September 28, 2021

 

Organization Overview

The American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin (ACLU-WI) is a statewide non-profit, non-partisan, private organization with about 13,000 members. The ACLU-WI faces the challenge of protecting civil liberties in an era of increasing threats. The affiliate is widely recognized as a cutting-edge and leading advocate for civil liberties and civil rights and it works closely with other state organizations that share compatible goals. To achieve our mission, we manage legal, legislative, advocacy, and public education programs on a broad range of constitutional issues including discrimination, voting rights, free speech, religious freedom, reproductive rights, LGBT rights, and information privacy. Currently, our top advocacy priority is our Smart Justice Initiative, which comes with a goal of reducing the state’s prison and jail population in half. The ACLU-WI is composed of both a 501(c)(4) (the “Union”) and a 501(c)(3) (the “Foundation”). The separate non-profit entities share the same overall mission, office space, and employees. Both are governed by boards of directors. The ACLU and the Foundation’s operating budgets are approximately $2.5 million, and headquarters are in Milwaukee’s historic Third Ward. The organization has a diverse staff of 20 individuals. 

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 undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions.

To learn more about the work of the ACLU and the civil liberties principles we uphold, please visit www.aclu-wi.org.

Position Overview

The Executive Director serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the ACLU of Wisconsin and is responsible for giving direction and leadership toward achieving the organization’s mission, strategies, and annual goals and objectives. The ACLU-WI is seeking an experienced leader to serve as our Executive Director and direct the diverse and challenging activities of the organization. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will ensure that the organization is fiscally sound and adheres to best practices of nonprofit management. They will work collaboratively with the Board and staff to further equity, diversity, and inclusion within the organization. The Executive Director will also ensure that internal and external communications, fundraising, and programs are advancing the mission of the ACLU-WI. The Executive Director will work closely with the Board to lead the organization through the next strategic planning process.

The Executive Director will have a sophisticated and thorough knowledge of civil liberties issues. They will be a leader and manager who is adept at balancing management with program activity and visibility. The individual must be an outstanding communicator can effectively convey the mission and activities of the ACLU to a variety of constituencies and a variety of constituencies, as well as to the broader public.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

Leadership and Vision

  • Serves as a visible and effective communicator, spokesperson, and fundraiser, for the ACLU’s mission
  • Sets organizational priorities, develops strategic plans, and provides clear guidance and direction to ACLU-WI staff
  • Prioritizes and cultivates an internal culture of equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging
  • Provides support and professional development for all staff, especially department directors
  • Remains attentive to the needs of all 
  • Partners and connects with national ACLU staff, as well as with colleagues across the nation

Finance, Administration, and Programs

  • Ensures, through effective management and leadership, that day-to-day operations are professionally and efficiently organized and administered 
  • Oversees the organization’s financial operations and budgetary process and ensures that sound financial controls are in place 
  • Motivates and maintains a diverse and cohesive staff, ensuring that there is strong internal communication and coordination; recruits new senior staff and evaluates their performance
  • Oversees the legal, legislative, public education, and communications programs 
  • Regularly travels across Wisconsin, locally, and nationally 

Board Relations

  • Implements policies, programs, goals, and objectives as established by the Board 
  • Works with the Board to identify and help recruit new Board members who will add diversity to the Board and whose talents, interests, and commitment will help to further the ACLU’s mission and expand funding opportunities 
  • Briefs the Board on the status of the organization on a timely and regular basis, enhances Board participation in strategic planning, creating visibility, and fundraising
  • Supports effective board operations by engaging the Board in meaningful participation to further the organization’s goals, including policy formation, goal setting, and providing direction and leadership for the organization’s philosophy and missions

Fundraising and Community Engagement

  • Works to diversify and expand the ACLU’s donor base, along with the Board and staff 
  • Leads the organization’s fund development efforts – utilize a staff-driven program model that focuses on increasing the number and capacity of major donors
  • Serves as the organization's external face and participates in press conferences, fields other media requests, and participates in community events.
  • Initiates and strengthens relationships and collaborations with organizations and leaders who are connected to the ACLU’s mission and purpose

Qualifications

  • Committed to advancing the ACLU’s values, mission, goals, policies, and programs, with an understanding of the range of civil liberties issues and their implications
  • Demonstrated experience in anti-racist and anti-oppressive work
  • Success in translating vision into action
  • Thorough understanding of complex budgeting, financial statements, and forecasting
  • Adept at broad networking and representing the organization to critical constituencies including ACLU members, the public, government, the media and more
  • Track record of conceptualizing and expressing ideas, solving problems, and anticipating and acting on events or situations
  • Possess creative, strategic, resourceful, and political astuteness
  • Created impactful partnerships with other organizations 
  • Ability to prioritize multiple activities and responsibilities and see them through to completion
  • Proven history of hiring, supporting, coaching, and growing a diverse workforce
  • A team player who inspires collaboration and functions decisively, is flexible and well organized
  • Demonstrated understanding of, and commitment to, civil liberties, civil rights
  • Ability to lead a collaborative and respectful workplace environment
  • A strong commitment to civil liberties and rights
  • Experience participating in coalition building and implementation
  • A minimum of three years of supervisory and experience, including conflict management, and experience in a nonprofit advocacy or community organization
  • Experience managing and/or participating on nonprofit boards
  • Excellent oral, written, and digital communications skills, including public speaking and informal interpersonal communication
  • Demonstrated ability and experience with fiscal management, advocacy - including legislative advocacy, fundraising, budgeting, strategic planning, and nonprofit compliance requirements
  • Ability to work remotely using current technology                                        

Instructions for Applicants

Please email all items below, combined into one document, to ACLU@leadingtransitions.com The Search Committee of the Board of Directors will review applications the week of November 1, 2021:

  1. Please submit a letter describing your interest in this ACLU Executive Director position addressed to: Mindy Lubar Price, Leading Transitions LLC, 1345 North Jefferson St., Suite 350 Milwaukee, WI  53202
  2. A detailed and updated resume; and
  3. The names of, including your relationship to, and the contact information for, three professional references.

Please note: 

  • References will not be contacted until a candidate has been notified.
  • All offers of employment are contingent upon clear results of thorough background checks.
  • All inquiries and interactions with potential candidates are kept in strict confidence.
  • A competitive salary is being offered along with excellent benefits including paid vacation, medical and dental insurance, pension plan, life and long-term disability insurance, and a generous number of paid holidays.

Leading Transitions is committed to contributing to an inclusive society that is influenced by diverse opinions and a wide representation of leaders. We partner with individuals and organizations to ensure the future vitality of nonprofit, philanthropic and community-centered organizations, and leaders to best impact the community. The firm’s array of adaptable practices successfully provides the flexibility necessary to serve the intricacies and dynamics of any organization or transition.