Deadline date

Position open until filled

The ACLU of Arizona—a leader in the fight against mass incarceration, discrimination in public education, and threats to LGBTQ equality and immigrants’ rights—is seeking an ambitious, dynamic, and experienced fundraiser with at least six-years of major gifts fund-raising experience to serve as our Director of Philanthropy (DP).  This is an exciting – albeit challenging – time in the ACLU’s history.  The Trump Administration has launched an all-out assault on our fundamental rights and liberties.  We have filed more than 307 legal actions against Trump, and many ACLU issues ranging from voting and reproductive rights to immigrants’ rights and LGBTQ equality are on the front burner.  We have been a fiercely non-partisan organization throughout our 100-year history, and regardless of what happens in November 2020, the ACLU is poised to either continue leading the charge against Trump and his attacks on our democracy, or we will be working to regain hard-fought wins and restore a pro-civil liberties agenda that protects everyone’s rights and liberties. 

Our long-term organizational goal is to raise critical resources to build the political power necessary to energize the fight for civil liberties and protect our wins for years to come. Arizona is one of 12 trend-setting and influential states where these strategic reforms to build our political advocacy capacity are taking place.  This ambitious effort presents an exciting opportunity for an experienced fund-raising professional to help lead these efforts to sizably increase investments in the ACLU to expand our pro-active litigation, launch issue-based advocacy campaigns and amplify our public engagement in Arizona. 

The right candidate will provide visionary, strategic leadership to build strong relationships with donors with the goal of generating transformational gifts to support ACLU-AZ’s current and future strategic goals. The DP, a member of the senior staff reporting directly to the Executive Director, will develop and oversee the program to raise funds for the ACLU in Arizona, including identifying prospects that have both capacity and demonstrated interest in investing in the ACLU to generate longstanding, tangible victories. Working closely with the Executive Director, the National ACLU, and staff and board, the DP is responsible for planning, supervising and executing the ACLU of Arizona’s major gifts program (focusing on donors giving at 10k+ levels), administering the grants program, and developing complementary fundraising and donor cultivation plans for each donor or prospect.

The DP will lead fund-raising efforts by maintaining his or her own portfolio of donors and working alongside our Executive Director to engage in face-to-face solicitations.  The DP will spend a significant amount of time directly interacting with donors – both in and out of the office – while helping donors fulfill their passions and interests through their giving to the ACLU and will be directly responsible for administering a portfolio of donors/prospects with estimated gift capacity of +$10,000. The DP also will work closely with senior staff to craft grant proposals to support programmatic goals. The DP will have the opportunity to hire a Major Gifts Officer, who will serve as the third member of our out-the-door fund-raising team. This is a full-time, exempt position based in Phoenix.

What the Director of Philanthropy Does: 

  • Develop, lead, and evaluate a comprehensive annual work plan that focuses on major gifts and includes fund-raising goals and targets for meetings with donors who are capable of making annual gifts of $10,000 and greater.  The ACLU of Arizona’s budgeted fund-raising goal for FYE 2021 ending March 31, 2021 is $1.8 million and is expected to grow substantially over the next four years.
  • Solicit five- and six- figure annual and planned gifts through individual face-to-face meeting with donors and prospects.
  • Manage a portfolio of approximately 150 donors/prospects between the ED and the DP.
  • Create individual goals and a comprehensive plan for each person in the portfolio based on the donor’s history of giving and the organization’s knowledge of that donor’s potential.
  • Staff 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.
  • Report to the Board of Directors on development efforts. 
  • Oversee strategic cultivation and stewardship of donors and prospects. 
  • Prepare and write personalized proposals, reports, letters, emails, and notes.
  • Identify, research and qualify new prospects for assignment to the major gift portfolio.
  • Develop and execute special cultivation and stewardship opportunities for select donors/prospects in the portfolio, provide executive-level support to senior staff in preparation for donor contact, and participate in donor cultivation events.
  • Lead foundation grant efforts, including researching prospective foundations, tracking applications and LOI deadlines, partnering with senior staff to write grant applications and ensure regular reporting schedules and prepare grant reports and other communication with funders based on donor interests and program progress.
  • Oversee the department’s administrative systems related to the fund-raising goals, including data management, donation tracking, processes and procedures, reporting, gift processing/acknowledgement.  Develop evaluative reports for program tracking and management toward annual goals.
  • Manage and write communications to donors about the ACLU-AZ’s mission, activities and successes in a compelling, inspiring and motivating way. 
  • Track portfolio activity and progress in a shared database. Create reports that accurately reflect portfolio activity and performance.
  • Maintain working knowledge of national programmatic priorities and issues as they occur.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications: Our “must haves”

  • Bachelor’s degree and professional experience in philanthropy required, ideally in a rapidly evolving institution.
  • Six years related experience, with progressive responsibility and a proven track record of securing visits with prospective donors, and soliciting, closing, and stewarding major gifts in the $10,000 plus range.
  • Experience converting new donors/prospects into major donors, and experience soliciting special, multi-year campaign commitments and planned gifts also is preferred.
  • Extensive management experience, including the ability to motivate, lead, set objectives and foster an environment of creativity and professional growth.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in an intensely collaborative, team-oriented environment.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance, and record of arrest or conviction.
  • Demonstrated commitment to working collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts.
  • Demonstrated commitment to non-partisanship per ACLU policy that stipulates the ACLU will not endorse or oppose a candidate or political party in the process of voter education or mobilization work.
  • Demonstrated commitment to and understanding of the ACLU’s mission and principles.
  • Experience with donor database management and systems to track campaigns and ensure complete, secure and private donor and campaign records.
  • Proficiency with office technology (including Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint) and donor databases.
  • Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication and presentation skills. Demonstrated ability to simplify complex themes and activities into a short, compelling presentation or written piece.
  • Ability to travel within the state of Arizona and work occasional evening, weekends, and irregular hours.

Essential Mindsets & Approaches to the Work:

  • Strong relationship building skills: Effective interpersonal and communication abilities. The ability to build a rapport and communicate effectively and respectfully on the phone and in person with donors, board members, volunteers, staff, and the general public.  
  • Diligence, persistence and resilient: Ability to take no for an answer, and creativity and innovation skills to come up with alternatives to securing meetings and gifts to get in front of donors.
  • Calm under pressure and adaptable: Consistently maintain composure even when stressed and learn to embrace mishaps with renewed energy. Show a willingness to learn new skills when necessary and make quick and confident decisions while remaining solutions focused.
  • Curiosity, resourcefulness and adept research and learning skills:
  • Strong organizational and administrative skills: Ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects and to meet deadlines.
  • Love of planning, goal setting and meeting deliverables: Ability to develop long-term plans, set objectives, and track progress toward achieving objectives.
  • Willingness to do whatever it takes:  Strong work ethic and willingness to tackle administrative tasks ranging from data entry to direct solicitation.    
  • Sense of humor: friendly, outgoing, and collaborative.
  • A confident and professional work style. Ability to work independently and to exercise good judgment in stressful circumstances. Flexibility and a willingness to take on new tasks as the responsibilities of the position evolve.  


Salary based on experience. Excellent benefits include generous vacation and sick leave; medical and dental insurance for staff members; life and long-term disability insurance; defined contribution plan with employer match; and 12 paid holidays.

To Apply:

Please submit to info@acluaz.org a resume and cover letter describing your interest in this position, and the ways in which you satisfy the qualifications specified above.  Include “Director of Philanthropy Search” in the subject line and specify how you heard about the posting.

Please also include a copy of one short piece that you wrote, preferably for fundraising purposes. (If you submit a piece that you did not entirely write, please indicate the extent of input of others on it.) No phone calls or walk-ins, please.

Hard copy materials may also be sent to the attention of “Director of Philanthropy Search,” ACLU of Arizona, P.O. Box 17148, Phoenix, AZ 85011.

Deadline: Applications accepted until position is filled.


For the past nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been at the forefront of every major civil liberties fight in our country’s history. Whether it’s ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBT community, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, or preserving the right to vote, we take up the toughest civil liberties issues to defend all individuals from government abuse and overreach. With ACLU affiliate offices in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, we fight tirelessly in the courts, legislatures, and through community engagement to ensure that all individuals’ rights are protected. We are a passionate, highly motivated group of lawyers, public policy experts, lobbyists, community organizers, and fundraisers, and we’re looking for exceptional talent to join our team.

This is an incredibly exciting time to join the ACLU. ACLU membership in Arizona has increased from 5,000 before the November 2016 election to more than 18,000 members today. In celebration of the ACLU’s 100th anniversary in 2020, the organization is building a more expansive advocacy infrastructure to increase its effectiveness in achieving public policy objectives. The organization is growing rapidly and has identified critical policy objectives that need proactive campaigns to succeed.

The ACLU of Arizona is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public interest organization dedicated to the defense and expansion of civil liberties and civil rights in Arizona. Our four strategic priority areas are: criminal justice reform, education equity, LGBT equality and immigrants’ rights. The ACLU of Arizona has 22 staff members, 17 board members, more than 18,000 members, and an annual operating budget of $3.1 million.  Additional information about our work can be found at: www.acluaz.org

The ACLU of Arizona comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona and the ACLU Foundation of Arizona. Both the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona and the ACLU Foundation of Arizona have 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.

To learn more about the work of the ACLU, please visit www.acluaz.org and www.aclu.org.

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, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction.