AI Tools for Fundraising
Fundraising Published Date, 2023

The Future Of Fundraising: AI Tools And Their Advantages For Nonprofits

Created By: CJ Orr
May 23, 2023

In today’s technologically driven world, artificial intelligence (AI) has transformed various industries, including fundraising for nonprofit organizations. AI tools have proven to be significant game-changers, enhancing efficiency, creativity, and personalization in donor engagement.

This article, written from my perspective as the President of Orr Group and with the use of AI, discusses the benefits of several AI tools, including ChatGPT, Beautiful.AI, and Mid Journey, in fundraising, followed by an exploration of their associated challenges.

Part I: Basic AI Tools to Help With Fundraising

ChatGPT: Enhancing Communication and HR Functions

Communications: ChatGPT is an advanced language model that has significantly influenced the nonprofit sector’s fundraising strategies. It utilizes machine learning algorithms to generate human-like text based on the input it receives. Here are a few ways it can be beneficial:

  1. Writing Cases for Support: With its extensive language model, ChatGPT can help craft compelling cases for support, outlining your organization’s mission, projects, and impact. It aids in structuring narratives that resonate with potential donors, significantly enhancing your fundraising efforts.
  2. Donor Letters and Acknowledgment Letters: ChatGPT can be used to automate the drafting process for donor letters and acknowledgment letters. The language model can produce personalized, authentic messages that ensure every donor feels recognized and appreciated.
  3. Donor Surveys: Surveys are a great way to gather donor feedback. ChatGPT can help create engaging and straightforward survey questions to gather meaningful insights from your donors.
  4. Event Invitations: Whether it’s a fundraising gala, a charity run, or a volunteer drive, ChatGPT can assist in writing enticing event invitations that encourage donor participation.
  5. Year-End Giving Appeals: Year-end appeals are a significant part of any nonprofit’s fundraising strategy. ChatGPT can help articulate compelling reasons for donors to consider making a gift at the end of the year.
  6. Social Media Content: ChatGPT can generate engaging content for social media platforms, ensuring your messaging is consistent across all channels and reaches a wider audience.

Human Resources: ChatGPT’s abilities extend beyond the realm of fundraising, branching into various aspects of human resources (HR). Here are a few ways the AI model can prove beneficial for HR functions in a nonprofit organization:

  1. Recruitment and Job Descriptions: ChatGPT can assist in drafting clear, concise, and compelling job descriptions that accurately reflect the requirements and responsibilities of a role. This can help attract the right talent for your organization.
  2. Onboarding and Welcome Letters: The AI can generate personalized welcome letters for new hires, providing a warm introduction to your organization and setting a positive tone from the start.
  3. Policy Document Drafting: ChatGPT can help write or edit HR policy documents, ensuring they are comprehensive and clear. It can also aid in updating these documents as per changes in laws or organizational practices.
  4. Internal Communications: From drafting team-wide announcements to formulating individual communication, ChatGPT can facilitate effective and timely internal communication.
  5. Training and Development Content: ChatGPT can be leveraged to create training materials or modules for various roles within the organization. This can help standardize the training process and ensure that all employees have the necessary knowledge to succeed in their roles.
  6. Employee Recognition: Acknowledging employees’ hard work and achievements is crucial for morale and retention. ChatGPT can help generate personalized recognition letters or emails, celebrating employees’ contributions.
  7. Performance Review Templates: Performance reviews can be a time-consuming process. ChatGPT can create templates for performance reviews that are comprehensive and easy to adapt for individual employees.

Beautiful.AI: Streamlining Presentation Creation

Beautiful.AI is a revolutionary tool that simplifies the process of creating visually stunning presentations. In the context of fundraising, it is particularly beneficial for:

  1. Writing Decks: Beautiful.AI’s smart templates and intuitive interface enable the easy creation of compelling pitch decks. These decks can effectively communicate your nonprofit’s mission and work, helping to engage potential donors.
  2. Cases for Support: This tool can also aid in creating visually appealing cases for support. With its robust design capabilities, Beautiful.AI allows you to present your case compellingly, enhancing your chances of securing funding.

Mid Journey: Enriching Visual Storytelling

Mid Journey is an AI tool that enables the creation of high-quality images. This can be immensely beneficial for nonprofit organizations in their fundraising endeavors:

  1. Visual Storytelling: Mid Journey can assist nonprofits in telling their stories more effectively through visuals. High-quality images can significantly increase engagement and create a stronger emotional connection with donors.
  2. Campaign Material: The tool can also be used to create engaging visuals for fundraising campaigns, social media posts, or donor reports. This boosts the visibility and appeal of your campaigns, potentially leading to increased donations.

Another AI tool worth mentioning is Fundraise Up, an AI-powered donation platform that uses machine learning to optimize the donation process. It can significantly improve donor conversion rates and average gift sizes, making it a valuable addition to your fundraising toolkit.

Part II: The Challenges of AI in Fundraising

Despite the numerous benefits of AI tools, there are MANY challenges that any AI user should be aware of:

  1. Lack of Source Information: AI tools like ChatGPT generate information based on pre-existing data, without providing the exact sources. This means additional fact-checking and editing to ensure accuracy and reliability is required.
  2. User Edits and Checks Required: While AI can generate human-like text, it’s not flawless. Users must review and edit the generated content to ensure it aligns with the organization’s voice, mission, and fundraising goals.
  3. Limited Prospecting Capabilities: AI tools like ChatGPT are not designed to provide specific information about individuals, making them less useful for prospecting. Nonprofit organizations will still need to rely on traditional methods for identifying potential donors.
  4. Legal: AI tools quickly get into what is plagiarizing and what is not. The jury is still out and there is more to come on this subject.
Part III: Did I write this article with ChatGPT?

Absolutely, but it’s not as easy as just saying – Write me an article.

  1. You need to do your research prior to even approaching ChatGPT. I researched all of these products and tested them. It was pretty fun, for sure. But, I needed to test that all these AI products can write case statements, letters, pictures, etc. – They all could.
  2. You need to provide a thorough and detailed prompt into ChatGPT. You must share what your thesis is, what your supporting materials are, and what you’d like to have ChatGPT write about in detail – the more detail, the better. Then ChatGPT writes the content. But it’s not just “poof!”, you’re done.
  3. Editing – ChatGPT and other AI platforms can get your writing 80% there; however, you have to edit it to reflect your personal tone or your organization’s tone.
  4. You must check all sources and validity of information. This is very important! You must go through and edit, review, and find sources for any stats that ChatGPT provided. Oftentimes, ChatGPT may make stuff up, so you need to be diligent in your review and sourcing.

In the end, I would usually spend about two hours thinking about, researching, and writing an article. This cut the time in half. Well worth it!

The use of AI in fundraising for nonprofits should be explored and it should be fun. Play around with these tools, test them out, and see what works for you.

Want to learn more? We recently explored these tools in real-time during our first-ever Orr Group LEARNS. Check out the webinar recording linked below!

CJ Orr

CJ Orr is President and Partner of Orr Group. As an expert project and relationship manager with 10+ years of experience in the sector, CJ utilizes data and technology to execute on the development of strategies and tactics to drive effective fundraising plans that meet or exceed targets.  

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