Director of Major Giving - Autism Speaks

Job Type

Full Time




New York
New York
United States


Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. Autism Speaks enhances lives today and is accelerating a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow. Come join us as a Director of Major Giving in NYC or locations such as Boston, Philadelphia and surrounding metro areas!


The director of major giving for the northeast region is a front-line fundraising position offering the opportunity to deepen and expand Autism Speaks major gift portfolio in the northeastern US. 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 key markets in this territory. Based in New York City or surrounding locations (Boston, Philadelphia and surrounding metro areas), the individuals in this position will bring proven major 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. 


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

  • Lead the development and growth of the major gift portfolio for Autism Speaks’ northeast region.
  • Assess challenges and opportunities within the market – focus on building the major gift portfolio for the long-term, while taking advantage of near and mid-term opportunities.
  • Implement proven major gift strategies to:
  • Identify and engage a greater number of new leads. 
  • Increase the volume of new, qualified relationships onto the major 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 high five, six and seven + figure gift conversations.
  • Engage with colleagues and volunteers across the organization who can inform and help major gift lead generation activity for the northeast region. 
  • Work with the VP, Individual & Foundation Relations and Autism Speaks leadership to develop and implement thoughtful moves and experiences for the region’s major gift portfolio.
  • Collaborate and be a thoughtful, supportive colleague on the major gift 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 and weekly, monthly, quarterly measurement of activity toward these goals.
  • Work with Relationship Development Operations team to guide back office support, including prospect research, necessary to grow the west region 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 gift donor materials and communications for the division overall and the northeast region specifically.

Fiscal Responsibility:

·      Meet or exceed agreed upon major gift revenue and key activity metric goals (each year).

·      Forecast revenue from the region’s major gift portfolio on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis.

·      Remain current and have ability to analyze major gift revenue trends in key markets in the region.

Planning and Management:

·      Create and implement a long-term business plan to strategically grow major gift relationships and revenue in key markets across the region. 

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

·      Follow the Relationship Development division’s database protocols and expectations – use the Raiser’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.)

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS – Education / Professional

  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred.
  • 5+ 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 and 7 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.
  • 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 development and major gift development / 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 that they do. 
  • 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 key markets across the region.
  • Proficient with Raiser’s Edge (or database equivalent) and MS Office, Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel.


·      Building Collaborative Relationships

·      Professional Behavior

·      Results Driven

·      Customer Orientation

·      Flexibility

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.

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.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

For consideration, please forward your resume and cover letter to