Know Your Numbers: Maximizing Data for Nonprofit Success (Shannon Hinson)

December 2019

While emotion plays a part in telling a compelling story about your nonprofit, Shannon Hinson reminds us that knowing your numbers is both a powerful tool to focus your time and energy as well as the best way to assure much greater fundraising success. On episode 7 of the path podcast, Shannon and I had a great conversation about many lessons she's learned after joining the nonprofit sector as a "lateral entry", and what she believes are the keys to her success as a fundraiser and senior nonprofit leader. She also shares excellent resources you can consult for professional development, and clearly identifies the three data points on which every nonprofit leader should be monitoring to sustain and build financial support. 


Shannon has more than 20 years of experience in organizational management, marketing, business and fund development.  She joined the nonprofit community from the for-profit arena, working her way from an initial annual fund position to now leading a team of 20 at one of the largest Habitat for Humanity affiliates in the country as its VP of Organizational Advancement & Development.  She is a past Board Chair for the Charlotte Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), and currently serves on the board for the Institute for Philanthropic Leadership.  Shannon was also recognized by her peers as the Outstanding Fundraising Executive at the National Philanthropy Day awards in 2018.  She has an MBA from UNC Chapel Hill (Kenan Flagler School of Business) and a BA from UNC Greensboro.


  • Shannon's productivity: "project triage" and alignment with the boss
  • How to make your transferable skills work 
  • Critical partnership between marketing and fund development
  • Knowing the language of nonprofit don't flex your for-profit jargon!
  • AFP Effectiveness study
  • The power of annual fund as a foundation for learning
  • What is she looking for when making a hire?
  • Adrian Sargeant and the lifetime value of a donor
  • Three key data points: retention, bump-ups, consecutive-year giving
  • Donor Perfect Monthly Donor Metrics ebook
  • Painting the big picture: contributed and earned revenue
  • Traction (Gino Wickman)
  • First 90 Days (Michael Watkins)