Seattle, WA

Relationship Development Officer, ACLU of Washington

The Organization

The ACLU of Washington is a leader among state affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union, the country’s premier guardian of liberty. We work in courts, legislatures, and communities to protect and extend American rights to freedom, fairness, and equality. The ACLU is both nonprofit and nonpartisan. We are supported by more than 135,000 members, activists, and donors.

The ACLU of Washington is committed to ending racism in Washington State and throughout the country. This includes how we work with each other, and with our partners and allies in the communities we serve. We are committed to bringing anti-racism to all aspects of ACLU-WA’s internal and external functions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring and human resources, strategic planning, ally, donor, and volunteer relations, Board and committee processes, and deciding what cases to litigate. We are looking for candidates who share this commitment to advancing racial justice, both internally in our organization and externally in the communities that we serve.

Position Overview

Application Deadline: July 7, 2021

The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington (ACLU-WA) is seeking a Relationship Development Officer (RDO), a frontline fundraiser who establishes and builds strong, authentic long-term partnerships with our major donors. The RDO qualifies, cultivates, solicits, stewards and grows a portfolio of five-figure annual gift donors; and plans and executes strategies to move donors and prospective donors into higher levels of giving over time. Through cultivation touches, regular communication, virtual and in-person meetings and small group events (when Covid-19 permits), the RDO will keep donors engaged and aware of the organization’s work. The position reports to the Director of Development.


*Please note: the ACLU-WA is closely following the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and continues to carefully monitor public health pronouncements and recommendations. Currently, our office is closed and staff are working remotely until further notice.


As an organization, we value working together and look forward to when we return to our office. Candidates outside of Seattle and/or Washington State will be considered for this position with the understanding that relocation to the Puget Sound region will be ultimately required.


To aid in remote work, we provide laptops, home office supplies, certain equipment, and technology support. You will need an effective WiFi connection and a way to reach you by phone. This position is eligible for either a work phone or phone stipend, as well as an additional $100 stipend each month to help cover any additional costs of working from home.



The mission of the ACLU-WA Development Department is to unlock the full potential of the partnership between donors and the ACLU to fund the defense and expansion of civil liberties. We are committed to integrating an understanding of the intersections of race, class, power, and privilege in our development work, and work to address the tensions that exist between philanthropy and our work for racial justice. We bring our donors closer to the organization and build long-term authentic relationships with them by sharing the ACLU’s story, engaging donors how they wish to engage, and asking them to give us their financial support.

We are a team of four who care deeply about the work of the ACLU and building an anti-racist development approach and practices. We strive to embody these values. Our team, like most nonprofit development departments, is predominantly (75%) white. While we are actively striving to achieve anti-racist fundraising, the profession is only now beginning to examine and dismantle its racist roots. We view development work not just as funding the program work to achieve justice and equity, but advancing it through our approach and practices. We enjoy working together, view everything as a team effort, help each other when asked, and stay easily inspired by the work of our amazing program colleagues.

The 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, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, socio-economic circumstance, or record of arrest or conviction. We do not conduct criminal background checks on our candidates.


Participation in ACLU-WA’s race equity work. This may include utilizing ACLU-WA race equity tools, adopting ACLU-WA race equity practices, serving on the Race Equity Team or subcommittees, etc. It is also expected to be ubiquitous in the following primary components of this position:

·       Manage a portfolio of 75-100 major donors and prospects giving $10,000+, which includes developing and executing individual plans to qualify, cultivate, solicit and steward each donor/prospect.

·       Establish and build strong, authentic long-term partnerships with our major donors.

·       Keep donors engaged and aware of the organization’s work through regular communication, virtual and in-person meetings and small group events (when Covid-19 permits). Think creatively about new ways to engage donors more deeply in the ACLU’s work.

·       Monitor portfolio activity and progress. Meet portfolio goals including budget goals, number of donor meetings and meaningful, monthly personalized donor contacts.

·       Partner with senior and program staff and/or board members on donor engagement and consult with program staff to develop materials directed at individual donors/prospects, such as highly personalized proposals.

·       Develop and manage special cultivation opportunities such as small donor briefings for select donors/prospects in the portfolio.

·       Maintain up-to-date and accurate database records for assigned donors, recording all interactions including detailed meeting reports. (The ACLU-WA follows strict ethical guidelines pertaining to the collection and maintenance of information and donor confidentiality.)

·       Stay well-versed in the current work of the ACLU, locally and nationally, and describe many different areas of work in a way that is concise, compelling, and easy to understand for donors/prospects.

·       Other related duties as assigned. Responsibilities may expand as skills develop.


·       Ideal candidates will have an awareness of, and willingness to engage in, the difficult and transformative work of challenging systems of oppression and structural racism and be excited to address the tensions that exist between philanthropy and our work for racial justice.

·       A minimum of five years of experience in nonprofit fundraising or comparable experience.

·       Experience establishing and building strong, long-term partnerships with donors.

·       A proven record of securing visits with donors/prospects and successful face-to-face solicitation. The most competitive candidates will also have experience growing prospects into major donors.

·       Outstanding interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills.

·       Strong relationship building skills. Ability to connect with people from different backgrounds, build relationships across differences, and navigate and resolve conflict in a manner that values and respects relationships.

·       Strong organizational skills. Ability to develop long-term plans, set objectives, and track progress towards achieving objectives.

·       Must have a working knowledge of standard office software packages (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) for internal and external communications. Proficiency in Salesforce or other CRMs is a plus.

·       A commitment to donor confidentiality.

·       Strong alignment with the mission and goals of the ACLU.



The ACLU-WA’s staff of 40+ employees and numerous volunteers generally work in a standard office setting in downtown Seattle between the hours of 9am and 5pm. The physical demands and work environment described below represent those required and encountered by an employee to perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

·       Ability to type on a keyboard for long periods of time.

·       Ability to sit or stand for extended periods.

·       Ability to work some evenings, weekends, and holidays.

·       Ability to periodically work long and extended hours.

·       Ability to view a computer screen for long periods of time.

·       This position meets regularly in-person with our donors (when Covid-19 permits). Ability to travel locally within King County on a weekly basis and regionally/across the state a few times a year.

This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU reserves the right to change the description and/or posting at any time without advance notice. This position is “exempt” under the Fair Labor Standards Act.


The ACLU of WA is dedicated to centering equity in all aspects of the organization and, as such, has adopted a salary scale for measuring how to best compensate its employees. The salary for this position is $76,000 – $83,000. A range indicates the intention to accommodate those with varying years of relevant experience, as determined by the salary scale.

Benefits include three weeks of vacation, thirteen sick days, fifteen holidays, fully paid employee medical, dental, vision, and disability insurance, a generous retirement plan, and an ORCA card, the regional transportation pass.



We will schedule interviews with qualified candidates after the close date and hope to have the selected candidate start in early September.


The ACLU of Washington comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, Inc. and the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington Foundation. The two corporations share the same overall mission, office space, and employees. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU of Washington”.

How To Apply


To apply, email a cover letter and resume to and include in the subject line of the email: your last name and Relationship Development Officer. In your cover letter, please indicate where you learned of the posting. Applications will be accepted until July 7, 2021 at which time the job announcement will be removed from our website at

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