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Not-for-profit organizations continue to grapple with a persistent shortage of employees, affecting their ability to serve their clients and fulfill their missions. This staffing crisis leads to longer waits for services, fewer services offered and sometimes even the discontinuation of certain services.
While some not-for-profits turn to outsourcing and automation to help, those solutions only address a portion of the problem. A significant amount of employee time is still consumed by small, repetitive tasks that, while mundane, are essential to the organization's day-to-day operations. This diversion of resources means that employees have less time to devote to more impactful aspects of their work, which could include strategic planning, direct client interaction or program development.
This is where artificial intelligence (AI) can be helpful. AI isn’t just about writing tools like ChatGPT. Various AI tools can assist with everything from making presentation slides to researching donors.
By using AI, not-for-profits can automate routine tasks, freeing up staff to concentrate on more significant aspects of their mission. AI allows organizations to work more efficiently and effectively despite their staffing challenges.
Let’s explore some AI tools that can enhance your organization’s capabilities.
Prospect research is essential for not-for-profits, identifying and evaluating potential donors based on their capacity to give and their interest in the organization's mission. This involves analyzing their financial background, philanthropic tendencies and personal interests. The aim is to craft targeted fundraising strategies for likely supporters, therefore building strong donor relationships and enhancing fundraising effectiveness.
To help with this process, several prospect research databases are available online, offering valuable insights into donors and prospects. Selecting the right database requires consideration of factors such as the organization’s budget and the tool's user-friendliness. For example, DonorSearch Ai, one of the leading prospect research AI tools available for not-for-profits, uses millions of data points and thousands of calculations to identify patterns and process extensive information that helps it recommend prospects most likely to donate to your organization within a 12-month period.
Additionally, social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook can be instrumental in gaining a deeper understanding of donors and potential supporters. However, it's crucial to use these tools ethically, always keeping in mind the purpose behind the research — to authentically engage and connect with donors in a manner that respects their preferences and privacy.
Grant research presents a significant challenge for not-for-profits, especially those without a specialized research and proposal writing team. Not-for-profits must navigate a range of grant research tools to speedily identify relevant grants and filter out those with low chances of success. Each of these AI tools comes with its own set of strengths, weaknesses and varying costs.
Online grant research databases offer not-for-profits a range of advantages. They provide comprehensive and up-to-date listings of grant opportunities, making the search process more streamlined and targeted. These databases help organizations quickly find grants aligned with their mission, saving time and optimizing resource use. They also offer access to historical data and sometimes include training materials, aiding in better grant application planning and execution.
One example is Instrumentl, which automates the grant research and management process for not-for-profits by identifying grants and funders tailored to specific projects, managing deadlines and providing measurement and reporting of grant outcomes.
For AI assistance in writing grants, proposals, professional appeals or donor emails, explore options like Fundwriter.ai or Grantable.
Data analytics AI tools offer significant benefits for not-for-profits, especially in enhancing donor engagement. These tools enable donor segmentation and personalized communication by analyzing data on donor behavior, preferences and donation history, leading to more effective fundraising. Predictive analytics further aids by forecasting donor behaviors and identifying potential major contributors, which helps strategize campaigns.
Additionally, AI data analytics tools play a crucial role in program evaluation, allowing not-for-profits to measure the impact and effectiveness of their initiatives. On the operational front, AI automates routine tasks such as data entry, freeing up staff for strategic activities. In financial management, AI assists with budgeting, forecasting and making data-driven decisions, enhancing the organization's overall financial planning and resource allocation.
RapidMiner and Sisense are examples of data analytics AI tools; RapidMiner offers AI-driven donor insights and operational simplification, while Sisense, a no-code software, provides fundraising insights with flexible integrations and custom dashboards tailored to your donor data.
Not-for-profits often struggle with limited marketing resources, resulting in them targeting a broad audience without a focused strategy for brand recognition and relationship building. Effective marketing goes beyond fundraising and social media; it involves content marketing to establish the organization as a thought leader, enhancing credibility and name recognition. This includes creating professional graphics, eye-catching videos and maintaining a sleek website to attract donors.
Not-for-profits can leverage user-friendly AI tools to compensate for the lack of specialized staff. These include writing assistants like ChatGPT for blog posts and emails and AI-driven images and graphics.
If you’re looking for high-quality AI image generators, DALL-E 2 and Jasper Art are available to help create impressive visuals. For presentation slides, Beautiful.ai is known as the ChatGPT of PowerPoint, while platforms like Synthesia and InVideo are popular choices for AI-assisted video creation.
Connect with Us
At CBIZ and MHM, our team of experts is dedicated to supporting your not-for-profit organization's unique needs. Whether it's sourcing the right talent, implementing automation or providing outsourced financial solutions, we have the expertise and resources to help. Our professionals are equipped to offer tailored assistance that enhances your organization's efficiency and effectiveness. Connect with one of our not-for-profit practice leaders today to explore how we can assist you in achieving your goals.
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