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Development Director

ACLU of Washington
Washington, United States
$145,000.00 - $160,000.00
Closing date
Oct 5, 2022
Application Deadline: October 4, 2022



The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington (ACLU-WA) is seeking a Development Director (DD), a senior manager reporting to the Executive Director, to provide the strategic vision for the Development Department and ensure we have an ethical, effective, and robust development program that continuously strives to be anti-racist and achieves our budget goals.  Working closely with the Executive Director, the National ACLU, and others, the DD is responsible for planning, supervising, and executing our individual and planned giving programs, and developing complementary fundraising and donor/member cultivation strategies, thus strengthening the organization’s relationships with its donors, raising funds for the ACLU-WA, and ensuring the long-term sustainability of the organization.




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 and what legislation to support and oppose. 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.


*Please note: the ACLU-WA is closely following the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). Currently, we have begun transitioning back to the office and hope to open fully under our new Hybrid Work Policy in the fall. We will continue to carefully monitor public health pronouncements and recommendations.


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 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. People of color, women, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.




  • 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.

    Program Development, Oversight, Evaluation, and Management

  • Build, maintain and assess programs that secure sustainable resources and that strengthen the relationship between the ACLU and its donors resulting in increased funding.
  • Sustain and grow a program that integrates an understanding of the intersections of race, class, power, and privilege in our development work, particularly through our engagement with donors. Build long-lasting transformational (not transactional) relationships with ACLU donors by treating them as partners, engaging them how they wish to engage, and asking them to give us their full financial support.
  • Develop strategies and programs that recruit, cultivate, solicit, and steward donors giving or capable of giving $10,000 and above annually, and significant planned gifts. Develop and manage special campaigns and planned gifts. Implement strategies to increase the number of donors giving at all levels and grow donor giving year-over-year through engagement and cultivation.
  • Prepare and write personalized proposals, reports, letters, emails, notes, and other documents, as needed. Provide industry knowledge, monitor industry trends, and implement best practices.

    Staff and Team Management

  • Lead, supervise, train, motivate, coach, support, and partner with team to ensure that each employee meets their job goals and professional development objectives. Create a development team in which all members take responsibility for team success and understand their roles in achieving team goals.
  • Create a trusting team culture that supports giving and receiving honest feedback, regularly assesses our performance, questions if we can do better, destigmatizes mistakes, and is open to new ideas and approaches.
  • Lead the team in continuously striving to make the development efforts increasingly anti-racist by consistently addressing structural implications and racially disproportionate impacts of policies, activities, and decisions by identifying and implementing changes that can produce more equitable outcomes.
  • Collaborate with key program staff, locally and nationally, to inform development programming and donor relations.

    Leadership Responsibilities

  • Serve as a member of the Senior Leadership Team: model and promote the management and organizational culture goals of the senior leadership team.
  • Promote a culture of philanthropy amongst staff, board, and donors.
  • Play an integral role in budget development and projections, strategic planning and internal structures and processes.
  • Develop annual department expense budget and forecast contributed income sources for organizational budget.
  • Ensure that the confidentiality and work quality requirements are met by staff and volunteers.
  • Report development goals and progress to the Board of Directors.
  • Engage and support the Board in their fundraising responsibilities.

    Direct Donor Work

  • Manage an Executive Portfolio of approximately 30 donors giving $25,000+ or with capacity to give $100,000+.
  • Develop, identify, implement, and track a high-level, customized cultivation and solicitation strategy for each individual in the Executive Portfolio. 
  • Implement strategies to increase the number of donors giving $25,000+.
  • Manage and support the development responsibilities of the Executive Director, which includes focusing and prioritizing the Executive Director’s development-related time and duties, scheduling meetings with donors, partnering on meetings with donors and more.



  • 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 personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance.
  • A minimum of 8 years of people and department management and supervision experience, including the ability to motivate, lead, set objectives, and foster an environment of creativity and professional growth, and doing so in a manner that is inclusive and promotes equity is preferred.
  • A minimum of 8 years of related experience, with progressive responsibility and a proven track record of soliciting, closing, and stewarding six- and seven-figure gifts with major donors and foundations is preferred.
  • Broad understanding of multi-faceted campaign planning, implementation and management that includes experience soliciting special, multi-year campaign commitments and planned gifts.
  • Exceptional initiative, vision, and ambition to lead a vibrant development program.
  • Excellent interpersonal communication and presentation skills. Experience developing successful written donor communications and marketing materials.
  • Demonstrated ability to simplify complex themes and activities into a short, compelling presentation or written piece.
  • Strong organizational and administrative skills, ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects, and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to develop long-term plans, set objectives, and track progress toward achieving objectives.
  • Experience with donor database management and systems to track campaigns and ensure complete, secure, and private donor and campaign records. Advanced skills in Excel is a plus.
  • Demonstrated commitment to and understanding of the ACLU’s mission and principles.



    This position will supervise four (4) staff. The number of direct reports is subject to change as the team expands/contracts.




    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 the 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 $145,000 - $160,000. 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, student loan reimbursement, family care and adoption assistance, life insurance, and an ORCA card, the regional transportation pass.




    To apply, please submit a cover letter and résumé. In your cover letter, please explain the ways in which you satisfy the skills and qualifications specified above. We also invite applicants to include in their letter information about how their background and/or experience could contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and advocacy work.


    Applications will be accepted until October 4, 2022, at which time the job announcement will be marked as “closed” on our website at




    We will schedule interviews with qualified candidates after the application deadline and hope to have the selected candidate start in November.



    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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