You do your part. You make a meaningful contribution. You believe in your cause.

You need a website BUT…there are obstacles holding you back.



I’m Sheila Poettgen, founder of RISING BY DESIGN, and I’ve been working with change-agents, grassroots groups and non-profit organizations from around the world for over 20 years.  

I intimately understand your struggles. I know it’s not easy to live and work in service of the greater good; to give your life energy to creating a better world. I know how challenging it is to live with passion and purpose; to reject the status-quo in order to embark upon a way of life that fulfills you and helps others. I understand because I try to live the same values myself.

I started RISING BY DESIGN so that I could share with you -for free or at low-cost- the knowledge I’ve accumulated over the years as an network administrator, support technician and website designer. My goal is to empower everyday heroes like YOU.

The “Ripple Effect”. And why I’m passionately committed to helping you succeed.

I’ve been exactly where you are right now – as an employee or volunteer having to move non-profit organizations and businesses forward in the area of technology without having the knowledge or means to do so. I had to start from scratch, take on more than what my original job descriptions entailed, and put in a lot of effort and time toward learning how to do technical things myself (because limited budgets prevented hiring of others to do it). Sound familiar?

As a result of that need and after years of research and training, I looked up from my work to discover that I had ‘accidentally’ become a network administrator, certified IT support technician, and a website designer! And I noticed a disheartening pattern. There were a lot of people and organizations – doing really admirable and necessary work in this world – struggling to overcome the very same obstacles that I had. The paradigm had not shifted – lack of financial & technical resources were still major barriers to the success of our collective efforts.

I realized I could make a greater impact by focusing my energy on helping others to overcome those obstacles. By sharing what I’ve learned over the years in an open, affordable and accessible way I am able to help many more everyday heroes to spread their message and to affect positive change in the world. The ripple-effect of positive change and empowerment – of giving what we can to help each other RISE BY DESIGN – cannot be underestimated. We are all in this together. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said,

“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”


My ProBono and Low-Cost Pledge

I am a professional who believes that my skills and talents should be accessible to organizations or individuals working for our collective good. Every year I donate a large portion of my time and professional services to organizations or individuals that wouldn’t normally be able to afford them. The rest of the time I offer my services at extremely discounted rates.

Why do I do this? Because I believe that:
My career is more than just a way to get paid.
It’s important to be driven by passion to do the work, not by potential to make a profit.
Professional talents and skills should not be available only to commercial organizations.
Saying you care and showing you care are two different things.
We get more when we give more.

More about my experience & life

In the past, I’ve served as Assistant Director of an organization advocating for people with developmental disabilities, as Network Administrator for the largest Community Land Trust in the U.S., and as an In-Home Care Provider for the elderly through the Visiting Nurse’s Association of America. For over a decade I provided network administration and technical support services to non-profit organizations in the U.S., including working with an emergency shelter for the homeless and an organization dedicated to implementing comprehensive, nation-wide, energy efficiency practices.

In 2013 I founded RISING BY DESIGN and began serving as an international volunteer for organizations advocating for human rights and the empowerment of girls and women.

I am CompTIA Certified in A+ Core Hardware, A+ Operating Systems, and Network + and trained in Website Development & Management and Internet & Web Architecture. My memberships include:, TapRoot Foundation, Volunteer Match, Net Impact,,, 1% Club,,, and

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