Genealogy from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon, LDS)

Friday, February 24, 2017

My Experiences with The Family History Guide

During the past few weeks, I have been heavily involved in reviewing, teaching and talking about The Family History Guide. This has been primarily by my own choice. During the recent RootsTech 2017, I taught a number of fifteen-minute classes at The Family History Guide Booth and because I was wearing a shirt with the logo on it, I spent even more time talking to people about the program. Without exception, the comments and experiences of those who took the time to talk to me were positive and even very emotionally touching. Many people went out of their way to stop me and comment on the program. If you would like to experience some of the comments I heard, you can go to the Quotes page of the website and read a few of the hundreds of comments we received.

When I was asked to teach so many classes over the three days of RootsTech 2017 for The Family History Guide, I was a little taken aback. I spend a lot of time at RootsTech talking to people about the state of the genealogical community, but I personally felt upon immediate reflection, that there was no other program that had the same potential to actually affect a huge part of the genealogical community is a such a positive way as does The Family History Guide.

The main challenge of the program is obviously funding. The developers have set up a low-profit, limited liability company or L3C corporation. Quoting from Wikipedia:
An L3C is a for-profit, social enterprise venture that has a stated goal of performing a socially beneficial purpose, not maximizing income.[5][6][7] It is a hybrid structure that combines the legal and tax flexibility of a traditional LLC, the social benefits of a nonprofit organization, and the branding and market positioning advantages of a social enterprise.[8][9] The L3C is obligated to be mission-driven so there is a clear order of priorities for its fiduciaries.[2] 
The L3C is designed to make it easier for socially oriented businesses to attract investments from foundations and additional money from private investors.[10][11] Unlike the traditional LLC, the L3C's articles of organization are required by law to mirror the federal tax standards for program-related investing.[12] A program-related investment (PRI) is one way in which foundations can satisfy their obligation under the Tax Reform Act of 1969 to distribute at least 5% of their assets every year for charitable purposes.[8] While foundations usually meet this requirement through grants, investments in L3Cs and charities that qualify as PRIs can also fulfill the requirement while allowing the foundations to receive a return.[13]
I have included all of the references to provide even more information. In short, The Family History Guide needs supporters. The people who are developing and maintaining this program are volunteers, just like me. If you know of someone who could help with funding please have them contact us through the website.

Now, what I have seen already leads me to view the website's potential for the future. The major benefit of the website now is content and adding more content will improve the website. So, I am going to be working on suggesting additional content. If you see areas that need to be expanded in the website, please feel free to suggest those areas to me.

I have a lot of other areas where I spend my time, but this, right now, is a priority.

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