I don’t know about you, but everywhere I look, I’m seeing the world being transformed by technology. Products, processes, and entire industries are changing rapidly before our eyes. And “AI,” which once felt like it was reserved for those on the cutting edge of science and technology, is now on the cusp of radically transforming every industry in the world.
I’m the first to admit that while some of the advances are fascinating, some of them leave me wondering if I, too, am going to be one of those people who long for the good old days before technology made every product we touch smart.
Just last week, my newsfeed was brimming with articles on the topic.
- A “robot” lawyer powered by artificial intelligence will be the first of its kind to help a defendant fight a traffic ticket in court next month.
- OpenAI’s chatbot, GPT Chat, recently valued at $29 billion, has the education system wondering how it will overcome children cheating on their homework, while embracing the upside of the tool.
- CES, the largest consumer technology conference in the world that took place in Las Vegas earlier this month, filled headlines with technology and product advancements from a self-driving baby stroller to a John Deere robot fertilizer.
- The art industry is grappling with how to tell the difference between human-made vs AI-generated art. “A Professional Artist Spent 100 Hours Working On This Book Cover Image, Only To Be Accused Of Using AI”
So what does this have to do with fundraising and nonprofit organizations?
For years, the nonprofit world has watched large corporations move the ball down the field, with personalization, technology, speed, customization, and more. We’ve been watching the Amazons, Disneys, and Googles of the world lead the charge on how good customer experiences can become.
So the question I’ve been thinking about is: what good, fruitful, efficient, and effective ways could AI (and technology more generally) transform ministries and advance the Kingdom of God?
We have been thinking about this for years and taking steps to responsibly experiment with new technology like machine learning and AI. Currently we’re using technology and machine learning to:
- Model & target the right people
Historically, fundraising audience selection has been based on RFM — recency, frequency, and monetary. We asked ourselves how could we factor in more variables to make even better decisions and developed a machine learning-based approach to audience segmentation called Masterworks Response Index . It still utilizes RFM-like factors along with 100+ variables to make sharper audience selections. Every donor is modeled and scored, leading to better net income and better long-term ROI.
- Assist and improve the creative process
Historically, we would test the best-performing “control” ad and run tests to see if we can beat controls. With digital fundraising, this is becoming an outdated idea. Instead, we are using AI to match the right creative to the right people using a real-time algorithmic approach. We’re also using AI to help with curating offers and learning about how different areas of the country are talking about ministry programs.
- Interacting with constituents
Automated journeys allow us to connect with constituents in new and more personalized ways that are more efficient. One of our clients was able to save their staff approximately 2,800 hours of work over a 4 month period with the use of an AI-driven marketing automation to connect with constituents.
And there is so much more on the horizon!
In this new world, where we are harnessing the power of technology for good, what would you imagine transforming in your nonprofit or ministry? I’d love to chat with you about those ideas and see if we can make them happen together!