ACLU of Colorado is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization guided by a mission to protect, defend, and extend the civil rights and civil liberties of all people in Colorado. As the oldest and largest civil rights organization in Colorado, its work is guided by the Bill of Rights, ensuring the freedoms contained within are available for members of marginalized communities, including people of color, LGBTQ+ people, women, immigrants, people experiencing poverty, unhoused people, incarcerated people, and students. ACLU of Colorado relies exclusively on generous donations from supporters to continue this important work. The organization began with a staff of two, an Executive Director and a part-time clerical assistant, and has become a team with more than two dozen staff, a $5.5 million budget, and many loyal volunteers. ACLU of Colorado believes—and works to ground all fundraising efforts—in racial equity and social justice. 

ACLU of Colorado focuses on achieving transformational and systemic change that protects and expands civil rights and civil liberties by addressing the root causes of injustice. To accomplish this goal, ACLU of Colorado is continuing its organization-wide transition to integrated advocacy. This approach has three major prongs: (1) winning multi-year, issue-based integrated advocacy campaigns focused in core issue areas and that are powered by ACLU of Colorado's members and volunteers; (2) joining and building powerful coalitions and networks; and (3) educating and empowering the next generation of civil rights and civil liberties champions. The organization’s multi-disciplinary teams working as a unit on these core issue area campaigns include policy experts, campaigners, organizers, data analysts, litigators, communications experts, and development professionals. These integrated teams combine policy advocacy, organizing, public education, litigation, electoral engagement, communications strategies, and donor engagement as part of a cohesive plan to achieve audacious goals in partnership with local communities whose civil rights and liberties are under threat or that have never been fully realized. 

ACLU of Colorado’s Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Belonging, and Inclusion 

ACLU of Colorado is an equitable opportunity employer. It believes that having a board, staff, and volunteer base with diverse personal and professional backgrounds enhances its ability to meet its mission and creates an environment where all community members can thrive. It strongly encourages applications from all qualified persons, including people of color, immigrants, women, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, those who have been formerly incarcerated, and other members of underrepresented and marginalized groups. ACLU of Colorado does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, 

sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, record of arrest or conviction, or any other basis protected by State or federal requirements. It is committed to providing a providing a work environment that practices equitable and inclusive treatment and is quick to act to prevent and address harassment or discrimination of any kind. 

Position Description 

The Director of Philanthropy will lead initiatives that increase ACLU of Colorado’s revenue stream in support of the significant expansion of its influence and impact over the next five to ten years. Building on existing donor relationships and a robust major donor prospect pool and partnering with the ACLU National office on key leadership gift strategies, the Director of Philanthropy will have a significant opportunity to increase investments in ACLU of Colorado and to play a major role in an organization that continues to make a real difference in people’s lives every day. 

The Director of Philanthropy will provide visionary, strategic leadership that builds and strengthens lifelong relationships between donors and the organization, toward a goal of generating transformational gifts to support ACLU of Colorado’s current and future strategic goals. The Director of Philanthropy will develop and oversee the program to raise funds for the affiliate, including identifying prospects that have both capacity and demonstrated interest in investing in ACLU to generate longstanding, tangible victories. Working closely with the Executive Director, Leadership Team, ACLU National, staff, and Board of Directors, the Director of Philanthropy will plan, oversee, and execute the organization’s fundraising program, with particular emphasis on the leadership and major gifts program, focusing on donors with the capacity to give $10,000 and above annually. 

The Director of Philanthropy will report to the Executive Director, Deborah Richardson, and serve on the Leadership Team. The Director of Philanthropy will supervise the Emerging Philanthropy Officer and Development Coordinator, as well as occasional volunteers and interns. 

Primary Responsibilities 

• Develop and execute a comprehensive donor-centered fundraising program that includes specific fundraising goals and targets, with a focus on the acquisition of leadership gifts ($10,000+ annually) from high-level prospects and donors; 

• Research and identify prospects for cultivation and solicitation; 

• Identify and create strategies to expand, recruit, retain, and quantifiably grow the base of Donors at all levels who self-identify as Black, Indigenous or Persons of Color; 

• Participate actively in decisions made to further the strategic goals set forth by the organization, 

• Specifically considering development’s role in integrated advocacy; 

• Secure meetings with major gift prospects capable of making five-, six-figure or greater gifts to the organization; 

• Manage a significant portfolio of major gift donors including cultivation and direct solicitation; 

• Support the development efforts of other key primary relationship managers assigned to donors, including the Executive Director, other members of the Leadership Team, staff and Board members, including conducting prospect research and preparing briefing materials in advance of donor meetings; 

• With the Emerging Philanthropy Officer and Development Coordinator, engage in year-round strategic stewardship of donors and major gifts prospects; 

• Develop and implement a comprehensive, strategic, goal-based development plan; 

• Make effective use of national ACLU development staff, research tools, and other resources; 

• Work with the Deputy Director to develop and implement a comprehensive annual grant management program; 

• Manage a comprehensive planned giving program, in coordination with national ACLU staff; 

• Develop and manage formal programs to strengthen relationships with the ACLU’s contributors; 

• Work closely with the Communications Department and others in the development of messages, materials, and explanations of ACLU of Colorado's work used in strategic donor communications; 

• With the Development Coordinator, organize and oversee fundraising events, including an annual fundraising dinner that draws approximately 300 supporters, including the solicitation of law firm and corporate sponsors; 

• With the Development Coordinator, manage effective systems of data entry and donor records, donor recognition, and fundraising reports; 

• Prepare regular fundraising and department activity reports for the ACLU of Colorado Board and Leadership Team, and attend Board meetings at the Executive Director’s request; 

• Contribute leadership and promote teamwork, meeting regularly with full staff; 

• Maintain familiarity with ACLU’s programs and positions and represent ACLU of Colorado in public gatherings as needed; 

• Perform other duties as assigned or required. 

Preferred Qualifications 

• A commitment to the mission of ACLU of Colorado—to protect, defend, and extend the civil rights and civil liberties of all people in Colorado through litigation, education, and advocacy; 

• Experience in the solicitation, closing, and stewardship of gifts with significant institutional impact from a diverse pool of donors; 

• Experience developing long-term cultivation and solicitation strategies for high-level prospects and donors; 

• A broad understanding of multi-faceted campaign planning, implementation, and management; 

• A commitment to diversity and a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance including an ability to work with diverse individuals within the organization and broader community; 

• Superb leadership, interpersonal, oral, and written communication and presentation skills; 

• An ability to communicate effectively, comfortably, and respectfully with donors, staff, and lay leaders, as demonstrated by the ability to synthesize and present complex themes and activities in a digestible and compelling way, whether in conversation or in print; 

• An ability to work well with people and as a part of a team in a collaborative environment; 

• Experience and comfort with donor database management and systems to track donor history, interests, and activity; 

• Knowledge of budgeting and financial management principles; 

• An ability to adapt quickly to changing organizational priorities and deadlines, flexibility, and a willingness to take on new tasks as the responsibilities of the position evolve; and 

• A confident and professional work style and the ability to work independently, exercise good judgment, and handle stressful situations with grace and maturity. 

At least seven years of experience managing a complex, nonprofit development program including significant experience in major donor fundraising, planned giving, event management, and grant writing is required for this position. A bachelor’s degree or an equivalent combination of education and experience is preferred. Individuals with experienced with Colorado’s philanthropic community may be given preference. 

Salary and Benefits 

The salary range for this position is $110,000 to $130,000 annually. ACLU of Colorado offers comprehensive benefits including medical and dental insurance, life and long-term disability insurance, 401k contribution, paid vacation, and holidays. 


The Director of Philanthropy may work from any location within the State of Colorado with regular access to Denver. 

Application Instructions 

Send a cover letter, résumé, and references in an email with “Director of Philanthropy” in the subject line to [email protected]. No phone calls please. Cover letters should be responsive to the mission of ACLU of Colorado as well as the responsibilities and qualifications presented in the prospectus. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the successful candidate has been selected.