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Raise HECK: Zooming In On Assessments 2K23

At Raise HECK, we are celebrating our third anniversary. With three years of raising heck under our belts, we thought it was time to pause and take stock. What are we doing? What are we good at? What do we enjoy doing? Are we achieving the outcomes we want of helping nonprofit organizations to accomplish their missions through better use of technology? Today we’re going to share with you what we’ve discovered through doing our own self-assessment:

We really like doing assessments. We’re good at them and we enjoy them. We’re making a difference for nonprofit organizations.

Let’s take a quick look back. Three years ago when we launched Raise HECK, we went through all the usual work when launching a new business. But the piece we hadn’t figured out how to articulate clearly and concisely was what we actually did. That was the most frequently asked question by people who had heard of us and read our website. “So what do you two do exactly?”

Heck, we were still figuring it out. We both come from a background of customer success at software companies, the mission of which is to help nonprofit organizations achieve their outcomes through their use of technology. That’s a broad mission, and something that didn’t immediately translate to our consulting practice, since we didn’t have a software product of our own that our customers were using.

We did a lot of different things in our first years. Digital marketing, staffing assessments, fundraising campaign planning, forensic research into email deliverability, sustainer migrations, production, implementations on new software platforms, training, change management, and technology assessments, just to name a few. We learned a lot.

One of the things we learned was that when you try to do every single thing, you’re not likely to do all of it particularly well. There’s a reason people specialize: because they are good at something. It’s also more efficient. The more expertise and experience you build up in your specialty, the better at it you become.

If our first three years were a panoramic shot of the nonprofit technology landscape, then as we move into our fourth year, we are going to zoom in on a specific piece of the landscape. We’re ready for our close-up!

That’s why at Raise HECK we have decided to zoom in on assessments.

We’re talking technology assessments of all kinds: tool and solution assessments, digital marketing program assessments, staffing assessments, and change readiness assessments. If it’s part of your organization, we want to learn about it and make recommendations for how you can do it better.

Here’s a secret: technology selection is not really about a big requirements matrix and checking every box. Technology is about your people, first and foremost. It’s about the people who are doing the work to achieve the goals of your program and the mission of your organization. A great team can use mediocre technology to achieve good outcomes. But a team that isn’t staffed correctly or is resistant to change will not achieve great outcomes even if they’re using the best technology.

Our goal is to make sure your team is the best it can be, and help you find the best technology and operational structure that fits your program, your goals for growth, and your budget.

While we’ve done a lot in the last 3 years, some of our projects stand out. Working with Vera Institute of Justice to assess their technology needs and help them find and adopt a new CRM and digital solution is one of them. We spent a lot of time talking to Vera’s staff about what they do right now, where they want to grow, and where their previous solution wasn’t enabling their success. After talking with them so deeply and thoroughly in an organized way, finding the right solution was almost…easy.

Zooming in on assessments also fits perfectly with our name. We called ourselves Raise HECK for many reasons. One of the reasons is to evoke the idea of disruption. That’s a fancy term for not doing the same things the same way just because “we’ve always done it that way.” It means innovation and radical change.

We want to help nonprofits innovate. We want to help you find the technology that will serve you well and match the goals you have for your program’s performance and goals. We want to help you arrange your staffing structure to make the best use of your CRM and digital tools. We want to go deep into your digital marketing program and find the areas where you’re doing well, and the areas where you could improve. We want to help you prepare your staff to migrate to and adopt the amazing new technology that you’ve found.

We’re excited to begin this next chapter of Raise HECK!


–Sally and Charlotte
Co-Founders, Raise HECK