Transformational Giving Doesn’t Need a Donor Database. It Needs a Life-Caching Service

Ten months ago I did a series of video shorts on YouTube detailing the ins and outs of database development for Transformational Giving. I was so honored by the response, which mainly consisted of people emailing me and asking me if I had cancer, given that I lost fifty pounds since the last video I had recorded.

(And no, I don’t have cancer. I just stopped eating after dinner, and I make sure to exercise daily, even when I’m on the road, which is most weeks. Seriously, that’s it. It’s worth checking out the difference in the videos as my own personal Jim Morrison transformation in reverse.)

Though most technology pieces tend to have the shelf life of banana pudding (which I was apparently eating a lot of while recording those Mission Increase training videos), I think the database video content has worn well and continues to be quite relevant and watchable.

What has changed, however, is that in the YouTube training videos I was waxing prophetic about what a Transformational Giving database would look like, since none as yet exists.

That’s still true, but we’re definitely getting closer to the day when the TG database of the future becomes the TG database of the present. You just have to know where to look.

And the answer is, not in any fund raising magazine, God bless ’em.

That’s because Transformational Giving differs from traditional transactional fundraising in kind, not degree. So you kind of have to look elsewhere to find software that’s built to help nonprofits and their champions collaborate together to build publicly oriented pages that track champions’ progression to full maturity in the cause.

That’s why I was so excited to read the post at Springwise about a new “life-caching service” just entering Beta. From Estonia.

Now in beta, Estonian myHistro is designed to help users create and share stories from their lives with friends and family. Users begin by signing up with the free service either directly or through Facebook. From there, they place events from their lives on a timeline and a map, indicating other people who were involved and whether the story is private or open for sharing. They can also write a story summary. Photos and descriptions of events can be added for illustration, and friends involved in the story can add their own impressions. The result is a joint narrative that can be saved and replayed at will over time.

Before you plunge headlong into leading all your champions to set up their life-caching database pages at myhistro, let me spin you this cautionary tale:

I was going to personally illustrate how a champion’s record could be done TG-style in myhistro, and I figured it would be sporting for me to do this by setting up my own. I found the interface to be quite intuitive, and in just a very few minutes I had laid out my own story in quite impressive fashion–using photos, maps, and narratives to detail my path of growth in Christ–so far–in the Work of Mercy of remembering the persecuted church.

Then the site crashed and I lost all my data. My story disappeared down an Estonian sinkhole.

I guess that’s why they call it “beta.”

Anyway, even if it’s more vision than reality at this point, it’s a good exercise for you to visit and maybe even try to set up a record of your own. Maybe you’ll have more success than me.

But even seeing it–and spending a few minutes remembering through a social media record like this how God has guided Mrs. F and me in our own growth in one particular cause–leaves me hungering for a stable database platform like this to emerge, whether from myhistro or another quarter.

But I will continue to channel that hunger into blogging rather than banana pudding, since I already went down that road before, and it’s murder on one’s video presence.

About Pastor Foley

The Reverend Dr. Eric Foley is CEO and Co-Founder, with his wife Dr. Hyun Sook Foley, of Voice of the Martyrs Korea, supporting the work of persecuted Christians in North Korea and around the world and spreading their discipleship practices worldwide. He is also the International Ambassador for the International Christian Association, the global fellowship of Voice of the Martyrs sister ministries. Pastor Foley is a much sought after speaker, analyst, and project consultant on the North Korean underground church, North Korean defectors, and underground church discipleship. He and Dr. Foley oversee a far-flung staff across Asia that is working to help North Koreans and Christians everywhere grow to fullness in Christ. He earned the Doctor of Management at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management in Cleveland, Ohio.
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