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Manager of Donor Engagement

The Audacious Project: A donor-led collaboration to fund solutions at thrilling scale 

Organizational Context

Housed at TED (the nonprofit devoted to ideas worth spreading), The Audacious Project was launched in April 2018 to foster collaborative philanthropy for big, bold ideas with the potential to spark global change.

With The Audacious Project, TED brings together an active community of donors and partners, including some of the most respected organizations and individuals in philanthropy. This coalition of leading organizations and individuals – among them the Skoll Foundation, Virgin Unite, Dalio Foundation, The Bridgespan Group and others – has collectively catalyzed over $900M in philanthropic support (in direct and secondary funding) for 15 social impact projects.

The Audacious Project empowers social entrepreneurs to dream boldly and take on the world's biggest and most urgent challenges by removing barriers associated with funding  Audacious grantees are already making a significant difference in our world in criminal justice reform, climate change, global health and more.   

Position Description

The Audacious Project seeks its first Manager of Donor Engagement, who will report directly to the Audacious Project Executive Director. This person will help position The Audacious Project for success in its next phase, crafting and leading implementation of a comprehensive donor engagement strategy. 

Specifically, the role will focus on four priorities:

  • Sustaining a thriving Audacious donor community, including stewardship of current core donors and cultivation of future participants;

  • Serving as a bridge between Audacious “lead donors” and Audacious projects, ensuring strong ongoing partnerships between the donor community to support project impact;

  • Highlighting stories of impact in donor-facing materials (in partnership with Audacious’ Editorial Director, who manages the Audacious brand building and marketing), as well as building a sense of donor community and connection across special events, web and print communication;

  • Building critical development infrastructure for The Audacious Project, including donor management software and managing a growing donor engagement team.

We’re looking for someone action-oriented and creative, able to shape a unique role and motivated by both setting a strategy and by delivering results. This position requires strong focus on high-net-worth donors, done in support with a variety of stakeholders - including Audacious Project staff, donor teams (e.g., family office or private foundation staff), partners, and NGO/nonprofit leaders and teams. You will be joining a rapidly growing, high energy team committed to doing what it takes to unlock hundreds of millions of philanthropic dollars toward social change projects around the globe.


Sustaining a thriving Audacious donor community:

  • Develop a comprehensive approach to donor engagement, with a goal of building a donor community by 2023 that is global, diverse allows for commensurate growth in annual giving;

  • With the Head of TED and Audacious Project Executive Director, maintain and deepen relationships with Audacious core donors through bespoke involvement and communication;

  • Identify, cultivate and steward new individual donors capable of making significant contributions to Audacious Project finalists and to joining the community - including prep for high stakes donor meetings and necessary follow up.

Serve as a bridge between Audacious lead donors and Audacious projects:

  • Serve as the point person as Audacious finalists are paired with “lead donors” (core donors who volunteer to steward individual projects on behalf of other donors, usually over a five year project period);

  • Develop and share standard grant agreements and reporting documents - based on the existing set of grantees. Support timely development and execution of the grant agreement in the spring of each cycle, and ensure annual reporting back to donors happens on schedule (and at similar quality);

  • Engage with the Audacious projects to gain substantive knowledge of their work and funding goals and efforts, and serve as an informal advisor as they continue fundraising;

Highlight stories of impact in donor-facing materials:

  • Partner with the Editorial team to ensure effective and compelling communication to donors, identifying ways to increase awareness of The Audacious Project, the impact of finalist projects, and total funds raised;

  • Support Executive Director in designing and executing signature special events, including donor gatherings throughout the year and events at the TED Conference in April in Vancouver, as well as regional dinners, site visits, and screenings.

Build critical development infrastructure for The Audacious Project.

  • As the Donor Engagement team grows over the next three years, develop job specs and oversee hiring / onboarding, and day-to-day management for team of 3+ additional staff;

  • Put in place and manage annual calendar, reporting processes and accountability systems related to donor cultivation, stewardship, and engagement; 

  • Put in place donor management software and project management systems and event planning tools required to perform in this role, and maintain these systems as appropriate (directly, or via staff).


  • Bachelor’s degree 

  • Minimum of five to seven years of related experience in high-net-worth donor relations - including stewardship and cultivation - ideally at a major institution, university, or nonprofit with a $20M+ annual budget.

  • Proven track record of increasing revenue year-over-year, with an emphasis on private philanthropic dollars from individuals, families, or small institutions.

  • Experience hiring and managing a team of at least 2+ development staff.

  • Excellent interpersonal, diplomatic, and communication skills. 

  • Commitment to building positive, multi-year relationships with donors and staff and comfortable exercising skill, tact, and confidentiality with the donor community.

  • Strong time management and organizational skills, with an eagerness to take initiative and adapt to dynamic and changing priorities.

  • Generally creative, curious, personable and excited to join a high energy, hands-on team at TED.


Role is full-time and based in TED’s New York office.

TED Conferences LLC is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We invite all qualified candidates to apply online with their resume.

This role includes the following physical, mental and visual demands:

  • General: Office environment

  • Physical: Repetitive movement of wrists, hands, and/or fingers

  • Mental/Visual: Concentrated mental and/or visual attention; work involves performing tasks to very close accuracy and quality specifications

  • Machines, Tools, Equipment, Electronic Devices, Computer Software: Ability to use common office equipment such as telephone, computer and copier

  • Computer programs to include MS Office, Mac programs, Google Docs, functional related databases

  • Travel: Upon request

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