Every time we watch a Netflix recommended show, ask Amazon’s Alexa about the weather, or use Google’s predictive typing to finish a sentence, artificial intelligence (AI) impacts our everyday lives.
As a fundraiser, AI can also streamline your day-to-day work to help you save time and raise more for your cause. This article will outline what AI for nonprofits is and its four key benefits for fundraisers.
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What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
AI is a broad term used to define a computer’s ability to perform tasks, based on AI algorithms, that would typically require human intelligence and cognition. One of the most common applications of AI is machine learning.
Machine learning allows computers to analyze data, make decisions, and learn from their decisions to self-improve and better predict outcomes.
The use of AI and machine learning algorithms is not a new phenomenon. The world’s leading companies have long since adopted these technologies to automate and optimize their operations.
For example, the ‘People You May Know’ feature on many social media platforms uses machine learning to optimize user experiences. By analyzing the accounts you follow, these platforms make more accurate suggestions on who you’d be most interested in connecting with next.
Despite success in the for-profit sector, AI and machine learning have not been as readily available to the nonprofit sector. For a long time, these technologies have been too expensive and time-consuming to set up to be practical for nonprofit organizations.
However, there are emerging, affordable data-driven fundraising tools that can streamline the everyday work of fundraisers, allowing them to create meaningful donor connections and raise more for their cause.
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4 Key Benefits of AI for Nonprofit Fundraisers
There are four key ways fundraisers can benefit from integrating AI tools into their everyday work.
1. Automate time consuming tasks
AI systems can be trained to automate tasks that could take a fundraiser hours or days to complete. Tasks such as analyzing donor data, updating records in your database, or creating donor segments for more personalized outreach can all be enhanced with AI.
For example, a study found that donor segmentation performed by AI can save fundraisers time and increase outreach campaign revenue. The study found that with an AI-driven approach, nonprofits saw response rates of around 40% from the top 1,000 donors versus a 30% response rate for manual segmentation.
Increases in campaign performance like this can significantly improve your overall fundraising strategy. Additionally, because AI is doing most of the work for you, you have more time to connect with your most impactful donors.
2. Prioritize day-to-day fundraising efforts
AI can also enable fundraisers to prioritize their work by identifying the most promising fundraising opportunities.
For example, Fundraising KIT’s Major Donor Score feature allows fundraisers to identify the donors most likely to become major donors. KIT analyzes wealth indicators, donation histories, and demographic data to identify contacts in your database that have the capacity and interest to become major donors.
AI-powered features like this help fundraisers prioritize their outreach and know that they’re always reaching out to individuals who can make a big impact.
3. Enhance prospect research
Another benefit of AI for nonprofits is that it can limit the amount of resources required to perform prospect research.
AI is deployed by wealth screening tools like Windfall and iWave that show fundraisers which prospects have the highest likelihood of giving to their campaigns. By identifying giving indicators that align with your organization’s cause, these tools will find prospects most suited to make an impact at your organization.
Without these tools, it would take days to manually filter a database with thousands of contacts in order to find the right prospects. However, with these tools, you can save time and find the prospects most aligned with your cause.
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4. Personalize communications at scale
AI tools can analyze data to suggest how fundraisers should personalize appeals to their donors and automate outreach processes. However, manually, these processes would be far too time-consuming.
For example, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund raised $1.2 million in donations using Gravyty’s AI-powered fundraising software. This software drafts emails to donors based on their preferences and past interactions to ensure a personalized experience.
Another example of how AI can personalize communication at scale for nonprofits is the adoption of AI chatbots. Chatbots serve as an interface between donors and an organization to answer stakeholder questions and queries.
For example, the Children’s Society of the UK set up an AI-powered chatbot on their Facebook page. This bot used up to 50 preprogrammed questions and answers to communicate with supporters and gauge interest in upcoming fundraising events.
AI-powered tools like this can increase donor engagement and create a higher level of satisfaction among constituents.
Using tools like the ones highlighted in this article can empower your fundraising team to develop more meaningful donor relationships, raise more for their cause, and create more social impact.