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Podcast | AI, ChatGPT, and the Future of Nonprofit Communications

AI-created content has been a reality on the Internet for a while now, but when OpenAI’s ChatGPT launched in November 2022, it turned heads like no AI before. For the first time, content written by an AI actually surpassed the writing abilities of many humans, even if its accuracy sometimes missed the mark. ChatGPT goes beyond predictive texts to write long-form content such as letters, blog posts, poems and even songs. Cherian Koshy, fundraiser extraordinaire, joined the Go Beyond Fundraising podcast to share why he believes generative AIs like ChatGPT are here to stay, and how he thinks they will transform the fundraising industry.


Why is ChatGPT in a class of its own?

Many of us are already familiar with generative AI software such as predictive text technology. We see and use it frequently in Gmail and text messaging platforms. ChatGPT is an evolved software that is capable of writing long-form content that reads as if a human wrote it. It uses well thought-out language that flows naturally to ensure content doesn’t sound robotic.  

The Large Language Models (LLM) that ChatGPT uses are based on existing data found on the World Wide Web. When searching fundraising terms, phrases or questions, ChatGPT will generate information based on your search. It will then categorize that data to give human-like responses. 


Benefits of using ChatGPT for fundraising 

Koshy explained how ChatGPT can produce quality writing that can, in some cases, be better than what humans can produce. Not everyone is a skilled writer. Generative AI software can produce higher-quality writing than what some individuals are capable of. “There are a lot of benefits to using a generative AI to help with the blank page. In business, we are asked to write quite a bit. What I find interesting is that AI-generated copy will often be correct and read more smoothly than what a human would write,” observes host Leah Davenport Fadling. 

Koshy speaks about how generative AI can level the playing field when it comes to less skilled and experienced writers and people who don’t possess a strong command of the English language. He goes on to explain how anyone is able to use ChatGPT to create a decent first draft that can then be quickly reviewed by a professional for optimization. 


Risks to consider when using ChatGPT

It’s essential to consider the following risks when using generative AI for fundraising communication.

  • Plagiarism – Although generative AI is creating new content, it isn’t content written by you or someone else. It’s imperative to rewrite AI content in your own voice if you plan on taking credit for the generated content.  
  • Unethical and inherently biased images – When searching for images, use appropriate descriptive language to avoid generating “poverty porn” and/or exclusive hetero-normative images.
  • Irrelevant stories – It can be tempting to use generative AI to create rapid content; however, the use of unrelated stories that do not accurately depict your cause and/or organization is a false representation. 


The future of ChatGPT 

Once a nonprofit organization uses data analytics software such as GivingDNA to generate targeted segments, they could then use ChatGPT to write content for a targeted group. For example, ChatGPT could write a fundraising appeal to women in their forties with children asking them to donate to their local food pantry.

Generative AI will also eventually be able to provide interactive content to website visitors. For example, people will be able to submit questions and receive human-like AI responses. 

Generative AIs may also help create more unbiased content. As humans, we hold biased thinking which gets projected into the content we create. This not only allows for more diverse, equitable and inclusive content, but it also expands and grows your reach to a wider audience that would otherwise go untapped due to the limitations biases have. The way generative AI works allows for data from multiple sources to be collected—resulting in information and ideas that you may not otherwise be aware of. 


Scale your organization’s fundraising with generative AI

As it stands now, ChatGPT is free to use, but Koshy predicts it won’t be free for long. ChatGPT is the fastest-growing website—reaching over one million new users in record-breaking time. 

For more information on how AIs like ChatGPT are changing the future for nonprofits, listen to this full episode of the Go Beyond Fundraising podcast here.

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