When I started the series of posts on measurement in TG, I thought I had a week’s worth. Now I realize that it’s far wider and deeper–it’s definitely stretching me and taking me places in TG that I’ve never been before. Hope you’re finding the same to be true for you.
Thought it might be good to take a brief time out from the series to get caught up on a few posts on subjects that have come up as I’ve been cerebrum-deep in the subject of measurement, especially since I’ll be teaching (and recording) the Marketing Your Ministry workshop mid-week this week in Colorado Springs.
(Mission Increase Foundation Giving and Training Officers are teaching it all across the Western US this month, so make sure to check your local listings and sign up for the free workshop in your area.)
The perfect backdrop for the workshop is the piece in the London Telegraph entitled Facebook and MySpace can lead children to commit suicide, warns Archbishop Nichols.
(Thanks to The Daily Beast’s Cheat Sheet for the tip-off on the article.)
Admittedly the headline sounds like the article could contain the typical Luddite dreck attributed to churches in these kinds of technology issues. But the Archbishop makes a series of powerful observations that are spot on with what we’ll be teaching in the Marketing Your Ministry workshops.
Says the archbishop:
Facebook and MySpace might contribute towards communities, but I’m wary about it. It’s not rounded communication so it won’t build a rounded community. If we mean by community a genuine growing together and a mutual sharing in an interest that is of some significance then it needs more than Facebook.
The quote is directed towards teen’s use of Facebook, but it might as well have been written to nonprofits–especially this next nugget:
We’re losing social skills, the human interaction skills, how to read a person’s mood, to read their body language, how to be patient until the moment is right to make or press a point. Too much exclusive use of electronic information dehumanises what is a very, very important part of community life and living together.
I always hate to use the “f” word (friendship) when talking about nonprofits’ relationships with their champions and partners, since “friendraising” is in my view the most repugnant distortion possible of Transformational Giving. (TG relationships may involve friendship elements, but they are first and foremost mutual accountability relationships.) Archbishop Nichols’ comment in this regard, however, is way too good not to quote verbatim (and then tattoo on our foreheads):
But friendship is not a commodity, friendship is something that is hard work and enduring when it’s right.
At times I wonder whether what troubles some ttf-oriented nonprofits and missionaries about TG is precisely this point: TG relationships are not commodities. They are hard work…and enduring when right.
I suspect that what I personally like less than anything about ttf is the way it commoditizes relationships, taking everything that is good and right and true and enduring about them…and twisting them in the name of raising support.
As Archbishop Nichols observes:
There are echelons of football, as in society, where some players are clearly mercenaries.