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Nationwide Director, Individual Relations & Philanthropy

This job is no longer available

New York, NY, USA

Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. Come join us as a Nationwide Director, Individual Relations & Philanthropy!

PURPOSE: The Nationwide Director, Individual Relations, is a front-line fundraising position offering the opportunity to deepen and expand Autism Speaks major and principal gift portfolio in New York City as well as key markets in Florida, California and Texas. Working with the Vice President of Individual & Foundation Relations and other staff and voluntary leadership, lead the full range of major gift efforts required for these markets. Based in the greater New York City area, the individual in this position will bring proven major and principal gift experience and success with the energy and motivation of an entrepreneur to the untapped potential that exists with individuals and families who have the capacity to help Autism Speaks realize its 10-year vision.

Areas of Responsibility: 


Major and Principal Gift Lead Generation, Cultivation, Solicitation, and Stewardship:

  • Lead the development and growth of the major and principal gift portfolio for Autism Speaks’ in New York City and key markets in Florida, California and Texas.
  • Assess challenges and opportunities within the markets – focus on building the major and principal gift portfolio for the long-term, while taking advantage of near and mid-term opportunities.
  • Implement proven major and principal giving strategies to:
    • Identify and engage a greater number of new leads.
    • Increase the volume of new, qualified relationships onto the major/principal gift portfolio.
    • Deepen relationships with those in the portfolio who have six, seven and eight-figure capacity.
    • Solicit gifts that support the priority programs of Autism Speaks with an emphasis on six, seven, and eight figure gift conversations.
  • Engage with colleagues and volunteers across the organization who can inform and help major/principal gift lead generation activity for these key markets.
  • Work with the VP, Individual & Foundation Relations and Autism Speaks leadership to develop and implement thoughtful moves and experiences for the nationwide major/principal gift portfolio.
  • Collaborate and be a thoughtful, supportive, senior colleague on the Individual & Foundation Relations departmental team and the Relationship Development divisional team.
  • Actively learn the programs, and priority initiatives of Autism Speaks (as per our strategic plan) and convey this vision and work to donors and prospective donors. Seek to introduce appropriate donors and prospects to leadership and content experts throughout the relationship cultivation process.
  • Seek to maximize giving capacity in solicitations with a particular emphasis on increased giving where / when appropriate.
  • Have comfort with clear annual goals & weekly, monthly, quarterly measurement of activity toward goals.
  • Work with Fundraising Operations team to guide back office support, including prospect research, necessary to grow nationwide major/principal giving portfolio.
  • Demonstrate discipline to prepare thoroughly for all donor visits and conduct pre and post visit briefings with staff / volunteer leadership.
  • Offer input on the development of major/principal giving donor materials and communications for the division overall.

Fiscal Responsibility:

·       Meet or exceed agreed upon major gift revenue and key activity metric goals (each year). Expectations for the first full year in this position will be $2.5 million (personal portfolio) with the expectation that subsequent years will see personal portfolio grow to $3 million + annually.

·       Forecast revenue from your personal portfolio on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis.

·       Remain current and have ability to analyze major/principal gift revenue trends in key markets nationwide.

Planning and Management:

·       Create and implement a long-term business plan to strategically grow major/principal giving relationships and revenue in key markets nationwide.

·       Identify and utilize key volunteers who can influence and help advance this major/principal gift growth plan.

·       Working with the Vice President, help mentor colleagues to sharpen their relationship building skills and strengthen major gift disciplines to affect greater growth and outcomes across the team.

·       Follow the Relationship Development division’s database protocols and expectations – use the Razor’s Edge database to accurately reflect regional portfolio growth, moves, revenue outcomes.  

(The responsibilities listed above are representative and not all inclusive. Other duties may be assigned by supervisor/s. As outlined in your performance goal setting forms, you will be responsible for achieving the goals provided by and agreed upon with your manager.)

Educational Background: 
Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS – Education / Professional

  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred.
  • 10+ years of specific, dedicated major gift experience in a non-profit, fundraising setting. 15 or more years of professional working experience.
  • Applicable sales experience also a plus.

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS – Key Professional Attributes

  • Proven track record closing 6, 7 and 8 figure gifts.
  • Superior interpersonal skills, with the ability to influence donors to support the organization.
  • Ability to show initiative and resourcefulness to meet the needs of the donors.
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written, as well as strong presentation skills.
  • Experience managing and mentoring major gift colleagues.
  • Ability to monitor budgets and produce reports and other correspondence in a timely fashion.
  • Ability to work independently and manage multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of major/principal gift relationship development and fundraising.
  • Experience working in a mission-driven organization and achieving aggressive fundraising goals.
  • Open and collaborative work style, conducive to engaging external and internal partners.
  • Adept at problem-solving; have good judgment; have integrity in all work and relationships.
  • Excellent listening skills; ability to match donors to appropriate program, strategic priority. Results-oriented and motivated with an entrepreneurial approach to fundraising.
  • Commitment to and passion for the mission of Autism Speaks.
  • Professional demeanor; demonstrated social skills with individuals as well as with large groups.
  • Ability to travel easily and frequently to these key markets across country.
  • Proficient with Razor’s Edge (or database equivalent) and MS Office, Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel.


·       Building Collaborative Relationships

·       Professional Behavior

·       Results Driven

·       Customer Orientation

·       Flexibility

You are responsible for protecting the confidentiality, integrity and availability of all Autism Speaks data and information to which you have access.

How to Apply: 

Autism Speaks offers a competitive compensation package and the opportunity to enhance lives today and accelerate a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow for individuals with autism and their families.

For consideration, please forward your resume and cover letter to

Only those applicants who meet the hiring criteria will be considered and contacted by Human Resources. Autism Speaks is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Qualified individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply for job openings. Reasonable accommodations will be provided.

Organization Info

Autism Speaks

New York, New York, USA
51-200 employees
About Us

Autism speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.

Listing Stats

Post Date: 
Oct 30 2019
Active Until: 
Nov 30 2019
Hiring Organization: 
Autism Speaks