Prospect Development Manager

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ACLU of Northern CA

The Opportunity

The ACLU of Northern California (ACLU NorCal) seeks a Prospect Development Manager to join its newly-restructured Development Operations unit. This is an exciting opportunity to join our 15-person development department, mobilizing resources to advance the work of ACLU NorCal and build stronger social justice movements regionally and nationwide.

The Prospect Development Manager is supervised by the Deputy Director of Development overseeing Development Operations and supervises the Senior Research Assistant and a summer intern. This position may be based in the San Francisco, Sacramento, or Fresno offices; ability to travel (a minimum of once per month) to the San Francisco office or Bay Area would be required for in-person team meetings or activities. This full-time position is eligible for a hybrid work schedule, working from their ACLU NorCal home office a minimum of one day per week and telecommuting for the remainder of the work week.

The Approach

Our work is guided by the principles of freedom, equality, and justice enumerated in the Constitution. However, we know that because of historic and systemic racism and other forms of oppression, these principles are not equitably applied to all. In an ideal world, everyone would have equal access to justice and equal protection under the law. Unfortunately, neither our world nor our country is ideal. Our work involves hard subject matters that can be emotionally draining. As a mission driven organization, we strive to make the world a better place, but recognize the road is long and hard. At the same time, we understand the importance of self-care, and do our best to reflect that in our practices and values.

The Position

The Prospect Development Manager ("PDM”) designs, leads, and implements a comprehensive prospect research and qualification program at ACLU NorCal. In collaboration with your  NorCal and National ACLU colleagues, your team is responsible for identifying, prioritizing, researching, and assigning the best prospects for major, leadership, and planned gifts; applying an equity-informed approach to research and analysis to help diversify the portfolio; monitoring portfolio health through key performance indicators; proactively advancing donor pipelines with research-informed strategy recommendations; and providing business intelligence reporting.

You are a collaborative co-worker who thrives in a busy, bustling environment with the ability to easily balance multiple projects while staying focused on the details that matter. You lead with curiosity, empathy, and clear communication. You support the ACLU NorCal development department’s success by staying current on trends in prospect research and best practices for prospect development, and you are willing to do things differently to best support all of the goals of our fundraising program, including applying an equity lens to prospect development strategies, tools, and data.

You support your staff’s success through inclusive planning processes, goal-setting and related accountability measures, and management practices. You recognize, respect, and support the varying career stages, goals, and trajectories of the individuals you supervise. You have a strong commitment to the mission and goals of ACLU NorCal, and you are excited to address the tensions that exist between philanthropy and our work for racial and social justice. You treat every person with whom you work with dignity and respect, and you actively work to foster an equitable and inclusive experience for donors, staff, and other partners in your work. You are open to learning new approaches, skills, and practices, even when this may push you outside your comfort zone.

This position is a supervisory position and is not part of the bargaining unit represented by IFPTE Local 20.

About the Organization

The ACLU of Northern California is an affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, a nationwide, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the defense and expansion of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of Northern California (ACLU NorCal) is comprised of two distinct corporations, the ACLU Foundation of Northern California (the “Foundation”, a 501c3) and the ACLU of Northern California (the “Union”, a 501c4). The incumbent is a joint employee of both corporations. For most of the last century, ACLU NorCal has been part of many of the most major – and sometimes controversial – struggles for civil liberties and civil rights in our state.

Our mission is to ensure that constitutional rights don’t just exist on paper but are protected in practice. As we move into a new era, we face dangerous policies that threaten our civil rights and civil liberties; we must use our decades of experience in impact litigation, legislative advocacy, and fearless organizing to fight these policies and protect our most cherished rights and freedoms. At the same time, ACLU NorCal is committed to advancing proactive and positive change to transform laws and institutions to advance our values. We are committed to fostering an anti-racist work culture and to anti-racist principles and learning.

COVID-19 Prevention

The ACLU NorCal physical offices are open. Vaccination against COVID-19 is required as a condition of employment unless an exemption is requested and approved. Masking is required for in person work at this time.

Duties & Responsibilities 

Prospect Development Unit Oversight, Evaluation, and Management

  • Manage day-to-day operations of the ACLU of Northern California’s prospect development efforts, including identification and prioritization of new prospects most likely to make major, leadership, or planned gifts, recommending portfolio assignments and removals, adapting capacity rating systems for Northern California’s unique region, and evolving portfolio management practices to support equity goals and commitments in Northern California.
  • Develop protocols for data entry, ensuring that research information is completely and correctly entered into the fundraising database.
  • Develop, document, implement, and participate in the enhancement of systems and protocols for prospect management – including prospect identification and prioritization, portfolio assignment and diversification, and movement through the major gifts pipeline.
  • Stay current on trends in prospect research and best practices for prospect development, applying an equity lens to identify opportunities to strengthen the ACLU of Northern California’s programs.
  • Collaborate with ACLU NorCal development colleagues, especially within the Major & Leadership Gifts unit, and National ACLU colleagues in Leadership Gifts and Planned Giving, and Nationwide Development Resources.
  • Responsible for retention, hiring, performance management, and ongoing supervision of the Senior Research Assistant. Work with the Assistant to identify prospect research projects, including proactive prospecting, and to report back on assigned prospects. Support their professional development and individual career goals/trajectory.
  • Design and implement the Development Department summer internship program, including hiring, supervising, identifying work projects, and offboarding.

Donor and Prospect Research and Evaluation

  • Identify, evaluate, and recommend prospects for assignment to portfolios ($10,000+ annual or capacity to make a planned gift) to support ACLU NorCal’s fundraising goals: 1) conceptualize proactive prospecting methodologies; 2) identify new prospects (through existing data analytics segmentation, vendor screening data, major philanthropy and business media reports, etc.); 3) evaluate identified prospects, applying a sophisticated understanding of wealth indicators, philanthropic inclination, and equity-informed analysis; and 4) recommend prospects for assignment to portfolios based on their ability to financially support the ACLU at the major or leadership level.
  • Provide advice, recommendations, and training related to prospect research and development to Northern California development staff, including refreshers on ratings and research.
  • Fulfill prospect research requests to support donor meetings, and to develop event attendee bios.
  • Recommend research-based strategies to major, leadership, and planned gifts staff to achieve their fundraising priorities and goals.
  • Work collaboratively with National Research unit to identify Northern California major, leadership, and planned gifts prospects.
  • Participate in the planning and execution of campaigns.

Pipeline Health and Advancement

  • Accelerate the performance of Northern California major, leadership, and planned gift pipelines through work with gift officers, including portfolio reviews, moves management, and strategy recommendations.
  • Work collaboratively with relevant units at National and Northern California to provide portfolio and pipeline reporting to gift officers and supervisory staff, and to develop business intelligence reporting that furthers insight and understanding.
  • Assess portfolio composition to understand needs for future assignment, ensure a pipeline of pre-qualified prospects for the portfolio, and assist in evaluating prospects that are not progressing toward (dis)qualification.
  • Oversee the individual giving pipeline, ensuring individual donors and prospects are assigned to and move between the appropriate program and portfolio within our individual giving programs and between the affiliate and national programs.


  • Participate in organization- and department-level meetings, discussions, and related work.
  • Other duties as assigned to advance the ACLU mission.


Education / Experience:

  • At least five years of experience with progressive responsibilities in nonprofit fundraising, with at least two years of prospect research experience, equivalent information research profession, or research-based donor strategy development
  • At least two years of experience managing staff, including performance management, professional development planning, and fostering team culture that aligns with departmental and organizational values and culture

 We welcome you to include any lived experience you are comfortable sharing in your cover letter or an additional attachment.

 Required Skills / Competencies:

  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with the ability to bring out the best in others, work effectively in teams, and work collaboratively and respectfully
  • Good judgment, attention to detail, dependability, and follow through
  • A commitment to a workplace that values and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstances; ability (or desire to learn how) to contribute to the ongoing work to build and sustain an anti-racist work culture
  • A commitment to understanding and advancing equity and racial justice through philanthropic development, management practices, and other responsibilities of the position
  • Commitment to basic prospect research ethics and the ACLU’s strong privacy principles; Sound judgment in maintaining confidentiality of information
  • Demonstrated knowledge of prospect research, fundraising database management, and/or donor strategy work
  • Strong analytical ability required in order to interpret data needs, perform analysis, create reports and data solutions, and follow-through in a timely manner
  • Ability to support staff at various career stages, with individual career goals and trajectories
  • Commitment to stewarding donor relations and data integrity

Preferred Experience / Skills / Competencies

  • Program management and pipeline management
  • Understanding of community-centric fundraising principles
  • Salesforce

Technical Skills:

  • Computer proficiency skills, particularly in Word, Excel, and development database and business intelligence programs; experience with donor research tools such as Lexis Nexis, ResearchPoint (and GivingSearch), and online search tools

We recognize that potential candidates with identities that have been historically excluded from the fields of fundraising and philanthropy are more likely to disqualify themselves for a position before applying. We also know that applying for jobs can feel daunting and don’t expect you to check all the qualification boxes. We encourage you to apply if you have experience in some of the areas and feel drawn to this position.

Total Compensation

We are committed to creating and maintaining a diverse workforce through equity initiatives, which includes equitable pay practices. Competitive compensation is commensurate with experience. Starting salary range for this position is $90,900-$106,050 annually.

We understand how vital our work is and at the same time understand the toll engaged activism can take. Our goal is to retain staff and we believe that having a robust benefit offering is vital in meeting that goal. Our benefits include four weeks paid vacation in addition to 14 office holidays; fully employer-paid medical, vision, and dental insurance for staff members, their dependents, and spouse or domestic partner; life and long-term disability insurance; and 401(k) plan with employer match. We have a robust Employee Assistance Program and emerging Employee Resource Groups.

To Apply

Applications will be accepted until the position has been filled. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible as we will be evaluating applications on a rolling basis. Applications must include:

(1) your resume

(2) a brief cover letter that includes:

  • an example from your past work experience that illustrates the specific skills and knowledge that you would bring to this role;
  • how you would contribute to the work culture of a team with diverse life experiences;
  • at least one other specific way you would be an excellent addition to the ACLU NorCal development department; and,
  • if applicable, applicants concurrently applying to any other position with the ACLU should state for which other position(s) they are applying.

(3) a list of three references, one of which should be someone you previously supervised.

Please submit your application online at: Job Application for Prospect Development Manager at ACLU of Northern California (

For selected candidates, we anticipate the full hiring process including:

  • Screening call with Human Resources Staff (no more than 30 mins)
  • Video interview with the Hiring Manager (no more than 30 mins)
  • Request for time-limited, take-home skills assessment or work sample from existing portfolio
  • Video interview with Hiring Manager and select staff (no more than one hour)
  • Reference checks and offer

The ACLU NorCal is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need assistance applying online, please e-mail  If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process. 


The ACLU of Northern California advances equity and inclusion in the workplace by providing equal employment opportunity to support a work environment free from discrimination on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age (over 40), sexual orientation, military and veteran status, and any other basis prohibited by law. The organization also provides reasonable accommodations for qualified applicants and employees with disabilities. This equal employment opportunity policy applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, selection, advancement, training, problem resolution, and separation from employment. Through this policy, the ACLU NorCal strives to establish and maintain an equitable and accessible work environment that is free from discrimination and supportive of a workforce that reflects the rich diversity of our communities and the people we serve.  ACLU NorCal will consider for employment all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance (SF Police Code, Article 49)

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