Artificial intelligence could revolutionize your nonprofit. Or it’s the robot uprising. The reality is more likely somewhere in the middle. Regardless, artificial intelligence (AI) is already making an impact and could change how your nonprofit communicates. Let’s look at how AI could impact nonprofit marketing and how you can already implement Rally’s AI to make texting work better for you.
What Is Happening With AI?
AI exploded on the scene in recent months with models generating text and images. ChatGPT is the fastest growing consumer application in history, reaching 100 million users in two months. Tools like ChatGPT can create text with a prompt, while image engines crank out anything you ask for, no matter how fantastic.
Here’s what ChatGPT spit out when we asked for an introductory sentence about the impact AI could have on the nonprofit world:
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to revolutionize the nonprofit world, transforming the way organizations fundraise, engage with supporters, and achieve their mission.
Here’s an image created by Dall-E 2 using the prompt, “digital image of a friendly robot shaking hands with well-dressed professionals in a warm, sun-lit space”:
But the robots aren’t replacing us just yet. Notice the weird extra hands in DALL-E 2’s image above? And while ChatGPT can crank out impressive copy, it doesn’t always have the facts. Nevermind the ethical questions. Cheating and plagiarism in classrooms just got a lot more complicated, and artists are crying foul that the image engines use their work without credit or payment.
How Will AI Impact Nonprofits?
While there are more than a few wrinkles for AI adoption, it’s likely to have an impact on, well, everything. Harvard Business Review explains how it might change creative work.
For busy nonprofits, it could have far-reaching impacts on everything from fundraising to volunteer recruitment.
You can probably already imagine a few ways these kind of generative tools could reshape your day-to-day work:
- Creating a first draft of a fundraising letter.
- Sending thank yous to donors.
- Help with images to accompany social media posts and illustrate newsletters.
While the applications are endless, it’s important to remember that AI still requires a human element. Someone has to craft the prompts (this is an art in itself, figuring out the exact language to get the results you’re looking for) and edit and revise the results.
AI is not going to replace your communication team—but it might change how they work. They might use a chat bot to brainstorm different approaches to a marketing message. Or come up with unique responses to volunteer questions. Or develop lists for blog posts.
But that content is often going to be a first draft that still needs a human touch.
That’s perhaps key to understanding the impact AI will have. It’s not about replacing humans, but enhancing how we do things. It’s kind of like spellcheck, a primitive form of AI that helps us write better—it’s not replacing the human at the keyboard, just enhancing what they create.
You always want that human touch at the center of your nonprofit communication.
Two Ways to Use AI With Rally
Rally has already built AI into our platform to make your job easier. Here are two ways you can use AI with Rally:
1. Sentiment Analysis
Bulk SMS marketing tools generally just send messages—they don’t help you monitor responses, send replies, or improve the recipient’s experience. But Rally uses AI to analyze responses and point you to the ones that require your attention.
Here’s how it works: Rally leverages AI known as natural language processing to determine sentiment in text messages. What’s the overall feeling of the response? So for example, if someone replies with an emoji of a middle finger, we can flag that and you know to take them off your list. This is especially helpful since most systems will only recognize a few specific keywords to automatically unsubscribe. With Rally’s sentiment analysis, you can know quickly if someone is upset and shouldn’t be on your list.
What it looks like in action: Sentiment analysis can be used in several ways to make your job easier.
- Unsubscribe: Winnowing your list and unsubscribing folks who clearly don’t want to be on it (the middle finger emoji example we used above or even when they say something like ‘take me off your stupid list’).
- Find enthusiastic supporters: On the flip side, looking for especially positive responses is a good way to find supporters who are fired up and ready to help. These are folks you might want to add to a special list and reach out to them with volunteer needs.
- Gauge reaction: Asking an open-ended question can flood you with responses, but sentiment analysis can give you a quick read whether the reaction is positive or negative. That can be helpful when you’re asking about a new direction, a legislative priority, or to see if a new fundraising campaign is connecting.
Why it matters: This AI approach actually makes things more human centered by helping you focus on the responses that need immediate attention. By filtering through hundreds or even thousands of responses, you can quickly respond to those who need it, giving your supporters that human touch we all crave.
2. Rally Insights
Another new AI tool on the Rally platform is Rally Insights, which offers finely tuned data on your audience to help you more effectively target your messages.
How it works: Rally Insights takes your contact list and generates demographic data by accessing publicly available information based on their phone number and/or email address. We can look at age, gender, household income, location, education level, marital status, political affiliation, religious affiliation, contact preference, interests, and more.
What it looks like in action: Drilling down to really know who your audience is can make your messaging more effective and help you segment your list to send targeted text messages.
- Target big donors: Seeing income data and giving capacity can help you target potential high-dollar donors.
- Audience: Knowing your audience means you can tailor your message. You might use more humor with a younger audience and push them to online or social media resources.
- Preferred method: If you see a chunk of your audience would prefer to be contacted by phone, maybe that’s a group that would be more receptive to ringless voicemail.
Why it matters: By understanding your audience better you can more effectively reach them.
Artificial Intelligence to Improve Nonprofit Communication
AI is here to stay, but rather than be intimidated by our robot overlords we can recognize their ability to enhance nonprofit communication. Explore Rally’s AI tools to better understand your audience.
You can get started with Rally today.