Senior Director, Development Communications

Job Locations
US-NY-New York | US
Regular, Full-Time
Job Category
New York


Now in its second century, Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Audubon’s mission is engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education and on-the-ground conservation action.  By mobilizing and aligning its network of Chapters, Centers, State and Important Bird Area programs in the four major migratory flyways in the Americas, the organization will bring the full power of Audubon to bear on protecting common and threatened bird species and the critical habitat they need to survive.  And as part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in over 100 in-country organizations all working to protect a network of Important Bird Areas around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level.  What defines Audubon’s unique value is a powerful grassroots network of approximately 450 local chapters, 120 campus chapters, 17 state and regional offices, 34 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 50 states, and 700 staff across the country. 




Position Summary

The National Audubon Society seeks a strategic Senior Director of Development Communications to lead a best-in-class team that includes development communications and donor stewardship programs. Reporting to the Vice President of Principal Giving, the Senior Director will design and implement an integrated and comprehensive communications strategy that will advance the effectiveness of the development team and therefore, the philanthropic success of this 100 year-old organization. 


The successful candidate will be a strategic and creative communicator with experience supporting development colleagues who engage donors from cultivation through solicitation and stewardship. The ability to collaborate broadly across a complex organization with multiple business units, while supporting colleagues at multiple levels of the organization, are critical attributes for the Senior Director. The incumbent will exemplify Audubon’s values while managing up, down, and sideways with diplomacy, professionalism, and commitment to inclusion.


As a team leader, the Senior Director will recruit, motivate, coach and mentor a diverse team of professionals, advancing the aptitude of individuals and the collective department. 


Application Information: Advancement Incite, has been retained by National Audubon Society to assist in this search process. Applications, nominations, and further inquiries should be directed to Executive Search Consultant, Mary Gene Clavin, All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Essential Functions

As Senior Director of Development Communications, your core responsibilities will include the following:

  • Develop a department plan to implement and carry out the operational and strategic goals of the development department.
  • Build on Audubon’s current development communications program, designing a strategy that will enhance and connect resources for fundraising colleagues across the organization.
  • Develop systems and processes in pursuit of compelling, timely and customized documents designed to support the work of fundraisers and strengthen donor engagement.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to assess current methods of stewardship communication, identify gaps and opportunities, and create a plan for a best-in-class program.
  • With the Vice President of Principal Giving, hire and oversee Audubon’s first dedicated stewardship professional and the design and implementation of a stewardship program.
  • Lead and manage all members of the team, including a stewardship professional and two staff writers.
  • Collaborate with Audubon’s design team and external vendors, overseeing a timely process with exceptional outcomes.
  • Serve as a strategic advisor to cross-department senior colleagues around high-level donor acquisition and retention.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Superior communication, writing and editing skills demonstrated through 8-10 years of strategic messaging experience in a fundraising setting.
  • Excellent project management, including proactive and independent development of work plans, timelines, and budgets.
  • Ability to initiate and manage relationships with internal and external partners with diplomacy and constant professionalism.
  • Experience leading a team and conducting constructive, fair, and direct conversations.
  • The ability to anticipate, exercise discretion, and navigate ambiguity in a fast-paced environment.
  • A demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging and understanding of the value of cultural competence.
  • Strong knowledge of the principles of fundraising and nonprofit management.
  • Strong analytical, conceptual, and organizational skills with attention to detail.
  • An aptitude for design and conveying messaging goals to a design team.
  • Knowledge of print production with an ability to oversee print publications from concept to delivery.
  • A metrics-driven, entrepreneurial, strategic mindset.
  • Creativity and flexibility with experience working as part of a multidisciplinary team.

EEO Statement

The National Audubon Society is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE). All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. We are committed to a policy of nondiscrimination, inclusion and equal opportunity and actively seek a diverse pool of candidates in this search.

Accessibility Statement

The National Audubon Society endeavors to keep our careers site accessible to any and all users.  If you would like to contact us regarding the accessibility of our website or need assistance completing the application process, please contact This contact information is for accommodation requests only and cannot be used to inquire about the status of applications.

COVID Policy

Beginning September 15, 2021: Audubon requires all staff either to provide proof of being fully vaccinated or, if they cannot provide such proof for any reason, to wear a mask while working indoors, including in all Audubon facilities and offsite, and while working outdoors in situations where they cannot maintain social distancing. In addition, at this time and until CDC recommendations change, all staff in counties the CDC identifies as having “substantial” and “high” COVID transmission ratesmust wear masks indoors (unless alone in a closed office) and outdoors in situations where they cannot maintain social distancing regardless of vaccination status. 


This policy covers national and state offices, centers, and sanctuaries, as well as Audubon employees working offsite. Should you be selected for this position, you will be asked to acknowledge you have read the above policy and provide your vaccination status.


Sorry the Share function is not working properly at this moment. Please refresh the page and try again later.
Share on your newsfeed