Check out this episode of the podcast AI at Work to hear from our CEO, Adam Martel. He talked about the progress we’re seeing with AI in the Advancement industry, founding Gravyty, and more with AI at Work’s host and Talla’s CEO Rob May.
Here’s a sneak peek at some of the biggest takeaways Adam shared with Rob.
1) Use AI to understand where to focus your attention
We see it in Advancement shops around the country – frontline fundraisers who are hired to build relationships that move the needle for their organization. However, the majority of their days are spent in databases and processes to determine which potential donor to reach out to.
Adam and Gravyty co-founder and CTO Rich Palmer realized that AI and machine learning techniques could be applied to much of the data that nonprofit organizations and higher education institutions house to mimic the cognitive functions of a seasoned fundraiser and predict which potential donors are most important to reach out to now – allowing teams to focus attention on the right donors.
2) AI adoption skyrockets when users understand it’s a system of action
So, problem solved, right? Well, there was still a major hurdle – adoption. Frontline fundraisers aren’t looking for dashboards to track progress or new software to learn. Gravyty believes that AI adoption skyrockets when users understand that AI-enabled fundraising is a system for action – constantly prompting fundraisers to take the next best step with potential donors through AI-written email drafts. As Adam described on the podcast:
“Even if the efficacy of our algorithms are right, even if we're 90% right in our algorithms and in our predictions about which donor's most important, it doesn't really matter unless we get the front line fundraiser to take action on those predictions. That's why the self-writing of the emails was so important.”
For any technology to deliver real value, people need to use it.
3) Understand the workflow of your users
So, how do you make sure that people use your technology? By understanding your users and their workflows. Fundraisers are on the road, and they live in email. This insight has been vital in creating a tool that people get value out of for Gravyty. This is how they’ve had such huge breakthroughs in behavioral change.
Adam shared that fundraisers didn’t want a fourth screen. They already had their email, calendar, and CRM open. He described that,
“They don't want a fourth screen to tell them what they do in the CRM, which tells them what to do in their email, which tells them what to do in their calendar. We pushed everything out into email and we quickly learned that not only could we predict which donor's most important, but we could actually self write the next draft of the email to that donor.”
People need to use your technology in order to benefit from it. If you want people to use your technology, you have to understand how they work and meet them there.
And, if you’d like to see how Gravyty expanded the fundraising workforce for The College of Charleston by 160%, have a look at our recent case study, below.