Director of Leadership Gifts

San Francisco, California, United States Full-time

Director of Leadership Gifts
Location: San Francisco, California
Application Deadline: Open until filled 

The Opportunity

The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California (ACLU-NC) seeks an experienced leader and manager to head the Leadership Gifts efforts in our Development Department. This position also will oversee our organizational efforts in the final years of our Centennial Campaign, which closes in 2020. This full-time position is based in our San Francisco office and reports to the Director of Development.

The Approach

You understand that developing and maintaining philanthropic partnerships requires thoughtful strategy, executive skills, and heartful engagement. You know the value of clear, consistent, and kind communication with colleagues and donors, and you prioritize this in your daily work. You are goal-driven while appreciating the importance of process. You are eager and committed to lead and manage staff and other resources to meet ambitious goals. You are passionate about the issues the ACLU addresses, and you find creative ways to engage others in supporting and advancing our work. You thrive in a job with a high level of responsibility and activity. You treat every person with whom you work with dignity and respect, and you actively work to foster an equitable and inclusive experience for donors, staff, and other partners in your work.

The Position

Your primary responsibility is to ensure that the ACLU of Northern California is establishing and strengthening strong, long-term partnerships with our top-tier philanthropic stakeholders. You manage a portfolio of high-level donors and direct the Leadership Gifts program, which includes donors and prospects at the $25,000 level, with a focus on $100,000 and above. This includes program planning and implementation, supervision of gift officers and support staff, and continued development of Leadership Gifts protocols, accountability measures, performance metrics, and evaluation practices. During the remainder of the Centennial Campaign, you oversee the Northern California affiliate’s involvement and success in the campaign and the implementation of the campaign stewardship and recognition program. You foster a healthy working culture, provide ongoing professional development for your team, and facilitate collaboration between Leadership Gifts and Centennial staff, other Northern California development programs, and our National and affiliate ACLU colleagues.


About the Organization

The ACLU-NC is an affiliate of a nationwide, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the defense and expansion of civil liberties and civil rights. For most of the last century, it has been at the heart of many of the most major – and sometimes controversial – struggles for civil liberties and civil rights in our state. Our mission is to ensure that constitutional rights don’t just exist on paper, but are protected in practice. As we move into a new era and face dangerous policies that threaten our civil rights and civil liberties, we remain dedicated to confronting these issues and defending the progress we have made. We must use our decades of experience in impact litigation, legislative advocacy, and fearless organizing to fight these un-American policies and protect our most cherished rights and freedoms. The Director of Leadership Gifts is a critical member of a sophisticated and dynamic Development program. Join us.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Create comprehensive plans for each donor and prospect in your portfolio and execute that plan so that individual donors are qualified, retained, and upgraded. This includes cultivating, soliciting, negotiating, closing, and stewarding leadership-level gifts from a portfolio of donors and prospects with a high capacity for giving.
  • Direct the Leadership Gifts program, exploring new and systematizing proven approaches to effective top-tier philanthropic development.
  • Supervise Leadership Gifts staff.
  • Collaborate with affiliate gift planning staff and ACLU national and affiliate colleagues to advance donor-centered strategies and develop, strengthen, and maintain the needed infrastructure and operations.
  • Ensure that each development staff member will be supported with suitably tailored strategies, tactics, and tools to maximize efforts and reach ambitious goals for the Centennial Campaign and beyond.
  • Serve as a member of the Development Department Executive Team, sharing responsibilities related to department integration and engagement, culture development, and intra- or inter-departmental issues.
  • Other tasks and duties as assigned to advance the ACLU mission.

Your Qualifications 

  • Ten years of related work experience in the non-profit or philanthropic sectors, at least two in a management position;
  • Experience developing and executing strategic plans for fundraising success, including soliciting and closing seven-figure gifts and complex/blended gifts;
  • Experience organizing successful special campaigns;
  • Experience developing strong relationships with a variety of organizational stakeholders;
  • Proven success managing senior-level staff;
  • Experience developing and utilizing performance metrics and protocols;
  • Excellent judgment, dependable, punctual, and able to handle confidential information with discretion; and 
  • Proficiency with Excel, Microsoft Word, Outlook, Adobe Acrobat, PowerPoint and other Office programs.

Desired Qualifications

  • Experience with Salesforce or other donor database applications. 


CompensationCompetitive salary is commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits include four weeks paid vacation in addition to 14 office holidays; medical, vision and dental insurance for staff members, their dependents and spouse or domestic partner; life and long-term disability insurance; and, 401(k) plan with employer match. 

To Apply

Open until filled - applications must include (1) a cover letter, (2) resume, and (3) a list of four references. Applicants concurrently applying to any other position with the ACLU should state what other position they are applying for in the cover letter. Please submit your application in PDF format to the attention of Director of Leadership Gifts search, ACLU of Northern California, 39 Drumm Street, San Francisco, CA 94111 or online (preferred method) at

The ACLU of Northern California advances equity and inclusion in the workplace by providing equal employment opportunity to support a work environment free from discrimination on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age (over 40), sexual orientation, military and veteran status, and any other basis prohibited by law. The organization also provides reasonable accommodations for qualified applicants and employees with disabilities. This equal employment opportunity policy applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, selection, advancement, training, problem resolution, and separation from employment. Through this policy, the ACLU-NC strives to establish and maintain an equitable and accessible work environment that is free from discrimination and supportive of a workforce that reflects the rich diversity of our communities and the people we serve.


Apply for this opening at