News & Info

In an Ai-World, Here’s Why Humans Still Matter in Nonprofits


In recent years, the rise of artificial intelligence (Ai) has transformed how we live and work. Ai has become an integral part of our daily lives, from self-driving cars to virtual assistants. And the nonprofit sector is no exception.

Justin Spelhaug, vice president and global head of Microsoft Tech for Social Impact, stated in a recent GeekWire post that nonprofits, “They’re in this vice grip of pressure right now, and we do believe that AI can play a really important role in helping them relieve some of that pressure.”

Nonprofits increasingly turn to Ai to improve donor engagement and boost fundraising efforts. However, as technology advances, it’s important to remember that humans still play a crucial role in nonprofit success. In this article, we’ll explore the impact of Ai on the nonprofit sector and why human connection is still essential for nonprofit success.

The Rise of Ai in Nonprofits

Improving Donor Engagement

Improving Donor Engagement

Donor engagement is crucial for the success of any nonprofit. Ai and tech partners can help nonprofits better understand donors and personalize marketing interactions. For example, Donor Science™, an Ai-powered algorithm here at VeraData, can analyze donor behavior and personal preferences to create next-level personalized fundraising appeals and communications.

Ai can also help nonprofits identify potential major donors by analyzing data from co-ops, historical data, and other sources. This allows nonprofits to target efforts toward individuals who are most likely to support your cause and expand your Donorverse.

Boosting Fundraising Efforts

Ai has the potential to revolutionize fundraising for nonprofits. With the help of Ai-backed marketing partners, nonprofits can identify the most effective fundraising strategies and tailor their campaigns accordingly. For example, Ai can analyze donor response data to determine the best time and method to reach out to potential donors.

The Importance of Human Connection in Nonprofits

The Importance of Human Connection in Nonprofits

While Ai has many benefits for nonprofits, it’s important to remember that human connection is still essential for nonprofit success. Here’s why.

Building Relationships with Donors

At its core, the nonprofit sector is all about building relationships. Nonprofits rely on the generosity and support of donors to achieve their mission. While Ai can help improve donor engagement, it cannot replace the personal touch of human interaction.

Donors want to feel connected to the causes they support and know that their contributions are making a difference. This is where human connection comes in. Nonprofit staff can build relationships with donors by showing genuine appreciation, providing updates on the impact of their donations, and involving them in the organization’s work.

Understanding Donor Motivations

Ai can analyze donor data and identify patterns and trends, but it cannot fully understand the motivations behind a donor’s actions. This is where human connection is crucial. The Donor Relations team can build and expand on relationships with donors and gain a deeper understanding of their motivations.

By knowing what drives donors to support a cause, nonprofits can tailor their fundraising strategies and build stronger relationships with donors. This human touch is essential for creating a meaningful connection with donors and inspiring them to continue supporting the organization. Surveys are a great tool to engage donors and gain crucial information about why they support your mission.

Telling Compelling Stories

One of the most powerful tools in a nonprofit’s arsenal is storytelling. By sharing the stories of those impacted by their work, nonprofits can inspire donors to take action and support their cause. While Ai can analyze data and identify trends, it cannot tell a compelling story in the same way a human can.

Nonprofit staff can use their personal experiences and connections to tell stories that resonate with donors and inspire them to get involved. This human touch is what makes a nonprofit’s message truly meaningful and can make all the difference in fundraising efforts.

How Nonprofits Can Balance Ai and Human Connection

How Nonprofits Can Balance Ai and Human Connection

While Ai offers many benefits to nonprofits, such as deeper data-driven insights and personalized outreach, it’s critical to strike a balance between technology and human connection to maintain the trust and engagement of supporters. Here are some tips for achieving this balance:

– Maintain a Personal Touch: Use Ai to gather insights and optimize strategies, but keep the human element in communications. Personalized, heartfelt messages from real people can strengthen donor relationships and build lasting relationships.
– Be Transparent About Ai Use: Let donors know how Ai is being used and why. Transparency fosters trust and ensures donors understand how their data is being handled and used to improve engagement.
– Incorporate Human Feedback: Continuously gather feedback from staff and supporters about the effectiveness of Ai-powered strategies. Use this feedback to make adjustments and ensure your Ai initiatives align with your mission and values.
– Prioritize Ethical Ai: Implement ethical guidelines and practices to guide your Ai usage. This includes addressing biases, protecting data privacy, and ensuring fairness and transparency in Ai-driven decisions.
– Combine Automation with Personalized Interactions: Automate communications, but also prioritize personalized interactions for high-value donors or complex situations. A phone call or a handwritten note can go a long way in strengthening relationships.
– Monitor Ai Performance and Impact: Regularly assess the performance of Ai-powered campaigns and their impact on donor relationships. Make data-driven decisions while also considering the emotional and human aspects of engagement.
– Create Opportunities for In-Person Engagement: Balance digital interactions with in-person events and meetings. Face-to-face interactions can deepen relationships and offer a personal touch that technology alone cannot replicate.

By following these tips, nonprofits can leverage Ai to its full potential while maintaining the human connection that is essential for fostering strong, lasting relationships with supporters. This balance ensures that Ai complements, rather than replaces, the human touch in nonprofit work.


Ai can potentially transform the nonprofit sector, but it’s important to remember that human connection is essential for success. By balancing technology and human touch, nonprofits can streamline operations, improve donor engagement, and boost fundraising efforts. With the right tech partners and a focus on human connection, nonprofits can continue making a meaningful impact worldwide.

Copy link