It’s been a while since we discussed the differences between traditional transactional fundraising (ttf) and Transformational Giving (TG) on this site, and I fear that when we fail to remind ourselves of the difference we can lull ourselves into thinking that we are engaged in TG when in reality we are still practicing ttf for all intents and purposes.
So I was delighted to be able to garner some new insight into the difference as I was reading Leading, Teaching, and Making Disciples by Liberty University’s Dr. Michael R Mitchell. He writes about leadership proper rather than fundraising, but there’s a one-to-one carryover, for sure:
As a result of James MacGregor Burns’s classic volume, Leadership, it is common today to distinguish between “transactional leadership,” where an exchange occurs, and “transformational leadership,” where change occurs (Burns, 1978). In transactional leadership, an exchange between the leader and the follower facilitates the fulfillment of an objective or the accomplishment of a task, enabling an alteration in location, information, or even product. In transformational leadership, a substantive change occurs in the nature or character of either the followers or the organizations of which they are a part (p. 11).
Adds Mitchell, Jesus’ own transformational leadership was characterized by an “insistence his followers become something different than they were before the encounter” (p. 11).
Do you insist that your donors-as-followers or church members become something different than they were before their encounter with your organization? Do you measure it?
Do you ask them about it?