The future of fundraising – artificial intelligence

Man promoting artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is helping not-for-profits across the globe to be more competitive. Many have fully embraced it to automate routine tasks, enhance storytelling, build relationships and increase fundraising revenues.

Unfortunately, the Australian charity sector is still quite young and is generally viewed to be about a decade behind more developed markets such as England and America. It struggles to keep up with technological advances like artificial intelligence that could dramatically increase its efficiencies and financial sustainability.

Perceived barriers include a shortage of time/resources, budget constraints and perhaps more importantly a lack of understanding of what technologies are available and how they can be used.

Artificial intelligence has already transformed many other industries including retail and banking. The millennials and Gen Z have grown up using it, they like engaging with it and those that have interacted with it for fundraising purposes say they are more likely to give when they use it. And these generations are going to be the donors of the future and expect a higher level of digital engagement and if charities don’t meet this need, they risk declining supporters and revenues.

So how exactly can artificial intelligence help not-for-profits increase their fundraising potential today?

It can help to identify the most promising fundraisers efficiently and effectively. Many not-for-profits have extensive data on their donors held in their customer relationship management systems, but as they lack resources (staff and money) they don’t have the time to sift through past fundraising campaign data to identify the traits of those who have given in the past.

By accessing this information through artificial intelligence, it can make insights based on the data, but also learn from them, constantly evolving to make sure that they’re finding the best prospects who are most likely to give more.

Artificial intelligence based chatbots can help not-for-profits automate customer service. At least for the most frequently asked customer questions. First-line support queries that get asked frequently and on a daily basis can be answered by chatbots and then the more complex questions can still be managed by human personnel.

This would free up a lot of time for not-for-profits so that they can focus on more strategic activities.

Artificial intelligence based chatbots can also enhance a not-for-profits’ storytelling and impact engagement. The Walk with Yeshi Facebook Messenger chatbot is a great example of this. It provides an emotional account of an Ethiopian girl called Yeshi and her journey to collect water every day.

Users actually feel part of Yeshi’s journey through shared images, videos and responsive questions. It’s a great example of how a not-for-profit can successfully use a chatbot to tell its story but also engage donors and encourage donations.

These are just a few examples of how artificial intelligence is changing the fundraising game.

If Australian not-for-profits want to survive into the future they need to take advantage of innovative technology like artificial intelligence. As it’s already being successfully used by many industries across the globe, they will be pleasantly surprised to find it’s not as expensive as they might think and it’s also not as complex either.

It’s a great way to engage prospective donors, spread their message, easily communicate with their supporters and raise vital funds to help those who need it most.

If you want to keep up to date with the latest innovations in digital marketing why not contact Andrea Jones at Redhead Digital Marketing – andrea@redheaddigital.com.au. Or book a free one-hour consultation. 

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