AI for Nonprofits: How AI Can Level Up Your Communications Work

The use of generative AI for nonprofits, especially in the world of marketing and communications, is evolving quickly. It’s hard to know if you’re ahead of or behind the curve. Did you jump in too soon and break rules, or is everyone else in the nonprofit space already using it in futuristic ways you don’t even know about? Not to worry, statistically speaking, you’re probably about average. 😉 If you’re reading this blog post, you might even be above average. 

Nonprofits are often limited by budget constraints and small marketing teams. You can leverage generative AI to amplify your reach and impact in various ways. We’ll explore how AI for nonprofit marketers can be a game-changer for organizations trying to connect with donors, volunteers or legislators. We’ll cover the general areas we’re seeing generative AI tools enhance marketing and communications work – everything from text and images to data analysis and video. 

Harnessing AI for Text Generation 

Nonprofits can use AI to streamline their content creation process, making it easier to produce compelling blog posts, social media updates, newsletters, custom donor letters and grant applications, to name a few. Text tools are helpful when it comes to going from a blank page to something you can edit, or even in refining your end result when you just need something to be more… cowboy for a themed event, etc. 

Generative AI tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT can generate high-quality text that aligns with your organization’s voice and messaging. This not only saves time but also ensures consistency across platforms. Think about creating a prompt that includes your brand guidelines, and having people in your organization who create content run their writing through a check to ensure it complies with these guidelines. 

Creating Visuals with AI 

AI-powered tools can help nonprofits create eye-catching images and graphics. They can also be a handy way to edit images. Tools like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator now have AI built in, so editing out a person who hasn’t signed a photo release is much quicker and easier. This might sound daunting, but if you can draw a circle and push a button or write a sentence, that’s all the skill you need to use these tools. 

Generative AI image tools are still evolving, and while they’re a little better at creating hands now than when they were first released, their text generation leaves something to be desired. With the speed these tools are evolving, what might be terrible one month could be the exact tool you need the next month, so keep checking back. You might also want to consider how you’re disclosing your use of AI when you share AI-generated images.  This applies to every category of AI tool. 

AI generated image of a human man smiling maniacally, displaying his six fingered hands to the viewer

Leveraging Data Insights with AI for Nonprofits 

Data analysis is critical for nonprofits to understand their impact and optimize their strategies. AI can sift through vast amounts of data, providing insights that would be impossible to achieve without a data analyst. Generative AI tools can analyze donor behaviors, campaign effectiveness, and social media engagement, helping nonprofits make data-driven decisions to enhance their outreach and operations. Again, this might sound overwhelming if math wasn’t your favorite subject, but all you have to do is upload a spreadsheet (make sure there’s no secret, private, or protected information) and ask what analysis the tool would suggest if your goal is X. It can suggest analyses, and you can ask it to perform the analysis to see the results. No numbers are involved except for the outputs. Numbers are another area where AI is evolving; surprisingly, it doesn’t always do math right, so as with all AI outputs, double-check – even triple-check — its work. 

Enhancing Audio Content with AI for Nonprofits 

Podcasts and audio messages are becoming increasingly popular in the nonprofit sector. AI tools can assist in creating, editing and optimizing audio content. AI can transcribe audio recordings, making them accessible to a broader audience, including those with hearing impairments. The Andy Warhol documentary on Netflix was narrated by an AI Andy Warhol – with full permission, of course. 

Producing Videos with AI for Nonprofits 

Video content is a powerful way to tell a nonprofit’s story and connect with audiences, but it takes a lot of time and effort. AI tools can assist in video creation, editing and enhancement. For instance, platforms like Descript use AI to automatically edit and produce videos, allowing nonprofits to create quality content in less time. Again, these tools are evolving, so it’s not 100% perfect in one click, but it does get you from raw video to a first cut more quickly. Nonprofits can produce engaging videos for campaigns, events and social media, driving higher engagement and hopefully donations. 

Developing Custom Web Landing Pages with AI for Nonprofits 

AI can also assist nonprofits in developing campaign website landing pages. There are tools that let you go from a text description to a built-out website. Again, at the risk of sounding like a broken record (can I reference records while talking about AI? Anachronistic much?), these tools are evolving, and while they do a good job of getting your website created, you’ll still need to fine-tune and edit the outcomes. We recommend always having an expert double-check AI outputs to avoid hallucinations and to ensure the output is quality. 

The Potential of AI for Nonprofits  

The use of AI for nonprofits offers a wealth of opportunities to enhance communication and engagement with donors and constituents. This post just skims the surface. By leveraging generative AI across text, images, data, audio, video and code, nonprofit communicators can overcome some resource limitations and significantly amplify their impact. As AI technology continues to evolve, the possibilities for innovation and growth in the nonprofit sector are exciting. 

Our team works closely with nonprofit leaders to help develop strategies that incorporate AI into their communications planning. Embracing AI for nonprofits not only enhances efficiency and reach but also empowers organizations to focus more on their core mission – making a positive difference in the world. As more nonprofits adopt AI, we can expect to see even greater advancements and success stories, ultimately driving the sector forward in new ways. Just make sure your organization has guardrails in place to avoid AI pitfalls.  

For more information, reach out to our team