Fundraising and Advancement

Director, Leadership Gifts

  • ACLU
  • New York, NY

This position has been filled.

About ACLU

The ACLU dares to create a more perfect union – beyond one person, party, or side. Our mission is to realize this promise of the United States Constitution for all and expand the reach of its guarantees.

For over 100 years, the ACLU has worked to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Whether it’s ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBTQ+ community, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach.

Equity, diversity, and inclusion are core values of the ACLU and central to our work to advance liberty, equality, and justice for all. We are a community committed to learning and growth, humility and grace, transparency and accountability. We believe in a collective responsibility to create a culture of belonging for all people within our organization – one that respects and embraces difference; treats everyone equitably; and empowers our colleagues to do the best work possible. We are as committed to anti-oppression and anti-racism internally as we are externally. Because whether we’re in the courts or in the office, we believe ‘We the People’ means all of us.

For more information on the ACLU, please visit

The Opportunity

The ACLU‘s work – to make sure the rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States are upheld for all of us – would not be possible without the ACLU community of members, donors, activists, and community, foundation, and corporate partners who dedicate their time, expertise, and resources to the fight for civil liberties.  The mission of the  Development Department is to unlock the full potential of this community as partners in the creation of a more perfect union.  We pursue our mission by developing strategic partnerships, demonstrating impact, asking donors to consider giving the ACLU their full support, and building long-term relationships to defend freedom for the next generation.

Having completed a six-year, $2.7 billion comprehensive campaign in 2020, the ACLU seeks a Director of Leadership Gifts who is excited to help lead the ACLU through its next campaign and beyond. Reporting to the Senior Director, Leadership and Planned Gifts, the Director of Leadership Gifts is a senior-level strategy role and an extraordinary opportunity for a skilled fundraiser and leader to work in close contact and collaboration with Executive Director Anthony Romero, Chief Development Officer Mark Wier, board members, and other leaders across the organization to identify, cultivate, and strengthen relationships with the principal donors who are helping ACLU defend and preserve civil liberties.

There are two main areas of focus for the role: Principal Gifts Strategy and Leadership and Team Management.

Team Management

You will lead a 9-person team that includes six portfolios of more than 600 prospects and , providing oversight, mentoring, coaching, and leadership for a team that is poised to raise $80 million in the current fiscal year that began April 2021, with ambition to grow to more than $100 million over the next few years. This includes oversight of fundraising practices, including donor strategy, portfolio reviews, and guiding the team’s use of the prospect development and donor research unit, which is managed externally to Leadership Gifts. Another major focus is supervision relating to guiding team culture and dynamics, as well as coaching and professional development.

You will collaborate closely with your direct supervisor, the Senior Director of Leadership and Planned Gifts. That role directly supervises a team of gift planning staff, manages integration of frontline fundraisers who focus respectively on leadership gifts and gift planning, and manages overall leadership and administrative functions of the Leadership and Planned Gifts unit of which you are a part, including budgets, reporting, planning and projections, and inter-departmental coordination.

You will also serve as a member of the National Development Department’s 12-member senior leadership team. This role includes collaboration with your Director-level colleagues to address the most pressing, high-level issues facing the Development function within the ACLU, as well as providing active leadership to our 100-person department that raises more than $300 million annually.

Principal Gifts Strategy and Leadership

You will have a principal gifts portfolio of at least 20 donors and prospects. You will set priorities, manage complex relationships, navigate sometimes difficult donor conversations, and create healthy ultra-high net worth donor portfolios. You are a key driver of 7- and 8-figure relationships, strategies, and solicitations in the Executive Director’s principal gifts portfolio, your own portfolio, and the additional portfolios you oversee.

With the production resources of the Donor and Brand Activation team, you will also envision and develop substantive experiences for exclusive groups of donors, such as BIPOC donor affinity groups, campaign leadership councils, and next-gen cohorts.  Your role extends to building strong relationships nationwide with Executive Directors and Development Directors across the ACLU’s 54 affiliates.

In addition to the priorities outlined above, you will demonstrate a commitment to:

  • Centering principles of equity, inclusion, and belonging in all work, embedding the in program development, policy application, and organizational practices and processes
  • Increasing and strengthening diversity and inclusion within the office using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regard to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, disability and socio-economic circumstance
  • The mission of the ACLU
  • Working collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts
Candidate Profile

While no one candidate will bring every qualification desired; the details provided below are representative of the attributes, knowledge, and experience ACLU is seeking for this important hire.

You are an experienced major and principal gifts fundraiser with exceptional emotional intelligence and a passion for social justice.  You excel and thrive when building new relationships, nurturing and deepening existing ones, making connections, and guiding donors through cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. With your intuitive ability and experience, you instill confidence and trust in donors, understand their needs and motivations, and create opportunities to develop their partnership and investment in the ACLU’s mission and work.

Your nurturing and motivating approach to management provides your team with creative and substantive insights and strategies to strengthen donor relationships, identify and engage new prospects, and work with a donor’s extended family and philanthropic advisors.

As a strong candidate, you will offer a background that includes:

  • Extensive experience and expertise developing successful major and principal gift portfolios, including cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  • Experience developing and leading ambitious campaigns.
  • Experience working in or leading a diverse staff. Ability to lead, recruit, evaluate, and develop a diverse team of development professionals and contribute to the ongoing fostering of a high-functioning, results-oriented, diverse workforce.
  • The desire to be part of a fast-paced organization with a strong culture of equity, collaboration, and respect.
  • Ability to travel on a national scale, as needed, consistent with public health guidelines.
Compensation & Benefits

The annual salary for this position is $222,789 (Level B2). This salary is reflective of a position based in New York, NY. This salary will be subject to a locality adjustment (according to a specific city and state), if an authorization is granted to work outside of the location listed in this posting. Note that most of the salaries listed on our job postings reflect New York, NY salaries, where our National offices are headquartered.


Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. To express interest in this role please submit your materials here, or email Molly Brennan, Founding Partner and Nonprofit Practice Lead at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


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, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. Black people, Indigenous people, people of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex people; women; people with disabilities, protected veterans, and formerly incarcerated individuals are all strongly encouraged to apply.

The ACLU makes every effort to assure that its recruitment and employment provide all qualified persons, including persons with disabilities, with full opportunities for employment in all positions.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

At Koya, we don’t just accept difference—we celebrate it, support it, and thrive on it for the benefit of our team, our clients, and the communities we serve.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit





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