By Rachel Eisen, Director of Annual Giving
I mentioned in my last blog post that one of my big projects this summer is transitioning Mayyim Hayyim to a new database, so I thought I’d share a little more about why we’re taking on a project that, on the surface, may seem like it has nothing to do with mikveh.
Well, having a functional and efficient database helps the Mayyim Hayyim staff better know and better serve our community.
For instance, knowing that so many people visit to mark gender transitions or that non-birthing parents immerse in celebration of welcoming a child into their home led us to create 15 new immersion ceremonies for various occasions. Knowing that people so often visit in the search for healing and comfort while on a fertility journey led us to create a new healing guide. Knowing that more people than we can accommodate are interested in our education programs like Beneath the Surface led us to seek out local partnerships in order to bring that great programming to more people.
I’ve been working with consultants on the transition to our new database, and one of their favorite questions for me is: Why do you want to track this data? What will it enable you to do? The answers help shape how we set up the new system.
We could host even more immersions if it were easier to schedule Volunteer Mikveh Guide shifts. We could spend more time planning creative education programs if it didn’t take so long to track RSVPs. The list goes on.
In other words, everything I love about Mayyim Hayyim – that it’s open and accessible, that it provides people with tools and resources to own their Judaism in whatever way works for them – we could do exponentially better, and for more people, with a more efficient way of tracking data.
Setting up a new database for Mayyim Hayyim involves a lot of mundane and sometimes frustrating tasks. As much as I love organizing data and setting up systems, cleaning spreadsheets to get them ready for a new database is, to be perfectly honest, not my favorite activity.
But when I remember why we’re doing it – because so many people want to immerse and participate in education programs and we need more human capacity to welcome them all – it all seems so worth it.
Rachel Eisen is the Director of Annual Giving at Mayyim Hayyim.