Development Director


The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties seeks a dynamic, sophisticated full-time fundraiser to support and enhance its development efforts.  The Development Director reports to the Executive Director.

The ACLU fights for individual rights and fundamental freedoms for all, through education, litigation, policy advocacy, and organizing.  The ACLU promotes and defends civil rights and civil liberties, including First Amendment rights, equal protection, privacy, and due process. The San Diego ACLU works collaboratively with the National ACLU headquarters in New York, as well as with the ACLU affiliates headquartered in Los Angeles and San Francisco.  Together, the three California affiliates have more than 100,000 members and 120 staff in California.

Located in San Diego, our ACLU affiliate covers the length of California’s border with Mexico.  It has 23 staff members, 20 board members, 9,000 members, and an annual budget of $3 million.  San Diego is the eighth largest city in the United States and the second largest in California.  San Diego County has the third largest number of registered voters in California.  Imperial County is the poorest county in California.

The ideal candidate will have a deep commitment and passion to ensuring civil liberties for everyone and an understanding of what it takes to fight for equality and equal protection under the law for all.


The Development Director is an important position at the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties.  Reporting to the Executive Director, the Development Director will be responsible for managing a comprehensive fundraising program including annual and planned gifts and is part of the senior leadership team.  The Development Director will secure major, mid-level, and planned gifts through a process of identifying, qualifying, strategizing, cultivating, soliciting, closing, and stewarding major gift prospects and individual donors. He/she will also play an active role in membership development. The Development Director will also work be responsible for grant fundraising.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Produce and implement a fundraising plan to retain and renew current donors while identifying and acquiring prospective donors;
  • Manage a portfolio of donors at annual giving levels of $1,000 and above. Serve as a primary contact for donors and make direct solicitations. This includes phone, mail and direct face to face contact, attending donor meetings and events;
  • Maintain fundraising schedules and objectives; ensure that plans are implemented, goals achieved, timely reports generated and information shared; ensure that fundraising is done in the most efficient and cost-effective way. Participate in strategic and operational planning within the Development team.
  • Work collaboratively with program staff on fundraising activities germane to their policy area where opportunities exist for engaging donors;
  • Maintain and expand a portfolio of foundation/grant prospects and supervise the writing of grants and maintenance of a grants calendar.
  • Track, cultivate, and sustain the planned giving program.
  • Work collaboratively with ACLU national office to cultivate and solicit planned gifts from members and donors.
  • Attend ACLU functions, such as the annual membership meeting, occasional board meetings and other ACLU events as requested. Serve as a representative of the organization at external events and meetings, as needed.
  • Supervise the affiliate’s participation in national ACLU direct marketing efforts.
  • Lead communications and organizing teams in membership development activities.
  • Advise prospects on giving options available; develop gift proposals; and work with donors to complete transfers of funds;
  • In cooperation with the Executive Director, Deputy Director, and board leadership, organize face-to-face solicitations for major gifts. Manage senior affiliate and national ACLU staff fundraising travel, meetings, and calls, as appropriate;
  • Develop and direct donor stewardship efforts, including individual donor correspondence and contact; cultivation events; and the development of a calendar for regular communications with donors;
  • Working with program staff and the Deputy Director prepare grant applications and required reports.
  • Make full use of the organization’s databases and tracking systems to ensure appropriate donor stewardship and to evaluate and report overall program performance;

Additional Duties

  • Overseeing event planning, implementation, staffing and follow-up as needed;
  • Work collaboratively and cooperatively with other team members and volunteers to advance the goals of the organization;
  • Occasional public speaking.
  • Work evenings and weekends when necessary;
  • Other tasks as assigned.


  • Unwavering commitment to civil liberties principles;
  • Bachelor’s degree;
  • Five years demonstrated experience in not-for-profit fundraising, including major and planned giving;
  • A successful track record of identifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding major individual donors;
  • Excellent verbal, written and interpersonal skills;
  • Knowledge of and successful experience with e-philanthropy strategies;
  • Advanced computer skills including experience with database management;
  • Demonstrated experience in responding and adapting to opportunities that arise;
  • Highly self-motivated, organized, adaptable.

Salary & Benefits:  Competitive salary commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits.

Please send a letter of interest and resume with references by June 30, 2014. 

Application Procedure:  Interested individuals must send a cover letter, resume, list of references, and a writing sample (no more than 5 pages), preferably by e-mail to jobs [at] or by mail to:

ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties
ATTN: Development Director Search
PO Box 87131
San Diego, CA 92138-7131

The ACLU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages applications from women, people of color, persons with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, and veterans.