Assistant Director, Donor Engagement & Prospect Development [DEVF-109], Development Department, NY

National Offices, New York, NY
New York
January 25, 2019


Assistant Director, Donor Engagement & Prospect Development [DEVF-109]

American Civil Liberties Union Foundation

Development Department, NY


For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.  Whether it’s ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBT community, advancing racial justice, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties and civil rights cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach. With more than 1.5 million members, activists, and supporters, the ACLU is a nationwide organization that fights tirelessly in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., for the principle that every individual’s rights must be protected equally under the law, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, national origin, record of arrest or conviction.

The Development Department of the ACLU’s National Office in New York City is seeking applicants for a full-time Assistant Director, Donor Engagement & Prospect Development.



Reporting to the Associate Director, Mid & Major Gifts, the Assistant Director of Donor Engagement & Prospect Development will be part of a team responsible for creating and implementing the systems for the ACLU’s donor pipeline and moves management.  The Assistant Director will create donor personas encompassing the best prospects for upgraded giving at all levels of the donor file, from donors who can give $1,000 to over $1 million.  The Assistant Director will channel those donors into the fundraising program that best encourages their generous support, develop benchmarks for moving donors in and out of the prospect pipeline, report on pipeline health and do this work in as cost-effective a manner as possible to preserve net income across the organization.  The Assistant Director will also be responsible for engaging a portfolio of top Mid & Major Gifts prospects in a philanthropic relationship with the ACLU.



  • Manage and optimize a system to create and maintain major gifts portfolios across national and affiliate offices (53 total)
  • Ensure timely assignment of top prospects to appropriate major gifts track, establish portfolio waiting lists, and review portfolio churn so that prospects with the highest potential value and those best primed for an ask are prioritized
  • Create and manage the ACLU’s prospect development persona program, ensuring that the program quickly integrates donors with new or changed giving patterns, is continually refreshed to reflect changing organizational giving patterns/universes/events, and is maximized to achieve the highest ROI possible from prospects in the program
  • Develop and implement (in coordination with the Associate Director, Mid & Major Gifts) engagement strategies, including mail, phone and email outreach, to initiate philanthropic relationships and steward donors and prospects not assigned to a major gifts portfolio 
  • Engage a portfolio of top Mid & Major Gifts prospects by mail, phone and email to build a philanthropic relationship with the ACLU
  • Work with high-touch telemarketing vendor to assign prospects and develop scripts for the ACLU’s virtual gift officer program
  • Work with the ACLU’s prospect research team to identify new prospects for research, and to feed newly researched prospects into the optimal persona track
  • Drive the schedule and process for reviewing all portfolios across the organization on a regular basis
  • Lead the creation of an institution-wide moves management process
  • Manage the creation of key reports that will allow us to see pipeline health, churn and other key metrics.
  • Ensure that all information, in a central database is managed in a manner that emphasizes the highest standards of data integrity
  • Facilitate continual conversation, data sharing and collaboration between the mid-level, planned giving, major gifts and leadership gifts program to ensure that prospect development activities are coordinated across all programs 
  • Assist the Major and Mid-Level Gifts department with other duties as assigned
  • Demonstrate a commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion internally and externally with a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regards to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance
  • Commit to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts


  • Fundraising experience in a non-profit environment, ideally at an organization with scale and complexity  comparable tothe ACLU
  • Experience in development operations and/or building systems to manage donor experiences
  • Experience cultivating and soliciting major gifts preferred
  • Ability to interface professionally with all levels of staff at the national office and affiliates.  Confidentiality is essential.
  • Ability to analyze data to identify opportunities for programmatic change and growth
  • Excellent organizational skills and ability to manage multiple projects; superior attention to detail with strong follow through
  • Initiative, self-motivation and ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Flexibility and a willingness to take on new tasks as the responsibilities of the position evolve  
  • Experience working with a CRM system is required
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Commitment to the mission and goals of the ACLU



The ACLU offers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience and within the parameters of the ACLU compensation scale.


Please send a cover letter, resume and a relevant writing sample to: - reference [DEVF-109] in the subject line.


Please indicate in your cover letter where you learned of this career opportunity.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

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.
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, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, and veteran status and record of arrest or conviction.
The ACLU undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions.
We encourage applicants with disabilities who may need accommodations in the application process to contact: Correspondence sent to this email address that is not related to requests for accommodations will not be reviewed. Applicants should follow the instructions above regarding how to apply.
The ACLU comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation. Both the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation are national organizations with the same overall mission, and share office space and employees. The ACLU has two separate corporate entities in order to do a broad range of work to protect civil liberties. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU.”

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