The ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties (ACLUF-SDIC) seeks a Sr. Philanthropy Officer.

The ACLUF-SDIC is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) civil liberties and civil rights organization working to advance equality, freedom and justice through public education and litigation.  Together with the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties, the 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that does our legislative lobbying work, we are a prominent force for the protection and expansion of fundamental rights in California’s second-most populous county (San Diego) and the county with the highest per capita Latina/o population (Imperial).

With affiliate offices in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, the ACLU fights tirelessly in courts, in legislatures, and in communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the United States Constitution and U.S. laws to everyone in this country. The work of the ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties and ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties (known collectively as ACLU-SDIC) encompasses the length of California’s border with Mexico. We collaborate with the National ACLU and with ACLU affiliates in California, on the U.S-Mexico border and throughout the United States. We strive to partner with community organizations and groups across the state and throughout the binational border region.

After 15 months of intensive strategic planning for our future – led by the ACLU-SDIC leadership team, ACLU-SDIC is restructuring to become an integrated advocacy organization that operationalizes our theory of change and prioritizes racial and economic justice, liberation and abolition. We are building on the affiliate’s proven track record of success combining impact litigation, lobbying, legal/policy analysis and research, field organizing, donor mobilization, strategic communications and non-partisan voter engagement to achieve meaningful, lasting social change across our region.

The ACLU-SDIC is dedicated to confronting issues that threaten our most cherished civil rights and freedoms and defending the progress the ACLU has made over its 100-year history.  And we are dedicated to working in relationship with people directly impacted by inequity to create a more just and fair society for us all.


Under the supervision of the Chief Philanthropy Officer (“CPO”), the Senior Philanthropy Officer is responsible for managing a portfolio of prospects and donors with affinity for the ACLU and the capacity to make $10k+ investments with a particular focus on donors with the capacity to contribute $50k+ or more. The Senior Philanthropy Officer is responsible for owning high-level donor strategy, including engagement opportunities and collateral.


Major Donors Portfolio Management (80%): Manages a portfolio of 100 current $10k+ donors.

  • Move a portfolio of donors through quality, strategic contacts and face-to-face visits to identify, qualify, cultivate, solicit, and steward donors to successfully close gifts (in total giving approximately $1.5M annually).
  • Work with the CPO to meet or exceed dollar and visit goals, with a focus on new, increased and multi-year gifts; 
  • Develop and implement engagement strategies including telephone outreach, email/mail outreach, personal visits, and small group activities that deepen engagement.
  • Establish and build strong, authentic long-term partnerships with major donors. 
  • Work to grow donor giving year-over-year through engagement and cultivation. 
  • Collaborates with and supports senior leadership team, program staff and board members to cultivate, solicit and steward donors.  
  • Maintain up-to-date and accurate database records for assigned donors, recording all interactions including detailed meeting reports.  
  • Meet portfolio goals including number of donor meetings and meaningful, monthly personalized donor touchpoints.

Donor Engagement (10%): Lead strategy for the development of creative ways to engage portfolio donors more deeply in the ACLU’s work and to demonstrate the impact of their philanthropic partnership.

  • Consult with appropriate staff to develop engagement touch points (materials and events) that are in line with donor interests and programmatic priorities.
  • Partner with senior and program staff and/or board members on donor engagement opportunities.
  • Stay well-versed in the current work of the ACLU, locally and nationally, and be an effective representative of the organization.
  • Identify articles and other materials (including those provided by ACLU National) to send donors, reinforcing the importance of their support.

Other duties (10%):

  • Partners with CPO and other philanthropy team members to identify and cultivate new donor prospects.
  • Take part in designing the process for incorporating community-centric fundraising values into fundraising communications and educational opportunities.
  • Participate in National ACLU Development Resources offerings including weekly meetings, and opportunities to engage with development colleagues nationwide.
  • Attend ACLU functions, such as the annual membership meeting and other ACLU events as requested.
  • Serve on an organizational Issue Team as a liaison for the full philanthropy team.
  • Serve as a representative of the organization at external events and meetings, as needed.
  • Take part in stewardship efforts for the larger portfolio.
  • Prioritizes professional development and meaningful rest.


Our ideal Senior Philanthropy Officer possesses the following qualities:

  • You are excited to join an organization that aspires to adopt an abolitionist framework and a philanthropy team that is committed to the values of Community Centric Fundraising.
  • You are a closer who is eager to make the ask.
  • You thrive on a small team, where you can be nimble and pivot. You want to be part of the movement for social change and can’t imagine being anywhere else in a time like this.
  • You are confident in your ability to succeed; you love problem solving and have an insatiable thirst to maximize donor potential. When you see a better way to do things, you take initiative to make improvements and suggestions—not passing it over for someone else to fix.
  • You are a go-getter and see opportunity at every turn. You also know how to roll with the punches and have a quick bounce-back time after a setback.
  • You appreciate the big picture, but you sweat the details. You manage projects fluidly, prioritize, and track timelines, data, and information in an organized and systematic fashion. You don't drop balls, miss deadlines, or forget to respond to someone's inquiry.
  • You are an unflappable individual, with excellent people skills, able to develop partnerships with both internal and external stakeholders, who possesses impeccable discretion.
  • You bring tact and diplomacy to build trusting relationships and advance the best ideas.
  • You’re high impact, low-ego, and kind to yourself and others. You understand that this work is for the long-haul and you take good care of yourself.
  • You have gravitas paired with professional integrity and ambition to effectively represent and promote the ACLU externally at the highest levels and internally as a surrogate for senior leadership.


  • Minimum 5 years' experience in nonprofit fundraising with 2+ years of experience of direct portfolio management and a proven track record of closing at least $500,000 a year in gifts above $10,000. 
  • Self-motivation and the ability to work independently.
  • This skilled fundraiser will have competency in creating donor strategies utilizing best practices in donor moves management with the ability to cultivate and facilitate relationships.
  • Outstanding oral, written, communication, and presentation skills – including the ability to listen and target communication to specific interests of varied audiences.
  • Comfort in online fundraising databases (ideally Salesforce).
  • Experience qualifying and disqualifying prospects using research and instincts.
  • Ability to simplify complex themes and myriad details into a short, compelling presentation or written piece.
  • A demonstrable commitment to civil liberties and civil rights;
  • A demonstrated commitment to race equity, dismantling white supremacy and incorporating a structural power analysis into work, with knowledge and understanding of how power is manifested in matters of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstances.

It’s a bonus if you have:

  • Experience working in a large shop or national/affiliate structure.
  • Knowledge and understanding of Community Centric Fundraising Principles.
  • Experience with Asana project management software.
  • Experience identifying and securing gifts from new prospects –especially high net worth individuals.
  • Experience building deep and lasting relationships with a variety of internal partners, with whom no direct line supervision exists, as well as external individuals, from donors to board members.
  • An understanding of the philanthropic community in San Diego.
  • Prior experience fundraising in a social justice organization- especially those focused on immigrants’ rights, the criminal legal system and advancing racial and economic justice.

Cultural Competencies:

Demonstrated awareness of one’s own cultural identity, views about differences, and the ability to learn and build on varying cultural and community norms. A complex understanding of racial justice and the urgency of confronting institutional racism and inequity. Commitment to equity and inclusion as organizational practice and culture. Proven track record of working across lines of race, immigration status, ethnicity, language, class, gender and other identities and experiences including record of arrest or conviction.  Courage and impeccable integrity.

Physical Requirements:

While performing the responsibilities of the job, the employee is required to exchange accurate information, detect/identify documents and the information contained in them, move between areas in and out of the office to complete their role. The employee may need to move various equipment including computer to their work location.

Hybrid Working:

The ACLUF-SDIC is headquartered in San Diego, California, though employees have hybrid schedules that allow for remote work.

Travel Requirements:

Valid automobile driver’s license and working vehicle required; this position will involve travel throughout San Diego County. Must be able to accommodate a variable work schedule including nights and weekends.

Compensation and Benefits:

Salary range: $80,000 – $110,000.

Excellent benefits include four weeks paid vacation; 18 office holidays; Medical and dental insurance for staff members and their families; life and long-term disability insurance; 401(k) plan with employer match.


What Now?

Please submit a cover letter explaining your interest in and qualifications for the position as detailed in this announcement, a current resume, writing sample, and names and contact information of three professional references (including at least one supervisor). We are looking to extend an offer by the end of July 2024

Electronic applications are preferred.  To submit your application, please click here.

However, hard-copy applications can be mailed to:

Deputy Director

ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties

P.O. Box 87131

San Diego, CA 92137-7131

The ACLU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages applications from women, people of color, persons with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, veterans, and people with arrest records and/or convictions