Reporting to the Director of Development, our new Development Officer will work to ensure that the ACLU of Wisconsin meets fundraising goals by increasing philanthropic support of the ACLU’s work.

The Development Officer will manage relationships with donors and prospective donors, each with an estimated capacity to support the ACLU with an annual gift of $10,000 or more. The Development Officer primarily will be responsible for finding new high-capacity prospects, assessing their inclination to support the ACLU, and closing gifts that meet our revenue goals while fulfilling our donors’ philanthropic visions.

The Development Officer will spend a significant amount of time in direct interaction with donors and will work with colleagues within the ACLU to maximize giving through annual gifts, estate gifts, and transformational campaign gifts.

This position will be based in Madison and will require regular travel to other parts of Wisconsin.

Primary Responsibilities

Managing a personal portfolio of approximately 75 major gift donors and prospects.

Identifying and qualifying new prospects for assignment to the major gifts portfolio, creating a comprehensive strategy for each donor/prospect in the portfolio, and executing those strategies in ways in which donors are respected, retained, and inspired to increase their support.

Soliciting major gifts directly.

Providing executive-level support to senior staff in preparation for donor interactions, including creating briefing materials that are thoughtful and concise.

Maintaining a working knowledge of the ACLU’s state and national programmatic priorities and issues as they occur – and then effectively incorporating this information into targeted written materials for donors, talking points for one-on-one donor interactions, and donor reports/updates in a variety of formats.

Developing and participating in strategic donor engagement opportunities. This may include partnering with senior staff, staff/volunteers, small events for select portfolio donors/prospects, podcast/newsletter features, etc.

Accurately tracking key relationship activities in our CRM database (Salesforce) and creating relevant reports.


Superior skills in relationship building and a high level of comfort with asking individuals to commit their resources to support the ACLU. This experience may come from a fundraising background or through other experience that demonstrates tenacity, creativity, follow-through, and strong person-to-person skills.

A commitment to the mission and goals of the American Civil Liberties Union in protecting and furthering civil rights and civil liberties.

Excellent oral and written communication and presentation skills. A demonstrated ability to simplify complex themes and activities into short, compelling presentations or written pieces.

Strong people skills. An ability to communicate effectively and respectfully with donors, prospects, Board members, volunteers, colleagues, and the public by phone/email/text and in person.

Strong organizational skills. The ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects simultaneously and meet deadlines.

A firm commitment to diversity and a personal approach that values individuals and their differences.

Proficiency with office technology and information systems.

The availability for travel throughout Wisconsin, plus limited out-of-state travel.

The ability to work beyond the traditional work day and work week, when needed.

(Preferred) Experience with and knowledge of Wisconsin’s philanthropic community.


Have high ethical standards and genuine interest in developing authentic relationships.

Be persuasive and persevere in order to achieve goals.

Take initiative personally but also be collaborative team players.

Bring humor and flexibility to the workplace and be able to maintain balance and perspective.

The ACLU of Wisconsin is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. We strongly encourage 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, former incarceration, and veteran status.

About American Civil Liberties Union Of Wisconsin:

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 13,000 members and is dedicated to defending the civil liberties and civil rights of all Wisconsin residents.

Since 1920, the 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 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.

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