For many fundraising shops, the end of the fiscal year is upon you. Have you reached your goals already or are you hustling during your last 90 days to tie loose ends together? Regardless of where you are, it is important not to lose sight of day 91 - the new fiscal year.
We can all get caught up figuring out how to get over the obstacle in front of us without looking further down the road to identify problems that will need solving later. In a recent article from Gravyty CEO Adam Martel and Reed Sheard, CIO and VP of Institutional Advancement at Westmont College titled “How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming Fundraising”, Sheard explains:
“We may have the resiliency (and enough duct tape) to power on through our current fiscal years. But that’s not true for the next fiscal year, and all subsequent fiscal years are severely impacted by 2020.”
Times have changed. We are now living in an environment that requires us to fundamentally rethink how we approach nearly everything we do, especially when it comes to fundraising. It requires us to embrace solutions that enable us to go beyond the status quo. For fundraisers, this shift away from the "old way of doing things" is a matter of sink or swim because organizations that fail to adapt to the times will fall behind.
One way that many organizations are innovating is through the application of artificial intelligence (AI) to fundraising. Martel and Sheard identify three areas of fundraising in which AI has provided organizations with solutions fit for both the near and far future.
1. Workforce Efficiency
- We all know how difficult it can be to manage a portfolio of 150-200 donors. Furthermore, our primary portfolios only cover a fraction of the donors in our databases. There is simply not enough time in the day, week, month, or year to engage with all of these people personally without the help of technological assistance.
2. Pipeline Development
- During the past several months, organizations have leaned on major donors to step up during difficult times. But many leaders are rightly concerned about donor fatigue. Without cultivating relationships outside of the very top of the giving pyramid, long-term giving is at risk.
3. The Digital Gift Officer
- If anything is certain it is that the way in which we communicate with one another has evolved. Aside from the obvious move to Zoom calls, emails, texts, and social media engagement are being used at a much greater clip to connect digitally. A fundraiser's ability to connect with a donor is rapidly expanding since costly and time-consuming practices like travel or events are no longer as common.
In order to address these three critical areas of fundraising, development leaders must be willing to invest the time to learn about potential solutions. This is an investment in the future sustainability of your organizations. Failing to adapt right now will result in an arid donor pool. Organizations that are emerging from the pandemic more successful are the organizations that invest in their team to allow them to do the best work they are capable of.
“Forward-thinking organizations and those willing to adapt to today’s world will find that marrying technology and relationship-building at scale will build broader pipelines and inspire more giving. AI that empowers advancement professionals to focus more time, energy, and resources on building relationships is powerful because it addresses critical drivers of fundraising ROI.”
Gravyty’s AI tools enable fundraisers to build deeper relationships with 3-4x as many donors as before. Fundraisers are reinforcing their giving pipelines by cultivating new relationships while managing their existing portfolio, as opposed to leaning on the same major donors that have given so much already.
Did you know that fixing the cracks in your donor pyramid can be fixed using a math problem? Gravyty's Marijana Radić Boone and Pursuant-Advizor's Doug Cogswell sat down for a webinar that shows you how to build a sustainable major giving pipeline with donors who are already in your database. Download the on-demand webinar for a packed session with tangible takeaways you can put to use today.