San Francisco, CA

Deputy Director, Development (San Francisco), ACLU of Northern California


About the Organization

The ACLU of Northern California is an affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, a nationwide, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the defense and expansion of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU NorCal is comprised of two distinct corporations, the ACLU Foundation of Northern California (501c3) and the ACLU of Northern California (501c4). The incumbent is a joint employee of both corporations. For most of the last century, the ACLU NorCal has been at the heart of many of the most major – and sometimes controversial – struggles for civil liberties and civil rights in our state.

Our mission is to ensure that constitutional rights don’t just exist on paper but are protected in practice. 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 fearless organizing to fight these un-American policies and protect our most cherished rights and freedoms. We are committed to fostering an anti-racist work culture and to anti-racist principles and learning. We are the resistance. Join us.

Position Overview

The Opportunity

The ACLU of Northern California (ACLU NorCal) seeks an experienced leader for the position of Deputy Director of Development. This is an exciting opportunity to direct frontline fundraising for the ACLU NorCal and ensure our program integrates thoughtful strategy, authentic engagement, and the right mix of innovation and best practices. You will make a difference by providing strategic direction, supporting staff to do their best work, and cultivating a healthy working culture. At this time in our history for both philanthropy and movements for equity, you will be essential to our work to further ground our development approach and practices in racial and social justice.


The Approach

Our work is guided by the principles of freedom, equality, and justice enumerated in the Constitution. However, we know that because of historic and systemic racism and other forms of oppression, these principles are not equitably applied to all. In an ideal world, everyone would have equal access to justice and equal protection under the law. Unfortunately, neither our world nor our country is ideal. Our work involves hard subject matter that can be emotionally draining for some people. Ideal candidates will understand that as a mission-driven organization, we strive to make the world a better place knowing that the road is long and hard. At the same time, we understand the importance of self-care, and do our best to reflect that in our practices and values.


The Position

You are a leader with at least ten years of experience in the non-profit or philanthropic sectors, with at least five years of management experience, including supervising staff in varying stages of their careers. You have experience establishing and strengthening strong, long-term partnerships with philanthropic stakeholders, primarily through the oversight and direction of major, leadership, and planned giving programs and staff. You support your staff’s success through your planning processes, goal-setting and related accountability measures, and management practices. You think creatively about new ways to engage donors more deeply in the ACLU’s work and our broader movements, and to demonstrate the impact of their giving. You have a strong commitment to the mission and goals of the ACLU NorCal, and you are excited to address the tensions that exist between philanthropy and our work for racial and social justice. You treat every person with whom you work with dignity and respect, and you actively work to foster an equitable and inclusive experience for donors, staff, and other partners in your work. You are open to learning new approaches, skills, and practices, even when this may push you outside your comfort zone. As Deputy Director, you will supervise five gift officers, report to the Director of Development, and act in place of the Director of Development in their absence.

Duties & Responsibilities

Major, Leadership, and Planned Gifts (MLPG) Unit Oversight, Management, and Evaluation:

·       Direct the frontline fundraising programs for the ACLU NorCal, which include major gifts, leadership gifts, and planned gifts. Ensure programs evolve to apply our learnings, reflect the right mix of innovation and best practices, and respond to emerging opportunities and approaches in philanthropy.

·       Provide strategic direction for the MLPG unit, ensuring staff have the support and resources necessary to perform their jobs effectively, promoting coordination among unit members and the unit as a whole. Cultivate a healthy working culture and cohesiveness among the unit. Ensure efficient and effective workflows between the MLPG unit and other units.

·       Supervise MLPG staff, including recruitment, hiring, performance management (including disciplinary matters), and retention.

·       Foster professional development in a collaborative, team-based environment, thinking through staff development, roles, and MLPG unit growth as needed to maximize the philanthropic potential of the region.

·       Through supervision of MLPG staff, ensure comprehensive relationship-development goals and plans are in place for each donor and prospective donor in major, leadership planned gifts portfolios. Support the execution of these plans to maximize donor engagement and investment. This may include participating in the cultivating, soliciting, negotiating, closing, and/or stewarding of leadership-level or planned gifts donors in other gift officers’ portfolios.

·       Coordinate Finance, Program, and Development to develop special giving opportunities for donors and prospects to maximize giving in alignment with donor’s philanthropic goals and the ACLU NorCal’s strategic priorities.

·       Coordinate with the Development Operations and Prospect Development units to ensure effective infrastructure, operations, and pipelines for the ACLU NorCal’s MLPG portfolios and related work, and to strengthen MLPG portfolio protocols, performance metrics, and evaluation practices.

·       Consult with Foundation Relations & Donor Engagement units on the development of timely and meaningful events; written proposals, reports, and other materials; and other opportunities to advance goals for individual donors and/or the MLPG portfolio as a whole.

·       Act as primary contact for appropriate ACLU national colleagues (directors of major, leadership, and planned gifts) to ensure alignment around expectations for coordination of programs and effective collaboration between programs and staff.

Development Department Leadership:

·       Act as key partner to Director of Development on matters impacting the department and, as delegated by the Director of Development, hold responsibilities related to department integration and engagement, organizational culture of philanthropy, and intra- or inter-departmental issues when they arise.

·       Partner with Director of Development to build out and strengthen the ACLU NorCal’s philanthropic development practices to further advance of our values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging within the department, as well as to align our work with donors, funders, and community- based partners with our goals for racial and social justice.

·       Serve as acting Department Director in the Director of Development’s absence.



Education / Experience:

·       Ten years of related work experience in the non-profit or philanthropic sectors, at least five in a management position supervising staff;

·       Experience growing and sustaining programs focused on major gifts-level donor relationship development in the non-profit or philanthropic sectors;

·       Experience with program design and assessment, including developing program and performance metrics and protocols;

·       Donor-facing experience developing and executing strategic plans for fundraising success, including soliciting and closing six-figure gifts and complex/blended gifts;

·       Experience developing strong relationships with a variety of organizational stakeholders;

·       Experience managing staff with varying levels of experience and in varying stages of career development, including performance management, professional development planning, and fostering team culture that aligns with departmental and organizational values and culture.

Required Skills / Competencies:

·       Excellent Interpersonal skills, with the ability to bring out the best in others, work effectively in teams, and facilitate joint planning and problem solving while working collaboratively and respectfully;

·       Good judgment, attention to detail, dependability and follow through, and ability to handle confidential information with discretion;

·       A commitment to a workplace that values and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstances;

·       Creativity, entrepreneurialism, and flexibility in creating and evolving programs;

·       Commitment to understanding and advancing equity and racial justice through philanthropic development, management practices, and other responsibilities of the position.

Preferred Skills / Competencies:

·       Understanding of the Bay Area and other Northern California philanthropic landscapes;

·       Experience with Salesforce or other donor database applications.

Technical Skills:

·       Proficiency with office technology and information systems, including Microsoft Excel and Word, with an ability and willingness to learn new software tools.

 Total Compensation

We are committed to creating and maintaining a diverse workforce through equity initiatives, which include equitable pay practices. Competitive compensation is commensurate with experience. Starting salary range for this position is $115,726.68 – $135,014.46.

We understand how vital our work is and at the same time understand the toll engaged activism can take. Our goal is to retain staff, and we believe that having a robust benefits offering is vital in meeting that goal. Our benefits include four weeks paid vacation in addition to 14 office holidays; fully employer-paid medical, vision and dental insurance for staff members, their dependents and spouse or domestic partner; life and long-term disability insurance; and 401(k) plan with employer match. We have a robust Employee Assistance Program and emerging Employee Resource Groups.

This position is not represented.

To Apply

Applications will be accepted until the position has been filled. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible as we will be evaluating applications on a rolling basis. Applications must include (1) cover letter, (2) resume, and (3) a list of three references. Applicants concurrently applying to any other position with the ACLU should state what other position they are applying for in the cover letter. Please submit your application online at:

The ACLU-NC is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need assistance applying online, please e-mail  If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

The ACLU of Northern California advances equity and inclusion in the workplace by providing equal employment opportunity to support a work environment free from discrimination on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age (over 40), sexual orientation, military and veteran status, and any other basis prohibited by law. The organization also provides reasonable accommodations for qualified applicants and employees with disabilities. This equal employment opportunity policy applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, selection, advancement, training, problem resolution, and separation from employment. Through this policy, the ACLU-NC strives to establish and maintain an equitable and accessible work environment that is free from discrimination and supportive of a workforce that reflects the rich diversity of our communities and the people we serve.

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