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AI in Nonprofits: 8 Use Cases

December 19, 2023
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For the past two years, inflation and other macroeconomic factors have put nonprofits in a crunch. The number of donors is dropping, as is the size of their donations. A report by the Fundraising Effectiveness Project found that large donors cut contributions by nearly 10% in early 2023 while new donors slashed donations by more than a third. Meanwhile, the need for nonprofit services grows.  

To cut costs while maintaining their impact, many nonprofits are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) for help. Following are some popular applications of AI in nonprofits.  

1. Fundraising

Nonprofits are using AI algorithms to predict donor behavior and preferences using historical information. This allows them to streamline efforts and reach out to each donor with ideally timed, personalized fundraising appeals.  

Nonprofits can also segment supporters based on their giving patterns, interests and demographics, further tailoring outreach efforts.  

2. Chatbots

AI chatbots empower nonprofits by facilitating interactions with donors and beneficiaries, delivering instant, personalized responses, handling routine inquiries and streamlining communication. They enhance engagement, provide timely information and free up human resources for more strategic tasks within the organization. 

3. Resource Allocation

AI in nonprofits helps organizations optimize their programming by analyzing data on outcomes and participant demographics. This helps nonprofits adapt programs to better meet the needs of the communities they serve. AI can also predict which areas need more attention and resources based on historical data and ongoing trends. 

4. Social Media

Nonprofits can use natural language processing (NLP), a type of AI, to monitor social media for mentions of their organization, relevant social issues and emerging trends. This helps them stay informed and engaged with their target audience. 

Organizations can also use AI to automate content creation and schedule posts, strengthening brand presence on social media.  

5. Computer Vision

AI tools that offer computer vision are helping nonprofits of all types deliver on their mission more efficiently, utilizing fewer resources. For example, human rights organizations can use computer vision to search through large volumes of documents and images to identify evidence of abuse or human rights violations. Wildlife conservation organizations can use computer vision to analyze camera images and track endangered animals.  

6. Volunteer Engagement

AI can improve volunteer support by matching your volunteer base with opportunities they’ll enjoy based on their history and personal interests. AI tools can help schedule volunteers, compose regular communications to keep them engaged and deliver thank-you notes following a work session.  

7. Administration

AI helps nonprofit employees maximize their time by handling a variety of administrative tasks like scheduling meetings, transcribing meeting notes, sending email reminders, booking travel arrangements and organizing digital documents.  

8. Finance Department Automation

Nonprofit finance departments are stretched thin, as talent shortages in the industry affect staffing.  

Many nonprofits are finding value in AI-powered accounts payable (AP) automation software that streamlines processes and improves efficiency.  

In the finance department, AI can extract and validate invoice data, automate invoice matching and flag any anomalies for further review. AI can help AP software route invoices to the appropriate approvers based on predefined rules and workflows. It can also automatically generate financial reports, saving time and reducing errors.  

To learn more about how nonprofits can use AI in the finance department, download our free report, “The Ultimate Guide to AI in Finance.” 

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