Charleston, SC



Deadline date

April 15, 2019

For almost 100 years, the ACLU has been at the forefront of every major civil liberties fight in our country’s history. Whether it’s protecting a woman’s right to choose, ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBT community, or preserving the right to vote, we take up the toughest civil liberties cases to defend the rights of all people in our country. We have an on-the-ground presence in every state, allowing us to fight against injustice when and where it arises. We are a passionate, highly motivated group of attorneys, public policy and legislative advocates, communications experts, community organizers, and fundraisers, and we’re looking for exceptional talent to join our team.

There has never been a more exciting time to join the ACLU. Since the presidential election, we have seen an unprecedented surge in the need and support for our organization. We are scaling up to meet the unprecedented attacks on civil liberties that we already have seen under the new administration. Our donor base has quadrupled to more than 1.6 million members across the country, and our fundraising has skyrocketed. We are launching an ambitious fundraising campaign (with a nationwide goal of $1.2 billion) to align with the ACLU’s 100th Anniversary in 2020. Our team is more energized than ever, and we are looking to make our next game-changing hires across the organization.

The Opportunity

The ACLU of South Carolina is seeking an ambitious and dynamic Associate Director of Philanthropy to grow our organization’s fund development program and enable the expansion of our presence and programmatic impact across the state. This is a fantastic opportunity for a professional who is passionate about social justice to join South Carolina’s premier defender of civil liberties. While the ACLU is a multi-issue organization, our strategic priorities in South Carolina are racial justice, youth justice, and voting rights. With three current full-time staff members, the South Carolina team is a close-knit group of advocates who are devoted to making real and lasting change in our community and state. The position is based at the ACLU offices in Charleston, a charming and quickly growing city with an impressive food scene and plenty of southern charm and hospitality.

With an Executive Director who loves fundraising, strong relationships with existing major donors, and a blossoming prospect pipeline, the ACLU of South Carolina is poised to increase its revenue significantly. In fact, over the past two fiscal years, we have already have witnessed exceptional revenue growth as a result of focusing on individual gifts from high-capacity supporters. 

Now, we are seeking an ambitious and persistent go-getter who is fluent in both the art and the science of fundraising and who will continue to elevate our development program. This position has the potential for growth and presents an exciting opportunity for a professional who has a desire to expand a development program and a deep passion for civil liberties. 


As the lead of the organization’s development efforts, the Associate Director of Philanthropy will work closely with the Executive Director to drive our continued growth. The Associate Director of Philanthropy will develop and execute an annual fundraising plan with targets for major gifts, annual support, grants, and planned giving. The Associate Director of Philanthropy will partner with the Executive Director to deepen relationships with existing major donors, as well as identify and secure new sources of funding that will enable longstanding, tangible civil liberties victories. The Associate Director of Philanthropy will spend a significant amount of time interacting directly with donors and soliciting investments in the ACLU through in-person meetings. While prioritizing individual gifts from major donors, the Associate Director of Philanthropy will manage all aspects of the ACLU of South Carolina’s fund development program, including:

  • Major and Planned Giving: Expanding the number of leadership gift-level ($5,000+) and planned gift supporters in South Carolina. Developing goals and strategies for the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of each donor. Engaging in face-to-face solicitations with donors and prospects and securing leadership-level gifts. Conducting prospect research and actively leading the identification of major gift prospects to bring new supporters into the organization. Partnering with colleagues from the national ACLU to advance key donor relationships.
  • Annual support: Implementing strategies to most effectively renew and increase gifts from annual support donors (gift capacities of less than $5,000).

·         Grants: Leading and expanding the foundation grants program. Cultivating relationships with local foundations as strategically appropriate.

·         Events: Planning and executing strategic cultivation and stewardship events, as applicable.

·         Database: Maintaining confidential fundraising information in our database. Ensuring the accuracy of donor records. Creating and running relevant reports (including donor activity, revenue projections, and development program performance) and sharing them with the Executive Director, finance staff, and Board of Directors.

·         Other duties as necessary.

Ideal Experience and Qualifications

The ideal candidate for this position will bring the following:

·         At least three years of professional work experience; non-profit development experience is preferred, but other, transferable experience will be considered. Direct work with donors and soliciting gifts of $5,000+ is ideal, though additional training will be provided.

·         A strong interest in civil liberties and the mission of the ACLU.

·         A start-up approach that combines exceptional initiative, ambition, and strategic follow-through.

·         Being a “people person:” having strong interpersonal skills and enthusiasm for building strong relationships with donors.

·         A strong work ethic and a willingness to partner closely with colleagues.

·         Excellent communication skills, including the ability to speak comfortably and compellingly with donors about the impact potential of their philanthropic investments in the ACLU. 

·         Strong organizational and administrative skills, plus the ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects and meet deadlines.

·         Proficiency with Microsoft Office technology (including Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint).

·         Experience working with databases a plus.

·         The ability to work occasional evening, weekend, and irregular hours and to travel within the state as needed.

·         Ability to speak, read and write in Spanish a plus (though not required).


Salary is based upon experience. Excellent benefits include medical and dental insurance, retirement plan, life and disability insurance, and generous vacation and sick time.   

To Apply

Send a cover letter and resume by email to Jobs@ACLUSC.org. Please put “Associate Director of Philanthropy Application” in the subject line of your email. When submitting your application, please be sure to submit both a cover letter (with a document name formatted as “Last name, First name – Cover Letter”) and your resume (with a document name formatted as “Last name, First name – Resume”). Please also indicate in your cover letter where you heard of this career opportunity.

We encourage candidates to apply by April 15, 2019 for priority consideration. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

You will receive an email confirming that your application was received. We will contact you as soon as possible regarding the status of your application. Please do not contact our office regarding the status of your application; we unfortunately cannot return calls or email inquiries.


The ACLU of South Carolina comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union of South Carolina (ACLU-SC) and the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of South Carolina (ACLUF-SC). The ACLU-SC and the ACLUF-SC have the same overall mission and share office space and employees. The ACLU has two separate corporate entities to do a broad range of work to protect civil liberties. To learn more about the work of the ACLU and the civil liberties principles we uphold, please see www.aclusc.org and www.aclu.org.

The ACLU of South Carolina is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. We 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 or veteran status.   

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