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An interview with Nick, our Head of Digital

Our Head of Digital Nick Dubé recently caught up with nonprofit IT expert Tammy Ven Dange of RoundBox for a chat about our approach to nonprofit tech… Many thanks Tammy for having us!

From RoundBox…

I met a company founder with such a big heart for Not for Profits that he put the word in their business name. Meet Nick Dubé, Head of Digital at Heartburst, a digital and CRM solution provider for Not for Profits.

Tammy Ven Dange of Roundbox Consulting chats with Nick Dubé, Head of Digital at Hearburst about their digital and CRM solutions for Not for Profit clients.

In this interview, we learn about:

  • 00:14 – About Heartburst
  • 00:52 – How Nick got involved with Heartburst
  • 02:06 – Working with the not-for-profit Sector
  • 03:16 – What CRM’s do Heartburst work with?
  • 04:49 – Heartburst clients
  • 06:25 – Ideal Heartbust client?
  • 07:12 – Current projects
  • 08:03 – Final thoughts
  • 09:09 – Find out more about Heartburst

Interview Transcript

Tammy Ven Dange – Today I welcome Nick Dubé, Head of Digital at Heartburst. Nick, welcome.

Nick Dubé – Thank you, Tammy.

About Heartburst

Tammy Ven Dange – For those that don’t know about Heartburst, could you tell us more about the company.

Nick Dubé – Sure, absolutely. So, we are a digital agency focused on the not-for-profit sector. We essentially use our skills in digital, in a broad range of digital skills from like website design and development through to CRM consulting and implementation, and a broad range of other skills around that as well. And we use those skills to work with non-profits to help them do what they do better, so ultimately they can make a broader impact.

How Nick got involved with Heartburst

Tammy Ven Dange – And how did you get involved in the company, Nick?

Nick Dubé – So, I’ve been there since the start. Heartburst began its life as a freelance design business. My background personally is as a digital designer. And you know, back in the early 2000’s, you know, kinda like the Wild West in some ways, website design and development.

And so that freelance business grew into web studio, which we were doing a lot of work for non-profits. And back in 2014, I took on a partner, and we rebranded it as Heartburst, so that we could really focus on the non-profit sector.

The name “Heartburst” refers to somebody who has a passion for a cause. So they have a heartburst for something. And that drives them to start that organisation. And that concept of a heartburst is contagious. And other people gather around that person, that leader that may have started that. And I guess the concept of heartburst as a digital agency is about supporting those people who have that passion to do what they do.

Working with the Not for Profit Sector

Tammy Ven Dange – Why did you decide to get involved in the not-for-profit sector specifically?

Nick Dubé – As I mentioned, we’d grown from being a small freelance business to a business of five, five people in a web shop, really. And we had a lot of non-profit clients.

Through my, through my own personal networks, I had established that sort of presence in the sector, and so we just decided to specialise in it, so that we could have that niche.

But it wasn’t just a commercial decision. For me personally, I’m passionate about working with people who are dedicated to helping others. And that’s personal, that’s part of my personal life story. And you know, for me that personally, that’s a faith-driven angle, but other people within the Heartburst business, and the people that we work with have a broad range of reasons why they want to want to help others. And I think for me, it brings I guess a sense of satisfaction to the job that I don’t think you’ll find elsewhere.

What CRM’s do Heartburst work with?

Tammy Ven Dange – And so you did start with website design. And you said you also do CRM implementations. What kind of CRMs do you specifically work with?

Nick Dubé – So we would like to say we’re, we’re agnostic to the specific CRM that we work with. We’ve implemented a broad range of different CRMs, but we also provide a consulting service.

When we start out talking to a new client about a CRM opportunity, it’s about going through a methodology to understand the processes that that organisation goes through in relation to their database, and I guess defining what they’re currently doing, as to, as to where they need to go.

Then going through the process of selecting the right platform for them. And so that’s the consulting side of it. And once you’ve arrived at that, you can then move into a, a specific platform.

Now we do have a number of platforms that we can implement for clients. For example, we’ve recently become a partner with Virtuous, which is a fast growing CRM platform that’s fantastic for donation based organisations.

They’re based in the US. We’ve been working with them closely, but we’ve also done work with Microsoft Dynamics and other CRMs, But we don’t claim to be able to implement on every single CRM in the world.

So, we have a model where we can consult and help clients find the right fit for their organisation, and then we can either provide those implementation services, or we can assist when facilitating a partnership arrangement with an expert on a specific CRM platform.

Heartburst clients

Tammy Ven Dange – Who are some of the clients you’re working with now?

Nick Dubé – We work with a broad range of clients across the non-profit sector. So there’s organisations that are charities. There’s organisations that are in the education space, in the medical space.

We’ve been doing a lot of work in the mental health space recently, with a organisation called Origin, who are based in Parkville, in Melbourne, a government funded mental health research organisation that filters a lot of its knowledge through to the Headspace centres around Australia.

We’ve been working on a, a large database project with them, to develop a platform that different mental health providers can use to, I guess contribute data, is probably a high level explanation of what it is. So that’s, that’s one example.

We’ve also been working with schools across the Northern Territory, so our network of schools, where we’ve rolled out a whole bunch of websites That’s been really good.

Another one we’ve been working with, which is a little bit less obvious as a non-profit, is actually a funeral organisation. This year has been a big focus of what we’ve been doing.

They are an organisation that is a social enterprise, so all of their profits go to charity. And technically they are a non-profit themselves. So that’s, that’s been a bit, a left field one for us.

So yeah, there’s a small snapshot, but really, we work with a broad range of clients.

Ideal Heartbust client?

Tammy Ven Dange – And well, who would be like an ideal client for Heartburst?

Nick Dubé – For us, we would, we would aim at sort of a, a mid-size nonprofit organisation, an organisation that’s big enough to be able to afford to outsource to an agency, to build a website or implement a CRM, but at the same time, not so big that they have an internal team that can do that for them.

So there’s sort of that intermediate space, and that’s really who we target.

Current projects

Tammy Ven Dange – Is there anything you’re working on right now that you’d like to share?

Nick Dubé – Yeah, so, always working on a few different things. So I’ve mentioned, obviously we are the first Australian Virtuous provider. So that’s an exciting thing for us.

We’ve also been rolling out Umbraco as a new content management system, that we are supporting and building websites on, as well as the traditional WordPress that a lot of nonprofits gravitate towards.

Umbraco has a fantastic open source model as well, and it’s in the Microsoft ecosystem. So that’s, that’s really great.

The other thing that we’re doing is focusing on our donation platform. So, one of the things we do at Heartburst is, we build products, and one of those products is a donation platform called “Generous,” which is a really good fit for our clients as you can imagine.

We’ve got some big plans for that for the next year in terms of an improved pricing model, and some feature rollout, which I can’t go into the full detail of right now, but that’s certainly a space that we’re passionate about.

Final thoughts

Tammy Ven Dange – Is there anything else you want to talk about Nick?

Nick Dubé – As a nonprofit organisation, it’s not always easy to deal with the technical side of things. And I guess what I’d like to emphasise is that we’re available to partner with organisations to achieve their goals, and to understand how we can map a way to improve what they do.

At the end of the day, it’s about enabling impact, expanding the positive impact that an organisation can have through better efficiency, through better technology, through better user experience design, whatever it is, those things aren’t necessarily what an organisation may be, or may have expertise in.

They have expertise and passion for the cause that they’re working on, but if they don’t get the technology right, that’s going to hamper their efforts for the cause or for the impact that they could potentially have.

So that’s why we exist. We want to partner with organisations that are doing good things, so that they can move forwards, onwards and upwards.

Find out more about Heartburst

Tammy Ven Dange – Fantastic. If people want to know more about Heartburst, where should we send them?

Nick Dubé – Well, head on down to our website,

The Generous donation platform I mentioned is So have a look at that one as well, which is our sister company essentially. But yeah, feel free to give us a call as well. Our contact details are on the website. We’d love to chat and hear your challenges and your aspirations and see if there’s a fit for us to help you.

Tammy Ven Dange – Well thanks for your time today, Nick, and thanks for sharing about Heartburst.

Nick Dubé – You’re very well welcome, Tammy. Thank you so much for having us. Much appreciated.

Many thanks to Tammy ven Dange of Round Box Consulting for facilitating this content. The above transcript was originally posted on the Round Box website.

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