How AI is Revolutionizing Fundraising

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Artificial intelligence is taking the fundraising world by storm, bringing new efficiencies and unprecedented insights to the fundraising process. But despite its vast potential, a striking 58 percent of nonprofits have yet to harness AI’s power, according to a recent survey. This hesitancy leaves a wealth of untapped opportunities to elevate fundraising endeavors to new heights.

AI will never replace people in fundraising — raising money is fundamentally about relationships and human connection. Yet it has been said that people who know how to use AI for fundraising successfully will eventually replace those who don’t.

Here are some of the key ways nonprofit organizations can benefit by incorporating AI in their fundraising processes:

Saving Time and Boosting Efficiency — AI is a game-changer in automating the monotonous yet essential tasks that consume much of development staff’s time. Imagine seamlessly integrating donation records into your CRM (your donor database), sending personalized acknowledgments, and even crafting social media content — all without lifting a finger. This isn’t mere speculation; it’s a capability already being offered by many platforms that are integrating AI to redefine fundraising and marketing efficiency.

The good news is that these features are increasingly being built into existing fundraising software solutions, obviating the need to use standalone AI solutions like ChatGPT. It is no accident that the industry’s two leading wealth screening platforms, iWave and Donor Search, recently announced mergers, acquisitions or partnerships with companies specializing in combining the prowess of donor prospecting with AI’s generative capabilities, setting a new standard for smart fundraising.

  • A new company called Kindsight will now combine iWave’s donor prospecting technology with Nonprofit Operating Systems’ generative AI capabilities and UC Innovation’s CRM platform, which customizes Salesforce for fundraising applications.
  • Similarly DonorSearch recently announced a partnership with Momentum, a trailblazer in building AI applications for fundraising.
  • And a company called Gravyty provides a suite of AI-powered fundraising capabilities that integrate seamlessly with leading CRMs and donor management systems like Raiser’s Edge, Blackbaud and Salesforce.

These integrations will combine intelligence on donor prospects with systems that organizations already use for keeping track of and communicating with their existing and potential supporters.

Powering Fundraising Requests — The strength of your appeal can define your fundraising success. Here, Generative AI has emerged as an invaluable ally, transforming the art of creating compelling requests. Tools adept at crafting fresh, engaging content can now personalize pitches to resonate deeply with potential donors, based on data about their preferences, capacity and giving history. (Generative AI even provided editing suggestions for this article, to make it stronger and more compelling!)

There are also now solutions to assist with preparing compelling grant requests for institutional funders. Grantable, for example, can draft grant proposals that mirror your organization’s unique voice and past successes, ensuring every word speaks directly to your mission.

Every solution requires human intervention in the final editing process, but many of these tools can save enormous amounts of time by analyzing proposal requirements and preparing very good first drafts, based on existing information about your program, cause or organization. And with simple prompts, the tone and voice of a particular pitch or proposal can be adapted to the target audience.

Using Predictive Power to Heighten Fundraising Success — At the heart of AI’s potential lies its ability to sift through vast data pools, identifying patterns and making predictions that were once beyond reach. Organizations can now survey and analyze vast amounts of publicly available information about donors to gauge an individual’s potential and likelihood of contributing. This approach doesn’t just prioritize prospects; it revolutionizes donor segmentation and how we understand donor engagement, enabling targeted efforts that yield remarkable returns. One organization, Greenpeace AU, found that its use of AI-driven strategies led to a 12-fold return on investment, underscoring the transformative impact of these technologies.

AI’s ability to predict fundraising potential depends on the quality of the data it is provided. The old saying “garbage in, garbage out” remains truer today than ever before. In the age of AI, it is now more important than ever for nonprofits to maintain good “data hygiene”: up-to-date, detailed information not only on their donors’ giving history, but also on their involvement in your organization, their specific interests, and their personal preferences. Maintaining a robust CRM database is now mission critical.

That being said, it’s crucial to remember at the same time that AI’s role is to augment, not replace, the human touch in fundraising. While its capabilities can significantly enhance efficiency and outcomes, the essence of fundraising — building relationships and understanding donor motivations — remains inherently human. The ethical use of AI, coupled with mindful integration into fundraising strategies, is essential to harness its benefits while maintaining the trust and integrity of our missions.

Embarking on the AI Journey with Amplify Partners — As we stand at the cusp of this new era, the question is no longer if AI should be part of your fundraising strategy, but how. Amplify Partners is dedicated to guiding nonprofit organizations through this evolving landscape, identifying AI tools and strategies that align with your unique goals. Whether you’re looking to streamline operations, enhance your fundraising appeals, or unlock new insights into your donor base, AI offers a path forward filled with potential.

To learn how AI can transform your fundraising efforts, first check out this overview on AI for nonprofits. Then to explore further how you can incorporate AI in your fundraising efforts and discover the tools best suited for your organization, reach out to us at Together, let’s navigate this promising frontier together, harnessing technology to amplify your impact and advance your mission like never before.

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