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Development Director

Company: ACLU of Arkansas (American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas)
Date Posted: January 10, 2017


The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas (ACLU of Arkansas) seeks a dynamic, experienced development professional to build and conduct a philanthropy program with a strong emphasis on major gifts.

It is an exciting time to join the ACLU of Arkansas. This trusted and respected organization is on the front lines of some of today’s most important issues and is now receiving unprecedented levels of public support. We are currently supported by 6,500 donors and members, reflecting significant growth since the November 2016 elections.  We are looking to increase our organization’s resources dramatically to continue this growth and expand our organization’s impact.

The Development Director is a senior management position who reports to the Executive Director.

We are located in Little Rock, Arkansas, a city known for its “livability.” Little Rock has been recognized in recent years by major publications (Forbes, Kiplinger, Gallup, et. al.) as a top U.S. city overall and for lifestyle, outdoors/the environment, healthy living, happiness and value, where educational and cultural offerings continue to grow.

For more about our great city and its surrounding communities, please see the attachment (“Living and Working In and Near Little Rock”), at bottom.


Major Gifts  First and foremost, the Development Director will be responsible for developing and executing a comprehensive development program that focuses on major gifts with clear fund-raising goals and targets. He/she will:

  • Expand our pool of major donors with the capacity to make gifts of $10,000+;
  • Identify high-level prospects and work with existing supporters to secure and conduct meetings for effective qualifications, cultivations and face-to-face solicitations; 
  • Partner with our executive director to support her work with her portfolio of prospects and donors;
  • Be responsible for the “back-end” work of a development shop and also be a key forward-facing member of our affiliate team;
  • Draft and send donor correspondence and gift proposals: ensure that contributions are acknowledged quickly and thoughtfully, all appropriate follow-up and stewardship is completed and gifts are recorded in a timely manner; and
  • Work with our staff, board of directors and other volunteers to nurture a culture of philanthropy.

Planned Giving  In coordination with the national ACLU Planned Giving team, the Development Director will:

  • Steward existing planned giving donors; 
  • Pursue strategies to expand membership in planned giving programs; and
  • Market planned giving opportunities to a range of aclu supporters.

 Management   Our Development Director will:

  • Maintain the accuracy, security and hygiene of our donor database and other development files, including individual giving histories, profiles, interactions, etc.;
  • Help transition to our new, more comprehensive donor/constituent management system in 2018;
  • Track development goals, prepare regular development reports (including those that analyze gifts, results, trends, projections, etc.) and communicate the results to appropriate audiences; 
  • Oversee the production of related reports for internal and external purposes;
  • Enforce confidentiality and work quality requirements within the organization’s development functions; and
  • Oversee the creation and production of development-related messages and materials.  

Cooperative Work   The Development Director will:

  • Work effectively with ACLU of Arkansas staff to maximize success on specific goals and cross-department initiatives;
  • Take advantage of the support and resources offered by the National office of the ACLU to increase ACLU funding in Arkansas, and partner with National staff to further statewide and national goals most appropriately; and
  • Connect with peer staff at ACLU offices around the country to share resources and best practices. 

Position Basics 

  • Full-time and based in Little Rock. 
  • Requires regular travel within Arkansas and occasional travel out of state.
  • Occasional attendance at evening and weekend activities is required.

QUALIFICATIONS  Strong candidates for the position will have:

  • A Bachelor’s degree and/or an equivalent combination of education and experience;
  • A successful track record of identifying, cultivating and soliciting gifts from individual major donors and prospects;
  • A personal commitment to civil liberties principles and an understanding of and appreciation for the ACLU’s values, mission and goals;
  • Commitment to diversity --  with a personal approach that values individuals and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance -- plus the ability to work with diverse individuals within the organization and in the broader community;
  • At least three years of demonstrated experience in nonprofit fundraising with an emphasis on individual major gifts and/or work in developing and managing complex relationships with portfolios of customers/clients (knowledge of the Arkansas philanthropic community is a plus);
  • The exceptional initiative, vision and ambition needed to lead a vibrant and growing philanthropy program;
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills;  
  • Demonstrated leadership skills and experience in successfully directing people at all levels of an organization in executing development-related activities;
  • Strong attention to detail with thorough follow-through and the ability to meet tight deadlines;
  • The willingness and ability to work beyond a 9-5 workday as needed;
  • Knowledge of and comfort level with budgeting and financial management principles;
  • (desirable) experience working with advocacy and/or community-based organizations;
  • Proficiency in Microsoft’s Office suite, social media communications and fundraising databases; and  
  • The ability and willingness to travel regularly in-state and occasionally out-of-state, with possession of a valid driver’s license or driver’s privilege card and a reliable vehicle.


The salary range for this position is from $40,000 to $60,000, DOE. Excellent benefits package include paid vacation (two weeks to start, cumulative monthly after three months), fully paid medical and dental insurance, matched 401(k) plan, paid life and long-term disability insurance, and generous paid holidays. We also offer flexibility for life’s interruptions.


Founded in 1969, the ACLU of Arkansas is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization which uses legal, legislative and public education approaches to protect and promote a broad range of constitutional issues including individual rights and freedoms, free speech, racial justice, privacy, religious liberty, reproductive rights, LGBT rights and more. The ACLU of Arkansas is an affiliate of the national ACLU, the leading defender of the civil liberties guaranteed by our nation’s Bill of Rights.  (To learn more about the work of the ACLU and the principles that we uphold, please visit and 

The ACLU of Arkansas is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU of Arkansas encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability or veteran status.

The ACLU of Arkansas undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions.


Send a cover letter, resume, three professional references and a short (two-page) business writing sample to the ACLU of Arkansas by mail or email:

by mail, to:  Development Director Job, ACLU of Arkansas, 904 West 2nd Street, Little Rock, AR 72201

by email,  (note: please put “Development Director” and your last name in the subject line.)

 Please indicate how you learned about the position.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position has been filled.  Applications without cover letters will not be acknowledged.


                  rev.  January 2018