Donor Relations Manager (ACLUW)

The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington (ACLU-WA is seeking a Donor Relations Manager. Reporting to the Associate Director of Individual Giving, the Donor Relations Manager (DRM) will feed the major gift pipeline by pre-qualifying major donor prospects.  The DRM will create and implement a program to maintain and grow donations from the mid-level portfolio, donors giving annual gifts between $1,000-$10,000. Through cultivation touches, regular communication, in-person meetings and small group events, the DRM will keep donors engaged and aware of the organization’s work. This role complements the solicitation and cultivation activities of the National organization with opportunities for deeper connections with the local organization.

Rejection can be the most challenging aspect of donor qualification work. Only a fraction of attempts will result in a meeting, and only a fraction of those donors will be qualified as major gift prospects. A successful candidate will be an optimist – positive, driven, self-directed, and disciplined.



The ACLU of Washington is a leader among state affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union, the country's premier guardian of liberty. We work in courts, legislatures, and communities to protect and extend American rights to freedom, fairness and equality. The ACLU is both nonprofit and nonpartisan.  Our staff of 40+ employees and numerous volunteers work in a fast-paced, friendly and professional office in downtown Seattle. We are supported by more than 135,000 members, activists, and donors.

The mission of the ACLU-WA Development Department is to unlock the full potential of the partnership between donors and the ACLU to fund the defense and expansion of civil liberties.  We are committed to integrating an understanding of the intersections of race, class, power, and privilege in our development work, particularly through our engagement with donors. We bring our donors closer to the organization and build long-term relationships with them by sharing the ACLU’s story, engaging donors how they wish to engage, and asking them to give us their full financial support.


We are a team of six who care deeply about the work of the ACLU. We enjoy working together and stay easily inspired by our amazing program colleagues who carry out the work of justice and equality. 


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, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, socio-economic circumstance, or record of arrest or conviction. We do not conduct criminal background checks on our candidates.


Prospect Qualification (30%)

  • Feed the major gift pipeline by qualifying major donor prospects through in-person meetings, phone screens, and cultivation events. Once qualified, ensure that they are successfully handed-off and appropriately assigned.

Donor Engagement (50%)

  • Manage a portfolio of approximately 1,500 planned giving and mid-level ($1,000-$9,999) donors statewide. Mid-level donors are segmented into: 1) Major donor prospects, 2) Growth donors whose giving has the potential to increase, 3) and Sustaining donors whose giving remains constant.
  • Be the ACLU contact for mid-level donors. Keep them engaged and updated on the work of the organization through cultivation touches, regular communication and small group events. Offer opportunities for them to raise their hand for deeper engagement and portfolio assignment.
  • Create small donor gatherings for the high priority segments of the mid-level portfolio. Offer a minimum quarterly in-person engagement opportunity to these segments.
  • Solicit all mid-level donors by the end of the year in-person, on the phone, email, or through the year-end mail appeal.
  • Thank donors in the mid-level portfolio as well as any new, unassigned donors when we receive their gifts (via phone, email, or card).
  • Maintain up-to-date and accurate database records for the mid-level portfolio.


Event Management (20%)

  • Manage all donor events including program briefings, house parties, court visits, presentations and more.
  • Manage the calendar of all donor cultivation activities




  • A minimum of three years of experience in nonprofit fundraising preferred. A proven record of securing visits with prospective donors, and soliciting, closing, and stewarding major gifts. The most competitive candidates also will have proven experience converting new donors/prospects into major donors.
  • Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication and presentation skills. Ability to understand and follow many different areas of civil rights work, and to describe many different areas of work in a way that is concise, compelling, and easy to understand for donors and prospective donors.
  • Personal initiative, curiosity about people, and a sense of humor. Friendly, outgoing, and collaborative approach and a strong team-oriented style.
  • Event management experience preferred.
  • Strong organizational skills. Ability to develop long-term plans, set objectives, and track progress towards achieving objectives.
  • Excellent computer proficiency, including Word and Excel. Strong proficiency in Salesforce or other CRMs is a plus.
  • A commitment to the confidentiality of donor records.
  • A commitment to the ACLU’s mission.
  • Ideal candidates will have an awareness of, and willingness to engage in, the difficult and transformative work of challenging systems of oppression, institutional and structural racism, and implicit bias.

This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU reserves the right to change the description and/or posting at any time without advance notice. This position is “exempt” under the Fair Labor Standards Act.


Salary is $54,975 to $73,300, depending on experience. Benefits include three weeks of vacation, fourteen paid holidays, fully-paid medical, dental, vision and long-term disability insurance, a retirement plan, and an ORCA card, the regional transportation pass.


We will begin interviews in March and would like to have the selected candidate start in early May.


To apply, email a letter of application and resume to [email protected] and include in the subject line of the email:  your last name and Donor Relations Manager. In your letter, please indicate where you learned of the posting. Applications will be accepted until May 1st, at which time the job announcement will be removed from our website at  

The ACLU of Washington comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, Inc. and the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington Foundation. The two corporations share the same overall mission, office space, and employees. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU of Washington”.



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