By Elizabeth (Liz) Ngonzi, CFRE, Founder and CEO at The International Social Impact Institute and Adjunct Assistant Professor at New York University


In the rapidly evolving landscape of nonprofit organizations, adapting to the digital realm has become a pivotal challenge. To fortify fundraising and impact strategies, embracing emerging technologies is paramount. Among the innovative tools that have garnered attention is ChatGPT. This article delves into the intricate process of crafting a nonprofit digital strategy, harnessing the capabilities of ChatGPT, while closely aligning with The International Social Impact Institute®‘s (The ISII) Digital Strategy Framework. Explore how this dynamic fusion can propel your nonprofit’s online presence and effectiveness, in a world driven by digital engagement.

The ISII’s Digital Strategy Framework serves as a guiding light for nonprofits seeking to navigate the complex digital landscape. This framework provides a holistic approach, encompassing various dimensions of a digital strategy, including audience engagement, content creation, and impact measurement. With ChatGPT entering the scene, we’re presented with an innovative way to enhance these dimensions.

A graph displaying the seven steps of The International Social Impact Institute's (The ISII) Digital Strategy Framework: A Blueprint for Success

Crafting Your ChatGPT-Powered Nonprofit Digital Strategy

Embark on a journey of strategic empowerment by leveraging ChatGPT throughout your digital strategy. Uncover the step-by-step process of defining goals, selecting prompts, implementing initiatives, and measuring impact in this comprehensive guide.

  1. Define Your Goals: Begin by outlining your organization’s goals for leveraging ChatGPT. Whether it’s boosting engagement, streamlining content creation, or enhancing donor communications, clear objectives are crucial.
  2. Select Relevant Prompts: Referencing The ISII’s Digital Strategy Framework, choose appropriate prompts that align with your goals. For instance, if audience engagement is a priority, prompts related to chatbot interactions and personalized messaging are key.
  3. Implement and Test: Develop and implement your ChatGPT-powered initiatives. Be sure to continuously test and iterate to ensure optimal performance and user satisfaction.
  4. Measure Impact: Use the framework’s impact measurement techniques to assess the effectiveness of your ChatGPT-powered strategies. Monitor metrics such as engagement rates, content reach, and donor response.

The Seven Elements of a Digital Strategy

Delve into the core components of your nonprofit digital strategy, powered by ChatGPT. Explore how the strategic integration of SWOT analysis, audience mapping, SMART communication targets, channel identification, content strategy, execution and evaluation, and high-level communications planning can shape a successful digital transformation.

1) SWOT Analysis: Capitalizing on Organizational Insights

A cornerstone of strategic planning, the SWOT analysis delves into the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. With ChatGPT’s analytical prowess, the process can be augmented. By inputting relevant data, the AI can generate nuanced insights that supplement your team’s analysis, thereby informing more holistic decisions. The following prompt and instructions can help you develop it.

ChatGPT Prompt: “Generate insights for our organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats based on the data collected. Output as a table.”

Instructions: Provide information about your organization’s current situation, including its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Share any available data or context that can help ChatGPT generate insights. The AI will then analyze this information and provide nuanced insights that supplement your team’s analysis, thereby informing more holistic decisions.

The Results:

A screenshot of the ChatGPT Prompt: "Generate insights for our organization's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats based on the data collected. Output as a table."

2) External Audience Mapping: Understanding Your Supporters

Understanding your audience is paramount. ChatGPT can assist by processing data to identify audience segments, behaviors, and preferences. By posing queries and analyzing ChatGPT’s responses, you can uncover potential audience segments that might have been overlooked, refining your targeting strategy. The following prompt and instructions can help you develop it.

ChatGPT Prompt: “Assist in identifying audience segments that align with our nonprofit’s mission and goals. Output as a table.”

Instructions: Describe your nonprofit’s mission, goals, and any existing audience data. Let ChatGPT know about your current understanding of your audience. Ask the AI to help you identify potential audience segments that might be aligned with your mission but could have been overlooked. This will involve processing data to identify behaviors, preferences, and demographics that can refine your targeting strategy.

The Results:

A screenshot of the ChatGPT Prompt: "Assist in identifying audience segments that align with our nonprofit's mission and goals. Output as a table."

3) SMART Communications Targets: Precision in Objective Setting

Crafting Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART) communication targets is crucial. Utilizing ChatGPT, you can articulate these targets more effectively. The AI can suggest language that aligns with the SMART framework, aiding in conveying your goals succinctly. The following prompt and instructions can help you develop it.

ChatGPT Prompt: “Suggest SMART communication targets that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Output as a table.”

Instructions: Share your nonprofit’s communication objectives and goals. Provide context about the type of targets you are looking for. Ask ChatGPT to assist in articulating these targets in a SMART format. The AI will help you phrase your communication goals in a way that is clear, measurable, and aligned with the SMART framework.

The Results:

A screenshot of the ChatGPT Prompt: "Suggest SMART communication targets that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Output as a table."



4) Communications Channel Identification: Navigating the Landscape

Determining the right communication channels is pivotal. With ChatGPT, you can input information about your organization’s mission, target audience, and resources. The AI can then suggest channels that resonate with your goals, considering trends and audience preferences. The following prompt and instructions can help you develop it.

ChatGPT Prompt: “Recommend communication channels that resonate with our organization’s mission, target audience, and available resources. Output as a table.”

Instructions: Provide information about your nonprofit’s mission, target audience, and available resources for communication. Describe the characteristics of your target audience and any preferences they might have. Ask ChatGPT to suggest communication channels that align with your mission and resonate with your audience. This will involve considering current trends and the potential effectiveness of each channel.

The Results:

A screenshotof the ChatGPT Prompt: "Recommend communication channels that resonate with our organization's mission, target audience, and available resources. Output as a table."

5) Content Strategy / Type Selection: Crafting Compelling Content

Engaging content is the backbone of a successful digital strategy. ChatGPT can assist in brainstorming content ideas based on your organization’s focus. By generating prompts related to your cause, you can receive a plethora of creative content concepts. The following prompt and instructions can help you develop it.

ChatGPT Prompt: “Brainstorm creative content ideas that align with our nonprofit’s focus and messaging. Include Audience Types, Constraints, and Requirements. Output as a table.”

Instructions: Explain your nonprofit’s focus and messaging. Let ChatGPT know what types of content you’re looking to create, such as social media posts, blog posts, video content, or educational articles. Provide information about the specific audience types you’ve identified, along with any constraints (e.g., limited budget, time, resources) and requirements (e.g., technology, staff, budget) for each content type. Ask the AI to assist in generating creative content ideas that resonate with your focus and mission while considering the constraints and requirements for each audience segment and content type. This will involve brainstorming various themes and concepts that could engage your audience while adhering to the specified constraints and requirements.

The Results:

A screenshot of the ChatGPT Prompt: "Brainstorm creative content ideas that align with our nonprofit's focus and messaging. Include Audience Types, Constraints, and Requirements. Output as a table."6) Execution and Evaluation: Enhancing Implementation

Executing a strategy is as important as formulating it. ChatGPT can help in generating actionable steps for execution. Furthermore, during the implementation phase, ChatGPT can offer insights into potential hurdles and solutions, aiding in real-time decision-making. The following prompt and instructions can help you develop it.

ChatGPT Prompt: “Provide actionable steps for implementing our digital strategy, considering potential challenges and solutions. Output as a table.”

Instructions: Utilize the content types, audience types, constraints, and requirements from Step 5 as a foundation. Outline the key components of your digital strategy, focusing on the content types and audience segments you’ve identified. For each content type and audience segment combination, anticipate potential challenges that might arise during implementation, such as resource limitations or technical difficulties. Then, ask ChatGPT to generate actionable steps for executing the strategy, along with potential solutions to overcome these challenges. Organize this information into a table format, showcasing the steps, challenges, and corresponding solutions.

The Results:

A screenshot of the ChatGPT Pormpt: "Provide actionable steps for implementing our digital strategy, considering potential challenges and solutions. Output as a table."

7) High-Level Communications Plan Development: Unveiling the Blueprint

With the insights gathered, ChatGPT can aid in formulating a high-level communications plan. By providing an outline of key milestones, messaging strategies, and audience touchpoints, the AI can serve as a valuable planning collaborator. The following prompt and instructions can help you develop it.

ChatGPT Prompt: “Assist in developing a high-level communications plan based on the SMART Targets, Communication Channels, and Content Strategy generated in previous steps. Output as a table.”

Instructions: Utilize the SMART Targets, Communication Channels, and Content Strategy that have been developed in the previous steps to create a comprehensive high-level communications plan. The plan should align each SMART Target with its corresponding Communication Channel and Content Strategy. Include additional details such as the Content / Post Title, Primary Target(s), Hashtag (if applicable), Content Type(s), Budget Amount, Content Source, Content Development Timeline, and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for measurement and monitoring. Organize this information in a tabular format for clear visualization.

The Results:

A screenshot of the ChatGPT Prompt: "Assist in developing a high-level communications plan based on the SMART Targets, Communication Channels, and Content Strategy generated in previous steps. Output as a table."

Seamless Integration of ChatGPT: Elevating Your Strategy

By integrating ChatGPT into each step of the process, you’re not just crafting a strategy; you’re engineering a dynamic and intelligent roadmap. The AI’s ability to generate insights, prompt content ideas, and refine language empowers your team to make more informed decisions.

Empowerment through Education: NYU’s Digital Storytelling Course

As we culminate our exploration of ChatGPT-powered strategies, it’s imperative to acknowledge the educational aspect. Liz’s NYU course, “Digital Storytelling for Fundraising: Leveraging Emerging Technology for Impact,” complements this journey. It equips you with the knowledge to not only harness ChatGPT but also master the art of digital storytelling to enhance your fundraising efforts.

Promotion graphic for Digital Storytelling for Fundraising course at NYU

Conclusion: Forging Ahead with Confidence

In the ever-evolving landscape of nonprofit work, harnessing technology is a necessity, and ChatGPT stands as a powerful tool in your arsenal. By combining the capabilities of ChatGPT with The ISII’s Digital Strategy Framework, you’re poised to craft a strategy that’s not just effective, but transformative. As you traverse this digital odyssey, remember that the fusion of human creativity and AI insight has the potential to shape the future of nonprofit endeavors.

About the Author

Elizabeth (Liz) Ngonzi, CFRE is an award-winning educator, social entrepreneur, and international speaker. With expertise in digital storytelling and generative AI for social impact, she serves as an adjunct assistant professor in the Center for Global Affairs at New York University, teaching courses on leveraging technology for stakeholder engagement.

As the founder of The International Social Impact Institute®, Liz empowers institutions to build ecosystems of like-minded stakeholders through impactful storytelling and engagement strategies powered by emerging tech. She holds an MMH in Services Marketing from Cornell University and a BS in Information Systems from Syracuse University iSchool.

Learn about Liz’s one-day in person course at NYU – AI for Impact: Enhancing Stakeholder Engagement & Digital Storytelling Across Industries.

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