Artificial intelligence (AI) will play a crucial role in the future of fundraising.
Thanks to the revolutionary developments of AI technology, this innovative digital tool will empower charities and offer a wide range of new solutions that allow charities to work smarter and continue on their path to raising money and changing lives.
While there is a fair amount of scaremongering in the industry, artificial intelligence isn’t expected to replace the role of fundraisers in the future, after all there is a significant benefit to having the ‘human touch’ when it comes to engaging with donors and prospective donors.
AI will, however, allow charities to achieve more success and become more engaged with their donors and target audiences like never before.
What is artificial intelligence?
Put simply, AI is the use of computer systems to perform traditionally-human tasks. Speech recognition, automated messaging and the lady who directs you through GPS…all examples of artificial intelligence.
In the future, AI will offer tremendous fundraising opportunity for organisations of all sizes. It may facilitate automatic conversation with users or automating repetitive tasks so fundraisers can focus on high-level tasks rather than elements of their role that could be automated by technology or software.
How can AI help your charity?
AI and predictive analytics are currently in development to offer more fundraising solutions to organisations. Charities are notoriously stretched for resources and using AI could streamline processes and boost productivity – which has the flow-on effect of boosting fundraising income.
Tasks such as creating emails with spreadsheets, interactive databases and self-writing draft emails are all functions that AI will be able to deliver autonomously, allowing the fundraising team members more time to steward and retain active donors.
Automated and repetitive administrative tasks such as emails and drafting thank you notes may all be sent with a click of a button allowing more time to focus on donor management rather than managing basic admin tasks that can often take fundraisers away from their donor base.
AI will streamline processes for resource-poor charities
One of the great benefits of AI is that it identifies patterns at scale – this fundamental benefit provides more opportunity within the charity as less time on repetitive tasks allows the organisation to connect with their donors on a deeper level.
At its core, AI will enable the fundraising sector to reach a broader audience since fundraising teams have the tools at hand to stay in touch at the click of a button.
Future systems that will incorporate AI promise to respond and communicate with potential donors to a certain level before humans need to become involved. This interaction could allow for warm leads to be managed with the use of software optimising the entire donor experience for both the donor and the organisation.
What are the challenges of AI and fundraising?
Inevitably charities will face challenges with the introduction of AI, just as change management will always have teething issues AI is no different.
Donor relationships are based on sincerity, assurance and the kindness of others. With this in mind, donor management processes and engaging adequately with supporters will always require a fine balance of AI and human engagement.
Charities will need to be cautious when using software and technology that uses AI to ensure donors engage in a fundraising experience that will continue the donor cycle. Technology can often be deemed ‘cold’ and faceless and engaging the use of AI should be done with caution. Testing with a small catchment of donors could be necessary to ensure processes are working for your donor bases and not against them.
However, opportunity prevails and AI offers excellent potential for the growth of charities. The donor data is abundant and readily available due to the frequency that charities complete data updates and profiles. New technology and digital developments place charities in a stable position compared to other industries because of the substantial data sets that have been collected over the years.
Is your charity prepared to embrace AI?
The world we live in is becoming more and more digital every day and charities must embrace the technology that’s available.
Start to imagine how artificial intelligence can help your organisation. Consider what repetitive tasks could be automated and how your organisation might tap into the benefits of artificial intelligence to enrich your donor experience and boost your fundraising goals.
Are you ready to explore the world of AI for your charity?
Sign up to the SupporterHub newsletter here.