Sharing Knowledge

Heller is committed to providing up-to-date resources and information on topics that impact the nonprofit community.

Our unique partnerships and associations with nonprofit organizations and software developers allow us to understand the continual advances in the market, and cultivate rich insights. As we combine these perspectives with our own experiences and knowledge, we are able to create reference materials useful to nonprofit organizations of all sizes.

From short, focused blog posts, to extensive white papers and reviews, we strive to share the knowledge we’ve gained with our nonprofit community. Please use this information to help you make better decisions for your organization, and contact us if you have any questions.

Featured Posts


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Filezilla Client For Windows

FileZilla is an open source software distributed free of charge under the terms of the GNU General Public License. Supported platforms: Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 are supported, each both 32 and 64 bit.

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Getting To Know Convio Products

We really like nonprofit software. We know it well. What can we say — we’re techies. That’s why we’ve created these resources to help you get to know your Convio products better. While the Convio products have been long-absorbed by Blackbaud, we still think back with fondness, and keep these available just in case.

Accounting Reconciliation In Common Ground

Reconciliation with accounting is a business process that many fundraising staff think would be best solved with “one-button” integration. Yet, full integration between development and accounting databases is rarely the best solution for dealing with this essential task. This guide helps Common Ground administrators design efficient accounting reconciliation business processes and effectively communicate financial information to their accounting counterparts.

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Getting To Know Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge™

One of the best ways to ensure you get the most from your nonprofit software is to understand what it can do and how to use it efficiently. That’s why we’ve created resources to help you get to know your Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge software better.
For more information on how Heller can help you with Blackbaud products or transitions, click here.

Evaluating Your Raiser’s Edge System

Your Raiser’s Edge system is in a continuous state of change because your fundraising strategies, operational practices and staffing are always changing. In this dynamic environment, the appropriate goal is not the “perfect” database, but rather the appropriate system to meet your needs. This document will teach you three fundamental steps to help you get there.

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As your organization changes, your goals and needs change and grow. These resources will help you use your technology systems in new ways as your organization evolves.

Major Gift Income Transmittal

No matter how you define major gifts, they’re usually the trickiest and most important gifts to enter correctly in your database. Assigning the correct campaigns, funds, appeals, solicitors, and pledge payment schedules is crucial the first time the gift is processed. The Major Gift Income Transmittal and our guidelines for using it can help. This form allows you to gather important information before the gift is entered. Using it consistently can also quickly inform fundraisers that a major gift has been received and provide an audit trail for coding decisions.
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Optimizing Software

You likely could work more efficiently simply by improving your processes and streamlining the way you use your existing technology. These resources will get you started.

10 Steps to Streamlining Your Fundraising System

Your donor/prospect database sits at the heart of your development operations. But, you may find your fundraising system lacking, probably more from mis-use or neglect than from what the software can actually deliver. The first step in getting more from any software is committing to improving it and maintaining it. This 10-step plan will help get you started.

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Implementing Software

We’ve been implementing nonprofit software from companies including Blackbaud, Convio, and for years. These resources will help you think through a sound implementation plan for the technology you’ve chosen.

An Organized Donor Database

The promise of integrated marketing strategies is to deliver optimal results, both online and offline. Keith Heller explores why integrated marketing strategies are only as good as the constituent data supporting them. Combining the strategic and the practical, this article lays the foundation for a strong fundraising system and a successful fundraising office.

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The Y – National Office

The Challenge

The Y’s national office had just completed a successful re-brand and investment in two creative national marketing campaigns, and was poised for an influx of new donors and prospects at the start of 2016. They brought Heller Digital onboard to optimize their donation experience and facilitate a consistent, cohesive post-gift donor journey through strategic communications and optimized online giving processes.

The Solution

Heller Digital YUSAHeller Digital developed a strategic plan that leveraged quick gains in engagement and stewardship through two mass marketing campaigns (Zoe for President and For a Better Us), in order to build relationships with donors for the organization’s first national fundraising initiative.

To boost acquisition and engagement, the project combined technology, business process, and strategy. Heller Digital performed a technical build of Luminate Online forms and internal gift processes to create an optimized, streamlined, and reportable donation experience from the front end (landing pages and donation forms) to the back end (transaction and data work flows for YUSA staff). The team also built out donor-focused engagement content for the first 45 days post-donation, including a three-part welcome series.

The Impact

Metrics are still being analyzed, but initial donation conversion rates for both campaigns are showing above-benchmark progress. Moreover—as the election season promises to drive yet more traffic to the Zoe for President campaign in particular—YUSA is now prepared to welcome new supporters with a fully optimized online donation experience and engagement series.

Selecting Software

Your software choices dramatically impact your organization’s success. They affect how you do your job and how much you enjoy it. So, let’s get you knowledgeable about selecting the software that’s right for your organization.

List and Database Census Spreadsheet

Do you struggle with information “silos” that hold overlapping information but don’t connect? Want to solve that problem? The first step is to create a list of your organization’s systems so you get a big-picture perspective. Use this List and Database Census Spreadsheet to record key information about each of your information silos. We’ve provided columns for a half-dozen systems; just add more columns if needed. Don’t feel compelled to answer every question for every system, but do answer as many as you can. It might require research and conversation with colleagues, and that very effort may show you a path forward.

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Risk Management Spreadsheet


On a global scale, risk can be thought of as any event that will affect the desired outcome of a project, program, organizational goal or other initiative. Risk can manifest itself in two ways: as a threat and as an opportunity. Are you looking out for both

Getting Started with Risk Management

Early identification of risk is one of the key planning components for any work that you do. With careful planning most risks can be identified before you begin the work. Here are some tips for getting started:

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