Chief Development Officer

Req Number: VSBUQW
Location: Oakland, NJ
Posted: 11/18/2022
Category: Government/Not-For-Profit : Not-For-Profit
Job Type: Permanent

REED Autism Services 

The flagship program of REED Autism Services, REED Academy, began in 2003 when a small group of parents came together, eager to find the right education for their children with autism. What started in two small rooms in Washington Township, New Jersey, has grown into a family of four distinct, 501c3 non-profit organizations serving individuals with autism, and their families, across the lifespan: REED Academy, a leading school for children with autism ages 3-21 with campuses located in Oakland and Franklin Lakes, NJ; REED Next, providing community-based services for adults with autism including residential services, day programming, and job support; Greens Do Good, an innovative, indoor hydroponic vertical farm growing and selling greens for the greater good and providing critical vocational training and employment for teens and adults on the spectrum; and the REED Foundation for Autism – an active incubator for new ideas and the charitable engine of REED programs, are all brought together under the umbrella of REED Autism Services. 
REED programs are based on the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA), recognized as the gold standard in autism treatment and education, which uses scientific and ethical approaches to understand why people do what they do to help them make meaningful changes to their behavior. By focusing on each individual’s strengths and areas in need of growth, we strive for every student, client, and resident to reach his or her full potential. 
REED Autism Services is a family of non-profits with an entrepreneurial spirit. The Board of Directors is comprised of thoughtful risk-takers relentlessly pursuing solutions to the complex challenges of an ever-growing autism community. REED has a track record of strategically designating charitable funds to seed and launch new and innovative programs of significant impact.  
Whether it’s REED’s state-of-the-art schools in Oakland and Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, or their well-appointed residential homes on beautiful tree lined streets in desirable neighborhoods, or the innovative, first-of-its-kind indoor, hydroponic farm developed exclusively for teens and adults with autism, REED programs continue to challenge the status quo of what’s possible for people with autism – and do so with an eye towards growth and future expansion.  Other notable aspects of REED programming include the newly launched Intensive Behavior Services program, one of only a few in New Jersey to serve individuals with autism requiring significant intervention and support, the One Big Canvas book series – a set of beautifully illustrated children’s books including The Masterpiece and The Molding of Clay, artfully written with lessons of inclusion and acceptance available through Amazon and other local retailers, REED’s supported employment program providing enhanced job support for adults with autism pursuing paid employment, and the recently launched ‘Changemakers in Autism’ podcast series featuring some of the most interesting and innovative people and programs impacting the autism community around the country.   
Regionally, REED is a leader in autism services, with a desire to expand its geographic footprint beyond New Jersey.  
         Based in Bergen County, we serve individuals from towns throughout northern and central New Jersey. 
Position Overview 
As a key member of the leadership team, the Chief Development Officer (CDO) will be responsible for creating and executing on a comprehensive fundraising strategy aimed at garnering tremendous support from a variety of funders and supporters. To this end, the CDO will provide the strategic vision, leadership, and oversight for the development function, leveraging existing relationships while diversifying the current funding stream. In this highly visible role, the CDO will collaborate with a broad set of stakeholders, including the Chief Executive Officer and the Board of Directors, to significantly increase philanthropic support for REED’s strategic initiatives. With overarching responsibility for Reed’s fundraising efforts, the CDO will oversee all facets of development, including major gifts, planned giving, and grant funding as well as corporate and foundation support. 

Reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer, the CDO will have the unique opportunity to build a broad development function leveraging current relationships while expanding the funder base to empower REED to thoughtfully engage with supporters in delivering on its mission and vision.  

The CDO will lead the philanthropic efforts of REED to grow and broaden the revenue stream. In this newly created role, the CDO will oversee all efforts and engagements of REED in the fundraising space. This role will be responsible for providing education and mentorship to staff involved in fundraising efforts across the organization. The CDO will be joining the organization at a critical juncture as it continues to expand its footprint and advance the lives of individuals with autism in central and northern New Jersey. 

To put the key elements of success in place, the CDO will need to leverage the existing fundraising road map to develop a comprehensive plan focused on expanding revenue through individual, corporation, foundation, multilateral, and government partnerships.  

This leadership position requires that the individual be mission-focused, driven, strategic, collaborative, creative, and process-minded. They will serve as the primary mentor and thought leader around fundraising for the organization and build on approaches to leverage REED’s networks in the fundraising space. They will devise and execute strategies, establish key performance indicators, and optimize operations and technology to drive productivity and effectiveness. 
Key Responsibilities 
  • Formulate a long-term, fully integrated growth strategy in collaboration with executive leadership to meet the fundraising goals of the organization.
  • Devise annual and long-term fundraising strategies, projections, and budgets that align with institutional goals and REED’s values, programs, and contributions to the community.
  • Collaborate with the CEO, the leadership team, and board members in executing strategic outreach and engagement with potential and existing funders focusing on major gifts, planned giving, foundations, corporations, multilateral organizations, and federal agencies.
  • Embrace REED’s strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. 
  • Oversee day-to-day activities of the fundraising team and mentor staff to maximize their performance and grow in their abilities.
  • Enhance the image and visibility of REED at the local, state, and national levels by collaborating with internal marketing and external fundraising experts providing support related to messaging, strategy, and technology.
  • Oversee a stewardship effort to ensure funders fully understand the impact of their giving.
  • Ensure close collaboration with other operations, especially in the creation of proposal financials, budgets, and expenditure reports. 
Professional Experience/Qualifications 
The ideal candidate will have significant prior experience leading an initiative to raise millions of dollars from individuals, foundations, and corporations coupled with a collaborative approach. They will have led efforts to secure philanthropic support from a variety of funding sources.  

The CDO will have run a development team and/or a corporate partnership team at a larger organization with demonstrated success in growing contributed revenue. They will have guided all levels of leadership in securing six to eight figure major gifts or grants from individuals, foundations, corporations as well as state or federal agencies.  

Other desired qualifications and leadership characteristics include: 
  • 10+ years of experience in fundraising with a deep knowledge of developing major gifts from individual donors, foundations, and corporations coupled with a minimum of 5 years’ experience in managing and growing fundraising teams.
  • Proven ability in project management, especially in submitting complex grant proposals such as those required by federal agencies.
  • Demonstrated ability to leverage strategic interactions with funding decision-makers, such as foundation program directors, principals of family foundations, and program leads at federal agencies.
  • Experience in reviewing and refining fundraising operations, from budgeting to projections to tracking interactions, dashboards, reports, and deadlines in a CRM.
  • Understanding and experience in leveraging the expertise of executive team and development staff in outreach and engagement.
  • Experience in communicating fundraising goals, strategies, and performance indicators to all levels of staff and Board.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills with the ability to oversee, mentor, and motivate staff around aggressive fundraising goals.
  • Strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion as a foundational value central to REED’s mission.
  • Exceptional communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills coupled with the ability to relate to supporters, colleagues, and Board members. 
  • Proven track record of creating high quality proposals and winning large grants from federal agencies and/or multilateral organizations is a plus.
  • A passion for, or demonstrated experience in, disability services, and particularly autism related programming 
  • University degree or equivalent acceptable combination of education and experience. Graduate degree and/or CFRE designation is strongly preferred.  
  • Compensation and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience. 
Application Process 
  • Interested and qualified candidates are welcome to submit a cover letter and resume to: