Since 1920, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has been the nation's guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country. The ACLU is best known for its litigation efforts as the country’s largest public interest law organization; many of the ACLU’s ground-breaking cases have changed lives and made history. The ACLU of Wisconsin is the state affiliate of the national ACLU and is a non-profit,  non-partisan, private organization. The ACLU of Wisconsin has 15,000 members and is dedicated to defending the civil liberties and civil rights of all Wisconsin residents.

The Development Director will play a key leadership role in the ACLU of Wisconsin and our focus on key areas of interest and communities impacted. The Development Director will function as the chief development officer responsible for the strategic vision of philanthropy of the organization. The Director leads, plans, and executes the  ACLU of Wisconsin’s contributed revenue program, including major gift development, annual operational fund campaigns, special events, and foundation and corporate grants. The Development Director will be a member of the executive team and be responsible for meeting the contributed revenue goals and ensuring stable, sustainable growth of strategic priority areas at the direction of the Executive Director. The Development Director will prepare and marshal the Executive Director and other key staff members to build productive donor and community relationships and solicit major gifts, cultivate strategic partnerships, and support fundraising efforts by our Board of  Directors.

This position is a full-time, exempt position. The Development Director reports directly to the Executive  Director and is a crucial member of the senior leadership team. The Development Director works closely with other departments to engage in cross-functional leadership for the organization, with an especially close relationship with  Community Engagement. The Development Director leads the development staff, works cross-departmentally to advance key organizational priorities, and manages affiliate-wide initiatives towards bringing Wisconsinites together to sustain the vital labor of defending civil liberties and civil rights in this key battleground state. The position requires excellent communication, emotional intelligence, relationship-building and maintenance skills, and the ability to articulate a compelling case for the mission of the ACLU of Wisconsin. 

ACLU of Wisconsin donors actively supports the public policy analysis, lobbying, and advocacy efforts that advance civil rights and liberties in our state and federal legislature. The ACLU of Wisconsin does not accept funds from governmental sources. It relies on annual dues from members and other private donations.


● Developing and coordinating annual and long-range development plans, including those for specific goals and audiences. 

● Managing the major gift cycle of identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding major gift prospects and  donors, to increase annual revenue year-over-year:  

Developing and implementing strategies to attract prospective donors and secure gifts of $10,000+,  planned gifts, and a pipeline of mid-level donors; 

Maintaining a personal major gifts portfolio and conducting donor visits and asks; 

Managing the top-tier portfolio of the Executive Director; 

Conducting outreach to current and prospective major donors and strategic partners;  

Supervising development professionals and the consistent maintenance of donor records;

Preparing written materials for major donor solicitations and engagements with strategic partners;

Building foundation grant support by developing and implementing effective grant strategies that align  with organizational and strategic priorities; 

Ensuring grant compliance, overseeing the drafting of grant applications and the preparation of post-award  reports; 

Planning and managing a special event strategy to support strategic priorities and build major gift relationships.  

● Working effectively and collaboratively with the National ACLU office to strengthen the ACLU of Wisconsin and to develop, promote and implement shared major gift and planned giving strategies. 

Managing a smooth and accurate affiliate reconciliation of revenue process with the National ACLU office,  to ensure an accurate split of contributed revenue; 

Coordinating strategic initiatives, events, and any necessary reports with the National ACLU office.

  • Providing collaborative leadership with the Executive Director, Deputy Director, Advocacy Director,  Communications Director, Community Engagement Director, and Legal Director to strengthen and expand the  ACLU’s base of support. 

● Serving as a liaison to other members of the ACLU-WI leadership team; at times representing the Legal Director and Advocacy Director in strategy and alignment meetings. 

● Leveraging advocacy, community engagement, communications, legal advocacy, and lobbying resources at the affiliate to advance specific affiliate-wide initiatives that enhance the sustainability of ACLU-WI programs.

  • Maintaining a working knowledge of national, state, and regional programmatic priorities and issues, the cumulative and specific impact of our programmatic work, major breaking news stories that are of interest to our supporters and attending ACLU meetings and events. 

● Centering the principles of equity, inclusion, and belonging in all work, embedding the values in program development, policy application, and organizational practices and processes. 

● Demonstrating a commitment to diversity by using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects  differences regarding race, ethnicity, age, gender identity, and expression, sexual orientation, religion, disability,  socio-economic circumstance, immigration status, and 

● Commitment to working collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts.

Primary Qualifications 

A strong commitment to the ACLU’s mission and goals toward the advancement of social justice, racial 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 and expression, religion, ability, socio-economic circumstances, and immigration status. 

Demonstrated superior skills in leadership and ability to quickly establish relationships; interpersonal relations;  analytic and strategic thinking; persuasiveness and problem-solving; ability to prioritize, take initiative, and attend to detail; ability to maintain grace under pressure and across prioritized work. 

Significant experience in senior leadership and advisory role, ideally with experience liaising with Human  Resources, Finance, and Operations staff. 

Progressively responsible experience in fund development, especially in procuring leadership gifts and major gifts fundraising with $10,000+ donors and prospects. 

Excitement about the opportunity to imagine, build and manage development growth for the ACLU of  Wisconsin. 

A strong understanding of campaign planning, implementation, and management. 

Demonstrable track record of success in driving organizational change and results, building and managing teams of people, facilitating decision making, developing and managing complex projects, managing vendor relationships, and managing complex budgets. 

Well-developed management style. 

Comfort with challenging conversations and situations leveraging strong and engaging interpersonal skills. Demonstrated technical skills, including familiarity with client, customer, and/or donor systems and databases and a general familiarity with professional office software and programs. 

Experience with and knowledge of Wisconsin’s philanthropic community and newer, mid-career donors to help us add to our existing pool of familiar supporters, a plus. 

Familiarity with Wisconsin’s political landscape. 

Strong skills in navigating a complex organizational structure. 

A bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and experience. 

Ability to travel within Wisconsin, as well as availability to work some evenings and weekends. Wisconsin residency is required. 

Information for Applicants 

Please email all items below, combined into one document, no later than 1:00 p.m. CDT on September 23, 2022, to

1) Letter of interest describing your qualifications for the position, addressed to: Mindy Lubar Price, 2) Detailed and updated résumé and  

3) Names of, your relationship to, and contact information for three professional references. 

Please note: compensation range for this position is $85,000-$95,000 annually. Benefits include paid vacation and sick leave, paid parental leave, optional medical for employee and family (includes one plan at no cost to the employee),  dental and vision coverage for employee and family, life insurance, short and long-term disability insurance; and an optional 401(K) with the employer with a stepped employer match. work opportunities through COVID with in-person interactions as safety permits, then a remote/in-person hybrid office environment. the ACLU of Wisconsin does not currently require proof of vaccination for employees, vaccination is highly recommended for all applicants. Moreover, fulfillment of certain job duties such as attendance of community events, may require proof of vaccination. The ACLU of Wisconsin reserves the right to change this policy at any time. will not be contacted until a candidate has been notified. offers of employment are contingent upon clear results of thorough background and reference checks. inquiries about and interactions with candidates are kept in strict confidence.  

This position will remain open until filled. 

The ACLU of Wisconsin is an equal-opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. We encourage applications from all qualified individuals without regard to arrest or conviction, race, color, religion, gender,  gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, or veteran status.