Image of a serious man working on DonorPerfect's online platform on a laptop.

February 23, 2023 | Categories Featured, Nonprofit Technology

AI for Nonprofits: Should Your Organization Be Using Tools like ChatGPT?

When I was a fundraiser, there would be times when coworkers, board members, donors, or just about anyone who had an idea would come to my office to talk about how we should be doing the cool, new thing. Maybe it was an “event in a box” instead of our usual gala, or maybe it was a great nonprofit CRM that would help us be more organized in our fundraising. 

Some of these ideas were great and actionable (I actually did end up switching our software to DonorPerfect after fielding so many recommendations). On the other hand, some ideas were confusing or time-consuming, and I wasn’t sure if it would make my job harder or easier. 

In that vein, many of us have heard the buzz about artificial intelligence tools that could help lighten the load for fundraisers. Most recently, there has been a lot of talk about ChatGPT. So, to answer the question of whether this is a helpful tool for nonprofit employees, I went straight to the source. All I had to do was go to ChatGPT and type in a question. I hit enter and the chatbot generated full answers. 

Here are the unedited responses that ChatGPT provided about its benefits and constraints when it comes to nonprofit organizations.

Q: What is ChatGPT?

A: I am ChatGPT, a large language model developed by OpenAI. I am designed to process and understand natural language, and can answer questions, carry out conversations, and generate human-like text. I have been trained on a vast amount of data, including books, articles, and websites, allowing me to provide a wide range of information on many different topics. I am a type of artificial intelligence, and am part of the growing field of natural language processing.

Image of ChatGPT's examples, capabilities, limitations.

Q: How can ChatGPT help save nonprofit employee writing time?

A: As an AI language model, ChatGPT can be used to save nonprofit employee writing time in a number of ways, including:

  • Generating Content: ChatGPT can generate content for a variety of purposes, such as blog posts, social media updates, email newsletters, press releases, and more. Nonprofit employees can provide ChatGPT with a topic or prompt, and it can quickly generate content that can be used as-is or edited as needed.
  • Proofreading and Editing: ChatGPT can also help save nonprofit employee writing time by proofreading and editing their existing content. It can check for grammar and spelling errors, suggest alternative word choices, and provide feedback on sentence structure and readability. This can save employees time and help ensure that their writing is of high quality.
  • Research Assistance: ChatGPT can assist nonprofit employees in researching and gathering information for their writing projects. For example, it can quickly pull up relevant statistics or facts related to a particular topic or cause, or provide summaries of research studies or reports.
  • Answering Frequently Asked Questions: Nonprofit employees may spend a lot of time answering the same questions from donors, volunteers, or community members. ChatGPT can be used to create a FAQ document that can be shared on the nonprofit’s website or social media channels, which can save employees time and ensure that accurate information is provided consistently.

Overall, ChatGPT can help save nonprofit employee writing time by providing quick and reliable assistance with a variety of writing-related tasks.

Q: Why should a nonprofit employee not rely
on ChatGPT?

A: While I am a powerful language model that can provide a wealth of information and insights, there are several reasons why a nonprofit employee should not rely solely on ChatGPT for all their needs.

  • Limited Context: While I can provide general information on a wide range of topics, I don’t have access to the specific context of your nonprofit’s work, culture, or history. This can make it difficult for me to provide advice or solutions that are tailored to your organization’s unique needs and challenges.
  • Lack of Emotional Intelligence: As an AI language model, I don’t have the emotional intelligence and understanding of human behavior that a trained human professional would have. Nonprofit work can often involve complex interpersonal relationships, and I may not be able to provide the nuanced guidance that is required to navigate these dynamics.
  • No Replacement for Human Expertise: While I can provide information and insights, I am not a replacement for the expertise of human professionals who have spent years working in the nonprofit sector. Consulting with experienced nonprofit leaders, coaches, or consultants can often provide deeper insights and practical guidance based on their experience.

In summary, while I can be a useful tool for gathering information and insights, relying solely on an AI language model like ChatGPT for guidance and decision-making in the nonprofit sector may not be the best approach. Nonprofit employees should seek out a range of resources, and consult with experienced human professionals to gain a more comprehensive understanding of their organization’s unique needs and challenges.

There you have it. Using tools like ChatGPT in fundraising has its benefits. AI tools will not necessarily be as creative as you are, but they could help you in times of busyness or task overload. 

But, more importantly, you know your nonprofit and your mission. Your passion, empathy, and unique perspective can not be replaced by a tool. You, fundraiser, are amazing. 

Looking to freshen up your digital marketing as a whole? Lean on the Digital Fundraising Makeover for Nonprofits. This free resource outlines the small, yet powerful changes that you can make today!

Start your Digital Fundraising Makeover

Julia Gackenbach author headshot
Meet the author: Julia Gackenbach

Julia Gackenbach has spent over a decade working locally and globally with nonprofits. This has sharpened her skills to raise funds, care for donors and communicate impact. Her experience tied in with her desire to create community through a mission gives her unique passion to work with all types...

Learn more about Julia Gackenbach