Rupa Shukla Blackwell


Tullahoma, TN ◼ ◼ 310-749-4625 ◼



Offers ten years of expertise in delivering large-scale, high-profile fundraising events in the non-profit sector, attracting more than 3,500 participants and raising more than $16M at a single event. Articulate leader who excels at steering all project phases as well as strategic planning for volunteer recruitment, fundraising, and event communications. Savvy contract negotiator and vendor manager, controlling budgets of $1.2M. Career trajectory spans multiple innovative success stories, including event relocations, new volunteer programs and a start-up of a small business.

Event Planning & Execution | Show & Venue Production | Budget Development & Management | Staffing | Fundraising

Permit Management | Training & Supervision | Vendor Management, RFPs & Contract Negotiation | Public Relations

Vehicle/Fleet Deployment | Volunteer Recruitment/Retention | Marketing | Social Media | Route Development

Supplies/Warehouse Management | Microsoft Office | Visio | CMS Systems: Raiser’s Edge, Convio, Blackbaud


Independent Contractor, Event Production & Non-Profit Fundraising 2016 – Present

Fundraising, Recruiting, and Event Production

Clients have included

  • San Francisco AIDS Foundation/ Los Angeles LGBT Center- AIDS/LifeCycle (2016, 2017, 2018)
  • LeadDog Marketing- Cycle for Survival, Tour Manager (2019) & Tour Manager Assist (2017, 2018)  and Cycle for the Cause (2017, 2018)
  • ACE Ride- BIKE MS Colorado (2016)
  • Eventage- Closer to Free Ride (2016, 2017, 2018), Go the Distance for Autism (2016)
  • United Way of Coffee and Moore Counties- Interim Executive Director (February 2017- May 2017)
  • OP3- The Overnight Walk support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (Summer 2017)

San Francisco AIDS Foundation & Los Angeles LGBT Center 2012 – 2016

Senior Production Manager, AIDS/LifeCycle

Assumed full production of 2014 AIDS/LifeCycle, a seven-day, 545-mile bike ride, a $15.4M landmark event, moving more than 3,500 cyclists and volunteers down the coast of California to raise funds for AIDS research and services. Manage 30+ vendors, accountable for $1.2M in expenditures. Govern volunteer program and 2,200+ volunteers. Supervise one year-round direct report, up to two seasonal direct reports, and 30+ staff and vendors during event. Prior to 2014 event, managed event logistics, including contract negotiation, local permits, as well as route and site management.

  • Triggered 34% spike in fundraising in first year and a 5% surge in volunteer retention, with volunteers raising $600K+ in 2014. Formed first volunteer fundraising plan; streamlined processes for volunteer assignments and communications.
  • Saved in costs and time by working with vendors and staff to reduce event timeline by one day on each end. Analyzed processes to determine cost efficiency and suitability to events industry, strategized key staffing changes, consolidated vendors, and reorganized staff training, trucking, and job responsibilities.
  • Saved more than $100K to date by streamlining logistical processes
  • Improved participant experience by contracting new campsite and researching, contracting, and designing all venue spaces and overnight campsites.
  • In 2015, closed volunteer registration earlier than ever with 700+ volunteers by February and triggered another spike in fundraising with volunteers raising $810K+ and a 10+% increase in retention. Instituted first newsletter campaign targeting volunteers, as well as a recruitment plan and fundraising plan. Initiated comprehensive communications campaign via social media and email. Simplified volunteer process by collaborating with Technical Operations Manager to build a comprehensive database of all previous volunteers.
  • Executed successful event from pre-production through post-production, despite mass exodus of staff members on Logistics/Production Team. Redistributed workload and handled overall development of route and campsite.

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles 2011 – 2012

Assistant Director, Special Events

Instituted and oversaw first volunteer program for special events. Assisted to plan and carry out special events leading up to grand opening of the Marion and John E. Anderson Pavilion. Conducted budgeting and feasibility research for new community events. Recruited and retained volunteers for Walk for Kids.

Assistant Director, Special Events (Continued)

  • Managed sales for general tickets and tribute journal sponsorships to May 2011 Dream for Kids Gala, raising $7M, most ever raised at a single event in hospital’s history. Coordinated RSVPs, seating, and event check-in.
  • Established new volunteer management program for Events team, acquiring 300+ volunteers for Walk for Kids and Dream for Kids Gala. Built a volunteer database and volunteer recruitment plan for 5K walk and for events for opening of new hospital building. Enlisted volunteers via leveraging and, as well as working with hospital departments to solicit internal volunteers.
  • Drew 500+ in attendance at Open House for the Marion and John E. Anderson Pavilion by teaming with hospital management and vendors to showcase new hospital to their staff and families prior to opening.
  • Met all deadlines for marketing collateral production for Noche de Niños Gala event, a biennial extravaganza held at the unique and festive Event Deck at L.A. LIVE in downtown Los Angeles. Partnered with Marketing/Communications team on design, including Save the Date, invitations, and journal.

OP3 2005 – 2010

Logistics Coordinator, Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, Santa Barbara (2008 – 2010)

Spearheaded the first two-day Avon Walk in Santa Barbara, a 24-site, 39.3-mile walking event, spanning three governmental jurisdictions, a campsite for 2,000+ people, as well as two sites for Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Assessed feasibility and new venues, estimated attendance based on historical data, and developed budget for event production. Devised new route and liaised with all new jurisdictions. Negotiated contracts with vendors, sites, and jurisdictions to control production budget of $500K.

  • Ignited 52% increase in registration that propelled fundraising up 40% for $4.2M raised, and soared participants by 50% in first year by researching and proposing event move event from Long Beach to Santa Barbara.

Logistics Coordinator, Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, Los Angeles (2007 – 2008)

Reviewed vendor bids and negotiated vendor contracts, developed route and site layouts, and obtained permits with local government agencies.

  • Set up a 39.3 mile walk route with 24 event sites for the two-day event.
  • Played key role in an internal green initiative by investigating use of composting and recycling throughout all nine event cities.

Crew Coordinator, Avon Walk for Breast Cancer (2007 – 2007)

Coordinated staffing, training, assignment, and retention of team of 300 crew volunteers. Worked directly with Logistics Coordinator to locally permit pre-events and compile event resource guides.

  • Informed 300 volunteers on their roles in event by planning and facilitating a pre-event training day.

Participant Representative, Avon Walk for Breast Cancer (2005 – 2007)

Recruited and retained 800+ participants and provided fundraising support, leading to $1M in donations. Collaborated with Logistics Coordinator to obtain permitting and construct route plans for 300-person “Mock Walk”.

  • Created participant training plan, adopted by the organization at the national level.


Tullahoma Art Center, Board Member, (2017- present)

Tullahoma Day Care, Board Member, (2017- present)

PFLAG, Treasurer, (2018- present)

Break the Cycle, Young Professional, (2010-2011)

Citizen of the Year (2018) by the Tullahoma Chamber of Commerce

Bachelor of Arts, Chemistry & History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC