April 26, 2013
Director of Philanthropy
The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Florida (ACLU-FL) seeks a determined and results-oriented Director of Philanthropy to create and execute a strategic, effective fundraising agenda in Florida. The Director of Philanthropy is a member of the senior leadership team and plays a key role along with the Directors of Legal, Finance, and Communications, three Regional Directors, and the Executive and Deputy Directors in shaping the work of the ACLU in Florida.
The ACLU-FL, the state’s premier public advocacy organization, is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization that employs litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education and communications to protect and promote a broad range of constitutional issues, individual rights and freedoms, including freedom of speech, racial justice, right to privacy, religious liberty, reproductive rights, LGBT rights, and immigrant rights.
The ACLU-FL is an affiliate of the national ACLU, the leading defender of civil liberties guaranteed by our nation’s Bill of Rights. The national ACLU implements its vital civil liberties mission in all 50 states in large part through affiliate entities such as the ACLU-FL. Operating out of four offices in Jacksonville, Miami (main), Pensacola, and Tampa, the Florida affiliate has grown to a $3.5M operating budget and 30 staff positions, placing it among the larger affiliates in the nation.
Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Philanthropy (DoP) will spearhead the organization’s critical fundraising efforts that must ensure the ACLU-FL maintains a robust, sustainable fundraising engine to support existing operations and fuel continued growth. In close partnership with the Executive Director and senior staff, the DoP is responsible for planning, supervising and executing the affiliate’s major gifts program and developing complimentary fundraising strategies, such as grant-based fundraising, and donor cultivation strategies across the state of Florida.
The DoP will be a key driver in translating program priorities into funding opportunities for the affiliate, and will work to strengthen the organization’s relationships with supporters and partners. S/he will provide leadership to and collaborate with a direct staff of three including the Manager of Development Services, Annual Fund Officer, and Major Gifts Officer, in addition to a part-time contract grant writer. S/he will provide fundraising counsel and direction to Regional Directors in each state office, and partner with program staff and the National ACLU, to reach annual and long-range fundraising goals.
Ideal candidates will be resourceful and persistent. They must possess the proven ability to engage and work with donors and ACLU members, as well as members of the social justice community. They will demonstrate initiative and a comfort level researching donors and creating solicitation strategies, and possess strong grant proposal and report writing skills. Candidates for the position should have a passion for protecting civil liberties and the communication skills to effectively convey to the public and a variety of important constituencies the mission and activities of the ACLU.
This position requires a minimum of three to five years demonstrated experience in a nonprofit organization, with at least two years of fundraising with an emphasis on personally soliciting individual major gifts, preferably in the five- to six-figure or above range. Occasional travel and evening or weekend work is required to successfully meet the job responsibilities of this role. A Bachelor’s degree is required.
The ACLU of Florida has retained Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group to assist in this recruitment. Vice President Tracy Welsh and Managing Associate Adele Mezher are leading the search.
History and Operation
“We are part of a nationwide movement to defend and advance the values of freedom of expression, separation of church and state, equal protection of the laws, fairness and privacy.” – Howard Simon, Executive Director, ACLU of Florida
The advancement of civil liberties over the past century represents one of the most significant developments in American history, and nationwide, the American Civil Liberties Union has been integral to this process. In the face of egregious civil liberties abuses in the early twentieth century, a small group of idealists formed the ACLU; in the years since, it has evolved into the nation’s premier defender of the rights enshrined in the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Nationally, with more than 500,000 members, and a professional staff of 900 including attorneys, lobbyists, community organizers and communications and development specialists, the ACLU of today continues to fight government abuse and to vigorously defend individual freedoms and rights. It does this through the national ACLU located in New York and Washington D.C. and affiliates throughout the country, including the ACLU-FL. The work of defending freedom never ends, and in our vibrant and passionate society, difficult struggles over individual rights and liberties are not likely to disappear anytime soon. The ACLU is committed to fight for freedom and the protection of constitutional rights for generations to come.
Operating through three main program areas (legal, public policy, and public education and communications), the ACLU-FL has successfully spearheaded activities to affect ballot initiatives and build awareness on a range of issues including independence of the courts, women’s rights and the separation of church and state. Florida is a unique environment in which civil rights and liberties are debated and contested. Especially since the 2010 elections turned Florida’s public policy down a virulent anti-civil liberties path, ACLU-FL litigation has championed voter empowerment and protected reproductive freedom, individual privacy, LGBT and immigrants’ rights. In the past year alone, the ACLU-FL has pursued injustices in suspicion-less drug testing of state employees, student rights in public schools, and the treatment of undocumented children living in the United States. These and other factors have resulted in a dynamic and often contentious environment for civil rights and civil liberties.
Often, the affiliate collaborates with organizations and coalitions such as the League of Women Voters and the NAACP in seeking justice through legislative initiatives, public campaigns and educational programs. The ACLU-FL is part of a national organization that, this year, will appear before the U.S. Supreme Court in six cases addressing issues such as the right to vote, freedom to marry, the right of scientists to engage in research, and the right to be free from government surveillance and intrusive police searches.
The ACLU-FL utilizes an integrated advocacy model, adopting a range of strategies – advocacy, communications, education, legislative lobbying, organizing, and litigating – to address civil liberties issues. It comprises two separate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida and the ACLU Foundation of Florida. The two entities share the same overall mission, employees and physical facilities. The Foundation is the principal vehicle through which most of the ACLU-FL’s activities are conducted, while much of the lobbying and public policy advocacy efforts of the affiliate are transacted by the Union.
Responsibilities of the New Director of Philanthropy
Reporting to the Executive Director and in close collaboration with the Deputy Director, Regional Directors and program staff, the Director of Philanthropy
has the opportunity to lead a successful development operation to its next level of success. The new Director of Philanthropy will:
Individual donor fundraising: Develop a comprehensive, robust annual fundraising plan that identifies specific fundraising goals, timelines, and targets for proposals, appeals, and campaigns. Create and carry out strategies to cultivate, solicit and increase the number of existing donors who regularly make gifts at the five- and six-figure and above gifts level (i.e., major donors). Prepare and mobilize the Executive Director and Regional Directors to carry out solicitations. Identify and research new donor prospects and strive to expand the major donor pool. Develop campaigns and mechanisms to stimulate giving among all 15,000 ACLU-FL members, and specifically encourage those donors who give less than $5,000 to become major donors.
Leadership Development: Ensure effective training of, and appropriate materials for Development staff and other staff solicitors; report to the Board of Directors on development efforts; groom volunteers to join the Board Development Committee or engage in development-related activity.
Planned giving: In coordination with the National ACLU Planned Giving Department, pursue strategies to expand membership in the DeSilver Society and other planned giving programs. Market planned giving opportunities to ACLU supporters.
Grants Program: Coordinate all grant-based fundraising efforts, working with program staff to identify funding priorities, prepare grant applications, and complete reporting. Oversee prospect research; develop tracking, scheduling, reporting systems and proposal submissions.
Donor Cultivation: Plan and oversee efforts to recognize donors and cultivate potential donors throughout the year.
Membership: Ensure that new member lists are regularly reviewed and incorporated into development strategies. (The majority of membership recruitment and all renewals are handled by the national ACLU office.)
Gift Recording & Acknowledgement: Manage programs to acknowledge donors and nurture continued giving. Work with Development Associate to assure accurate and current donor database, including individual giving histories, profiles, and interactions. Oversee production of reports for accounting and reconciliation of funds between the ACLU-FL and the national office. Keep Executive Director adequately informed of trends and key donor information.
Materials: Work with ACLU-FL communications and program staff to develop messages and materials that advance the ACLU’s development initiatives.
General Staff Leadership Responsibilities:
- Assist the Executive Director and Deputy Director in promoting a positive environment of collaboration and high productivity within the office.
- Assist with strategic planning and budget development.
- >Be proficient in National ACLU sharing formulas and best practices.
- Oversee the preparation of regular reports for the Executive Director and Deputy Director, including analysis of gifts, trends, projections, etc.
- Track development goals and work to ensure they are accomplished.
- Ensure that confidentiality and work quality requirements are met by staff and volunteers.
- Supervise, train, and support the Development team.
- Attend ACLU functions, such as the Nationwide Staff Conference, State Board & Executive Committee meetings, and other significant ACLU events.
Qualifications of the Ideal Candidate
While no one candidate will have all the qualifications enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes and experiences:
- Minimum of three to five years demonstrated experience in non-profit organization; at least two years of fundraising with an emphasis on individual major gifts, preferably in the five- to six-figure or above range;
- Successful track record of identifying, cultivating and soliciting individual major donors and foundations, ideally within a staff-led versus volunteer-led fundraising operation;
- Proven capacity to manage projects effectively; strong organizational skills; able to set priorities and engage others to achieve those priorities;
- Exceptional initiative, vision, and ambition to lead a vibrant philanthropy program;
- Demonstrated ability to think strategically about relationships with donors and prospects, and to communicate organizational mission in ways that are exciting and enticing to donors;
- Demonstrated knowledge of and commitment to the civil liberties and civil rights issues that are at the core of the ACLU’s activities;
- Superior communication and interpersonal skills. Exhibits a level of comfort in reaching out to colleagues and prospects to deepen existing and develop new relationships;
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills with experience producing successful donor communication and marketing materials;
- Ability to multi-task, prioritize and thrive in a fast-paced environment and manage multiple demands and constituencies simultaneously;
- Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite and fundraising database management; and
- Bachelor's degree and/or equivalent combination of education and experience.
Ideally, the successful candidate will be:
- Personally committed to diversity; values and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance;
- An entrepreneurial style that includes initiative, courage, wisdom, and resilience;
- Detail-oriented and persistent with the maturity and determination needed to keep a team focused on end-results amidst competing priorities;
- The agility and inclination to solve problems collaboratively, coupled with the willingness to act calmly, resourcefully, and authoritatively;
- Capacity to work independently and problem-solve effectively balanced with the prudence to know when to seek guidance;
- A natural relationship builder who is also solution-focused with an approach to development that believes there are no dead-ends, only other roads to pursue;
- Integrity, imagination, strong listening skills;
- A collegial, team-oriented working style in which colleagues are valued and appreciated at all levels of the organization; and
- The ability and willingness to travel statewide.
The ACLU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages applications from all qualified individuals including women, people of color, persons with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals.