AI & the Future of Social Giving

September 25, 2019 Brian Isaac

This guest post was written by Maddie Davis, Co-Founder and Editor for Enlightened Digital, an up-and-coming digital magazine. An avid amateur web designer, she writes about the potential of technology to impact our lives.

Garnering peer-to-peer donations now requires more innovation than ever before with nonprofits turning to emerging technology trends like artificial intelligence (AI) to better reach and engage increasingly elusive donors and volunteers.

An umbrella term that encompasses any number of software systems designed to mimic or emulate the human decision-making process, AI has begun to emerge in nearly every industry.

In fact, industry leaders have predicted that our dependency on automated solutions will only grow as global issues become more complex. This means that interacting with machines will soon become second nature to fundraisers, though many may already be integrating elements of AI into their everyday fundraising efforts without even knowing or appreciating its full value.


Nearly 40 percent of users expect a response on social media within an hour of sending a message. This type of responsiveness can be difficult for organisations that stick to regular business hours or that have limited staffing resources. AI-powered chatbots can augment a busy help desk by completing donations, answering simple requests and passing along important conversational threads. Automating these minute workflow aspects can free up valuable time and money for organisations.

One of the most widely used examples is Facebook Messenger, due to its uncomplicated user interface and the popularity of the social media platform in peer-to-peer fundraising. Chatbots can also be created via a number of third-party applications like Zendesk. An especially useful avenue for this would be incorporating a personal assistant-type chatbot that can help users navigate an organisation’s site as well as to conduct user experience surveys that provide valuable feedback. Being able to capture and retain potential donations through efficient and rapid response is essential to a nonprofit’s fundraising strategy.

Donor and Volunteer Engagement

As previously stated, donor and volunteer engagement is the backbone of a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. Segmenting users by preferred social platform and historical and demographic records is a time-consuming task. Leveraging AI to power optimised email campaigns, create organised donor and volunteer databases and conduct social listening audits to stay on top of trending events and manage brand perception are all in the spectrum of what’s currently possible through end-to-end software solutions.

AI provides access to powerful fundraising tools to everyone, not just established organisations with bottomless budgets. The future of giving doesn’t lie in humankind’s submission to the superiority of machines, but rather the cooperation between the individual and an end-to-end AI-powered application to raise funds in a society that has begun to place increasing value on digital interactions.

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