Artificial intelligence is changing the way we do business. The technology has impacted countless industries, helping leaders find meaningful projects, create effective strategies to implement change, and facilitate efficient data analysis. The philanthropy sector is no exception to this AI-powered movement. 

New technology as a whole has become much more available and much less expensive as we charge further into this millennia. It’s easier than ever for organizations of any size to integrate AI technology into their daily practices, making operations easier, faster and more effective. 

From automating outreach and conversations to aggregating donor data, there are seemingly limitless ways AI can help philanthropists reach and exceed their goals to make a major difference. 


How are Charities Implementing AI Already?

If you’re not already using some form of AI within your organization, you may be a little late to the game. Don’t worry; there’s still plenty of time to get started. 

AI can help a charitable organization take things to the next level in the following ways:

  • Identifying potential donors via social media and other public resources
  • Pinpoint prospective donors using internal data sets
  • Online chatbots that encourage and continue conversation with the public
  • Analyzing existing and potential donor data to personalize outreach and appeals


How Does AI Make a Difference

Many leaders resist implementing AI technology because they want to keep their operations and donor interactions personal. While this reasoning has merit, it makes less sense than you might think; AI integration doesn’t mean you’re using robots for every facet of your process — it just simplifies it. Instead of spending hours of executive time crafting personalized outreach emails, AI technology can do it for you, with the details and knowledge coming back to the people who put it in motion. 

AI can actually make communication feel more personal; each recipient can have their communication and outreach personalized based on real data. So, instead of copy-and-pasting the same flat introductory email, you can appeal directly to an organization’s values and goals. 


Doing More Than Outreach

After you’ve successfully recruited donors, one of the trickiest bits of successful philanthropy is keeping those donors on track and on board. AI can solve that for you. 

Using AI technology makes it easy to monitor donor activity, and it can help give a nudge when one begins to slip or fall back on participation. Likewise, donor retention can be improved by maintaining regular contact with donors and reaching out to those who may need encouragement to stay. 

This outreach is automated based on real data you already have but likely don’t have the time to process. Performance data and personalized input will help the technology craft and send messages that get to the point and land at exactly the right time to inspire action. 


Keeping Things In Line With AI

A tool as powerful as AI requires judicious use. For philanthropy, in particular, there’s an absolute need to apply the software ethically. Always be clear with users when you’re implementing AI to initiate or continue conversations, and disclose the use of the technology with involved parties. Establish a responsible team to maintain transparency and responsible use of the technology. 

It’s important to remember that although AI technology is a game-changer, it’s not perfect. While your outreach may hit an all-time high, and your emails may be perfectly personalized, AI is not a magic bullet. Even the best AI won’t necessarily fix poor fundraising practices or inefficient operations. 


Commit to Growing

Artificial intelligence stands to teach us a lot about our fundraising practices and the industry of philanthropy as a whole. AI can help reveal missed opportunities and show leaders a better way of outreach. The important factor here is that philanthropists pay close attention to the new directions in which AI might lead them.

When AI targets or eliminates a specific donor for your program, investigate what makes them appear to be a good match. This technology can open crucial doors of opportunity, posing the potential for philanthropic growth in new and unexpected ways.