Dan Shenk-EvansSenior Consultant

For 25 years, Dan has guided nonprofits through IT strategic planning and system implementation projects that have transformed their missions. He has a wide range of IT skills, with core competencies that include researching, selecting, and implementing innovative solutions that enhance service impact and re-engineer inefficient workflows. He also seeks to drive continual improvement and to maximize return on investment through improving data governance, standard operation procedures documentation, and leadership engagement.

I have a passion for helping nonprofits that are making the world a better place to maximize the benefits of their investment in technology. Whether it requires engaging the C-Suite in creating an IT roadmap, or meeting with frontline staff to discover why reports are not providing the insight they desire, I experience satisfaction from making people’s work easier while simultaneously enhancing the reach of the organization’s mission. In the end, technology is really about the people, including those implementing and using it, and those benefiting from it. It is especially rewarding to do this work as part of a firm committed to these same values and goals.” — Dan Shenk-Evans

Dan is available for guest blogging, podcasting, webinars, and speaking engagements. To request Dan, contact Build.

Background and Affiliations

Before joining Build in 2019, Dan was the Director of IT at the Capital Area Food Bank for nine years. As a member of senior leadership, he was responsible for aligning the IT strategy to the mission of the organization, creating the IT plans, and leading the IT department. While there, Dan effectively orchestrated the installation of new IT infrastructure during the move to a much larger facility, which included modernizing the network and installing access control and security cameras.  He also played a pivotal role over the years in improving the effectiveness of the information systems by encouraging better data governance.

Prior to the food bank, Dan was a Senior Consultant at Community IT Innovators for ten years, where he served mission-based nonprofits as the Internet came of age. During his tenure, he improved CITI’s consulting methodologies, created the software selection practice, and provided general IT leadership and project management services to clients.

Earlier in his career, Dan was the Executive Director at Habitat for Humanity Cabarrus County.  There he directed daily operations and encouraged the Board to establish a strategic vision. On the operational level, he implemented the organization’s first mortgage and construction tracking systems and installed its first IT network. Under his leadership and direction, the organization increased the number of homes built by 33%.

Dan graduated magna cum laude from both Eastern Mennonite College, with a major in Computer Science, and from Duke University with a Masters of Divinity degree. Dan is a member of the Society of Information Management, and before returning to consulting, he was a member of CIO4Good for six years. He has spoken at several NTEN, ASAE, and Feeding America conferences. Dan is also a Board Member of VineCorps, a youth development organization.

Experience

Dan’s approach to client engagements leans on his perspective gained from both being a technologist and nonprofit executive. He utilizes his deep experience to see beyond vendor marketing materials and perform effective cost-benefit analysis that of proposed solutions. Throughout his 20-plus year career in the nonprofit IT field, Dan has had the opportunity to work with a majority of categories of IT systems and has developed a deep knowledge of the industry.  Because he has led all phases of vendor and solution acquisition, and has managed vendors of every kind, he has learned how to be the primary translator between vendors and staff, both at the executive and front-line level.

Due to his extensive experience, Dan has gained deep insight in the nonprofit software sector and the business processes within the major solution categories, including knowledge of the following: association management, fundraising, volunteer management, CRM, fund accounting, budget planning, online communities, and other related systems. But he never loses sight of the other key factors: a critical lesson learned from his experience is that technology is only as good as the processes and training that are put in place; in other words, technology transformation still depends far more on change management, accountable leadership, and good data governance than on the technology itself.

At the Capital Area Food Bank, Dan relied on his IT leadership experience to effectively modernize IT systems, implement cloud technologies, and introduce systems that improved decision-making through the use of well-designed metrics and KPIs (developed by the data team under his leadership). In addition, he sought to contribute to a culture of continual improvement and better data governance by encouraging the documentation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) and overseeing quality assurance.

While Dan’s current focus is on higher-level IT strategy and working with executives and managers to acquire and implement new solutions, he has never forgotten the lessons he learned while programming the food bank’s first inventory management system and a job-referral system for another organization in the early 1990s as a full-time stipend volunteer:

  1. Good solution design is extremely important
  2. Someone involved in the design must be an expert in the details of the organization’s processes
  3. Technology should be built not only to address the needs of the end user, but also to encourage and create the most efficient processes while also providing the required business intelligence that will increase the mission-impact.

IT projects are only as successful as the level of organizational engagement in these three areas.

Areas of Technology Practice

  • Constituent relationship management and fundraising systems (Salesforce NPSP, Raiser’s Edge, DonorPerfect, NeonCRM, Salsa Labs, etc.)
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) (MightyCause, Qgiv, Engaging Networks, etc.)
  • Association management systems (iMIS, NetForum, ClearVantage, Association Anywhere, Aptify, NetForum, IMPak, MatrixMaxx, Personify, MemberClicks, etc.)
  • Supply chain, distribution, and warehouse management (NetSuite, Primarius, Ceres Navision, Acumatica, Iptor, Waerlinx, Savant, etc.)
  • ERP and financial management (Financial Edge, NetSuite, QuickBooks, etc.)
  • HRIS, payroll, and talent management (Paychex)
  • Budget management (Budget Maestro, Host Analytics, Adaptive Insights, etc.)
  • Cloud file collaboration (SharePoint, Dropbox, Box, Google Drive)
  • Human services case management (ETO, etc.)
  • Website CMS (WordPress, Drupal)
  • Event management (Eventbrite, Cvent)
  • Email marketing (Marketing Cloud, Constant Contact, MailChimp, etc.)
  • Project management (Teamwork, Trello, etc.)
  • Case management (Jira)
  • Student information systems (PowerSchool)
  • Survey software (SurveyMonkey, etc.)
  • Geographic information systems (ArcGIS)
  • Technology vendor relationship management (Managed IT Services providers, systems integrators, application developers, software vendors)
  • Cloud platforms & services (AWS, Azure)
  • Virtualization management (Hyper-V & VMWare)
  • Database architecture and development (SQL, 4D, Microsoft Access, Filemaker Pro)
  • Network infrastructure management & information security
  • Windows server management

What Clients Say

  • “One of the most committed team members I have had the pleasure of working with”
  • “Professional, thoughtful, patient, and holds himself to a very high standard”
  • “Takes the time to assist others when he knows he can provide useful guidance and insight”
  • “Makes well-informed decisions that are in the best interests of our organization”
  • “His expertise in IT and systems is second to none”
  • “Developed a smart and thoughtful IT plan that was both strategic and achievable”

Authorship and Media

Contributor to Idealware articles and guides:

Speaking

  • What you Need to Know to Make Technology Decisions (NTEN Regional Conference)
  • Engaging in a Holistic Technology Assessment (ASAE Technology Conference)
  • Implementing a Content Management System for the First Time (ASAE Technology Conference)
  • Technology Planning for Small Nonprofits (NTEN Technology Conference)
  • Expanding, Building, or Relocating (Feeding America FHRT Conference)

Additional Information

Jo ButlerEneida Perez