Wilmington, DE

Development Director, ACLU of Delaware

The Organization

Founded in 1961, The American Civil Liberties Union of Delaware (ACLU of DE) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that uses legal, legislative, and advocacy approaches to protect and promote a broad range of constitutional rights and freedoms, including justice reform, education equity, free speech, racial justice, privacy, religious liberty, reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, and more. The ACLU of Delaware is an affiliate of the national ACLU, the leading defender of civil liberties guaranteed by our nation’s Bill of Rights.

The ACLU of Delaware is one of this area’s premier public advocacy organizations. Based in Wilmington, Delaware, the ACLU of Delaware is led by a 24-member Board of Directors and a staff of nine. The Wilmington and broader Delaware communities are vibrant and collegial, and Delaware offers an excellent and affordable quality of life. Wilmington is also close to various attractions, including major cities such as New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC and the beach.

For more information, please visit www.aclu-de.org.

Position Overview

The ACLU of Delaware seeks a dynamic and experienced development professional to lead and significantly expand the organization’s fundraising program.

The Development Director will have primary responsibility to create and implement the ACLU of Delaware’s fundraising strategies. These should include major gift solicitation, foundation grantmaking, planned giving, special events, and annual fund. As a thought partner, the Development Director will work closely with the Executive Director to steward donor relationships and foster a strong sense of community among the ACLU of Delaware’s donors. The Development Director will also serve as a leader on the staff, ensuring that staff understand the importance of fundraising to the organization’s overall health, and recognize their role in development.

Ideal candidates will be able to communicate clearly and effectively to donors and supporters, particularly on complex civil liberties issues. Ability to convey passion and critical need for support is essential. As a senior staff member, the Development Director will also be responsible for upholding the principles of equity and inclusion that are vital to the organization.

The ACLU of Delaware has experienced significant growth in recent years and has had a number of exciting victories. The Development Director will also work closely with the Executive Director to oversee the organization’s budget, identify critical needs for program, and create the ACLU of Delaware’s next strategic plan.

The Development Director’s essential duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following: 

Leadership and Vision

  • Convey the importance of fundraising to the staff and board, creating a culture of philanthropy in the organization;
  • Partner with the Executive Director on strategic planning for the organization, particularly on growth of revenue to strengthen the infrastructure of the ACLU of Delaware and expand its programmatic reach;
  • Cultivate the talents of board and staff members to serve as ambassadors with donors;
  • Promote the values of equity and inclusion in all areas of the organization’s work;
  • Serve as an effective and visible spokesperson for the ACLU of Delaware, effectively articulating the organization’s history, programs, and mission.


  • Establish and execute a comprehensive annual fundraising plan for the ACLU of Delaware;
  • Lead the organization’s major gift program, focusing on increasing the number and capacity of major donors;
  • Steward relationships with donors, helping to create a sense of community among our vast network of supporters;
  • Foster relationships with foundation officers, and shepherd grant proposals to ensure program needs are met;
  • Develop a planned giving strategy for the organization;
  • Maintain and strengthen relationships with National ACLU colleagues who assist in fundraising;
  • Plan and execute special events, both fundraising and community-building.


  • Work with affiliate and national staff to ensure database accurately captures relevant information about our supporters;
  • Develop strategies for growing our network of supporters and allies across Delaware.


The ideal candidate will have the following professional skills, qualities, and competencies:

  • Personally committed to advancing the ACLU’s values, mission, goals and programs, with an understanding of the range of civil liberties issues and their implications;
  • Proven managerial experience, inspiring teams in the private, not-for-profit, or public sectors;
  • Mentorship of colleagues, with the ability to delegate tasks to others to support their growth;
  • A successful track record of donor development and raising money from a variety of sources; major donor experience is preferred;
  • An understanding of how to connect program needs with fundraising, and cultivating donors to be partners with organizational leadership in how to address funding opportunities;
  • Experience strategic planning, particularly in regards to building of development infrastructure within an organization;
  • A history of effective written and oral communication, including excellent public speaking skills for both formal and extemporaneous presentations; ability to represent the ACLU to members and supporters;
  • A record of success working in partnership with a board and staff of diverse personalities and talents;
  • An energetic person who can handle and prioritize multiple activities and responsibilities; a self-starter and finisher;
  • A team player who inspires collaboration and functions decisively; flexible and well-organized;
  • Outgoing and straightforward; one who shares information easily; listens as well as gives advice; respects the abilities of others;
  • Ideal candidate would have at least five years of development experience.


Salary based on experience. Excellent benefits include paid vacation, medical and dental insurance, retirement savings plan, life and long-term disability insurance, and generous paid holidays.

How To Apply

Please send a cover letter and resume to jobs@aclu-de.org with “Development Director Search” as the subject line of the email. Applications will be reviewed regularly and the position will remain open until filled. All interviews will be held remotely at this time.

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, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction.

The ACLU 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 email jobs@aclu-de.org.  If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

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