By Mary Whitrow, Content Marketing Manager, Kindsight

Growing Challenges for Nonprofits

Nonprofits today face stiff competition for donor attention. Since 2000, the number of nonprofits has increased[1], but giving by individuals (adjusted for inflation) has decreased[2].  With more organizations vying for fewer donors, standing out is crucial.

Adding to the challenge, the demographics of donors is shifting. They’re getting younger and more digital-savvy, requiring new engagement strategies.While giving among Generation X and Boomers has decreased (-4% and -12% respectively), Millennial household giving has surged by over 40% between 2016 and 2022[3]. Additionally, 54% of Millennials say they would give more if approached in modern ways[4]. This signals a need for innovative, digital-first engagement strategies.

Lastly, trust in nonprofits is also at an all-time low. And with donor retention rates at a historic low of 30%[5], it’s clear that traditional methods are not keeping up with the times.

The Fundraising Blindspot

In light of these changing trends, one of the biggest hurdles for nonprofits is the “Fundraising Blindspot”. Many organizations struggle with siloed data, poor targeting, and a lack of personalization because they are using old fundraising methods. This often leads to ineffective fundraising efforts and missed opportunities.

Adapting to the New Philanthropic Landscape

So, what should fundraisers or prospect researchers do about it? How can you adapt? The first step is to embrace how technology can help you gain an edge and transform the way donors are found, contacted, and relationships are built.

Picture a world where you can meet these challenges head-on, engaging donors in a more specialized, personalized way. Imagine having tools to automate some of your daily actions and guide your team on others. Instead of spending hours finding accurate information on your donors, you could have up-to-date, verified information at your fingertips. What if you could easily find new prospects that resemble your ideal donors without exhausting your network? What if you could share actionable insights with your team in real-time?

So, what’s the answer? Modern Fundraising Intelligence.

Fundraising Intelligence leverages big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and automation to revolutionize modern fundraising efforts. It combines comprehensive CRM systems with rich data and insights, and revolutionary AI-based content creation to help nonprofits discover, engage, and steward donors more efficiently and effectively.

Think about holistic software platforms like HubSpot and Salesforce in the for-profit world. These tools are not just about managing data; they hypercharge efficiency and fuel strategic decision-making. Nonprofits can leverage similar tools to streamline operations and enhance donor engagement, helping them navigate an increasingly challenging environment.

Components of Modern Fundraising Intelligence:

Big Data: Provides vast amounts of internal and external information and insights.

Automation: Triggers actions or takes action on your behalf.

AI: Predicts behavior and generates content for you.

Utilizing these tools allows you to make a bigger impact, build meaningful relationships with donors, and ultimately raise more support more efficiently.

The Power of Fundraising Intelligence: A Personalized Stewardship Use Case

Everyone dreams of discovering a treasure trove of hidden gems in their donor database—individuals with untapped potential, ready to be engaged. With Fundraising Intelligence, this isn’t just a dream; it’s a reality. So how can you leverage AI to identify high-potential donors and create personalized engagement plans?

Step 1: Identify Hidden Gems

First, harness the power of AI to dig deep into your database. AI will comb through both first and third-party data to identify hidden gems—donors with untapped potential. These might be people who have made modest donations in the past but have the capacity to give much more. Since the data is in real-time, you can trust it is up-to-date.

Step 2: Draft Personalized Stewardship Strategies

Once you’ve identified your hidden gems, use generative AI to craft personalized stewardship strategies for each one, based on their profiles. Imagine having an AI assistant that knows exactly what each donor cares about and can draft a strategy that resonates with their unique interests and giving history. This isn’t just a generic plan; it’s a tailor-made approach that speaks directly to the donor’s passions and motivations.

Step 3: Seamless Integration with CRM

Next, push these personalized plans directly into your CRM. The AI not only drafts the strategies but also creates the necessary tasks to execute them. This means that the actions needed to engage these donors—whether it’s sending a personalized email, making a phone call, or setting up a meeting—are automatically scheduled and assigned to the appropriate team members.

Step 4: Personalized Communications

Imagine opening your CRM to find a personalized email already drafted for each of your hidden gems. These emails are ready for a quick review and send, making your job easier and ensuring that each communication feels thoughtful and personal. The AI has considered all available data to draft messages that will resonate deeply with each donor.

Step 5: Effective Follow-Up Calls

Not only are emails prepared, but the AI also provides preset call scripts tailored for more effective communication. When you pick up the phone to call a high-potential donor, you have a script that highlights key points of interest and previous engagement history, ensuring that your call is impactful and engaging.

Step 6: Real-Time Evaluation and Adjustment

As new data comes in—perhaps a donor attends an event or makes a small donation—AI continuously evaluates their potential and adjusts the stewardship strategy accordingly. This real-time approach ensures that you’re always engaging donors in the most effective way possible, maximizing their potential and fostering deeper relationships.

Bringing It All Together

By leveraging AI and Fundraising Intelligence, you transform your approach to donor engagement. You move from a one-size-fits-all strategy to a highly personalized stewardship plan that recognizes the unique potential of each donor. This approach not only saves you time but also enhances your ability to connect with donors meaningfully, ultimately driving greater support for your cause.

The Way Forward

The philanthropic landscape is changing, but you can change with it. With Fundraising Intelligence, you can go beyond internal data and wholly understand your prospects and donors on a deep level. Engage with them in a way that resonates, foster stronger relationships, and improve efficiency. Big data, AI, and automation don’t have to be intimidating. With some fresh thinking, they can be your saving grace in a fast-changing world.