Remember DOS? Keith Heller does. He got his start in nonprofits entering membership gifts into the DOS version of Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge at San Francisco’s Exploratorium back in 1993. It was love at first type. The mission was inspiring — educating kids about tough concepts through a creative and engaging environment. Then, there was the geek side of things: Technology? Cool! Business practices? Intriguing! And the people? So committed, so passionate — they hadn’t found jobs, they’d found their calling. And that’s how Keith found his.
Fast forward a few years, and the Windows version of Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge was released. Lots of nonprofits wanted to make the move to this new software, but no one (not even Blackbaud) offered consulting services. So, Keith put out his shingle, spent minutes carefully crafting the firm’s name, and landed the first client: the Luther Burbank (now Wells Fargo) Center for the Arts. That was 1996.
A lot’s changed in the years since. In technology, we’ve moved to the mouse and beyond. The Internet is here to stay. We’ve seen the rise of E-Face-Twit-Goog-Cloud.com. And, fundraising has matured as well. Everyone’s now doing more sophisticated segmentation, moves management, planned giving, online communications, program management, and CRM. Or, at least more nonprofits have the good intention to.
Heller Consulting has evolved, too. We’re now 35-plus people across the country and we’ve worked with more than 800 nonprofits. But one thing hasn’t changed: our passion for using the right software and smart operations to support our clients’ missions.
Making business better: We’re a B Corporation
Many businesses say they’re socially responsible, but how do you tell a good company from good marketing? Look for the B Corp logo. B Corporations have met comprehensive and transparent standards of social and environmental performance that are certified by an independent Standards Advisory Council. B Corporations must also embed their values into their corporate governing documents so stakeholders benefit from their business practices.
Heller Consulting became a designated B Corporation in 2009 to practice “the change we seek” (the B Corporation motto). We wanted to weave our core values further into the fabric of our business culture and practices, ensuring those values will be part of our company for years to come. Though we’ve been adhering to many of the principles valued by B Corps since our founding in 1996, we now have a way to benchmark ourselves through B Corporation certification. Together, with this great community of businesses ranging from million dollar corporations to start-ups, we hope to make a difference in the world through strong business practices.