The ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties (ACLUF-SDIC) seeks a dynamic and motivated Major Gifts Officer (MGO); a frontline fundraiser who establishes and builds strong, authentic long-term partnerships with our donors, bringing them closer to our work. The MGO qualifies, cultivates, solicits, stewards, and grows a portfolio of four and five-figure annual giving supporters; planning and executing strategies to move current and prospective donors into higher levels of giving over-time.  

The ACLUF-SDIC is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 civil liberties and civil rights organization working to advance equality, freedom, and justice, and while there are many ACLU offices around the country, our work covers the length of California’s border with Mexico.

We work collaboratively with our sister affiliates in California, along the U.S-Mexico border, and with the National ACLU. In addition to our sister organizations, the ACLU values partnerships and collaboration with community organizations and groups across the state and along the border.

The ACLUF-SDIC has a proven track record of success combining litigation, policy advocacy, legislation, research and analysis, public education, strategic communications, and community organizing to achieve meaningful social change.

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 organizing to fight these un-Constitutional policies and protect our most cherished rights and freedoms.

Position Overview

Under the supervision of the Development Director, the Major Gifts Officer will be responsible for managing a portfolio of donors and prospects with the capacity to make annual contributions of 10K+. The portfolio includes some annual fund and planned giving donors, as well.  Critical to success is building meaningful relationships with current and new major donors, moving donors through the giving pipeline, and proactively working with the Development team to diversify the donor base.  

Specifically, the Major Gifts Officer will:

  • Manage a portfolio of 75-100 current donors and prospects with the potential of giving $10,000+ annually, including their cultivation, stewardship and solicitation.
  • Establish and build strong, authentic long-term partnerships with our major donors.
  • Work to grow donor giving year-over-year through engagement and cultivation.
  • Keep donors engaged and aware of the organization’s work through cultivation touches, regular communication, virtual and in-person meetings and small group events (when Covid-19 permits).
  • Find creative ways to engage donors more deeply in the ACLU’s work and to demonstrate the impact of their giving.
  • Qualify prospective major donors through virtual and in-person meetings, phone screens, and cultivation events.
  • Reviews portfolio quarterly for moves management.
  • Work with the Development team to develop and implement new and creative ways to attract and engage a more diverse array of major donors.
  • Develop, execute and track individual plans to cultivate and solicit each donor/prospect in the portfolio based on the individual’s history of giving and the organization’s knowledge of their potential and interests.
  • Track portfolio activity and progress. Meet portfolio goals including budget and number of donor meetings and “meaningful contacts.”
  • Maintain up-to-date and accurate database records for assigned donors, recording all interactions including detailed meeting reports.
  • Partner with senior and program staff and/or board members on donor engagement opportunities.
  • Consult with program staff to develop materials directed at individual donors/prospects, such as highly personalized proposals that are in line with donor interests and programmatic priorities.
  • Stay well-versed in the current work of the ACLU, locally and nationally, and be an effective representative of the organization.
  • Attend ACLU functions, such as the annual membership meeting and other ACLU events as requested.
  • Serve as a representative of the organization at external events and meetings, as needed.
  • Make “Thank You” calls to unassigned donors.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Our “Must Have’s”

  • A strong commitment to the mission and goals of the ACLU.
  • Four+ years of experience in non-profit organizations, fundraising, donor work or relevant political organizing.
  • Experience establishing and building strong, long-term partnerships with donors. A proven record of securing visits with prospective donors, and soliciting, closing, and stewarding four and five-figure gifts. The most competitive candidates also will have proven experience converting new donors/prospects into major donors.
  • 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 and be excited to address the tensions that exist between philanthropy and our work for racial justice.
  • Outstanding interpersonal, oral, and written communication and presentation skills. Ability to connect with people from different backgrounds, build relationships across differences, and navigate and resolve conflict in a manner that values and respects relationships.
  • Exceptional attention to detail, ability to manage multiple tasks and finish projects within deadlines.
  • Excellent computer proficiency, including Word and Excel. Strong proficiency in Salesforce is a plus.

About Our Culture

We are a diverse workforce and take pride in our ability to attract and retain employees with a huge array of backgrounds and experiences. We work hard but we also like to celebrate our successes.

Our Development department is a team of four who care deeply about the work of the ACLU. We view development work not just as funding the program work to achieve justice and equity but advancing it through our approach and practices. We enjoy working together and stay easily inspired by the remarkable work of our amazing local and national colleagues.


Salary range is $70,000 to $80,000 based on experience. Excellent benefits include four weeks paid vacation; 18 office holidays; medical and dental insurance for staff members and their families; life- and long-term disability insurance; and 401(k) plan with employer match.

What Now?

Please submit a cover letter explaining your interest in and qualifications for the position as detailed in this announcement, a current resume, names and contact information of three professional references (including at least one supervisor), and a writing sample. If possible, please combine all documents into one PDF file.

Electronic applications are preferred. To submit your application, please go to and submit your application.

However, hard-copy applications can be mailed to:

ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties

ATTN: Development Director

PO Box 87131

San Diego, CA 92138-7131

The ACLU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages applications from women, people of color, persons with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, veterans, and people with arrest records and/or convictions.


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