Artificial intelligence is the king of all technologies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
In the last decade, it has transformed nearly every industry and business domain by enabling organizations to process silos of data from various sources for quick and more intelligent decision-making.
Every sector has integrated AI into their daily operations, from manufacturing to retail, agriculture, and healthcare.
However, in recent years, non-profit organizations have also been getting in on the action by leveraging AI in different operational aspects, especially fundraising.
In this post, we’ll share ten ways charities can use AI for fundraising, from pre-planning to launch, marketing, collection, and results evaluation.
Hopefully, with this guide, you can create more efficient, targeted, and personalized AI-driven fundraising campaigns for your non-profit initiatives.
AI-Enhanced Donor Data Analytics
Donor data analytics is the process of extracting, authenticating, and analyzing donor information, including:
- their name;
- contact details;
- donation history, etc.
To identify patterns and preferences.
Using an AI-powered donor or fundraising campaign management platform, you can centralize donor data into a single digital location and generate valuable insights for more effective targeting.
Enhancing Donor Prospect Research
Non-profit organizations actively use social media to gain valuable insights about social issues, donor preferences, and other information. By leveraging AI-powered social media listening tools, they can improve the following:
- Brand monitoring;
- Campaign tracking;
- Content creation & curation research;
- Customer service;
- Reputation management, etc.
Overall, AI social media listening allows you to cut through the digital noise and stay current with trends in the nonprofit industry, your community, and other essential information.
AI-Optimized Online Donation Forms
Raisley said the average donor conversation rate in 2021 was just 17%. One of the main reasons for the low conversion rate is the donation forms charities use for their fundraising campaigns.
They’re generally lengthy, complicated, and not mobile-friendly. Some lack sufficient information about the charity or its mission. Others have limited payment options. All these issues (and more) make it more difficult for potential donors to complete their transactions.
You can optimize your online donation process using AI data analytics by tweaking your form’s layout, content, call-to-action, and other details.
Automated Email Fundraising Campaigns
Email marketing is one of the most important business communication channels today. Many email solutions allow you to automate email campaigns. You have to feed them your data, and it can take care of everything, including:
- List segmentation;
- KPI tracking (open rate, click-through rate, etc.);
- A/B testing, etc.
Charities can leverage email automation to send AI-driven fundraising campaigns to a large audience. You can target specific donors based on location, history, and preferred causes. You can also strategically plan your engagement with drip campaigns.
AI-Assisted Content Marketing
Webfx claims over 80% of marketers leverage artificial intelligence in their marketing activities, including content development. You can do the same for your charity websites and social media pages by using tools like ChatGPT to write:
- Web copy;
- Grant proposals;
- Surveys, etc.
These solutions can assist you in drafting highly personalized content with the help of natural language processing technology. You can craft emotionally-engaging content to entice donors to support your causes and fund your campaigns.
AI-Driven Charity Event Planning & Logistics
Non-profit organizations host charity and community events to engage with potential donors and discuss their initiatives and targets. However, planning such events can be extremely difficult due to limited budgets, uncertain outcomes, and other factors.
With AI analytics, you can predict donor attendance and plan events according to their preferences in terms of:
- Personal values and beliefs;
- Event theme;
- Spending power;
- Cost of attendance;
- Reputation and credibility;
- Location, etc.
Moreover, you can use AI-enhanced logistics solutions to enhance event planning and management with automated communications, proper resource allocation, and personalized attendee experiences.
AI-Assisted Merchandise & Print Media Design
Non-profit organizations rely heavily on merchandise and print media to raise awareness about their cause. Popular materials include:
- Branded T-shirts;
- Pens and notebooks;
- Hats and caps;
- Pins and badges;
- Calendars, etc.
Using AI-enhanced design tools, they can simplify and accelerate material creation while enhancing its visual appeal. They can use these items to target donors when running their fundraising campaigns and improve your charity’s visibility, credibility, and engagement.
Charities often can’t proceed with their initiatives until they’ve raised sufficient capital for operations. Therefore, donation prediction is a crucial aspect of project planning and management.
With data-driven prediction models and AI algorithms, you can estimate how much money you can raise from your fundraising campaign and use it accordingly.
For example, you can leverage historical donation patterns and personalize your campaigns to target existing and new donors.
AI-Enhanced Team Management
Most charities and non-profit organizations have teams dispersed in their communities and other target locations. AI-enhanced human resources and project management tools can help you streamline and optimize operations, from planning to organization, donor engagement, donation collection, etc.
Below are a few examples of how AI solutions can help:
- Modern project management tools can help you delegate responsibilities and track fundraising campaign progress. You can also monitor your team’s workload and performance in real time;
- AI recruitment software can screen volunteer/employee resumes to streamline the hiring and onboarding process;
- AI chatbots can automate donor communication and customer service while your team focuses on core activities.
Virtual Fundraising Events
Finally, you can also use AI for fundraising by hosting virtual fundraising events and collecting donations.
Many modern platforms allow you to engage with donors online in real time through live streaming. To measure success, you can reach a global audience and track metrics like attendance and donations.
Understanding & Mitigating the Security Risks of AI-Fundraising
Leveraging AI-enhanced solutions to create, send, or analyze fundraising campaigns can transform donor engagement and charity collection.
However, before using AI for fundraising, you must acknowledge the security risks of collecting, storing, and sharing donor data.
For instance, the last thing you want is to get your IP address hacked by malicious criminals looking to steal your donor’s personal and financial information.
So, you'll need to be diligent and adopt innovative security measures at every touchpoint in your fundraising operations.
Here’s how you can mitigate or eliminate security risks:
Many hackers target non-profit organizations using malware to infiltrate their systems and steal donor data.
Therefore, you must deploy advanced anti-malware software on all devices you use for fundraising operations to eliminate threats like ransomware, spyware, etc.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
When using AI for fundraising campaigns, ask everyone involved in the project to use a VPN to mask their IP addresses and encrypt their traffic. Doing so will make it nearly impossible for anyone to intercept your data.
Fundraising campaigns mandate using famous communication channels like email and text messaging. Unfortunately, many hackers target these channels for phishing and social engineering scams. So, you'll need to train your team to handle donor data vigilantly.
Zero-Trust Access Management
Finally, it would be best to adopt strict access management protocols and only allowed authorized personnel to access AI solutions and donor databases for fundraising campaign development.
Adopting AI tools and solutions for fundraising campaign development or dispersal can fast-track your nonprofit initiatives and optimize donor engagement.
From automated fundraising email marketing to AI-powered data analytics, you can use any of the ten ways above to foster stronger donor relationships.
However, you must remain vigilant about cybersecurity and employ innovative protocols to maximize data integrity and privacy. You need to build and maintain donor trust to gain their support for your charity. One way to do that is by assuring their data is safe.