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Donor Relations Manager

ACLU of Washington
Washington, United States
$63,360.00 - $73,300.00
Closing date
Feb 9, 2022

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Position Type
Fundraising, Donor Relations
Other Fields
Employment Type
Full Time
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Updated Application Deadline: February 8, 2022


The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington (ACLU-WA) is seeking a Donor Relations Manager (DRM). Reporting to the Associate Director of Individual Giving, this position will feed the major gift pipeline by pre-qualifying major donor prospects. The DRM will create and implement a program to maintain and grow donations from the mid-level portfolio, donors giving annual gifts between $1,000-$10,000. This will take extra creativity and innovation during the pandemic. Through cultivation touches, regular communication, virtual and in-person meetings and small group events (when Covid-19 permits), the DRM will keep donors engaged and aware of the organization’s work. This role complements the solicitation and cultivation activities of the National organization with opportunities for deeper connections with the local organization.

Rejection can be the most challenging aspect of donor qualification work. Only a fraction of attempts will result in a meeting, and only a fraction of those donors will be qualified as major gift prospects. A successful candidate will be an optimist – positive, driven, self-directed, and disciplined.


*Please note: the ACLU-WA is closely following the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). Currently, our office is closed and staff is working remotely until further notice. We continue to carefully monitor public health pronouncements and recommendations.


As an organization, we value working together and look forward to when we can return to our office. Candidates outside of Seattle and/or Washington State will be considered for this position with the understanding that relocation to the Puget Sound region will be ultimately required.


To aid remote work, we provide laptops, home office supplies, certain equipment, and technology support. You will need an effective WiFi connection and a way to reach you by phone. This position is eligible for either a work phone or phone stipend, as well as an additional $100 stipend each month to help cover any additional costs while working from home.



The ACLU of Washington is a leader among state affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union, the country's premier guardian of liberty. We work in courts, legislatures, and communities to protect and extend American rights to freedom, fairness, and equality. The ACLU is both nonprofit and nonpartisan. We have a staff of 45+ and are supported by more than 135,000 members, activists, and donors.


The ACLU of Washington is committed to ending racism in Washington State and throughout the country. This includes how we work with each other, and with our partners and allies in the communities we serve. We are committed to bringing anti-racism to all aspects of ACLU-WA's internal and external functions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring and human resources, strategic planning, ally, donor, and volunteer relations, Board and committee processes, and deciding what cases to litigate. We are looking for candidates who share this commitment to advancing racial justice, both internally in our organization and externally in the communities that we serve.


The mission of the ACLU-WA Development Department is to unlock the full potential of the partnership between donors and the ACLU to fund the defense and expansion of civil liberties. We are committed to integrating an understanding of the intersections of race, class, power, and privilege in our development work, particularly through our engagement with donors. We bring our donors closer to the organization and build long-term relationships with them by sharing the ACLU’s story, engaging donors how they wish to engage, and asking them to give us their full financial support.


We are currently a team of four (soon to be six) who care deeply about the work of the ACLU and building an anti-racist development approach and practices. We strive to embody these values. Our team, like most nonprofit development departments, is predominantly (75%) white. While we are actively striving to achieve anti-racist fundraising, the profession is only now beginning to examine and dismantle its racist roots. We view development work not just as funding the program work to achieve justice and equity but advancing it through our approach and practices. We enjoy working together, view everything as a team effort, help each other when asked, and stay easily inspired by the work of our amazing program colleagues.


The ACLU is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture.  The ACLU encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, socio-economic circumstance, or record of arrest or conviction. We do not conduct criminal background checks on our candidates.



  • Participation in ACLU-WA’s race equity work. This may include utilizing ACLU-WA race equity tools, adopting ACLU-WA race equity practices, serving on the Race Equity Team or subcommittees, etc.

Prospect Qualification (30%)

  • Feed the major gift pipeline by qualifying major donor prospects through virtual and in-person meetings, phone screens, and cultivation events. Once qualified, ensure that they are successfully handed-off and appropriately assigned.

Donor Engagement (50%)

  • Manage a portfolio of approximately 1,500 planned giving and mid-level ($1,000-$9,999) donors statewide.
  • Be the ACLU contact for mid-level donors. Keep them engaged and updated on the work of the organization through cultivation touches, regular communication, and small group events. Offer opportunities for them to “raise their hand” for deeper engagement and major gift portfolio assignment.
  • Create small donor gatherings for the high priority segments of the mid-level portfolio. Offer a minimum quarterly engagement opportunity to these segments.
  • Solicit all mid-level donors by the end of the year in-person, virtually, on the phone, email, or through the year-end mail appeal.
  • Thank donors in the mid-level portfolio as well as any new, unassigned donors when we receive their gifts (via phone, email, or card).
  • Maintain up-to-date and accurate database records for the mid-level portfolio.

Event Management (20%)

  • Manage all donor events including program briefings, house parties, court visits, presentations (virtual and in-person) and more.
  • Manage the calendar of all donor cultivation activities which includes updating the calendar with engagement opportunities offered by the Communications and Political Strategies departments.



  • Ideal candidates will have an awareness of, and willingness to engage in, the difficult and transformative work of challenging systems of oppression, institutional and structural racism, and implicit bias.
  • A minimum of three years of experience in nonprofit fundraising preferred. A proven record of securing visits with prospective donors, and soliciting, closing, and stewarding major gifts. The most competitive candidates also will have proven experience converting new donors/prospects into major donors.
  • Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication and presentation skills. Ability to understand and follow many different areas of civil rights work, and to describe many different areas of work in a way that is concise, compelling, and easy to understand for donors and prospective donors.
  • Personal initiative, curiosity about people, and a sense of humor. Friendly, outgoing, and collaborative approach and a strong team-oriented style.
  • Event management experience preferred.
  • Strong organizational skills. Ability to develop long-term plans, set objectives, and track progress towards achieving objectives.
  • Excellent computer proficiency, including Word and Excel. Strong proficiency in Salesforce or other CRMs is a plus.
  • A commitment to the confidentiality of donor records.
  • A commitment to the ACLU’s mission.



The ACLU-WA office is generally open between the hours of 9a.m. and 5p.m. and is located in downtown Seattle. The physical demands and work environment described below represent those required and encountered by an employee to perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.


  • Able to input information into a computer for long periods of time.
  • Able to remain stationary for extended periods.
  • Able to assess information communicated through a computer.
  • Able to work some evenings, weekends, and holidays.
  • Able to periodically work long and extended hours.
  • Able to travel locally/regionally/across the state, as needed.


This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU reserves the right to change the description and/or posting at any time without advance notice. This position is “exempt” under the Fair Labor Standards Act.



The ACLU of WA is dedicated to centering equity in all aspects of the organization and, as such, has adopted a salary scale for measuring how to best compensate its employees. The salary for this position is $63,360 - $73,300. A range indicates the intention to accommodate those with varying years of relevant experience, as determined by the salary scale.


Benefits include three weeks of vacation, thirteen sick days, fifteen holidays, fully paid employee medical, dental, vision, and disability insurance, a generous retirement plan, and an ORCA card, the regional transportation pass.



To apply, email a cover letter and resume to and include in the subject line of the email: your name and Donor Relations Manager. In your cover letter, please indicate where you learned of the posting. Applications will be accepted until February 8, 2022, at which time the job announcement will be removed from our website at



We will schedule interviews with qualified candidates after the close date and hope to have the selected candidate start in early April.


The ACLU of Washington comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, Inc. and the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington Foundation. The two corporations share the same overall mission, office space, and employees. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU of Washington”.

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