This post comes from the Gravyty Fundraising Academy, a series that examines how fundraisers adapt and strategize to evolve what's possible through philanthropy.
Your guide for the Gravyty Fundraising Academy is Director of Customer Success, Lisa Alvezi. Lisa has worked with countless fundraisers across Higher Education, Health Care, and Nonprofit organizations to transform fundraising. As a former frontline fundraiser herself, her goal is to help you see better results from your fundraising efforts.
CHALLENGE EVERYTHING YOU THINK YOU KNOW ABOUT
Bandwidth means more than just who is using the most internet in the house. There's a human limit to bandwidth as well. As fundraisers, we all know that bandwidth gets in the way of personally reaching and inspiring more donors because we're forced to make the choice between managing the donors we know and building relationships through meaningful contact with those we don't.
Typically, this trade-off is answered by attempting to build better lists – is there a short priority list of donors I can work on? Can I limit my work to my high-performing portfolio? Can I take people out of my portfolio to only work on the top donors?
At Gravyty, we see things differently. The question isn't about how to hone your focus, but how to expand your focus and do the best work of your life.
The number one reason that fundraisers struggle with this challenge is that they understand all of the background work that goes into personally engaging donors. That's why the very first tenant of our perspective is: there is no reason for background work to limit your ability to personally connect with donors. That's what AI is for! Not to create the perfect list, limit your focus, or to exist for the sake of cleaning your data. AI exists so you can do the best work of your life.
Today, we're going to look at how Gravyty's AI-enabled fundraisers manage and reach more donors than ever thought possible before with Gravyty First Draft. First Draft emails act as a starting point for fundraisers. Our AI helps you with who to reach out to now, why you should reach out to them, and even self-writes the first draft of that message as a starting point. This background work has been proven to increase the number of donors a single fundraiser can manage by more than 400%. Fundraisers then use human intelligence to convert a First Draft into personalized donor outreach. Here are three ways Gravyty's AI-enabled fundraisers quickly and effectively personalize outreach through First Draft.
If you were to speak to someone on the phone or meet them out and about, how would you open that conversation? Chances are, "Dear Mrs. Whiting" won't be your opener. Here are some examples that First Draft can suggest or you can simply edit without notice:
If you are on a first-name basis with the donor
If the donor prefers something more formal
"Hi Mrs. Whiting"
If less formality is the way to go
The First Paragraph
Gravyty's AI-enabled fundraisers love to make small personalization edits to the first paragraph of their email – often the first sentence to re-establish their relationship with the donor. Here are a few examples:
If the fundraiser knows the donor's spouse or partner
"I hope all is well with you and Mike."
If the fundraiser knows about a recent trip
"I hope you enjoyed Spring Break, how was your trip to the coast?"
If the donor has told the fundraiser about a recent health issue
"I hope you are on the road to recovery."
The Second Paragraph
The second paragraph of an email is an opportunity to acknowledge a donor's past support and include something specific about their giving. Here's how First Draft's AI might get you started and then let you add to the personal message:
If there's more to say about a personal connection they may have
"Your generous support of our swim team has helped immensely, and I'd love to tell you what coach Moore has in store for the new season."
If there's a lot of information to convey, but you know their affinity
"I know you've been a generous supporter of our community education programs. We have some new classes that we're offering to the community, I'd love to catch you up and tell you more."
What we once thought about bandwidth and the trade-off that comes with personalized donor outreach is outdated. AI gives us a better way, and it's not by creating a shorter list or limiting the number of donors who are impacted by the amazing work of fundraisers. By removing the background work that limits a fundraiser's bandwidth, personalized donor outreach at scale is possible. In a few minutes or less, every communication can be personalized for that specific donor, versus working from scripts and mail merge.
People give to people. Personal communications are the best path you have to inspire donors.
If you’d like to learn more about how artificial intelligence can empower your organization to have a culture of philanthropy, personally reach new donors, and inspire giving at scale, click the button below and let's connect.