American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont

Development Director | Full Time

Category: Non-profit

Location: Montpelier VT

Make an Impact at a Pivotal Moment in History

The ACLU of Vermont (ACLU-VT) seeks an ambitious, dynamic, and experienced fundraiser to serve as our Development Director. The Development Director will play a central role in increasing investments in the ACLU of Vermont, a proven and vibrant advocacy organization on the front lines of some of today’s most important civil rights struggles.

The Development Director will manage a strategic, donor-centered fundraising program that includes specific fundraising goals and targets, with a focus on major gifts. This position presents an exciting opportunity for a motivated fundraising professional to direct a major gifts program at a trusted and respected organization that makes profound differences in the lives of individuals, works in collaboration with and the strong support of the National ACLU, and is currently benefitting from unprecedented levels of public engagement at a pivotal moment in our history.

The Development Director reports to the Executive Director and works in close collaboration with a skilled and experienced Development Manager, as well as our Communications Director and other staff. We are a passionate, highly motivated group of attorneys, policy advocates, communications experts, organizers, and fundraisers, and we’re looking for exceptional talent to join our team. This position is full-time and based in Montpelier.

Position Overview

The Development Director will work closely with the Executive Director and other staff to set and reach the organization’s fundraising goals, develop strategies to sustain the rapid growth the organization has experienced since the 2016 election and establish a more robust major gifts program.


Major Gifts

  • Refresh and implement an annual development plan that incorporates short- and long- range goals, with an emphasis on expanding the major gifts portfolio and increasing giving levels by engaging new and existing donors.
  • Manage relationships with individuals in that portfolio, including a significant personal portfolio of donors and prospects as well as those assigned to the Executive Director. Support the Executive Director’s donor engagement, and carry out regular face-to-face solicitations and other direct engagement with donors and prospects.
  • Develop goals, strategies, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship plans for each donor, ensuring that each one receives regular personalized contact.
  • Identify new prospects for the major gifts portfolio and opportunities for increased giving by current donors. In partnership with national ACLU staff, oversee prospect research and actively lead identification of major gift prospects to bring new supporters into the organization.
  • Draft donor correspondence and maintain primary responsibility for developing messages, strategy memos, talking points, and donor materials.
  • Generate and analyze data to ensure that fundraising is done in the most efficient and effective ways. Utilize the organization’s nationwide database and other systems to track, evaluate, and report on performance.
  • Work with the Communications Director to implement a communications plan, including development of messages, materials, and explanations of our work used in strategic donor communications, annual reports, newsletters, and other communications that advance the ACLU’s mission and visibility.

Planned Giving and Sustainers

  • Work collaboratively with national ACLU staff to pursue strategies and market-planned giving opportunities to expand membership in planned giving programs.
  • Identify, track, cultivate, and steward planned givers and monthly/quarterly sustainers.


  • Maintain and expand a portfolio of additional foundation/grant prospects and collaborate with the Executive Director on the submission of grants.
  • Maintain a foundation grants calendar of submissions and reporting cycles.
  • Identify and cultivate strategic partnerships with businesses in coordination with the Executive Director.


  • Supervise the Development Manager and track progress of that position towards departmental goals; oversee gift processing and acknowledgement distribution.
  • Maintain accurate records using the national CRM (Salesforce). Ensure development activities conform to organizational policies and financial accounting practices.
  • Prepare progress and activity reports for the Executive Director and the Board of Directors. Attend Board meetings as requested by the Executive Director; work with Board members to identify and connect with new donors.
  • Oversee the planning and management of strategic cultivation and stewardship events.
  • Participate in the budgeting process, monitor development expenditures, and oversee monthly and annual reconciliation of local records with national database.
  • Maintain working knowledge of national and state programmatic priorities and issues, including major breaking news stories that are of interest to our supporters.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned by the Executive Director.

Qualified candidates will have:

  • At least 5 years of experience in fundraising, including significant experience in major donor fundraising or equivalent development experience. Knowledge of the Vermont philanthropic community a big plus.
  • Demonstrated success in major gift solicitation ($10,000+) for an advocacy or community-based organization. The ideal candidate is highly motivated and eager to connect with new and existing donors on a personal level and to solicit gifts.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with and quickly gain the respect and support of various and diverse constituencies, including board members, affiliate and national ACLU colleagues, donors, and prospects.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ease working with donors, volunteers, and staff. Demonstrated ability to motivate, lead, and collaborate with colleagues in a positive, team-oriented approach. Experience successfully overseeing and supervising colleagues is strongly preferred.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication as well as diplomatic skills.
  • Superb organizational and time management skills, detail-oriented with strong follow-through and the ability to meet tight deadlines. The ability to set and adhere to priorities is essential.
  • Sound judgment in maintaining confidentiality of donor information.
  • Database and record-keeping proficiency, including donor database/CRM experience. Proficiency in Salesforce a plus.
  • A firm commitment to the mission and principles of the ACLU, including a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, ability, involvement with the criminal justice system, and socioeconomic circumstance.
  • The ability to work some evenings, weekends, and irregular hours. Ability and willingness to travel regularly in-state and occasionally out-of-state, when necessary; must possess a valid driver’s license or driver’s privilege card and a reliable vehicle.

About the ACLU of Vermont

The ACLU integrates litigation, policy advocacy, strategic communications, public education, and organizing strategies to defend and advance civil liberties for all people. At the ACLU of Vermont, we take pride in our reputation built on more than 53 years of fighting for people whose constitutionally protected rights are abridged or denied.

Founded in 1967, the ACLU of Vermont is the statewide affiliate of the national ACLU, a nationwide organization with a presence in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, DC. Now marking its centennial year, the ACLU has been at the forefront of every major civil liberties fight in our country’s history. With a wave of new and energized donors, members, and supporters nationwide, we are poised to have an even greater impact in the years ahead.

The ACLU of Vermont ((501)(c)(4)) and ACLU Foundation of Vermont ((501)(c)(3)) have a combined annual operating budget of approximately $1.2 million. We do not seek and do not receive any government funding. To learn more, please visit our website.

Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

The ACLU of Vermont is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive office culture. We believe that having a board, staff, and volunteer base with diverse personal and professional backgrounds enhances our ability to meet our mission and creates an environment where all members of our community can thrive.

The ACLU of Vermont strongly 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, veteran status, or prior involvement in the criminal justice system. The ACLU of Vermont undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions.

Compensation and Benefits

Salary is commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits include generous vacation and sick leave; individual/family employer-provided health and dental insurance; life insurance and disability; defined contribution plan with employer match; and 14 paid holidays. This position is full-time, salaried, and exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act.




To Apply:

Application Procedure

To apply, email a cover letter and resume to Include in the subject line of the email: your last name and Development Director. In your letter please indicate where you learned of the posting.


Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled, at which time the job announcement will be removed from our website at


The ACLU of Vermont is partnering with the Vermont philanthropy consulting firm of Gade McArdle LLC to manage this search. Confidential inquiries about this opportunity may be directed to Scott McArdle at