By Sofia Borden, Vice President and Chief Experience Officer at Julep – an affordable and intuitive CRM for nonprofits.  

AI tools are everywhere. A recent study found that 80% of nonprofits use AI to automate online fundraising and 15% use it for donor prospecting. There’s no question that they can streamline operations, save time and money, and enhance fundraising, but where do you start? Since “nonprofits that are considered digitally matureare four times more likely to meet mission goals,” what tools are helpful for nonprofits to use?  

Because many of these tools are free or low-cost, these are great opportunities for nonprofits on tight budgets to expand the capacity of your organization without expensive software or pricy subscriptions. Let’s explore how nonprofits can harness the power of AI to drive efficiency and deepen donor relationships. 

The Big Four 

The four big generative AI tools available are ChatGPT by OpenAI, Gemini by Google, Claude by Anthropic, and Microsoft Copilot. By leveraging one of these tools strategically, nonprofits can optimize content creation workflows, effectively communicate their mission, and foster meaningful engagement with stakeholders while saving time and keeping costs low.  

1) ChatGPT: This widely-embraced AI tool, which was used to write the first draft of this article, is renowned for its adaptability across various content formats. As a Generative AI tool, it “helps people create new content from previously created content, such as text, audio, video, images, and code.”

This tool proves invaluable for nonprofits engaged in fundraising and development by facilitating seamless content repurposing. Whether converting comprehensive guides into engaging email series or condensing lengthy reports into succinct newsletters, ChatGPT streamlines content creation processes. 

Open AI, the parent company of ChatGPT, has expanded beyond simple writing prompts with tools to help you design graphics or logos, analyze data, assist with online ads and social media posts, and build presentations 

2) Claude: is a system of AI models and chatbots designed by Anthropic AI that focuses on text content, visual analysis, and complex analysis for coding and math tasks. Anthropic AI was created by former OpenAI members with a focus on ethics. Claude allows you to upload files which it can then process and analyze with follow-up questions through its chatbot.

3) Gemini: Much like OpenAI, Gemini is Google’s generative AI chatbot. While it performs most of what ChatGPT does, it’s helpful to compare writing samples from each tool. The app version can replace Google Assistant and make mobile search much easier.

4) Microsoft Copilot: This AI tool integrates with Microsoft 365 through Business Chat. It includes generative AI for Word, Excel, Outlook, Teams, and Power Platform. It also offers a chatbot interface to submit queries and upload files that is available to subscribers.

12 Practical Tips & Tools 

Imagine a world where your nonprofit operates seamlessly, with AI-powered tools guiding every step of your journey. Here are some practical tips and tools to help you integrate AI into your organization. Most existing tools, from email marketing to content management, are integrating AI into their systems, so take time to check their websites for product developments. You may be able to streamline some processes without signing up for something new.

Here are some practical tips and tools to help you integrate AI into your organization.

1) Chatbots: While used primarily for customer service, these can help provide personalized interactions, answer questions, and guide donors through the giving process. These tools can handle routine inquiries, freeing up staff time for more meaningful interactions. These tools include Twilio,, Userlike, and Chatbot.

2) Email: Most email marketing systems (EMS) products are adding AI tools into their systems. Legacy brands like MailChimp, Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor, and GetResponse have integrated AI and predictive analytics into their reports, content creation, and marketing features.

3) Fundraising Campaign Optimization: Try tools like Optimizely or Google’s GA4 to A/B test fundraising campaigns and optimize donation pages for increased conversion rates. Experiment with different messaging, visuals, and calls-to-action to identify the most effective strategies. You can also explore AI-driven solutions for volunteer management, event planning, and program evaluation to streamline operations and improve efficiency.

Recurring giving programs are the backbone of a sustainable fundraising strategy. Over 80% of recurring donors continue their support after a year and recurring donors typically give 42% more annually than one-time donors. Donors appreciate the simplicity and impact of recurring gifts and with Julep, set up is a breeze.

Download Julep’s Recurring Giving Guide on building a successful recurring giving program.

4) Graphic Design: With AI tools, even the most uncreative person can be a designer. Canva has integrated multiple AI tools within its platform and is one of the most flexible resources out there. It integrates easily with Dalle, and includes Magic Studio with helpful assistants for writing, design, and video creation. Other graphic design tools, like Midjourney and Adobe Firefly generate images. Adobe Creative Cloud also includes helpful AI tools, such as generative fill.

5) Grant Writing Assistance: Explore AI tools like WriteLab or Grammarly to enhance grant writing and proposal development. These platforms offer grammar checks, style suggestions, and content optimization to improve the quality and effectiveness of grant applications.

6) Impact Measurement and Evaluation: Implement AI-driven analytics platforms, such as Tableau, Power BI, or Sisense to track and analyze the impact of your programs. These tools provide actionable insights to measure outcomes, assess effectiveness, and inform strategic decision-making.

7) Prospect Research and Donor Identification: Utilize legacy tools like WealthEngine or DonorSearch, which have added AI, to analyze wealth indicators and identify potential major donors. These tools provide valuable insights to prioritize fundraising efforts effectively. They can also help you segment donor lists and tailor outreach efforts based on donor preferences and interests. New players include Hatch and Donor Match GPT.

8) Predictive Analytics: Nonprofits typically have access to immense data, and predictive analytics can help organizations predict future donor behavior based on previous contributions. Leverage these platforms to forecast donor behavior and tailor fundraising strategies accordingly. By analyzing past donor trends, nonprofits can optimize engagement and retention strategies. Many programs you likely use, such as MailChimp and Microsoft Office, are integrating predictive analysis tools into their platforms.

9) Social Media Management: Employ AI-driven social media management tools such as Hootsuite, Later, or Buffer to schedule posts, analyze engagement metrics, and optimize content for maximum impact. These platforms streamline social media outreach, help nonprofits reach a broader audience, and have plans at different price points. Many of these tools also offer writing assistance, or you can invest in a subscription product like to help write advertising copy.

10) Strategic Planning: AI is a great tool for strategic planning. It enables organizations to analyze trends, assess risks, and optimize resource allocation. Nonprofits can leverage AI tools, such as Notion, for project management, collaboration, planning, and documentation. Milanote is a great tool for organizing creative projects, such as new websites, designs, or even a strategic fundraising plan.

11) Websites: This is another area where you should check to see if your existing content management system is integrating AI. Both Squarespace and WordPress are adding AI tools or plugins to their platforms. There are also new, AI-driven website programs like Framer, or Fullstory, which analyze the behavior of visitors to your site.

12) Video: With TikTok and Instagram Reels dominating social media with younger generations, video is now a necessity for nonprofits. Tools like Synthesia, Video GPT by Veed, OpusClip, and Magic Studio by Canva can help you quickly create and edit videos for social media or your website.

Once you have tools and systems in place, don’t forget to go back and evaluate them! Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of AI tools and strategies, gathering feedback from staff, donors, and beneficiaries to inform ongoing improvements. 

Take Note 

While AI tools are timesavers, it’s crucial to address potential challenges associated with AI-generated content. Inaccuracies and lack of authenticity may affect content quality and SEO effectiveness. To mitigate these risks, diligent editing and fact-checking are essential. Ensuring AI-generated content aligns with the nonprofit’s unique brand voice fosters audience engagement and trust. To be safe, it’s best to implement a policy that a human reviews all AI-generated materials before they are shared.  

Wrapping Up 

As AI tools are becoming increasingly integrated into our systems and software platforms, nonprofits need to be aware of how to utilize them to save money, streamline operations, better target donors, maximize how data is used, and achieve greater impact. 

While implementing AI can seem overwhelming, you can start with small experiments and scale up with what works for your organization. Don’t wait for the future to arrive—start harnessing the power of AI today and take your nonprofit to new heights. Through the strategic use of AI tools, you can optimize your efforts and drive greater impact to support your cause.  

About the Sponsor

Julep is the affordable and intuitive nonprofit fundraising solution for managing donors and your organization’s data. Our innovative and flexible platform streamlines fundraising and management functions, so you can focus on what’s important — building and cultivating relationships. 

Built by fundraising veterans and data experts, we understand the struggles nonprofits face. Julep was designed to work out-of-the-box along with customizable features that help your organization save time and money. With major giving features like Moves Management and Fundraiser Portfolio, we stay at the forefront of fundraising and can work as either a comprehensive fundraising CRM or a major giving tool.

Prices start at $99 per month, so find out how Julep can power your ability to make positive change. Schedule a demo today!