Do you look like this when you try to keep track of information about:
- the people you minister to?
- your ministry networking contacts?
- your supporters?
- the people in your church?
Do you wish you could remember:
- where you first met them?
- the history of the connections you have had with them?
- their family members (perhaps even be reminded of birthdays)?
- what events they have attended?
- donations they have given?
- organizational relationships, like churches, teams, or departments?
Instead of on paper or in spreadsheets or other documents, would it be nice if the information was online, so that you could access it from anywhere, on your PC, tablet, or smartphone?
Would it be nice if it could print whole categories of people’s addresses directly on envelopes or postcards in proper Japanese format, or various other types of output on demand?
These features and many more, designed for Japan (tuned for Japanese addresses, furigana/romaji fields, bilingual interface, etc.) are now available from Light For Japan Productions as KizunaDB! 12 years in development by a missionary who was previously a professional database system developer. Currently used by churches, missionaries, CRASH Japan, Deaf Ministries International (DMI) Japan, and more.
What does it do?
It replaces your Rolodex, sticky-notes, single-PC data files you might have made in Access or Excel, and whatever other way you keep track of people you know. It probably includes all the types of information you usually keep about a person or organization and then some.
What do I need in order to use it?
Future plans include making its layout also work well on small screens like smart phones.
Can I see it now?
Yes! There are two demo instances – one showing typical usage for churches and the other typical usage for missionaries. Currently only the church one has sample data (it takes time to create fake data!), but you are welcome to look at either or both:
To log into either one: User ID=demo, Password=demo You are welcome to play with the data – add, edit, or delete as much as you like. Once a day it will be restored to how it was.
I’m doing this mostly as a ministry – it takes a huge amount of time, but actual expenses are low (mostly just server rent). I considered just letting people use it for free, but I spend a lot of time supporting clients (setting up custom dashboards, doing support and training, etc.), so I think I need to charge just enough to keep away people who aren’t serious, if you know what I mean. (I also want to focus most of my volunteer effort on Christian ministries, so although I will accept secular clients, I’ll charge them more.) It will also help defray the cost of my server, and allow me to upgrade the server if it gets overloaded. The closest comparison to KizunaDB would be CRM services, and they normally cost tens or hundreds of dollars per month per user! I don’t care how many users you have for your KizunaDB database – the price is the same.
“Regular” price (businesses and secular organizations):
- Subscription: ￥30,000 per year (￥2,500 per month on a yearly contract)
- Setup and initial training: ￥20,000 one-time fee
Churches and Christian ministries (75% off!):
- Subscription: ￥6,000 per year (￥500 per month on a yearly contract)
- Setup and initial training: ￥5,000 one-time fee
I am willing to train in person – I find that it is most effective to talk face-to-face about each ministry’s needs and then customize the KizunaDB configuration together. I won’t charge extra for that, but if you are outside the Kansai area and I am not already traveling to your area for other purposes, help with my train fare is appreciated.
And… If anyone wants to help me in concrete ways, they can use it for free! Not all the help is technical in nature – examples:
- Filling in ficticious data for my public demo database – I can’t use real data for privacy reasons, but it’s hard to tell how it works if there isn’t a good amount of realistic data.
- Writing tutorials to help people like yourself learn to use it for different kinds of ministry situations.
- Translation and correction of my bad Japanese – I’m told that some areas of the interface that I have translated aren’t as clear as they could be, and other areas haven’t been translated yet. Besides the application’s interface, translation of web pages (like this one) would also be a huge help.
- Content and design of a marketing website for it – I haven’t even started on that, so if you like to do websites (in WordPress, Joomla, by hand, or whatever), talk to me (I can set up WordPress or Joomla for you if you are not technical, and you can fill in the content).
So, if you are interested, contact me!
I am not a big corporation with dozens of programmers, so KizunaDB will always have some rough edges that I’m continually working on. I also have not yet taken to time to write formal documentation or tutorials (although I definitely want to!). But my current clients love Kizuna and rely on it for their ministries, and I will continually respond to feedback and make it better.
This is something that has been in use since 2000, and I have continued to develop it gradually during the whole time since then, in response to needs and wants of its users (including myself, of course). Besides our own mission ministry and personal life, notable users have been Osaka International Church, Budounoki Cell Church, Deaf Ministries International (Japan), Global Day of Prayer Japan, the Kansai Franklin Graham Festival, and CRASH Japan. Over the years I have had additional requests for it, but I felt it wasn’t really ready for use by ministries that I didn’t have close ties to, because each installation would still require significant maintenance and support on my part.
At the CPI conference in 2011, I announced that it was “almost ready” to be made available to additional clients – I first wanted to finish some upgrades I was working on at the time. Right after that, I had several personal setbacks (in my personal life, my health, and my time schedule), and never made as much progress as I had hoped. But the areas that need work are mostly cosmetic – some pages don’t look as pretty as others, or don’t yet have Japanese capability on their labels. Everything works. So… here goes – I am considering KizunaDB available! It runs on a single server (so that I can manage upgrades, backups, etc.), but each client (a church, ministry, mission agency, individual, etc., although it does not have to be limited to Christians – it could be used by businesses for info about customers and vendors, for example) has their own completely separate secure database, can customize their interface appearance, and choose to enable or disable a variety of modules based on their specific needs.