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A Moment to Contemplate How AI Transforms Your Nonprofit For Good

Artificial Intelligence (AI) was once a calamity, but now, it’s commonplace. Your nonprofit’s customer relationship management (CRM) platform, email marketing tool, and chat application programming interface (API) create impact videos and assist donors online using AI. 

If you haven’t personally tried to use predictive analytics or computer vision, don’t worry; the day will come. And that’s as ominous as this article will get. 

The more dizzying use cases for AI in the nonprofit sector become, the more need there is to read, understand, and apply that understanding to make your contributed dollars go further for the greater good. 

Take the time now to deepen your understanding of how your nonprofit could use and does use AI. 

Should Your Nonprofit Use AI?

The best-known uses for AI come from the biggest names in the business world, not the third sector. 

Consider a values-based approach to AI posited by AI for Good, which asks: 

What if AI were developed to serve humanity rather than commerce? 

The question demands that AI’s use serve your nonprofit’s mission. So, the question isn’t should but how can AI help better serve your cause, community, and constituents? 

Let’s next briefly outline the uses of AI.

4 Ways Nonprofits Use AI

Did you know that a mathematician named John McCarthy proposed in 1956 that human intelligence could be “so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it?” 

Nearly 70 years later, industry and society use four subsets of AI: machine learning, deep learning, computer vision, and natural language processing.  

Machine Learning

Nonprofits use machine learning to quickly and accurately execute actions like providing customized estate planning guides from an online questionnaire or identifying grateful patients using wealth screens and large datasets. We can rely on machine learning to do more than perform a task. Machine learning is a subset of AI that learns from data and automates workflows without human intervention.  

Deep Learning

You’re not likely to utilize deep learning directly in your work. However, deep learning is an integral part of how machines learn at a faster rate and more accurately. Deep learning algorithms mimic the human brain using computer neural networks to develop a decision. We couldn’t swipe a screen, tell Siri to respond to a text, or develop more robust fundraising strategies. 

Woman with long hair smiling and wearing VR goggles

Computer Vision

Use of deep learning and image recognition or computer vision to identify objects, faces, and locations, which catalog attendees at large-scale events such as fun runs or outdoor festivals for stewardship reports, social media outreach, and personalized donor communications (with the subject's written consent, of course). 

Natural Language Processing

Machines can manipulate language patterns; soon, computers will recognize your mood, too. Nonprofits have employed natural language processing (NLP) for notetaking, guiding website visitors to learn more about their work, and composing emails to maximize their resources and improve the donor experience. 

Harness AI for The Greater Good

Researching which AI tools would work better for your organization is a must. Also, there’s no substitute for recommendations from fellow nonprofit leaders in your area. You can also turn to nonprofit consulting firms specializing in technology audits, strategic planning, and implementation. James Ellis, Managing Partner and technology consultant at EV Strategic Partners, offers this advice:

“By assessing and optimizing your current systems, embracing automation and integration, and enhancing security and data privacy measures, your nonprofit can harness the power of technology to drive organizational success and make a greater impact in your community.”

For more tips on how to get the most out of AI, contact EV Strategic Partners.

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