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3 Ways to Use AI Tools for Nonprofit Appreciation Strategies

Graphic representing AI tools overlaid on a background of hands typing on a laptop.

Fundraising is essential to the nonprofit lifecycle. That’s why it’s crucial to show appreciation for those who make your fundraising efforts successful—your supporters! From donors to volunteers, these individuals give without expecting anything more than a “thank you” in return.

The latest in nonprofit technology, AI tools, provides a pathway to a streamlined nonprofit appreciation strategy. However, they can be intimidating to use. That’s where this guide comes in—we’ll cover three ways you can leverage AI tools for your appreciation strategies. By using these tools to their full potential, you’ll be able to show your gratitude effortlessly and reap the continued support of your donors.

1. Personalization

Supercharge your personalization efforts with the help of AI segmentation. The right tool will be able to process the data in your nonprofit CRM and group your supporters based on the following characteristics:

  • Donation type. Donations aren’t limited to monetary gifts. They might also include volunteer time, in-kind gifts, stocks, and real estate. AI tools will help you group supporters based on the type of donation they’re making to your nonprofit, allowing you to directly reference their gift type in your appreciation messages.

  • Donation size. Supporters make gifts of different sizes, and those who give larger amounts will expect a greater show of appreciation. Segmenting supporters based on gift size ensures you express the proper level of gratitude to donors. For instance, send a thank-you message to low-level donors and exclusive event invitations to those who make major gifts.

  • Support duration. Longer-term supporters have demonstrated a commitment to your nonprofit and a dedication to your success. You can reference the length of their support in your messages, thanking them for their continued contributions.

  • Gift frequency. Recurring donors or supporters who make frequent gifts may appreciate more involved appreciation activities, such as invitations to exclusive events and gifts of nonprofit-branded merchandise.

  • Program or activity. If a supporter has shown interest in a specific program or activity, boost your appreciation strategy by updating them on the program’s status. For instance, if you’ve recently hosted a fundraising program for a local school, you might let the supporter know how many students have received scholarships due to the program.

  • Demographics. With demographic data such as age and location, you can tailor appreciation messages and methods to their preferences. For example, you might invite all donors local to New York to an appreciation dinner you’re hosting. Or, you might acknowledge your younger, tech-savvy donors through a digital messaging channel such as social media or text message.

Use these segments to improve the donor experience and create unforgettable moments for your supporters. With the help of AI tools, you’ll ensure that your messages are always perfectly curated for the recipient, regardless of their unique situation.

2. Content Generation

With so many segments to thank, you’ll have your work cut out creating customizable message templates to fit every supporter group. Luckily, generative AI solutions like ChatGPT can produce text, images, and more to help you brainstorm and generate the content you need.

Use AI tools to draft:

  • Thank-you emails. Fundraising Letters recommends thank-you messages as an easy and personal way to show appreciation for your supporters. For an extra touch of personalization, use AI tools to draft an email template that references the supporter’s name, gift type, frequency, and the program they supported.

  • Special occasion greetings. Aside from just after a gift, special occasions are also a great time to send appreciation messages to your supporters. Holidays such as Christmas are times of heightened generosity, and a quick appreciation message not only makes supporters feel good about their contribution but may even compel them to make another gift. You might also send a quick thank-you message on the anniversary of a supporter’s first contribution to your nonprofit.

  • Social media content. For a more general show of appreciation, you can create gratitude posts for your social media platforms. Use text AI solutions to draft your message on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. For image-based platforms like Instagram, use tools like DALL-E to brainstorm image ideas you can transform into branded infographics.

  • Survey questions. Aside from voicing your appreciation, show supporters that you value them through feedback surveys. Use generative AI to draft a list of feedback questions. Tweak them to meet your nonprofit’s needs before sending them to your supporters.

  • Appreciation event invitations. Another common way to show appreciation for your supporters is by inviting them to an event in their honor. Generative AI tools can help you write your invitations, no matter what event type.

Regardless of your experience using AI tools, you’ll be able to find a generative solution that works for your nonprofit. For example, we offer an AuctionGPT function with our mobile bidding platform that integrates with ChatGPT to make content generation user-friendly and simple.

As you use AI to streamline your appreciation efforts, keep in mind that it is a tool, not a replacement for staff members. These programs cannot determine whether the data they analyze is accurate or not, which may lead them to generate misleading or inaccurate information. Be sure to look over the content and ensure that it meets your quality standard and that the information it contains about your nonprofit is true.

3. Data Analysis

Our final suggestion for how you can use AI tools to support your appreciation strategy is through data analysis. Much like with other nonprofit operations, such as web design or major gift solicitation, collecting and analyzing data for supporter appreciation empowers you to make your appreciation efforts more efficient and impactful.

According to BWF, AI tools can be used for predictive analytic functions. For example, let’s say you want to take a data-driven approach to optimize your email appreciation efforts. Start by compiling data on your:

  • Open rate

  • Click-through rate

  • Conversion rate

  • Unsubscribe rate

  • Message sharing/forwarding rate

  • Device open rate

Then, use AI tools to analyze these metrics and help you perfect your messaging based on:

  • Segment preferences. For example, you might find that recurring donors tend to view your messages on their phones. In that case, you’ll want to optimize your communications for mobile devices.

  • Message content. There are many different ways to say thank you—you may feel anxious about ensuring your message has the right tone and wording. With AI tools, you can analyze what language, tone, and content your supporters respond best to, helping you shape your future messages.

  • Message timing. You may find that supporters are more responsive to appreciation messages at certain times. For instance, you might discover that the ideal time to send your first thank-you message is within 24 hours of a gift to secure a supporter’s continued contributions.

Additionally, if you’ve sent feedback surveys to your supporters as part of your appreciation strategy, AI can compile their responses for you. This will make it more convenient for your staff members to assess what improvements they can make to your appreciation efforts and other aspects of your nonprofit’s operations.

As you begin your fundraising efforts in 2024, don’t leave meaningful appreciation back in 2023. Instead, take the time to reassess how you show gratitude to supporters. Thoughtfully consider how AI tools can aid your efforts and create a detailed supporter recognition plan for the year.



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