Fundraising and spending

86 cents of every dollar

It is important to understand how charities allocate the generous funds received from the public. We understand that there will always be questions regarding the allocation of funds Autism Speaks receives. We pride ourselves on the fact that 86 cents of every dollar donated to Autism Speaks goes directly to research, advocacy, programs and services.

In fact, each year, we have exceeded the Better Business Bureau guideline of 65 cents per dollar. In 2023, our organization also earned a 4-star rating by Charity Navigator, with a 100% rating in the area of Accountability and Finance.

Since our founding, we’ve aided more than 27 million autistic people and their families in a variety of ways. Last year alone, we aided more than 1.6 million autistic people and their families through free services and supports. We invest in programs that can have widespread, meaningful impact for the autism community, and are focused on doing the most amount of good for the most amount of people. 


Autism Speaks is dedicated to supporting research and innovation that drives improved quality of life and well-being for autistic people throughout their lives.

Our Science department funding goes to support programs like:

Through these programs and partnerships, we hope to deepen our understanding of autism; discover new interventions that promote healthy lifestyles; accelerate best practices in clinical care; and improve access to quality, evidence-based information and services in underserved communities in the U.S. and around the world. Learn more about our Science programs.

How are we making a difference? Read one family’s story
Maria and her son Nazareno on the beach in winter

When Nazareno was diagnosed with autism at age 2, his mother did not have the knowledge and skills she needed to help him grow and develop. Luckily, she learned that the CST program had a site right in her hometown of Rio Grande, Argentina. She signed up to learn new strategies to engage with her son, teach him new skills and address his behavior challenges. The program has been life changing for them both, with Nazareno growing leaps and bounds since his mom started CST. Read more about how the Caregiver Skills Training changed their family’s life for the better.


Our Advocacy department funding goes towards our support of important legislation and policy solutions like:

Our advocacy protects the rights of autistic people and increases investments in federal and state autism programs that pay dividends for our community. Through advocacy, we ensure billions of dollars each year are dedicated at the federal and state levels to improving and expanding the services, supports and opportunities available to autistic people throughout their lives. Learn more about our advocacy work.

How do advocacy and policy impact services across the lifespan?
Chloe at an event for The Ability Center in front of a step and repeat with a dog

As an autistic young adult who is on a mission to advocate and teach others about autism from her perspective, Chloe has shared the personal impact of countless services, from the benefits of ABA therapy to her journey transitioning from school-based services to adult HCBS services. These supports and services have been impacted by decades of advocacy to improve their affordability, accessibility and quality. Her experiences highlight the important role of advocacy and the potential for future policy solutions to make an even greater difference in enhancing services and supports for autistic people of all ages.

Services and Supports

Our Services and Supports department funding goes towards essential programs and initiatives that support the community, including:

Through information and referral, service navigation and community partnerships, we improve access to reliable autism information and resources, organize peer-to-peer forums to build community connections, train and educate local providers, and provide one-to-one coaching on how to access to care, locally. Our specially trained Autism Response Team supports the vast range of diverse needs of the autism community, across the full spectrum and lifespan.

WIN is helping autistic people navigate their employment journey
Joanna standing in front of the Hawkeyes mascot

Just one in five people with disabilities, including autism, are employed, despite having the skillset and desire to work. By participating in our WIN program, Joanna found a job that she loves at family-run business, Lee Container, which was recently purchased by Grief. Joanna’s vigor for her job is a glowing testimonial to the impact of WIN as a vital professional development tool that can help improve career readiness and help build the skills to succeed in the workplace. Read more about how WIN creates meaningful employment opportunities for the autistic community.