Associate Director of Leadership Gifts
ACLU - New York, NY

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Associate Director of Leadership Gifts [DEVF-41]
Development Department, NY

For more than 92 years, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (ACLU) , has been at the forefront of virtually every major battle for civil liberties and equal justice in this country. Principled and nonpartisan, the ACLU has offices in all 50 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico, and brings together the country’s largest team of public interest lawyers, lobbyists, communication strategists, and members and activists in the advancement of equality, fairness, and freedom, especially for the most vulnerable in our society.

The Development Department of the National office in New York City is seeking applicants for the full-time position of Associate Director of Leadership Gifts.


The ACLU is our nation's guardian of liberty. Combining litigation with public education, media outreach, advocacy, and lobbying, the ACLU works at the local, state, and federal levels to effect change in the courts and legislatures, as well as in the court of public opinion. The ACLU tackles a vast array of issues, including national security and human rights, free speech, reproductive freedom, women’s rights, separation of church and state, racial justice, equality for LGBT people, voting rights, immigrants’ rights, criminal justice reform, and ending the death penalty. The ACLU has participated in more cases at the U.S. Supreme Court than any other nongovernmental organization. Effective and efficient, The ACLU is in the 1 percent of charities receiving at least 9 consecutive 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator.

The national office of the ACLU has approximately 300 employees. Including affiliates, the organization has more than 1,000 employees. The national Development Department raises approximately $70 million annually in private support from major donors, foundations, and more than 500,000 members.


As a member of a sophisticated and growing Leadership Gifts program and reporting to the Director of Leadership Gifts, the Associate Director of Leadership Gifts will contribute to the development of a portfolio of the organization’s top contributors. S/he will be responsible for:
  • Actively soliciting and closing gifts of $25,000 or more from ACLU donors and prospects through a strategic nationwide program of face-to-face cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship, including renewals, upgrades and continuous strategic identification of new leadership donors.
  • Managing a portfolio of approximately 150-200 donors.
  • Developing and implementing short- and long-term strategic plans for significant income growth from donors at the leadership gift level.
  • Providing executive-level support to senior staff, including appropriate, concise briefing materials in advance of meetings with donors and prospects.
  • Maintaining working knowledge of national programmatic priorities and issues as they occur.
  • Collaborating extensively with affiliate Executive Directors and development staff throughout the country to create and implement donor strategies to meet nationwide funding goals.
  • Developing expert familiarity with assigned affiliates and programmatic needs.
  • Collaborating with affiliate staff via conference calls and visits to build working partnerships; create, review, and implement donor strategies; and drive fundraising activity and moves management.
  • Working effectively with and quickly gaining the respect and support of various and diverse constituencies, including affiliate and national staff members, affiliate board members and other lay leaders, donors, and high net worth prospects.
  • Managing all information relating to current major donors and prospects in a central database, in a manner that emphasizes the highest standards of data integrity.

  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • A minimum of 5 years experience in development (or equivalent), with 2-3 years of solicitation experience.
  • Proven track record of identifying, cultivating, stewarding, soliciting, and closing gifts of $25,000 or more from prospects and donors.
  • Exceptional analytic skills.
  • Excellent writing, and verbal communication skills and proven ability to craft persuasive proposals and donor correspondence.
  • Sound judgment in maintaining confidentiality of donor information.
  • Strong organizational skills and discipline in stewarding donor information and database records.
  • Ability to follow tasks through to completion.
  • Ability to coach others, including providing and receiving feedback on donor strategies and portfolio development.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and poise; ability to demonstrate diplomacy and grace while working in high-pressure situations.
  • Ability to successfully navigate and thrive in a complex organization. Experience in a national organization with an affiliate or chapter structure is desirable.
  • Willingness and desire to travel frequently to solicit donors and work with a subset of the ACLU’s 50+ affiliates on leadership gift efforts.
  • Commitment to and knowledge of ACLU programs and interests.


The ACLU offers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience and within the parameters of the ACLU compensation scale .

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The philosopher Socrates once said, "I am that gadfly which God has given the state." While the American Civil Liberties Union...