SmartCause Digital



Yesenia Sotelo, founder of SmartCause Digital Yesenia Sotelo, Web Developer & Trainer

I’ve been building and growing nonprofit websites since 2001. Yup, that’s 15+ years of experience in nonprofit digital.

At each of my nonprofit staff positions, I was excited to do my best work and help my organization. But, I also felt overwhelmed by all the online channels and I felt under-resourced because I didn’t have the tools or the time to implement my ideas.

Now, I draw upon my time as a staff member at the Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago, the ACLU of Illinois and Heartland Alliance to:

→ Apply my experience in fundraising to build websites that raise more money,
→ Apply my experience in communications to build websites that explain a mission/issue,
→ Apply my experience in advocacy to build websites that inspire action and
→ Apply my experience in information technology to build websites that are secure and current with online tech.

I’m deeply invested in digital strategies for nonprofits, and in nonprofits as a whole. I have served as a board officer of EverThrive Illinois and as an ex-officio board chair of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Chicago.


Learn more about Yesenia: Resume | LinkedIn | Twitter

Let’s get started...

Whether you need help updating your current website or want to build a new site, I'd love to hear from you.



"If you want to create an online presence that is effective and user-friendly while sleeping at night knowing that you won’t be over budget or delayed in deployment, make life easy for you and your team and hire Yesenia." - S.B.



Nonprofit thoughtleaders



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 11th, 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.


Fun facts about Yesenia

  • I was born + grew up + live in Chicago. I'm a townie.
  • I went to Chicago Public Schools... and I graduated from Northwestern... with a degree in political science.
  • I rock out to Led Zeppelin... and Tori Amos.
  • I have one tattoo on my left shoulder - a Virgen de Guadalupe in memory of my father.
  • I have voted in every election since I turned 18.
  • I changed my college major at least four times (biology -> cognitive science -> economics -> political science). But since 2001 when I got my first nonprofit job, I've been consumed by my passion for nonprofit digital.

I'm proud to be a member of each of these nonprofit teams

World's best nonprofit clients

I'm grateful to have led trainings & presentations for these nonprofit thought leaders

Nonprofit thoughtleaders