ChatGPT & Fundraising: A Primer


What will the impact of AI be on your work? How can you use AI tools to streamline your donor communications? What even is ChatGPT? All of these are legitimate questions that nonprofit leaders are tackling. Consider this a primer to jumpstart your own usage of this technology.

What is ChatGPT?

A type of artificial intelligence, ChatGPT is part of the growing field of natural language processing. These tools are designed to process and understand natural language, answer questions, converse, and generate human-like text. ChatGPT sources its responses from a vast amount of data, including books, articles, and websites, allowing it to supply a wide range of information on many different topics.

How Can ChatGPT Help Me?

ChatGPT can help with a number of communications tasks.

  • Developing Content: ChatGPT can create content for blog posts, social media updates, email newsletters, press releases, and more. You provide ChatGPT with a topic or prompt, and it can quickly generate content that can be used as-is or edited as needed.

  • Proofreading and Editing: You may already be using AI when you use the “Review” tab on Microsoft Word and select “Editing”, letting it check for grammar and spelling errors, suggest alternative word choices, and provide feedback on sentence structure and readability. ChatGPT can do a similar function, while also adjusting for reading level.

  • Research: When it’s time to update your case for support, you start with researching and gathering information on the issues your organization is focused on addressing. ChatGPT can quickly pull up relevant statistics or facts related to a particular topic or provide summaries of research studies or reports.* Whew! That’s a time saver!
  • Frequently Asked Questions: You could use ChatGPT to create a FAQ document that ensures accurate information for your donors, volunteers, members, staff or funders is provided consistently.

What are the limits of ChatGPT?

A strong language model can provide a wealth of information and insights. But there are reasons you should not rely solely on ChatGPT:

  • Limited Context: ChatGPT can provide general information on a wide range of topics, but it will most likely not have access to the specifics of your organization’s work, culture, or history. This can make it difficult for ChatGPT to provide solutions focused on your organization’s unique needs and challenges.

  • Lack of Emotional Intelligence: As an AI language model, ChatGPT will not understand human behavior which you, as a human professional, possess. Your work can often involve complex interpersonal relationships, and ChatGPT will not be able to provide the contextual guidance needed to steer through such dynamics.
  • No Replacement for Human Expertise: While it can provide information and insights, you should still seek the counsel of those leaders with experience who can provide you with insights and practical guidance based on their knowledge.

Using tools like ChatGPT in fundraising has its benefits. AI tools can help you in times when the “To Do” list is long or you just need a fresh take on a recurring communication. But you are ultimately in charge. You know your organization, community, clients, members, donors, volunteers and mission. Your deep connection and perspective are still needed to make your cause come to life for those who will support your mission.

Have you tried ChatGPT yet? Tell us about it in the comments section below.


*Remember that Chat GPT has limited access to events and data from the past two years.


Restoring and RenewingThis Month's Focus

This month, DBD Group is looking at technologies, collaborations, and strategies that will help reinvigorate both your work and your motivation. Join us as we introduce ways to revitalize, modernize, and optimize.


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Posted by Robyn Furness-Fallin
Robyn Furness-Fallin

Written by Robyn Furness-Fallin

Robyn Furness-Fallin, CFRE, offers financial development and volunteer leadership consulting for nonprofits and higher ed. As a Senior Consultant with DBD Group, Robyn is a shrewd strategist who helps bring clarity and focus to the campaigns she supports.

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