SalesForce.Org Study: 40% of Nonprofits Planning To Integrate AI for Marketing | Beth's Blog

SalesForce.Org Study: 40% of Nonprofits Planning To Integrate AI for Marketing


SalesForce.Org recently presented a webinar where they shared a research report on marketing and engagement tools, channels, and strategies for nonprofit organizations.    I was curious to see if they were tracking current or future uses of AI.     

In the survey, they found most nonprofits plan to focus on social media & advertising, fundraising and email marketing to build out their marketing strategy over the next three to five years. Beyond these more traditional areas of focus, upwards of four in ten anticipate focusing on artificial intelligence as part of their near-term marketing strategy.

Larger organizations (100+ employees; $10M+ in revenue) and those who have historically exceeded their marketing goals are increasingly turning to artificial intelligence to strengthen their marketing efforts.  (In comparison,  a recent Gartner study that found that 59% of business enterprises have some form of AI deployment in operation today. Gartner estimates that the average company has four AI or ML projects in place.)

The Salesforce.Org study also looked at how nonprofits were having meaningful conversations with their constituents.  The research discovered that organizations often have audience data to make communication more relevant and personalized. Demographics, donation habits, type of supporter and preferred methods of engaging with the organization are common data points currently tracked by over half of nonprofit organizations surveyed. Level of advocacy and device preferences when engaging with the organization are less commonly known. 

Yet, the majority of organizations do not take advantage of this data to differentiate their messaging to different constituents. Instead, organizations rely on batch and blast emails to communicate. While this ensures that the organization’s communication is consistent and unified, it is directly at odds with the type of personalized brand experience that leads to longer term engagement and repeat donors.

The future is AI-driven marketing or fundraising campaigns where AI can help customized and personalized one-to-one messaging and engagement with audiences at scale.

Some nonprofits are currently using AI tools to customize fundraising appeals.  For example, Persado can help analyze subject lines and content in emails to increase conversion, even generating suggestions for subject-lines to test.  Another that nonprofits are turning to is  Quilt.AI, which analyzes the data from a nonprofit’s digital presence and allows them to better understand data patterns in a large amount of data to predict changes in human behavior.  These insights are used to better customize messaging in different digital channels to improve results.

Is your nonprofit currently using AI tools as part of your fundraising strategy?   Let me know in the comments.

4 Responses

  1. Hi,

    Thanks for this post. I have been following your articles they are very helpful to me.
    Am trying to study AI and how I can incorporate it in our marketing and communication strategy. This article inspired me alot to continue research on AI.

  2. Lisa Hinsdale says:

    How would you suggest getting started utilizing AI?

  3. Beth Kanter says:

    The first question to ask is how can it improve our program or fundraising? Why do you want to use it? Next step is to learn about opportunities and challenges.

  4. Catherine Le Blanc says:

    Hello Beth,

    Worked on Salesforce in a For-profit capacity for approximately 15 + years. I had no idea that Saleforce works with Not-for-Profits. Love to learn more about how they can help with 501 (c) 3’s.

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