3 Tips to Help Your Donors Become Smart About Philanthropic Giving
As we know, philanthropic giving is a crucial part of society. It enables individuals, nonprofits and corporations to invest in causes and initiatives that can help create a better world. But we’ve come to an inflection point. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re in the midst of the artificial intelligence revolution. And it's going to change philanthropy fundamentally.
When you have Google calling a “code red" to compete with OpenAI, massive disruption is underway, and it's only a matter of time before it spills down from the multinationals to Main Street. It's easy to envision a world where more power shifts to nonprofit donors. Imagine a world where they ask AI for nonprofit suggestions for donating.
The Power of ChatGPT to Give Donors Quick Information
You don’t have to wait that long. It’s already happened. I typed a search request into OpenAI ChatGPT, “What are the best nonprofits in Florida?” What could have taken me some research time was delivered to me in, oh, about 30 seconds.
The "best" nonprofits in Florida can be subjective and depend on individual values and beliefs. However, some highly rated and well-known nonprofits in Florida include:
- Feeding South Florida
- Habitat for Humanity of Broward County
- Miami Rescue Mission
- National Parkinson Foundation
- Place of Hope
- Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Florida
- Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
- The ALS Association Florida Chapter
- The Children's Home Society of Florida
- United Way of Miami-Dade
Again, it's important to research and evaluate a nonprofit's specific mission and impact before making a donation.
Of course, we know generative AI isn’t perfect, so in theory, if I were looking to donate, I'd have to look at these organizations. But, right out of the gate, I have a list of names. If you operate in Florida, my question is if your nonprofit is on the list. If not, you might worry.
What a Nonprofit Can Do to Inform Donors
The fact of the matter is that technology is evolving at such an exponentially rapid rate that it's expected that it will exceed human authority by the end of the decade. Therefore, for nonprofit leaders, now's the time for transformation. And one of the most vital parts to transform is your relationship with your donors. In other words, it’s vital that you help them understand how to do their due diligence in the knowledge age for a good cause. Here are three suggestions.
1. Doing the Due Diligence
Before donating, they should do their due diligence and research into nonprofits — including yours. It means checking websites, reviewing financial statements and looking for independent evaluations of their work.
However, in the age of exceedingly potent technology, it means verifying. The fact is that generative AI was built on data from the internet. As such, you can't trust everything it creates. Everything must be verified.
Further, donors need to use these technologies as starting points. It’s fine to use them for ideas and prompts for further research. But it’s not OK to rely on them blindly and never look further into the research, including nonprofits. In short, there’s a much greater potential for scams now more than ever.
2. Defining Goals and Priorities
The fact of the matter is that in a world of technology, the very idea of philanthropy hasn’t changed since the idea first came to life in Ancient Greece. Therefore, it’s essential to help donors realize that the first step in becoming a smart philanthropic giver is to define their goals and priorities.
That means taking the time to reflect on the causes and initiatives they're passionate about and what they hope to achieve through giving. As a nonprofit leader, you could help them by celebrating the very idea of philanthropy and providing resources for how to be a better donor or volunteer.
As you know, once you have donors who clearly understand their goals and priorities, they can better align with your work. And that means you can develop meaningful relationships with sustaining donors instead of one-time donors.
3. Give Regularly and Strategically
Finally, to maximize impact, giving regularly and strategically is essential. As fundraisers know, it means making a long-term commitment to a cause rather than just making a one-time donation. So, as you inform your donors on how to be better champions in the age of technology, it’s a message you could also include.
The fact of the matter is that this time is a moment when a significant paradigm shift is happening. However, humans don't change — even if our tools and resources do. So, it's on nonprofit leaders and fundraisers to help clarify this changing dynamic for donors to help develop meaningful person-to-person relationships.
As a nonprofit leader, you and your team can help inform donors about becoming smart philanthropic givers. You can share that it requires a combination of self-reflection, critical research and strategic purpose. And in so doing, they can make the most impact, in partnership with your nonprofit, with their philanthropic giving and in helping create a better world.
The preceding blog was provided by an individual unaffiliated with NonProfit PRO. The views expressed within do not directly reflect the thoughts or opinions of NonProfit PRO.
Wayne Elsey is the founder and CEO of Elsey Enterprises. Among his various independent brands, he is also the founder and CEO of Funds2Orgs, a social enterprise that helps nonprofits, schools, churches, civic groups, individuals and others raise funds, while helping to support micro-enterprise (small business) opportunities in developing nations and the environment.
You can learn more about Wayne and obtain free resources, including his books on his blog, Not Your Father’s Charity.