Using Artificial Intelligence in Fundraising


By Kathy Swayze

August 12, 2021

Whenever I attend a conference, I try to pick the sessions with topics I know almost little about. It sometimes leaves me feeling a tad puzzled for part of the workshop, but I like how it stretches my brain.

At this year’s conference, I attended the session, Action-oriented Artificial Intelligence: Converting Donors with AI Insights. Speakers included Susan Paine, Human Rights Campaign; Angela Stoutenburgh, Rainforest Action Network; Jenn Morrison, Engaging Networks + Accessible Intelligence; and Lee Gartley, ROI Solutions.

Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence. It’s a tool that uses algorithms to look for patterns in your data that are actionable and can improve your results. When you see patterns, you can use them to create smart groupings of your supporters or “clusters” that may receive different kinds of content or a different cadence of promotions.

At Rainforest Action, they used the Accessible Intelligence tool to deliver content to a total of six clusters of donors that they wanted to convert into monthly donors. The tool helped them customize content based on the cluster’s attributes and they saw a 600% increase in one-time to monthly gift conversion.

Human Rights Campaign worked with ROI Solutions to test a machine learning model to help reactivate lapsed donors. Using the model, they were able to mail 38% more pieces to their lapsed audience. As a result, they saw a 41% increase in response rate and were able to to reinstate 4,406 lapsed donors. Susan Paine notes, the model helped us “find the needles in the haystack of our lapsed donor audience.” They are now testing the model for ways to reduce the turnover rates in their sustainer program.

To learn more about these tools, visit engaging Accessible Intelligence and ROI Solutions.

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