12 AI Fundraising Tools That Will Change the Way You Raise Money

Ryan Jones • Jun 19, 2020
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What is Artificial Intelligence? 

Artificial Intelligence is the ability of a computer to perform tasks that are commonly associated with intelligent beings. Sometimes these tasks are easily identifiable as something that a human would normally do, like playing chess or winning Jeopardy; Siri and Alexa are also good examples of computers learning and behaving like humans.  In other instances, AI activity is less obvious, like when Amazon knows just what product to sell you and when. Even further behind the scenes, you might find an AI in charge of complex data analysis; for example, a piece of software that tries to predict financial market shifts is a form of artificial intelligence.

The Complete Guide to AI for Nonprofits

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Why It’s Changing Your World

Unless you’re a Jeopardy-based nonprofit, it might not be immediately obvious how AI is going to help you. But because AI-based software can process a huge amount of data at a speed and degree of accuracy that humans could never do, you’ll quickly discover that it elevates and enhances your nonprofit fundraising because suddenly you have both better information and more time, two elements that are absolutely necessary to your success. Even though the science behind artificial intelligence is complex, the benefits are straightforward and people are starting to take notice. According to a recent report, 89% of nonprofit leaders believe that AI will make their organizations more efficient, 73% of nonprofits believe AI innovation aligns with their belief, and 75% believe AI makes their life easier. The train is leaving the station, it’s time to get on board.

Benefits of AI-Driven Fundraising 

Up to this point in AI history, the main benefit of AI has been getting Siri to tell you a joke while you wait in line at the DMV. But with advanced fundraising tools, your nonprofit will actually be able to see real, quantifiable value. Benefits of AI include:

  • Analyzing vast quantities of data allows staff to reallocate their time to tasks that are more suited to humans, like making phone calls to valued donors, doing creative work, and deciding which coffee to get for the break room.
  • Gain insight into your audience. By combining and analyzing donation records, previous communications, and engagement, AI algorithms can help you understand how much to ask for from your donors, what fundraising campaigns they might be interested in, or what type of content they want to read about, all major advantages for your nonprofit marketing plan and donor management via journey maps. And as your AI spends more and more time with your donor data, it will learn and improve over time
  • Improve and streamline your communications. How much time do you spend answering questions that come in from your website? AI takes some of that burden off your shoulders by screening those questions through a chat module and answering the easy ones, saving you time. But did you know that you can also use AI tools to write personalized email copy based on a donor’s interests? Many common communications tasks can be accomplished by AI.

AI Fundraising Tools to Boost Your Results 

AI Tools from Keela 

Talking about algorithms and killer robots is all well and good, but what about actual, practical recommendations for AI donation tools that you can start using right away? Strap in, Keela has you covered.

1. Donor Readiness Tool

Keela’s AI analysis looks at donor habits, determines when they are most receptive to your communications, and recommends specific times of year in which to reach out. Of course receptive donors are more likely to give, but it also helps your organization create long-term planning strategies, so you’re not wasting fundraising efforts putting together emails or social media posts at a time when no one wants to read them.

2. Campaign Recommendations Tool

This tool automatically predicts which donors are likely to give to your next campaign. By improving your targeting, you raise more money, but you also boost donor retention and recurring donations, since by sending campaign material to those donors who are most likely to engage with it, overall engagement goes up and your relationship with the donor gets closer and closer.

3. Smart Ask

An absolute essential when building donation pages, the Smart Ask tool automatically tells you the ideal amount to ask for from each donor, allowing you to personalize email communications, direct asks, and fundraising pages based on donor history.

Are you ready to embrace the AI Revolution?

With affordable, easy-to-use AI tools like Keela at your fingertips, you can alleviate your team from time-consuming tasks and focus on initiatives that directly impact your cause.

Tools to Improve Donor Communications

While Keela is definitely going to be your go-to source for nonprofit-specific AI applications, there are some other more general AI tools that are likely to benefit your organization.

4. KIT

Built to integrate into your existing CRM, KIT can help you optimize your campaigns by predicting and prioritizing how each of your donors prefers to be contacted. With an accurate overview of your donor database, you’ll be able to tailor each step of the donor journey so every supporter feels like a major one. 

5. Grammarly

Need some help with composition? Grammarly uses AI to identify grammar, style, spelling, wordiness, and punctuation mistakes in your writing. It also has a tone detector that lets you know if you sound friendly or otherwise. Hot tip: don’t start emails with “As per my last email…” Grammarly is great because tone is extremely important when you’re asking for money, and many people see error-free email copy as a sign of professionalism. Plus, they offer a free plan for nonprofits.

6. Persado

Persado helps you to analyze your email subject lines and content to increase conversion. The AI-powered tool even generates content and then measures the success rate, like it did for charity: water in this case study. Like a very robust and detailed A/B test, charity: water was able to use Persado to determine which content was working and which wasn’t, leading to a 32% boost in their donation conversion rate.

7. Quilt AI 

This unique tool lets you identify the interests of your supporters by analyzing patterns in tweets, photos, videos, blog comments, and more, helping you improve messaging across digital channels.

8. Lately 

Lately may end up saving you more time on a day-to-day basis than anything else on this list: it automatically turns blogs, online articles, newsletters, videos, and podcasts into social media posts. Boom. Amazing right?

Lately’s AI can recognize smaller pieces within larger content that can then be posted to social media. It also schedules the posts and can help manage your campaigns while providing history, analysis, and recommendations for future strategies. It’ll make your social media manager look like a Twitter hero.

Tools to Automate Donor Interactions

Thanks to publicity stunts and international efforts to disrupt elections, chatbots have gotten a bad reputation. But they can be a massive help for nonprofits with limited staff, helping you to expand your reach and increase the number of people you can help, even expanding into audiences who speak languages other than English.

9. Freshchat

Freschat works on a variety of platforms in real time, letting you connect with your audience without actually having to sit in front of your computer the whole time. Freshchat bots can detect the intent of your donors, then choose to engage or transfer the conversation to a human. They even offer special pricing for nonprofits.

10. Chatfuel

Chatfuel offers a variety of Facebook Messenger-based chat options, all without any coding experience necessary. Once you’ve customized it according to your needs, you can engage with your Facebook audience without lifting a finger.

Tools to Manage Your Fundraising Team

AI-powered assistants can help your team work more effectively and efficiently, especially if your team is remote.

11. Zoom.ai

Zoom.ai is an AI assistant that simplifies team collaboration by finding meeting times that fit everyone’s schedules. They also offer a special discount for nonprofits.

12. BRiN

Designed as a tool for professionals in the for-profit sector, BRiN is a free AI bot that provides advice about business-related questions, including marketing and branding advice, which of course is great for your next nonprofit fundraising campaign.

Remember, It’s Not Skynet

AI fundraising tools could be a huge advantage for your nonprofit organization, even if your idea of Artificial Intelligence is mostly based on Terminator. But so far AI has offered nothing but advantages and hasn’t even threatened to nuke the planet, not even once!