Join Us at the ACLU

We are looking for an enthusiastic individual, eager to take on an unparalleled opportunity to grow our fundraising operation throughout the state of Wisconsin. The newly created position, Development Relations Manager, will be virtually based during the pandemic, and then in our Milwaukee office when it is safe to return. Our ideal Development Relations Manager is inspired by the work of the ACLU and sees an opportunity to work with our team, donors and prospects to ensure that donors are able to fulfill their personal giving goals. The successful applicant will understand how to communicate inspiring messages, gather & track data, determine priorities, and reach ambitious fundraising goals.

Our mission is timely, our Wisconsin staff is committed to protecting civil rights and liberties, and we are poised to succeed with a community of over 16,000 members, supporters, and activists across the state. We are a passionate and highly motivated group of community leaders, fundraisers, organizers, coalition-builders, lawyers and public policy and advocacy experts, and we are looking for people with exceptional talent to join our team.


Reporting to the Director of Development, our new Development Relations Manager (DRM) will work to ensure that the ACLU of Wisconsin meets fundraising goals by increasing philanthropic support of the ACLU’s work.  The DRM will support the team with research, message drafting, small donor gatherings, donor communications, and ongoing cultivation, solicitation & stewardship of existing and new donors. The DRM will also manage a portfolio of mid-level donors and prospects. The DRM will be responsible for qualifying new prospects and cultivating relationships in order to maximize financial support.

The DRM works closely with members of the ACLU of Wisconsin’s development department and development colleagues at the national ACLU, as well as with staff in every department of the state organization. The DRM will spend time in direct interaction with donors, to ensure that each donor can fulfill their desire to contribute and support the ACLU’s work in a manner that is consistent with their values.

This position will be based in Wisconsin, and will require regular travel to Milwaukee and other parts of the state.


  • Manage a portfolio of approximately 75 mid-level donors and prospects.
  • Identify and qualify new prospects, creating a comprehensive strategy for each donor/prospect in the portfolio and execute those strategies in ways in which donors are respected, retained and inspired to increase their support.
  • Develop and implement a communications plan.
  • Develop special cultivation and stewardship opportunities. This may include small events for select donors and prospects, newsletter features, etc.
  • Track portfolio activity, communication, and progress.
  • Provide executive-level support in preparation for donor interactions, including creating briefing materials that are thoughtful and concise.
  • Maintain a working knowledge of the ACLU’s state and national programmatic priorities and issues as they occur – and then effectively incorporating this information into targeted written materials for donors, talking points for one-on-one donor interactions and donor reports/updates in a variety of formats.
  • Accurately track key relationship activities in our CRM database (Salesforce) and create relevant reports.


  • A personal commitment to advancing the ACLU’s values, mission, goals and programs, with an understanding of the range of civil rights and civil liberties issues and their implications.
  • A demonstrated commitment to racial equity, dismantling white supremacy, and incorporating a structural power analysis into work. Must have knowledge and understanding of how power is manifested in matters of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstances.
  • A minimum of three years of experience in nonprofit fundraising preferred, with a proven track record of soliciting, closing, and stewarding gifts, or comparable experience;
  • Superior skills in relationship building and a high level of comfort with asking individuals to commit their resources to support the ACLU.  This experience may come from a fundraising background or through other experience that demonstrates tenacity, creativity, follow-through and strong person-to-person skills.
  • Excellent oral and written communication and presentation skills.  A demonstrated ability to simplify complex themes and activities into short, compelling presentations or written pieces.
  • Strong people skills.  An ability to communicate effectively and respectfully with donors, prospects, Board members, volunteers, colleagues and the public by phone/email/text and in person.
  • Strong organizational skills.  The ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects simultaneously and meet deadlines.  
  • Proficiency with office technology and information systems.
  • The availability for travel throughout Wisconsin, plus limited out-of-state travel.
  • The ability to work beyond the traditional work day and work week, when needed.
  • (Preferred) Experience with and knowledge of Wisconsin’s philanthropic community.

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES: This position is a non-management position and does not encompass any supervisory responsibility. 

WORKING CONDITIONS: 100% remote through COVID, then 50% office environment; 40% traveling throughout Wisconsin; 10% night and weekend work.

MENTAL DEMAND: Decision making, emotional intelligence, interpreting data, multi-tasking, working in a fast paced, hard charging, sometimes high stress, advocacy focused organization that must plan for and often react to different situations in the political environment. The nature of this work can be emotionally demanding.

Are You Ready to Join Us?

If you’re excited about devoting your talents and skills to the ACLU, please submit your resume and a letter of interest to Please indicate “Development Relations Manager” in the subject line of your email. Please, no phone calls or walk-ins.

The ACLU welcomes talented development leaders to our team and in return offers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package. Benefits include medical and dental insurance, life and long-term disability insurance, 401(k) contribution and paid vacation, holidays and sick days.

This position is full-time and exempt. 

Deadline: We will accept applications until the position is filled. 

This job announcement provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU of Wisconsin reserves the right to change the description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.

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

The ACLU of Wisconsin undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions.  We encourage applicants with disabilities who may need accommodations in the application process to contact us at

The ACLU of Wisconsin is comprised of two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin and the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin Foundation. Both are organizations with the same overall mission; they share office space and employees.