Jul 20 2023

How Nonprofits Are Leveraging AI to Improve Workflow

Nonprofits are constantly tasked with meeting high demands with limited resources. Artificial intelligence can help.

Nonprofits face high demand for their programs and services. But often, budgets are insufficient to meet this demand. This issue continues to worsen: BKD’s 2022 “State of the Nonprofit Sector report found that 58 percent of nonprofits were dealing with budget shortfalls, and 71percent were hampered by staffing shortages. Philanthropy News Digest also reports that 59 percent of nonprofits have implemented new technology to improve efficiencies.

One tool that can help streamline operations is artificial intelligence, a tool that nonprofits are investing in heavily this year, according to recent research. 

AI has the unique capability to help nonprofits automate workflows, increase efficiency and maximize resources so that they can do more with less. Here are some of the key ways nonprofits are leveraging AI to improve workflow.

Deploying AI to Automate Backend Processes 

Between documenting communication attempts across prospect lists, tracking donations, accounting for funds and more, nonprofit staffers have many time-consuming responsibilities. Deploying AI technologies can help with donor communications and stewardship, data extraction, and daily communications. It also can reduce the likelihood of errors in these processes.

By automating back-end processes, AI technologies empower nonprofit staffs to use their time to play to their skill sets, leading workshop, cultivating donors or strategizing on new initiatives.

This automation also helps cut costs and remove the potential for human error in the handling of highly sensitive data.

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Using AI to Fast-Track Fundraising Outreach

Nonprofits rely on the generosity of donors for financial support, making fundraising outreach a crucial element of success. Whether that means writing copy for social media posts or crafting personalized letters to current and prospective donors, this outreach takes time. Now, it can be done much faster.

Nonprofits can choose from public AI tools such as ChatGPT and Fundwriter.ai. The latter is a fundraising assistant that can draft professional appeals, emails, posts and more.

AI also helps with predictive analytics and donor segmentation so nonprofits can improve their fundraising strategies. Even with this resource, however, it’s good practice for staff to review all AI copy to ensure all content is fully accurate and fits the mission statement. Since nonprofits are such a relationship-based industry, leaders would be wise to lean on AI as a starting point but not solely rely on it. After all, communications should still read as personal and human.

LEANR MORE: How generative AI can boost efficiency and reduce stress.

Leveraging AI to Provide 24/7 Support

AI-powered chatbots, especially those using natural language processing, can be leveraged to provide 24/7 support to a nonprofit’s constituents, providing the services and information they need in a timely manner and allowing staff to spend more of their time on tasks that require a human touch.

Chatbots also enable nonprofits to operate outside of normal business hours and remain accessible to community members, donors and stakeholders. There’s no need to worry about a chatbot deterring people from engaging with an organization, either: 64 percent of users say that chatbots’ 24-hour availability is their most enticing feature, and live chatting software has a 73 percent satisfaction rate among customers.

DISCOVER: Consider these five steps to achieve analytics and AI success.

Outfitting Your Nonprofit with AI Tools

AI is no longer the future; it’s happening now. It can help prevent burnout by serving as a daily timesaving tool and is a fast-track solution to a mix of workforce pressures.

The more AI is integrated into daily routines and workflow, the more nonprofits can expect industrywide transformations. A Goldman Sachs report estimates that AI could eventually increase annual global GDP by 7 percent.

For nonprofits considering which AI tool is right for them, consider companies such as IBM, VMWare and Azure, which have private platforms that are secure, safe and can be customized to fit your organization’s needs.

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