By now you’ve probably heard about ChatGPT. It’s a topic people in every industry (and even your kids!) are talking about. Many people are sure this is the next big thing, and just as many think it’s just a fad.
Some people are excited, some are terrified.
What will its impact on fundraising will be? Are fundraising agencies and consultants in danger of losing their jobs?
First of all, ChatGPT is powerful. It can do some really cool stuff. But for every cool thing that people show it can do, someone else will find a flaw in the result and focus on its performance gap relative to humans.
Are some industries in trouble? Probably. Throughout history, technology has shown the ability to erase jobs and create brand-new ones.
Are all industries in trouble, and by extension, all our jobs at risk? Who knows? (We are not experts in everything.)
But, we’ve been playing with different AI for a few years, and we see the benefit in using it in fundraising. But it’s not as simple as just saying, “Hey Siri, write a fundraising letter.”
No matter the flavor of AI—Chat GPT, Jasper, Rytr, CopyAI, Copysmith, Writesonic, etc.—there’s one major thing to remember when considering using them for fundraising:
No AI program can build relationships with your donors.
And fundraising, at its foundation, is all about relationships when done correctly.
Also, AI doesn’t know your leader’s voice that you’ve created and honed in your messaging (and if you haven’t made your voice distinctive, you need to ASAP!). AI can’t replace the personal touch that your development team can offer donors.
The other major reason to not treat AI as a ready-made fundraising solution is that it doesn’t know good fundraising strategies. Nothing can replace your experience or knowledge on what works. It doesn’t know how to craft an appeal using scaffolding. It doesn’t know to focus on the donor, not the organization.
Now, AI can definitely help with first drafts of communications. But again. . . it’s not that simple. You have to spend quite a bit of time teaching the AI what you’re wanting to say and how to say it. Maybe that will get better as AI learns more and progresses. But for now, it’s a long process. And that hits one of your most valuable resources: time.
So, with the knowledge that none of us know what’s going to happen, if we have to make a prediction, here it is: AI will assist in creating effective communication to donors. But it won’t replace the people involved in the process.
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