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How AI is revolutionizing the role of the digital gift officer

Revolutionize DGO with AI

It’s clear that technology plays a crucial role in helping digital gift officers (DGO), sometimes known as donor experience officers, manage their portfolios and engage with donors in a personalized way. The use of prescriptive action plans and communication cadences seems to be a common practice among organizations, and the ability to customize these plans to the donor’s interests and needs is key to building strong relationships between a donor and digital gift officer.

The success stories from countless organizations and educational institutions show the tremendous return on investment that can be achieved through digital gift programs. It’s encouraging to see that the role of digital gift officers is becoming more prominent and recognized as a vital part of the fundraising process.

What is a digital gift officer?

A digital gift officer, sometimes known as a donor experience officer, takes a digital-first approach to donor outreach and communication. They view the donor journey holistically, and leverage multiple channels like email, text, social media and video to engage donors in a personalized, scalable way. Digital gift officers are typically tasked with portfolios of hundreds of donors. 

Be “politely persistent” at scale with the power of AI

We know there is a delicate balance that requires a deep understanding of each donor’s preferences and communication style.

With such large portfolios to manage, you need technology that can help efficiently scale the work and improve donor engagement metrics. With the help of AI and machine learning technology, donor experience officers can navigate this challenge and create meaningful connections with thousands of donors at scale. 

Five ways to use AI to scale a personalized donor experience

Prioritize the level of engagement

Not every donor should receive the same type and level of outreach and personalization. Implement a strategy that helps accelerate your pipeline. This can mean increased engagement for donors that have upgraded significantly, those that have high potential and just made their first gift and those beginning their giving to the organization at a higher gift size.

Automate administrative tasks as much as possible 

Administrative tasks take up an average of 70% of a fundraiser’s time—70%! Tasks like reviewing donor data, contact reports, prioritizing outreach and planning travel mean less time for personal relationship-building. Put AI to work to automate those tasks and open up more time in your day for what matters most… connecting and building relationships with your donors.

Personalize, personalize, personalize 

According to Nonprofit Times’ Donor Loyalty Study, 71% of donors said personalization makes them feel more engaged. Find strategic and scalable ways to personalize your donor communications. Use AI to create customized messages for each donor based on their giving history, interests, and other relevant data. This allows for a more authentic and engaging outreach, resulting in higher response rates and increased giving.

Make the ask personal

Knowing exactly what to ask, how to ask, and when to ask it is both a science and an art in fundraising. AI can let you tap into factors like previous gift amount and personal life events to reach donors when it matters most, and cut through the noise with different communication channels like personalized video. 

Show—don’t tell. 

Like it or not, we live in a digital world with short attention spans. Cut through the clutter of competing organizations with video thank-yous, unique stories of where their donations are going, and frequent updates on campaign progress. 

Raise from Gravyty is an AI-powered fundraising enablement solution that enables frontline fundraisers to create segments and portfolios for consistent, personalized communication and solicitation. The AI solution makes it possible to create more automated and consistent personalized (and omni-channel) stewardship touches for different cohorts of donors at scale, all while integrating with your CRM. 

Top ways Raise can streamline your digital gift officer program:

Effectively manage over a thousand donor portfolios

Maintaining quality relationships with 250-500 donors is hard enough for most gift officers, but now that DGOs are typically tasked with reaching a thousand or more donors, the job just gets harder and harder. Raise from Gravyty can significantly reduce the workload, enabling one DGO to reach many donors in an effective manner. 

Reach donors authentically through a seamless CRM integration 

Raise connects seamlessly to your organization’s CRM and uses the data stored there to provide DGOs with effective outreach ideas based on factors like the donor’s giving preferences, affiliations and memberships within your organization, outreach preferences and length of relationships with the school. 

For example, DGOs will receive prompts in their inbox when it’s a good time to reach out to a particular donor for a specific campaign they might be interested in. DGOs can also receive prompts to thank donors for gifts already received, send special birthday wishes or simply reach out at a regular cadence. 

Using Raise’s data-driven insights and helpful prompts, the DGO is able to reach out meaningfully to donors at the right time and in the right way. They don’t need to spend hours manually segmenting lists and prioritizing donors, resulting in more time to build stronger donor relationships.

Harness the power of personalized communication 

In this era of information overload, every communication a fundraiser sends is competing for the donor’s attention with multiple emails, social media posts and other outreach efforts launched by other organizations. An important part of a DGO’s role is standing out in a sea of competing messages and solicitations. 

Knowing details about the person you’re trying to reach like their major at your institution, sports or clubs they participated in, what philanthropic initiatives interest them, and even when their birthday is, can help DGOs craft personalized messages that hit the mark with your donors. 

The problem, as ever, is time. Searching the database hundreds of times over to find these tidbits of information takes more time than most DGOs have available in the day. 

Raise solves this by extracting relevant data and presenting it in the form of prompts. Raise’s machine learning capabilities learn the digital gift officer’s communication style, using it to draft personalized emails that mimic the fundraiser’s voice that need only be quickly reviewed before being sent. 

Lean into omni-channel engagement

Another major roadblock to reaching donors in a meaningful way is not tapping into an omni-channel approach to outreach. 

According to Giving USA’s Giving by Generation special report, more than three quarters (76%) of Gen Z say they give online. Aside from Boomers, all other generations say they prefer to respond online in response to a direct mail appeal. 

It’s clear donors of today choose to engage through a variety of digital channels (email, text, social media). Email can be effective if it’s been crafted thoughtfully, but it doesn’t capture other key channels donors engage in, such as text, video and social media. 

The Gravyty platform offers an integrated approach to donor engagement and stewardship, letting you seamlessly connect with donors across multiple channels, such as email, text and personalized video, to maximize outreach effectiveness which ensures that no potential donor is left untapped.

Use cases: Equip the whole advancement team with the power of AI

AI can play a game-changing role in the day-to-day of any fundraising team from major gifts to annual giving to donor relations. 

Major gifts and leadership giving

  • Enhance lead identification of new major gift prospects by implementing a multi-channel data-driven DGO/DXO program targeting the university’s best near-term prospects capable of making high leadership or major gifts by utilizing a sales enablement software solution.
  • Build highly personalized relationships by executing concierge-like outreach at scale (portfolios of 1,000 per DGO/DXO) to cultivate and solicit leadership, planned, and major gifts. 
  • Fully train and co-manage program execution.

Advancement services

  • Bi-directional integration of data without manual pushing and importing of files.
  • Ability to track members of a portfolio’s time in prospect status without manual look up.
  • Ease of initial setup and ability to build and track multichannel outreach and feed that information back to your CRM.

Annual giving

  • Create segments or portfolios to enable consistent, personalized communications (e.g. President’s Club, Loyal Society, Recent Alumni Leadership Circle, first time donors).
  • Serve as an alternative to a phone center. 

Alumni engagement

  • Create volunteer segments or portfolios for consistent and personalized communication.
  • Create an “engagement” portfolio of those interested in staying connected and possibly volunteering that should be personally provided with engagement opportunities. 
  • Allow for scaling of personal portfolios to assist in the identification of the next generation of alumni leaders (volunteers, donors).

Donor relations

  • Create more automated and consistent personalized stewardship communication for different cohorts of donors to maximize giving impact experience.
  • Analyze donor experience to identify behavior-based giving patterns. 
  • Increase donor engagement and leadership, participation and planned gifts. 

Meeting your donors where they are today—and beyond—with the power of AI and the digital gift officer

What will it take to revolutionize the donor experience? Strong relationships that fuel the fundraising process! 

Gravyty enables frontline fundraisers to create a seamless and scalable digital-first donor experience through the power of AI, cutting edge integrations, digital giving and omni-channel engagement. Get your free consultation.

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