• One year ago, thousands of Coloradans marched in a historic display of resistance. At the ACLU of Colorado we carried that spirit throughout the year, fighting on many fronts for civil liberties. We won’t stop now.

  • By canceling DACA, Trump has put 800,000 young people at risk of losing their jobs and being deported from the only country they know as home. Passing the bipartisan Dream Act would protect them. We asked four Dreamers why the Dream Act is important to them and their future.

  • James Fisher spoke at the ACLU of Colorado Bill of Rights Dinner about how he and the ACLU are working together to stop the criminalization of poverty for the thousands of Coloradans who are trapped in debtors’ prisons.

  • Our membership has quadrupled in the last six months, making it possible to do more than ever to protect civil rights and civil liberties in Colorado. Thank you to all our new members, supporters, and donors, and the ones who’ve been with us for years.

Director of Philanthropy

The ACLU of Colorado is seeking an experienced, skilled, mission-driven applicant for the position of Director of Philanthropy.

The ACLU is the nation’s foremost defender of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of Colorado, founded in 1952 as the Colorado affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, is a strong, growing organization with thousands of members, supporters, and activists across the state. We work in the courts, in the legislature, and in communities across the state to protect and strengthen civil liberties for all, drawing from principles articulated in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. For more information about the work of the ACLU of Colorado, please visit our web site at

This is a critical time in the ACLU’s history that presents an unparalleled opportunity for an experienced fundraising professional. After the election of a President whose policies and appointments stand to threaten civil liberties and civil rights in nearly every area of the ACLU’s work, there has been an outpouring of support from new members, donors, and volunteers who see the ACLU as our nation’s greatest hope for preserving our fundamental rights and liberties in the years ahead. The ACLU of Colorado has pledged to do its part in the nationwide struggle for civil liberties while protecting and advancing rights and liberties in our own state under the banner of making Colorado a Civil Liberties Safe Zone. It will be essential for a new Director of Philanthropy to act quickly in reaching out to major donor prospects and forging new and ambitious development plans that maximize opportunities within the new political environment.

Even before the election, the ACLU of Colorado already had joined with the ACLU nationwide in the most ambitious fundraising campaign – over $1.2 billion – in the ACLU’s history, to celebrate the 100th anniversary in 2020 of the founding of the ACLU. The Director of Philanthropy will leverage this comprehensive nationwide Centennial Campaign, in which the Colorado affiliate plays a critical role, to increase the ACLU of Colorado’s revenue stream to support significant expansion of our influence and impact over the next five to ten years. Building on existing donor relationships and a robust major donor prospect pool, and partnering with our national office on key leadership gift strategies, the Director of Philanthropy will have a significant opportunity to increase investments in the ACLU of Colorado and to play a major role in an organization that is on the front lines of the most important issues of this time.

The ideal candidate will provide visionary, strategic leadership to build and strengthen lifelong relationships between donors and the organization, toward a goal of generating transformational gifts to support the ACLU of Colorado’s current needs and future strategic goals. The Director of Philanthropy is a member of the senior staff reporting directly to the Executive Director and is charged with developing and overseeing the program to raise funds for the affiliate, 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, Deputy Director, Stewardship and Events Manager, other staff and Board members, and national ACLU staff, the Director of Philanthropy is responsible for planning, supervising and executing the affiliate’s leadership and major gifts program, focusing on donors with the capacity to give $10,000 and above annually. The Director of Philanthropy supervises the Stewardship and Events Manager.

ACLU of Colorado offices are located in Denver, the hub city for the mountain West, minutes from the Rocky Mountains. Colorado is a battleground state on civil liberties issues, making it an especially crucial state in the struggle for rights and liberties, and offering a dynamic fund raising environment with good opportunities for philanthropic growth. As a healthy, growing affiliate with an excellent staff team, the ACLU of Colorado is a perfect setting for a skilled development professional committed to civil liberties and civil rights.

Job Responsibilities and Activities:
  • Develop and execute a comprehensive, strategic, donor-centered fundraising program that includes specific fundraising goals and targets, with a focus on the acquisition of leadership gifts ($10,000+ annually) and transformational campaign gifts (six-figure or more) from high level prospects and donors;
  • Research and identify prospects for cultivation and solicitation;
  • Secure meetings with major gift prospects capable of making five-figure, six-figure or greater gifts to the organization;
  • Manage a significant personal portfolio of major gift donors including cultivation and direct fundraising;
  • Support the development efforts of other key primary relationship managers assigned to donors in the portfolio, including the Executive Director, other members of the affiliate leadership team, and some Board members, including conducting prospect research and preparing briefing materials in advance of donor meetings;
  • With Stewardship and Events Manager, engage in year-round strategic stewardship of donors and major gifts prospects;
  • Make effective use of national ACLU development staff, research tools, and other resources;
  • Work with the Deputy Director to develop and implement a comprehensive, annual grant management program;
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive planned giving program, in coordination with national ACLU staff;
  • Develop and manage formal programs to strengthen relationships with the ACLU’s contributors;
  • Work closely with the Communications Department and others in the development of messages, materials, and explanations of our work used in strategic donor communications, including the development of the Annual Report, newsletters, Centennial Campaign materials, and other communications that advance the ACLU’s mission and visibility to donors;
  • With the Stewardship and Events Manager, organize and oversee fundraising events, including an annual fund raising dinner that draws around 300 supporters; solicit law firm and corporate sponsors;
  • With Stewardship and Events Manager, manage effective systems of data entry and donor records, donor recognition, and tracking of all fund raising, including a transition to a new and more comprehensive donor and constituent management system in the year ahead;
  • Prepare regular fundraising and department activity reports for the ACLU-CO board and senior staff; attend board meetings at the Executive Director’s request;
  • Participate in national development trainings as needed;
  • Meet regularly with the Development team including Executive Director, Deputy Director, and Stewardship and Events Manager;
  • Contribute leadership and promote teamwork within the ACLU office, meeting regularly with senior staff and full staff to discuss strategies on ongoing and emerging issues and to coordinate efforts among departments.
  • Maintain active familiarity with ACLU’s programs and positions; represent the ACLU-CO in public gatherings as needed.
  • Bachelors degree or equivalent combination of education and experience;
  • Demonstrated strong commitment to the goals of the ACLU and advancement of civil liberties, preferably with direct ACLU experience;
  • At least 7 years of experience managing a complex, nonprofit development program including significant experience in major donor fundraising, planned giving, event management, and grant writing, or equivalent experience with clearly transferrable skills;
  • Preferably at least 3 years of experience in soliciting major gifts, including asks at the $100,000+ level as a major gifts officer or development director;
  • Demonstrated experience or skills in developing long-term cultivation and solicitation strategies for high-level prospects and donors;
  • Broad understanding of multi-faceted campaign planning, implementation, and management;
  • Superb leadership, interpersonal, oral, and written communication and presentation skills; demonstrated ability to communicate effectively, comfortably, and respectfully with donors, staff, and community leaders, including the ability to synthesize and present complex themes and activities in a digestible and compelling way, whether in conversation or in print;
  • Ability to work well with people as a true team player in a collaborative environment;
  • Demonstrated ability to juggle and prioritize many concurrent tasks, manage a high-volume workload, pay extremely close attention to detail, adapt quickly to changing organizational priorities, and meet moving deadlines;
  • Experience and comfort with donor database management and systems to track donor history, interests, and activity;
  • A commitment to diversity; a personal approach that values individuals and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance, and the ability to work with diverse individuals within the organization and broader community;
  • Ability to travel as well as the flexibility to work as needed to accomplish the organization’s fundraising goals;
  • Flexibility and a willingness to take on new tasks as the responsibilities of the position evolve;
  • A confident and professional work style and the ability to work independently as well as cooperatively, exhibiting patience, good will, and good judgment; a strong sense of humor and a faculty for handling stressful situations with grace and maturity is a must;
  • Knowledge of budgeting and financial management principles;
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite.

Salary based on experience and qualifications. Benefits include paid vacation and personal days, medical and dental insurance, 401(k) with matching contribution and life and long-term disability insurance.

To Apply:

Send a cover letter, resume, and three professional references to: Please put “Director of Philanthropy” and your name in the subject line. No phone calls, please.

Applications will be reviewed as received. Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, but applications will be accepted until the position is filled, which most likely will not be before January 31, 2017.

The ACLU of Colorado is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages applications from all qualified persons including women, people of color, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQ individuals.