Nonprofit Executives and Artificial Intelligence: A Path to Co-Existence
I hope you're as excited about artificial intelligence in the philanthropic sector as I am. While I'm not saying that artificial intelligence is the end all be all, it's impressive to experience the dawn of this new age. Things we never thought possible have become a reality. And many nonprofit executives across the country, in charities large and small, are embracing the power of technology. Not too long ago, I wrote about the best tools out there right now. In the coming months and years, there will be so much more that will fundamentally change how nonprofits do business.
The Changing Landscape With AI for Nonprofit Executives
Tools such as boodleAI or Gravyty have had a significant impact on the sector. Why? For instance, nonprofit leaders can customize how they reach out to not only segmented target audiences, but to each individual. That's unprecedented power, and it's changing the game of fundraising. But that's not all. It's also happening in how nonprofit organizations recruit talent. It's not only the large nonprofits getting on board. Small but creative nonprofit leaders understand that it's in their best interest to get on board as well. Investment into artificial intelligence (AI), with human oversight, is a winning combination for innovative executives.
In other words, we're past the point where we have to wait for days, weeks or months for things to get done. We're past the point where whole groups have to get the same message. Instead, many things now happen on-demand with the power of AI. And it's specificity only increases as AI learns for itself what needs to get done.
What Does AI Mean for Leaders of Nonprofit Groups, Strategically?
By now, if you've been doing some reading about AI, you understand that its power is superior to humans. Artificial intelligence, deep learning and machine learning have started to change society and philanthropy. And as it relates to the sector and nonprofit leaders, it's a great thing. It's bringing to the industry the following qualities for greater things.
So, as a nonprofit leader, you might be asking yourself, what does AI give me on a day-to-day basis? Well, there are a few things that it provides you, if you embrace it. We all know that the best executives have to take a high-level view of what's happening so they can make innovative plans. And AI helps them do just that because of the power to do so much more.
Humans can't multitask — but AI can.
For many years, many nonprofit executives and business leaders believed the fallacy that multitasking worked. Well, it doesn't. Humans don't multitask well. Despite that feeling they might get that they're achieving so much, when multitasking, they are actually doing less. Constant interruptions and different tasks take away from the focus, and it's hard to get restarted. So, while humans aren't great at multitasking, guess what? AI can do all of it for us! So, if you're looking for copywriting, note-taking and analysis all at the same time, AI can handle it without losing a beat.
CRM suffering is coming to an end.
As a nonprofit leader, you probably know that one of the most painful things is database maintenance. Yet, a good and high-quality database is vital for the success of your organization. In other words, it's crucial for the data that's inputted into your CRM to be pristine. Now, the dread of every fundraiser and nonprofit executive has come to an end. CRMs exist that are “self-updating, auto-correcting.” That allows you to spend your time focusing on what you need to focus, developing strategy and growing your programs.
Nonprofit executives can predict the future.
For many years, nonprofit leaders have wanted to know what motivates a donor to give. What makes a person answer a call-to-action for one message versus another? Is it the time of year? The story told in the copy? A visual image? And, although, there has been software on the market claiming to predict donor behavior, it's been based on things such as level of education, zip code, gender, etc. Now, tools give fundraisers the true definition of predictive analysis. Let's face it. Fundraising dollars are the life-blood of any nonprofit. What better to have AI that can increase revenue by as much as an astounding 49%?
Oversight to ensure the financial integrity of your nonprofit.
Finally, nonprofit leaders understand that donors care very much about financial integrity. As was noted by Paul D'Alessandro in this NonProfit PRO article:
"There is a financial cost to data breaches, and according to information from an earlier Verizon report, which was updated in 2018, the financial loss of 1,000 records is $52,000 to $87,000. The loss of 100,000 records is $366,500 to $614,600."
When financial loss, breaches or mismanagement occurs at nonprofits, it can be devastating. AI can alert nonprofit executives to any patterns that may need to be investigated further to ensure the integrity of nonprofit finances.
In sum, AI is coming — well, it's here. As a nonprofit leader, it's your choice to figure out if you want to embrace it or not. But, if you decide to keep to business as usual, you may be risking your organization. Chances are, a competitor will use AI and become the go-to charity doing a similar mission as yours. So embrace AI, and use its power to affect even more significant change.
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.