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American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Arizona is searching for Director of Philanthropy. For confidential consideration, please send a cover letter and resume to: search@smith-dale.com.

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 cases and 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 and legislative advocacy experts, 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. In celebration of our 100th anniversary in 2020, we are launching our largest ever comprehensive fundraising campaign – with a goal of over $1 billion – which will allow us to take our organization to the next level by strengthening our cutting-edge legal program, amplifying our public engagement, and building the political power necessary to continue to fight new threats to freedom head-on, and win.

The ACLU of Arizona, based in Phoenix, is seeking a dynamic, enthusiastic, and experienced fundraiser to join its ranks as Director of Philanthropy. Working closely with an enthusiastic and ambitious Executive Director who loves fundraising, the Director of Philanthropy will lead the organization’s resource development efforts and facilitate the expansion of its impact on protecting and advancing civil liberties in the community and state. The ACLU of Arizona currently has an annual budget of $1,374,470, and is poised to significantly grow its resources and program throughout the course of the Centennial Campaign. The fundraising goal for the current fiscal year (ending March 31st) is $1.25 million.

In addition to providing an opportunity to work for an exciting organization with tremendous impact in the nation and state, this position also offers the opportunity to reside in Phoenix, the cosmopolitan center of Arizona and a true gem of the American Southwest. In addition to year-round sunshine and a temperate climate, Phoenix also boats a dynamic food, arts, and culture scene. For outdoors enthusiasts, the options are limitless as Phoenix enjoys close proximity to some of the best and most picturesque mountain trails, hiking, and camping in the United States.

The Opportunity

Reporting to the Executive Director, and serving as a member of the organization’s senior leadership team, the Director of Philanthropy will spearhead development efforts at the ACLU of Arizona as the organization continues to grow. Working closely with colleagues from the national ACLU team, the Director of Philanthropy will plan, supervise, and execute the ACLU of Arizona’s program to raise funds to support the organization’s current and future strategic goals. The Director of Philanthropy will lead fundraising efforts by partnering with the Executive Director to strategically mange her portfolio of major donors and prospects (with gift capacities of $25,000+), as well as his or her own portfolio, to strengthen donor relationships and solicit philanthropic investments that will generate longstanding, tangible civil liberties victories. The Director of Philanthropy will spend a significant amount of time directly interacting with donors and helping them fulfill their philanthropic interests and passions, as well as supervise the Associate Director of Philanthropy who is responsible for her own portfolio of $10,000+ donors and prospects.

  • Responsibilities

The Director of Philanthropy will develop an annual fundraising plan as part of an overall strategic plan promoting programmatic and organizational growth, which will specify fundraising goals for major gifts, annual support, grants, and planned giving. Prioritizing individual gifts from major donors, the Director of Philanthropy will manage all aspects of the ACLU of Arizona’s fund development program, including:

  • Major Gifts Portfolio: Expand the number of leadership gift ($25,000+) ACLU supporters in Arizona. Manage relationships for a portfolio of 75-100 donors and prospects with the capacity to make annual contributions of $25,000+, including those assigned to the Executive Director. Develop goals, strategies, and cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship plans for each donor, ensuring that they receive frequent personalized “touches”. Engage in face-to-face solicitations with donors and prospects. Draft donor correspondences, gift proposals, and maintain primary responsibility for developing the messages, materials, and explanations of our work used in all of our development efforts. Partner with colleagues from the national ACLU to advance key donor relationships. Conduct prospect research and actively lead identification of major gift prospects to bring new supporters into the organization.
  • Planned Giving: Expand the number of supporters in the ACLU’s legacy society. Market planned giving opportunities to ACLU supporters. Partner with colleagues from the national ACLU to identify prime legacy donor prospects and solicit planned gifts.
  • Grants: Lead the foundation grants program. Research and identify prospective funders, work with program staff on grant preparation, proposal submission, and reporting. Cultivate relationships with foundations as strategically appropriate.
  • Supervision and Management: Supervise the Associate Director of Development in the management of:
    • Associate Director of Development Portfolio: Working with the Associate Director of Philanthropy, develop strategies and plans to ensure that all donors in this portfolio (donors and prospects with $10,000+ capacity) are cultivated, solicited, and stewarded appropriately; including periodic stewardship of mid-level supporters (those at the $1,000 – $9,999 level).
    • Gift Processing: Ensure that all donors to the ACLU are acknowledged for their contributions in a timely and thoughtful manner. Record all gifts in donor database.
    • Database: Maintain confidential fundraising information in donor database. Ensure the accuracy and hygiene of donor records. Create and run reports that reflect donor activity, fundraising program performance, and revenue projections to be shared with Executive Director, finance staff, and Board of Directors.
    • Events: Oversee the planning of strategic cultivation, and stewardship events, as applicable.
  • Other duties: Attend certain ACLU functions, such as the annual membership meeting, volunteer events, and other tasks as assigned.

2) Ideal Experience and Qualifications

The Director of Philanthropy should have the following experience and qualifications:

  • At least five years related experience, with progressive responsibility and a proven track record of meeting with prospective donors, and soliciting, closing, and stewarding major gifts of $25,000+. Experience soliciting planned gifts is preferred. Local knowledge of Arizona philanthropic community a plus.
  • A strong interest in civil liberties and the mission and principles of the ACLU.
  • Exceptional initiative, vision, and ambition to lead a vibrant philanthropy program.
  • Demonstrated leadership and supervisor skills; experience in successfully directing others, at 
all levels of the organization, in carrying out development-related activities
  • Strong interpersonal skills and comfort making donor contacts, including ability to communicate 
effectively and respectfully on the phone and in person.
  • Excellent communication skills; the ability to speak comfortably and compellingly with donors 
about sometimes complex and multifaceted civil liberties issues and the impact potential of their philanthropic investments.
  • Strong organizational and administrative skills and the ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects and to meet deadlines.
  • Strong work ethic and willingness to tackle tasks ranging from data entry to direct solicitation.
  • Experience with donor database management and systems to ensure accurate and confidential donor and campaign records.
  • 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.
  • Personal initiative, collaborative, and a sense of humor.
  • Proficiency with office technology (including Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint).
  • Ability to work occasional evening, weekends, and irregular hours. 
Compensation: 
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 a resume and cover letter describing your interest in this position, and the ways in which you satisfy the qualifications specified above to search@smith-dale.com. Please include “Director of Philanthropy Search” in the subject line and indicate in your cover letter where you found this position announcement. 
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.

The ACLU of Arizona and its Foundation operate jointly as private, non-profit organizations devoted to protecting civil rights and civil liberties. To achieve our mission, we manage legal, legislative and public education programs on a broad range of constitutional issues including immigrants’ rights, LGBT equality, reproductive rights, and voting rights.

Founded in 1959, the ACLU of Arizona has an office located in central Phoenix, and a Tucson office focused on border-related litigation and advocacy. The organization has over 6,000 members and supporters and a staff that currently includes 9 full-time employees, and two part-time employees.

To learn more about the work of the ACLU, please visit www.acluaz.org and www.aclu.org.
The ACLU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages women, people of color, persons with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals to apply.

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