketing/Public Relations teams to develop multi-channel promotional plans.
  • Collaborate with the Design/Editorial team on invitations, event signage, and collateral materials.
  • Prepare prospect and invitation lists, and manage the outreach calendar and invitation process.
  • Manage all event-related donor and sponsor benefits fulfillment, e.g. complimentary tickets, speaking opportunities, etc., and ensure appropriate funding credits.
  • Create event timelines, maintain deadlines, and partner with interdepartmental teams (facility, catering, event production, security, etc.) to ensure smooth event execution.
  • Manage all event logistics, e.g. room reservations, event design and layout, entertainment, catering, schedule and remarks, guest registrations, seating plans, signage, AV, photography, staffing and volunteer plans, and day-of oversight.
  • Manage event database and web records, invoicing and receipting, recordkeeping, event budgets, reporting, and other related duties.
  • Organize post-event feedback meetings and surveys.

Manage the Walker’s Travel Program, including all domestic and international trips for donors:

  • Conduct research travel destinations as well as on travel companies, hotels, restaurants, and transportation companies.
  • Prepare and coordinate invitations, communications, and registrations.
  • Coordinate travel logistics including reservations, correspondence, record-keeping, and reporting.
  • Collaborate with vendors including travel companies, hotels, restaurants, and transportation companies.

Other duties as needed or assigned by Chief of Advancement and Director of the Annual Fund.


  • Full-time (35 hours), Exempt.
  • Salary: TBD annually, dependent on level of experience.
  • Ability to work nights and weekends.
  • Must be able to adjust schedule as required to support Development events and needs.


  • A minimum of four years fundraising event experience or equivalent combination of education/training.
  • Demonstrated success in planning and executing high-level, creative events for members and donors.
  • Superb organizational, interpersonal, written and oral communication skills.
  • High degree of initiative and attention to detail.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects in a fast-paced environment successfully and with a sense of humor.
  • Excellent relationship-building skills and experience in leading and motivating teams.
  • Ability to work well independently and as part of a team, and to remain poised, articulate, and calm under pressure.
  • Strong judgment and ability to work with discretion and sensitivity to confidential matters.
  • Demonstrated success in valuing and actively promoting diversity; established ability to clearly communicate and work with a wide range of individuals with varied talents, backgrounds, and perspectives.
  • Proficiency with computers, Microsoft Office, Adobe, and databases.
  • Ability to lift and/or move heavy loads of print and event materials.
  • Availability and willingness to work evenings and weekends as needed.
  • A serious interest in the arts and the Walker’s mission.


  • Experience working in a museum or non-profit setting.
  • Tessitura experience.

The Walker is committed to being an inclusive workplace. Our goal is to be a diverse workforce that is representative, at all job levels, of the communities and audiences we serve. We are dedicated to fair and inclusive employment practices for all individuals.

The Walker Art Center requires all employees to comply with our COVID vaccination policy, which requires staff to be fully vaccinated or test every 6 days. The Walker Art Center is an equal opportunity employer and will consider request for reasonable accommodations based on disability or sincerely-held religious beliefs possible without undue hardship.