Guide to AI in fundraising

AI fundraising tools

Did you know that most fundraisers only spend 30% of their time on activities that actually bring in gifts? A whopping 70% of their time is spent on low-impact background tasks! Read on to discover how AI fundraising tools can help.

As a fundraiser, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your organization’s fundraising objectives are met. This involves making complex decisions and juggling a multitude of tasks each day. Some of these tasks ⁠–⁠ like donor meetings, phone calls, and sending proposals ⁠–⁠ are high impact and directly drive giving. But the vast majority ⁠–⁠ like sorting lists, updating the CRM or planning travel ⁠–⁠ are low-impact tasks that tend to dominate your day while only indirectly resulting in donorship.

How to use AI in fundraising

Before diving into use cases of AI for fundraising, it’s important to dig a little deeper into AI in general. So, what is AI? In short, it’s a branch of computer science in which computers are programmed to mimic human intelligence and carry out complex thinking or decision-making tasks faster and with fewer errors than humans.

In fundraising, AI software can assimilate and process vast amounts of data at record speed and come up with valuable, actionable insights. As a gift officer, you can use AI fundraising technology like Raise from Gravyty to analyze your database, identify prospective donors, prioritize which donors to contact in which order and even draft your emails. 

7 ways to use AI fundraising software

Fundraising organizations are empowering digital gift officers to raise more donations at scale by leveraging AI technology. In order to be more effective at hitting your targets, you need to find ways to spend less time on time-sapping, lower-impact activities and more time on high-impact ones. Any tool that can help you perform your high-level tasks faster and better will also greatly impact your results. In all areas of fundraising activity, AI-enabled fundraising and donations is proving to be the game changer.

Let’s take a look at the ways in which AI can help you exceed your fundraising objectives.

1. Use AI to map the donor journey

Successful fundraising starts with a strategy. In order to execute your fundraising objectives, you need to plan out your donor journeys and create a strategy that identifies the best donors and specifies an appropriate timeline for discovery, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship. These decisions are made by analyzing the data held in your organization’s database. In most organizations, the required data—giving history, relationship information, contact details—may be found in different places, meaning you have to open up several tabs on your computer and switch between them. 

This complicated, behind-the-scenes planning takes many hours before you can even begin to build relationships with donors. AI simplifies the entire process by using algorithms to determine who to qualify, cultivate or steward and even what amounts of money to request. Your fundraising strategy is mapped out for you; all you have to do is check it and execute.

2. Use AI for prospect identification

Identifying new prospects is crucial for building a robust donor base and pipeline. It involves research, analysis, networking, and screening. AI can streamline prospect identification by combing through discovery pools and pulling out high-priority, high-capacity prospects. Some AI fundraising tools integrated directly into your CRM, identifying potential donors by analyzing donor datasets. AI can tap into criteria like financial capacity and behavioral likelihood to donate. 

Organizations can also use AI chatbots to engage with potential donors on their website, prompting them with questions about their interest in the organization and providing information on donation options. 

3. Use AI for donor cultivation & outreach

While your job is made up of many different tasks, the core of what you do is build strong personal relationships with potential donors. Most donors, no matter the giving level, appreciate personalized contact from a gift officer that they get to know over time. As a fundraiser, you build these relationships predominantly over email, so you need to carefully think out and plan each email you send. Crafting personal and friendly emails that reflect your individual style and don’t sound like generic mass mailings takes effort and time, which most gift officers don’t have. 

Use an AI fundraising tool to create a draft email incorporating all the relevant, accurate information. All you need to do is review it, edit it as you see fit and send it when you’re ready. Over time, AI fundraising software learns your tone and style and can create emails that sound exactly like you—meaning less editing and more sending.

4. Use AI for donor stewardship

It’s the little things that count, and when it comes to building relationships with donors it helps if gift officers remember small details like birthdays, anniversaries, interests and affiliations. When using traditional fundraising methods, this involves going back to the database before making each contact and looking for these small pieces of personal information.

AI fundraising software can do this task automatically and incorporate any tidbits of information in the draft emails it creates so you won’t have to keep going back to the database.

5. Use AI to personalize at scale

Personalization is no longer just a nice-to-have element of donor outreach. It’s become a major cornerstone of organizations to run efficient and impactful fundraising programs. And personalization works: 71% of donors say personalization makes them feel more engaged (Nonprofit Times’ Donor Loyalty Study). 

With AI fundraising tools, fundraisers can build stronger connections with their donors through timely, relevant outreach that goes beyond the ask. Use AI to quickly and easily thank each donor for every gift to show how much you value their support. AI can deliver personalized messaging suggestions based on key donor information like past giving history, interests, milestone dates, and other factors. 

6. Use AI to keep donor records updated

The best organizations store a wealth of data about their donors. In fact, the more data they have, the better able they are to target their communications and give each donor the right level of attention and solicitation. But a database is only as good as its data. If gift officers are so busy that they fail to update the database or CRM after each interaction, it can mean losing important information and making fundraising less efficient.

Fundraisers that diligently update the records after each contact point find they spend hours on repetitive, administrative tasks like updating contact details and copy-and-pasting mail texts into the CRM. AI can eliminate this need completely. Gravyty’s AI fundraising tool is designed to integrate with any CRM you are using and will automatically and seamlessly update as you work, giving you access to clean data each day.

7. Use AI to increase fundraiser capacity

Many fundraising departments struggle to find the time to do everything they need each day and believe that the answer is to recruit more gift officers. Often this is not in the budget, and even if it is, it can take two years until a new gift officer is fully ramped up. 

An AI-powered fundraising tool is designed to help existing gift officers carry out their tasks (and level up their skillset) with maximum efficiency. By organizing, streamlining and automating gift officers’ many tasks, AI fundraising tools like Gravyty can directly increase the fundraising capacity of each officer and make your organization far more effective at hitting and exceeding targets. 

Gravyty’s AI fundraising tool empowers gift officers to hit the ground running each day. When you open your inbox, you’ll see a series of pre-drafted emails that only need to be scanned and lightly edited before they are ready to send. All the considerations behind who to engage, how to engage them, when to engage them, and what to say has been done for you. This allows you to vastly increase the number of meaningful connections you can make in the limited amount of time you have available each day.

What is Gravyty’s AI fundraising tool?

Gravyty’s AI fundraising solution is an easy-to-use tool designed to streamline donor identification and portfolio management, and enable frontline fundraisers to reach 4x more donors personally and impactfully. Fundraisers don’t have to have years of experience using AI-powered tools to use Gravyty — it works right out of their inbox and syncs directly to an organization’s CRM. 

Using AI, Gravyty sifts through a fundraiser’s portfolio to identify the highest priority donors using information from the donor database, and puts a message into the fundraiser’s inbox each day letting them know who to reach out to and when. As for the messages themselves, Gravyty does that, too! Fundraisers get pre-written donor emails delivered to their inbox, with the predictive AI learning their communication style over time. 

Benefits of Gravyty’s AI fundraising software

  1. It identifies “hidden gem” prospects: Gravyty’s predictive AI identifies high-capacity prospects in your CRM amongst thousands of unassigned donors.
AI for donor qualification

2. It prioritizes top donors: Gravyty puts high-priority donors in your inbox each day, with background information like gift history and donation method so you can make data-driven decisions about who to contact each day.

AI pipeline development

3. It writes all data back to your CRM: All of your donor communications and notes are automatically written back to your CRM in a bidirectional integration.

AI fundraising tool CRM integration

4. It writes donor emails for you: Gravyty’s predictive AI pre-writes email drafts, learning your writing style over time, so all you have to do is review, edit and send.

AI donor email outreach

5. It gives you a daily action plan: With Gravyty, fundraisers get a tailored action plan in their inbox each day, giving recommendations and prompts on who to reach out to. Track completed actions so you don’t miss a beat.

AI fundraising software

6. It integrates with easy video messaging: In a digital world, fundraisers have to tap into channels beyond just email to engage their valued donors. Gravyty is an end-to-end fundraising solution that lets fundraisers and other staff send personal video messages to donors at scale with a few clicks. 

Unlock the power of AI for fundraising

AI is the way to go if you want to exceed your fundraising objectives without recruiting more gift officers or overtaxing your budget. Using the power of machine learning, you can simplify many of your more complex tasks, strategize more effectively and also churn through a lot of the lower-level tasks faster and more efficiently. AI fundraising leaves gift officers with more time for building relationships and making an impact where it matters most. 

Gravyty helps fundraisers 4x their donor outreach, significantly improving outcomes. Create a sustainable, scalable pipeline through AI-powered donor discovery, integrated digital giving data, portfolio saturation and omnichannel donor outreach. Reach the right people at the right time with smart prompts, video messaging, and donor communications that write themselves. Contact us to get a demo today.

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