Sep 29, 2021

Americans United for Separation of Church and State is seeking a Chief Development Officer to lead the continued expansion of a comprehensive fundraising program. The Chief Development Officer is charged with the strategic, management and tactical fundraising roles within the organization in support of current fundraising, the 75th anniversary in 2022, and the 5-year strategic plan’s priorities.

Reporting to the President and CEO, the Chief Development Officer will manage all integrated fundraising strategies, including membership/annual giving, major and planned gifts, corporate giving, foundation giving, gift processing/acknowledgement, data management and events.  She/he will work closely with the senior staff team and board members on fundraising strategy and high-level donor cultivation, donor engagement activities and lead a seven-person development team. 


Strategy and Direction

  • Provide strong, energetic, strategic leadership by setting ambitious but attainable goals that will increase annual operating funds and longer-term priorities;
  • Determine vision, direction and execution of plans to build and manage a full-scale development program, both near- and long-term;
  • Engage the board, volunteer leaders and staff to craft to strengthen an effective system of prospect identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship; and
  • Manage the current development team to achieve or exceed their revenue targets.

Donor Outreach and Management

  • Manage a portfolio of high-level donors and prospects at all times and personally solicit and close significant major gifts; and
  • Act as an effective ambassador to external supporters, partners and donors.

Board and Staff Role

  • Staff the Development Committee of the Board and partner with its Chair;
  • Serve as a member of AU’s senior management team;
  • Manage a team of seven people - including revenue targets, personnel and budgets - to ensure a high-performing department;
  • Cultivate strong working relationships with senior staff, volunteer leaders and consultants; and
  • Promote a collaborative and positive work environment aimed at elevating skills and exceeding targets.


The ideal candidate for this position is a confident and creative fundraiser with a strong interest in the constitutional principle of church-state separation; a development professional who recognizes the value of education and advocacy organizations and relishes the opportunity to take on a major role in shaping the future of an organization in the national spotlight; a professional who is comfortable working with the President and CEO, staff and volunteer leaders to develop and implement strategies for AU to meet and exceed its goals; and an experienced manager to lead the development team.

Experience and Skills

  • A bachelor’s degree.  An advanced degree and/or CFRE certification, while not required, is preferred.
  • At least ten years of progressively more responsible fundraising experience; work experience with an advocacy organization, while not required, would be very useful;
  • Demonstrated ability to design and implement a comprehensive set of development strategies that lead to diversified funding and sustainable growth in organizations without an organic donor base;
  • Established track record of personally securing six- and seven-figure gifts from a national pool of individual donors;
  • An important role in at least one major fundraising campaign, including responsibility for engagement of volunteer and leadership committees;
  • A history of successfully working with senior staff and organization volunteers in fundraising activities;
  • Demonstrated ability to motivate and manage a team of development professionals; and
  • Polished communication abilities, including listening, writing and public speaking skills, as well as the ability to craft and articulate a persuasive case for support.

Personal Characteristics

  • Equal parts smart, savvy and fun to work with. Culture and leadership both matter;
  • Advocate for church-state separation issues with a worldview that aligns with AU's mission;
  • Inspirational, equitable and effective as a manager and leader;
  • Tact and diplomacy in building strong working relationships with colleagues;
  • Capacity to manage multiple tasks and negotiate several priorities simultaneously; and
  • Ability and willingness to work a flexible schedule, including weekends, evenings and to maintain a travel schedule necessary to visit donors, prospective donors and constituent groups.


About Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Americans United for Separation of Church and State is a nonpartisan educational and advocacy organization dedicated to advancing the constitutional principle of church-state separation as the only way to ensure freedom of religion, including the right to believe or not believe, for all of us. Founded in 1947, Americans United is a diverse and dynamic organization composed of people from all walks of life: lawyers and lobbyists, students and activists, religious leaders and impassioned Americans. AU includes people of faith and people who don’t profess any particular faith. It is a community that includes and welcomes people of all genders, races, ethnicities, religions or beliefs, gender identities, sexual orientations, ages, classes and abilities. Because we work on a wide variety of issues with many different communities, we value what diversity and diverse perspectives bring to our work.

Americans United uses high-impact litigation, powerful lobbying and grassroots advocacy to ensure that religion does not dictate public policy; the government does not tell Americans what to believe or how to practice their faith; and discrimination is not justified under the guise of religious beliefs.

Through a strong, diverse national supporter network, both on the ground and online, AU defends the separation of church and state and protects religious freedom for all in communities across the country. Americans United is a 501(c)(3) organization and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Competitive Salary Range: $175,000 – $202,000 depending upon experience.

Generous Benefits: Americans United offers a comprehensive benefit package including employer paid premiums for health care, dental, vision, life insurance, short-term disability, long-term disability, and a 401(k) with match and commuter subsidy.

 To apply:

Please send cover letter and resume No calls, please.