Lifetime Achievement Award

The NTEN Community is filled with amazing individuals who change the world every day. Each year, we honor an individual who has been instrumental in shaping the field of nonprofit technology, and paved the way for the rest of us. Past winners have had a hand in creating and funding the biggest organizations in our space, built nonprofit technology communities large and small, and are exploring and sharing some of the most interesting and innovative technology models.

The 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner


Yesenia Sotelo
loves nonprofits and digital, and is happiest snuggled right in between the two. For over 15 years, she has helped nonprofits use digital tools for fundraising, communications, advocacy and operations. Yesenia has provided digital strategy and implementation support to small and large nonprofits, universities, hospitals, legislative campaigns and social enterprises.

Yesenia first taught herself HTML in 1997. Her skills include web development, online fundraising, digital advocacy, social media strategy, web analytics, project management, training and tech support.

Yesenia began her nonprofit career during college with the Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago where she worked on the organization’s website.

After September 11, Yesenia’s dedication to our fundamental liberties led her to the ACLU of Illinois, where she was on staff for over six years and became Director of Technology and Membership. Her time at the ACLU coincided with the rise of online fundraising and organizing, and Yesenia worked with staff to educate them about digital tools and encourage them to integrate the digital space into their existing work.

Yesenia then joined Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights as the Manager of Interactive and New Media. At Heartland Alliance, Yesenia worked with over 100 domestic and international programs to build a digital presence for the organization.

Before founding SmartCause Digital, Yesenia ran the new media team at a Chicago public affairs firm as the Director of New Media.

Yesenia’s passion for nonprofits extends into her volunteer activities. She is a former board officer of EverThrive Illinois and a past executive co-chair of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Chicago.

Yesenia graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in political science.

Past Lifetime Achievement Winners: