Chief Development Officer

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State
District of Columbia, United States
$178,000.00 - $205,000.00
Closing date
Feb 18, 2023

The Opportunity

Americans United for Separation of Church and State is seeking a Chief Development Officer to lead the continued expansion of a comprehensive fundraising program. The Chief Development Officer is charged with the strategic, management and tactical fundraising roles within the organization in support of the organization’s key priorities.


Reporting to the President and CEO, the Chief Development Officer will manage all integrated fundraising strategies, including membership/annual giving, major and planned gifts, corporate giving, foundation giving, gift processing/acknowledgement, data management and events. She/he will work closely with the senior staff team and board members on fundraising strategy and high-level donor cultivation, donor engagement activities and lead a six-person development team. 


The ideal candidate for this position is a confident and creative fundraiser with a strong interest in the constitutional principle of church-state separation; a development professional who recognizes the value of education and advocacy organizations and relishes the opportunity to take on a major role in shaping the future of an organization in the national spotlight; a professional who is comfortable working with the President and CEO, staff, and volunteer leaders to develop and implement strategies for AU to meet and exceed its goals; and an experienced manager to lead the development team.


About Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Americans United for Separation of Church and State is a nonpartisan educational and advocacy organization dedicated to advancing the constitutional principle of church-state separation as the only way to ensure freedom of religion, including the right to believe or not believe, for all of us. Founded in 1947, Americans United is a diverse and dynamic organization composed of people from all walks of life: lawyers and lobbyists, students and activists, religious leaders and impassioned Americans. AU includes people of faith and people who don’t profess any particular faith. It is a community that includes and welcomes people of all genders, races, ethnicities, religions or beliefs, gender identities, sexual orientations, ages, classes and abilities. Because we work on a wide variety of issues with many different communities, we value what diversity and diverse perspectives bring to our work.


Americans United uses high-impact litigation, powerful lobbying and grassroots advocacy to ensure that religion does not dictate public policy; the government does not tell Americans what to believe or how to practice their faith; and discrimination is not justified under the guise of religious beliefs.


Through a strong, diverse national supporter network, both on the ground and online, AU defends the separation of church and state and protects religious freedom for all in communities across the country. Americans United is a 501(c)(3) organization and is headquartered in Washington, DC.



Strategy and Direction

  • Provide strong, energetic, strategic leadership by setting ambitious but attainable goals that will increase annual operating funds and longer-term priorities;
  • Determine vision, direction and execution of plans to build and manage a full-scale development program, both near- and long-term;
  • Engage the board, volunteer leaders and staff to further develop an effective system of prospect identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship; and
  • Manage the current development team to achieve or exceed their revenue targets.


Donor Outreach and Management

  • Manage a portfolio of high-level donors and prospects at all times and personally solicit and close significant major gifts; and
  • Act as an effective ambassador to external supporters, partners and donors.


Board and Staff Role

  • Staff the Development Committee of the Board and partner with its Chair;
  • Serve as a member of AU’s senior management team;
  • Manage a team of six people - including revenue targets, personnel and budgets - to ensure a high-performing department;
  • Cultivate strong working relationships with senior staff, volunteer leaders and consultants; and
  • Promote a collaborative and positive work environment aimed at elevating skills and exceeding targets.


Experience and Skills

  • A bachelor’s degree.  An advanced degree and/or CFRE certification, while not required, is preferred.
  • At least ten years of progressively more responsible fundraising experience; work experience with an advocacy organization, while not required, is preferred;
  • Demonstrated ability to design and implement a comprehensive set of development strategies that lead to diversified funding and sustainable growth in organizations without an organic donor base;
  • Established track record of personally securing six- and seven-figure gifts from a national pool of foundations and individual donors;
  • An important role in at least one major fundraising campaign, including responsibility for engagement of volunteer and leadership committees;
  • A history of successfully working with senior staff and organization volunteers in fundraising activities;
  • Demonstrated commitment to AU’s values of diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • Demonstrated ability to motivate and manage a team of development professionals; and
  • Polished communication abilities, including listening, writing and public speaking skills, as well as the ability to craft and articulate a persuasive case for support.


Personal Characteristics

  • Equal parts smart, savvy, and fun to work with. Culture and leadership both matter;
  • Advocate for church-state separation issues with a worldview that aligns with AU's mission;
  • Inspirational, equitable and effective as a manager and leader;
  • Tact and diplomacy in building strong working relationships with colleagues;
  • Capacity to manage multiple tasks and negotiate several priorities simultaneously; and
  • Ability and willingness to work a flexible schedule, including weekends, evenings and to maintain a travel schedule necessary to visit donors, prospective donors and constituent groups.


Work Location:  Americans United employees have been working remotely since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue working remotely until fall 2023 as we discern our longer-term plan for remote and in-office work. Attendance at the in-person board meetings, Summit for Religious Freedom, legal academy bootcamp, and other occasional in-person meetings and events at AU headquarters in Washington, DC, is required.

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy: Americans United has made the safety of our staff and our surrounding community a top priority. As part of that commitment, we have implemented a mandatory Covid-19 vaccination policy. This policy states that all Americans United employees, fellows, and interns are required to be vaccinated against Covid-19 and to have received a bivalent booster shot. If a candidate selected for hire desires a medical or religious exemption, the candidate should make a request to our human resources personnel, and the request will be considered in accordance with applicable law.

Competitive Salary Range: $178,000 – $205,000 depending upon experience.


Generous Benefits: Americans United offers a comprehensive benefit package including employer paid premiums for health care, dental, vision, life insurance, short-term disability, long-term disability, and a 401(k) with match and commuter subsidy.


How to Apply

Please submit a resume and a thoughtful, relevant cover letter. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Individuals from underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply. AU is an equal opportunity employer. We consider applicants without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected status.

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