5 Ways AI Will Boost the Impact of Non-Profits

5 Ways AI Will Boost the Impact of Non-Profits

The work of non-profits, NGOs, and other organizations that impact the social good are as challenging as ever. According to the National Council of NonProfits, the top 3 trends impacting this sectors are:

  • limited resources;
  • increased demands on nonprofits, stemming from increased needs in communities; and
  • the growing awareness that every nonprofit and board member needs to be an active, vocal advocate for her/his nonprofit’s mission

With these increasing pressures, grit and passion are needed more than ever to drive organizations to their goals. In addition, emerging tools that can support non-profits in new ways come from the field of artificial intelligence: namely, machine learning techniques.

Below are 3 ways machine learning can help organizations to boost their impact on constituents and on donors.

1 - Predict Which of Your Constituents Will Complete Your Program

Whether we are talking about the people being helped or donors, many non-profits have structured programs, pipelines and activities meant to guide the constituent or donor to a desired outcome. Organizations that follow best practices collect data throughout these processes.

Talking this data, we can apply machine learning to predict which members are likely to get to the end of the and which ones will not. We do this by training a classifier: a model that assigns your constituents to one of two classes (success or failure). Some algorithms return classes and probabilities. So, the final model will work by inputting a name (say, John Jones) and returning a prediction and a probability (John has a 75% chance of success).

When we can identify who is likely or not to succeed, It enhances resource and cost allocation in a major way.

2 - Understand Why Your Constituents will Succeed or Fail

The first model, above, can give you predictions on which members will succeed or fail. We used John Jones as an example. But these predictions beg the question: why does the model think John has a high chance of success?

In the non-profit world, understanding the most influential factors that drive your constituents' behavior is critical. Fortunately, there are techniques that can reveal these important factors. Such techniques and algorithms are known as interpretive models. We can train models that can return the most important factors overall, or give insights into what influenced a single prediction.

In the case of John, an interpretive model can reveal that education level, a certain response to an email campaign, or marital status are the strongest factors influencing John's probable success on the program. When such factors are known, projects can be put in place to enhance the factors that help and suppress the factors that hurt good outcomes.

3 - Understand how your constituents feel about your program

To gage the impact of programs, written and verbal responses from constituents and donors are a critical tool. These responses can be garnered from surveys, interviews, or from social media. Images and video that highlight programs also show constituents facial expressions.

Sentiment analysis can take these responses and images and give insights on how constituents feels about a program or the morale of donors. Such insights can give early warnings or signal issues that traditional metrics or performance indicators cannot.

4 - Enhance your email marketing program

Machine learning can enhance an email marketing program by revealing what content works best with what constituents/donors. It can also give insights into which people on your email list are likely to unsubscribe and what content drives them in this direction.

Given this information, AI can also be used to generate content that would be more appealing to email and SMS recipients. This AI driven content is an emerging area on which Oxygen AI is actively working. If you'd like to be included in a beta test, send a request to info@oxygen-ai.com.

5 - Reach your Constituents and Donors in New Ways

Chatbots and other dialogue agents are going to be key to communicating and driving actions of the audiences of non-profits. The fastest emerging technologies are messaging apps, on which chatbots are proliferating. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, chatbots are being used by non-profits in the following ways:

  • Donor queries and administrative tasks.
  • Storytelling. 
  • Data gathering. 
  • Human resources. 
  • Community organizing. 
  • Fundraising.


We at Oxygen AI are excited about the results we have seen in deploying AI solutions to non-profits. We'd love the chance to see what these tools can do for your mission. Drop us a line at info@oxygen-ai.com and let's start the discussion!

From Excel to AI

From Excel to AI

GIS and Machine Learning at MinneWebCon