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How Nonprofits Are Using AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a transformative force across numerous industries, including the nonprofit sector. AI encompasses various technologies designed to perform tasks that traditionally require human intelligence, such as understanding language, analyzing data, and making recommendations.

By understanding the capabilities of AI and how it can be harnessed within the nonprofit sector, organizations can unlock new possibilities for growth, efficiency, and innovation. AI technologies can enable nonprofits to streamline operations, optimize resource allocation, and gain valuable insights to inform strategic decision-making. Here, we'll explore some of the ways that AI is already at play in the nonprofit sector, including some examples from real organizations.

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Before we begin, it is essential to recognize the limitations and concerns associated with AI technologies. AI may fail to fully understand context or accurately interpret ambiguous queries, necessitating human review and interpretation of responses. Additionally, biases in the training data can inadvertently manifest in AI outputs, requiring careful attention to ensure fairness and avoid discrimination. There are also ongoing data privacy, security, and ethics concerns associated with AI. We encourage you to thoroughly research any AI technologies you adopt and ensure that you are aware of the risks and concerns involved.

What Is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an AI chatbot that has gained significant attention recently. ChatGPT replicates humanlike text generation and understanding in order to answer questions and perform tasks using data from the Internet. This unique capability positions ChatGPT as a valuable tool for nonprofits seeking to enhance communication and engagement.

AI in Fundraising

Nonprofits can harness the power of AI to delve into their donor data and gain valuable insights. AI algorithms can predict which supporters will most likely donate by analyzing patterns, trends, and historical information. This predictive analysis enables organizations to personalize their fundraising efforts and tailor their messaging to the preferences and interests of potential donors.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has been successfully leveraging AI and machine learning techniques. To grow into a new donor audience, St. Jude analyzed past donor data to determine that patient stories are the most effective mission communication format. Using AI tools like Google's target cost-per-acquisition bidding, they have reached those new donors through language and audience testing at scale, thanks to the AI at work. That has led to a considerable increase in new donors, who now make up 25 percent of the total YouTube donation revenue for the organization.

Organizations can also leverage ChatGPT to create more personalized donation appeals to be emailed out to potential donors and constituents. It can craft impactful email subject lines, tell compelling stories, and highlight the impact of donations.

For example, you can teach ChatGPT all about your organization and its mission and then use it as an assistant. Try this prompt:

My nonprofit [Name] is on a mission to [mission statement]. We are currently raising funds for [campaign]. Please write an email to [target audience] asking for a donation of [amount]. This person is driven by [one to three drivers].

Here is a real example of what that would sound like as a school:

My nonprofit preschool ABC School of Learning is on a mission to enhance the education of underserved communities in Philadelphia. We are raising funds to improve food stability by providing lunches to all students. Please write an email to a resident asking for a donation of $20 a month. This person is driven by strengthening their community and improving their neighborhood.

ChatGPT's draft will always need editing and refining, but it can produce a great first draft, leaving you more time to tailor your messaging and test out different approaches.

AI in Communication and Outreach

In today's digital landscape, effective communication and outreach are essential for nonprofits to connect with their stakeholders and achieve their mission. By leveraging advanced technologies, nonprofits can optimize their strategies and reach a wider audience.

From engaging social media content to tailored email campaigns and targeted marketing initiatives, these approaches enable nonprofits to strengthen connections, drive engagement, and maximize the impact of their messaging.

  • Social Media: Nonprofits can leverage ChatGPT to generate engaging and relevant content for their social media platforms. With the right prompts, ChatGPT can suggest compelling posts and help develop captivating captions
  • Emails: ChatGPT can assist nonprofits in creating personalized and persuasive email campaigns. If you provide ChatGPT with your organization's donor profiles or any preferences you are aware of, ChatGPT can draft tailored email content that resonates with recipients.

ChatGPT can provide fresh ideas and use language you might not have thought of before. Nonprofits that send out monthly newsletters might struggle with creating new subject lines that are fresh and engaging. 

One idea is to provide ChatGPT with a list of the last 10 subject lines you have used. Ask it to generate 10 new ones; then use that as a jumping-off point for creative planning and writing. The same strategies can be applied to any content creation, like blogs, landing page copy, case studies, program overviews, and more. 

Experiment with Artificial Intelligence

In the rapidly evolving landscape of nonprofit organizations, leveraging the power of artificial intelligence has become increasingly vital. AI technologies like ChatGPT present opportunities for nonprofits to enhance their operations, communication, and outreach.

TechSoup Marketing Services understands the unique challenges that nonprofits face and offers tailored solutions to harness the potential of AI. With expertise in leveraging ChatGPT and other AI technologies, TechSoup Marketing Services can help nonprofits transform their communication and marketing strategies. From generating engaging social media content to crafting personalized email campaigns and implementing targeted marketing initiatives, TechSoup Marketing Services provides the expertise needed to maximize the impact of AI in driving donor engagement and support.


Additional Resources

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