Development Director - ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties

Affiliate Offices
January 7, 2019

The ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties (ACLUF-SDIC) is seeking a full-time Development Director.

The ACLUF-SDIC is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 civil liberties and civil rights organization working to advance equality, freedom, and justice. ACLUF-SDIC affiliate covers the length of California’s border with Mexico. Our work is accomplished in conjunction with our 501(c)4 organization, the American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego & Imperial Counties. Both organizations have the same overall mission. Two separate corporate entities allow us to conduct a broad range of work to protect and advance civil liberties. There are 40 staff members, 23 board members, and an annual combined budget of $5.4 million.

The ACLUF-SDIC is also part of the ACLU Foundations of California, a collaboration of the three ACLU affiliates in California. The ACLU’s California offices are located in San Diego, El Centro, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, San Bernardino, Bakersfield, Fresno, San Francisco, and Sacramento. Together, the three affiliates have more than 200,000 members and 200 staff people in California. In addition, we work collaboratively with our sister affiliates along the U.S-Mexico border and collaboratively with the National ACLU. In addition to our sister organizations, the ACLU values partnerships and collaboration with community organizations and groups across the state and along the border.

The ACLUF-SDIC utilizes an integrated approach to our work and has a proven track record of success combining litigation, policy advocacy, legislation, research and analysis, public education, strategic communications, and community organizing to achieve meaningful social change.

As we move into a new era and face dangerous policies that threaten our civil rights and civil liberties, we remain dedicated to confronting these issues and defending the progress we have made. We must use our decades of experience in impact litigation, legislative advocacy, and organizing to fight these un-Constitutional policies and protect our most cherished rights and freedoms.

Position Overview

We are looking for an enthusiastic individual, eager to take on an unparalleled opportunity to grow our fundraising operation across San Diego and Imperial Counties. We need someone who is energized by meeting and talking to new people and knows how to make every supporter feel important. Our ideal Development Director sees an opportunity for connection everywhere and enjoys stretching the circle wider figuring out the different ways that people can come together to support our fundraising goals. The successful applicant will understand how to gather needed data, determine priorities, and filter actions by what will move our work forward.

Partnering with the Executive Team, the Development Director is a senior position that will lead, plan, and execute the ACLU’s major gifts program ($10k+) and other fundraising initiatives. The Development Director will spend a substantial amount of time directly interacting with donors and helping them fulfill their philanthropic interests and passions.

Specific Responsibilities:

Lead our Major Gifts Program by:

  • developing and coordinating annual and long-range development plans, including those for specific goals and audiences with the development department team;
  • developing and implementing strategies to attract prospective donors and secure major gifts of

$10,000+, planned gifts, and a pipeline of mid-level donors;

  • maintaining a personal major gifts portfolio and managing the top-tier portfolio of the Executive Director;
  • overseeing the proper recording of gifts and other donor information, along with ensuring the hygiene of donor information systems;
  • supervising the maintenance of donor records, preparing written materials for major donor solicitations and conducting outreach to current and prospective major donors.
  • Supervising four development professionals.

Shape the ACLU’s Planned Giving Initiatives by:

  • working with the National ACLU’s Planned Giving team to develop, promote, and implement planned giving strategies

Build the ACLUF-SDIC’s Foundation Grant Support by:

  • developing and implementing effective grant strategies;
  • drafting or supervising the drafting of grant applications; and
  • preparing or supervising the preparation of post-award reports and other documentation.

Provide Organizational Leadership in Collaborations, External Relations and Administrative Work by:

  • teaming with the Executive Director and board members to strengthen ACLUF-SDIC’s culture of philanthropy;
  • serving as a member of ACLUF-SDIC’s senior leadership team, supervising development staff, volunteers, and independent contractors;
  • consulting with staff to develop and implement strategies to establish relationships with donors of color;
  • educate donors on issues of race equity and structural inequality;
  • coordinating development initiatives and reports with the National ACLU office; and
  • maintaining working knowledge of national, state, and regional programmatic priorities and issues, the racial impact of our programmatic work, major breaking news stories that are of interest to our supporters, and attending ACLU meetings and events, as appropriate.

Our “Must Have’s”

  • A demonstrable commitment to civil liberties and civil rights;
  • Minimum 5 years of experience with progressive responsibility and a proven track record of soliciting, closing, and stewarding leadership gifts of $10,000 and above;
  • Willingness to lead and work in partnership with Executive Director, board, staff and volunteers to accomplish the ACLUF-SDIC’s fundraising objectives;
  • Familiarity with donor database management and systems to track donor history, interests, and activity, and experience writing actionable, time-driven plans around long and short-term goals;
  • Ability to “make the ask” of donors, and enjoy coaching others to develop the same skill set;
  • Collaborative manager who motivates, set objectives, and maintains an inclusive and equitable environment that promotes creativity and professional growth among staff.
  • A demonstrated commitment to race equity, dismantling white supremacy and incorporating a structural power analysis into work, with knowledge and understanding of how power is manifested in matters of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstances

What Else You Should Know:

The ACLU Foundation of San Diego and Imperial Counties is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to maximizing the diversity of our team and want to involve all those who can contribute to our inclusive culture. We encourage applications from women, people of color, persons with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, veterans, and people with arrest records and/or convictions.


Salary dependent on experience. Excellent benefits include four weeks paid vacation; 13 office holidays; medical and dental insurance for staff members, and their families; life and long-term disability insurance; and 401(k) plan with employer match.

Direct exposure to cutting-edge civil liberties and civil rights work.

What Now?

Please submit a cover letter explaining your interest in and qualifications for the position as detailed in this announcement, a current resume, names and contact information of three professional references (including at least one supervisor), and an outline of a plan for identifying and stewarding a $10,000+ donor program. Kindly put “ACLUF-SDIC Development Director – your name” in the subject line of your email. If possible, please combine all documents into one PDF file.

Electronic applications are preferred. Please email to

However, hard-copy applications can be mailed to:

Phyllis Quan
12802 Via Grimaldi
Del Mar, CA 92014

The ACLU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages applications from women, people of color, persons with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, veterans, and people with arrest records and/or convictions.

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