The interweb has been buzzing about Artificial Intelligence, or AI as we say, for quite some time. However, some free applications have really wowed and amazed me. One of the AI engines is ChatGPT, an AI that can answer some basic and not-so-basic questions. I put ChatGPT to the fundraising test, asking it some pretty basic fundraising questions and then moved on from there.
AI and Direct Mail
I asked ChatGPT to produce a 500-word direct mail letter for a social service agency looking for financial support to help house teens that could no longer live at home. This might be a task that a charity may contract out to a professional writer. The video of my asking ChatGPT to perform this task, along with a screen capture of the result (along with my amazement at the speed) is below:
AI and Events
I then asked ChatGPT to produce a sponsorship package for a golf tournament to benefit the local symphony. Again, this might be a task that a charity may contract out to a professional event planner. The video of my asking ChatGPT to perform this task is below:
ChatGPT and Deferred Giving
My third “stump the chump” was when I asked ChatGPT to produce a brochure for people to consider leaving a church in their estate planning. This could be a task that a charity may contract out. I ran into an issue I would have never expected! The video of my asking ChatGPT to perform this task, along with a screen capture of the result (along with my bewilderment) is below:
ChatGPT and Major Gifts
For my last task, I asked ChatGPT to produce a gift standards chart for a $10 million university campaign, as well as a script for a $100,000 from an alumnus. This wouldn’t be a subject that a charity would contract out. The video of my asking ChatGPT to perform this task is below:
ChatGPT really blew my mind. I realize AI is in its infancy, but the speed at which it answered the requests shocked me. That being said, I could have found all the information that was gathered on the web through a Google search and some digging. And, just like Google, you have to be pretty specific about your request.
So, will AI replace fundraisers? I am doubtful this will occur anytime soon. Will AI replace consultants? I have to go with doubtful anytime soon again. BUT, AI is here to stay. I would suggest that AI is a decent place to start some tasks. It is far easier to edit a direct mail letter or sponsorship package than it is to create one.
The more that AI has to produce a result that deals with individuals’ nuances, the less likely it is that the AI will suffice. The AI is great at doing things “en masse” with little customization. Think mass appeal versus individual canvass.
AI may help you with automating some of your processes. Perhaps you may have received $100 from someone who is new to your organization. As soon as you record that gift, you can use AI to prompt you for a thank you call, a welcome package, a call from a volunteer, a report to the donor on the impact of their gift, etc. Use AI as a tool, not an end in and of itself. AI can help you be a better fundraiser, but it will not replace fundraising.
Until next week.