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Donor Participation Project

How AI Can Enhance Your Fundraising Practice Chatbots, Data Analytics and Beyond

Fundraising technology expert Cherian Koshy shared a glimpse into the artificial intelligence tools that are enhancing nonprofit practices today on a recent Donor Participation Project session. While AI has been around for decades, new applications are making these technologies more accessible and impactful for organizations of all sizes.

According to Koshy, AI tools can help fundraisers gain valuable time, save money and better understand their data.

Chatbots, for example, can communicate with donors to answer frequently asked questions or help them complete transactions quickly. Descript, an audio/video editing tool Koshy recommends, can create video content from audio or text in seconds. These types of AI allow fundraisers to focus on relationship-building instead of repetitive administrative tasks.

On the data front, AI is enabling more robust analysis without the need for technical expertise. Koshy highlighted a tool that allowed her team to analyze 30,000 emails and gain insight into how subject lines, headers and content impacted open and click-through rates. Such knowledge helps fundraisers optimize campaigns and better engage donors.

AI should enhance, not replace, the human touchpoints in the donor experience.

While AI will continue advancing rapidly, Koshy stressed that human connection and empathy remain crucial to fundraising success. She encouraged fundraisers to consider how AI could benefit both internal operations as well as external relationships before rushing to implement the latest shiny tools.

With AI embedded in many of the technologies we engage daily, nonprofit leaders must recognize both the opportunities and obligations presented by progress. As Koshy noted, AI may soon provide table stakes functionality, but human fundraisers will always be essential to building trust and understanding donor motivation. By approaching AI thoughtfully and strategically, nonprofit fundraisers can utilize technology to forge deeper human-centered relationships. The future of fundraising, it seems, will be fueled by the perfect partnership of human and machine.

View the full recording of this session in our Resource Library.

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