November 18, 2019

Here’s how new tech can assist your fundraising campaign

Connecting and empathizing with strangers isn’t always easy. Fundraising campaigns require donors to understand and act on the direct needs of beneficiaries. Technology, used intentionally, can help donors choose to support your cause.

Technology is said to be tearing at genuine human connection. But tech’s newest innovations can bring people together who are usually worlds apart. As technology changes our relationships with each other, it affects how we give our time and money. Charitable giving is a more personalized decision than other purchases. Engaging and retaining donors continues to be one of the main challenges every organization faces. Technology, when used correctly, can aid fundraising campaigns. New technology can offer ways to create empathy and understanding between donors and your organization’s beneficiaries.

  • Americans gave over $427 billion dollars in 2018
  • Overall charitable giving grew for the 6th year in a row
  • Mobile giving donations grew 205% from 2017 to 2018

Charitable Giving in America

The United States has a long history of philanthropy. With charitable giving accounting for 2.1% of our gross domestic product in 2018, the United States is considered one of the most philanthropic nations in the world. In recent years, smaller donations from middle class families and individuals have been receding while corporate donations increase. Technology can help your organization receive donations from both larger, corporate donors and individual families. Increasingly accessible and affordable technology, such as augmented and virtual reality, help donors empathize with beneficiaries who may be half a world away.    

AI Assistance

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a computer program that thinks and acts in similar ways to intelligent humans. A part of AI is machine learning (ML) which helps computers access and learn data without human intervention. Successfully implementing these tools for your nonprofit focuses on the teamwork of humans and a computer program. AI gives your organization’s data actionable purpose. Instead of sitting still, data can be repurposed into actionable intelligence in real-time to inspire and engage donors. AI can help identify existing donors or supporters to recruit for a capital campaign effort. It could also allow your organization to expand beyond its traditional circle of donors by suggesting new donors to recruit from and then provide an individualized, engaging message to each one.

Using technology, your organization can create hyper-personalized content for each individual donor. Hyper personalization takes personalized marketing one step further by using real-time AI to deliver the most relevant content to each individual user. Hyper-personalized marketing is effective for fundraising campaigns. Each donor’s decision-making process is personal and based on emotions as well as logic. Hyper-personalized AI was built for scenarios. Being able to offer a highly personalized message to individual donors increases their likelihood that they will donate. Your organization is asking donors to support individuals, so treating donors as individuals is necessary and builds trust.        

Build Empathy with AR & VR

Both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) let users interact with a virtual environment. AR lays virtual aspects over real-world places, while VR completely immerses users in a virtual environment. The engaging, captivating experience of AR and VR strengthens fundraising campaigns. This immersion can offer social presence — the sense of interacting, empathizing and being with people — that closes the social distance between potential donors and beneficiaries.  VR’s all-encompassing experience offers interactivity and vividness as donors feel as though they have been transplanted into another reality. As this technology becomes even more widely used, potential donors can easily step into someone else’s shoes. The A Walk Through Dementia campaign used with the Google Cardboard app used VR to show the everyday reality of someone living with dementia. The United Nations’ well-known VR project Clouds Over Sidra shared the story of a young Syrian girl in a refugee camp. These tools help donors empathize with the direct beneficiaries of their financial support.

Technology is able, like never before, to break down barriers between donors and beneficiaries. Being able to have a small window into the struggles that your organization seeks to eliminate encourages donors to support your cause. B&Y has experience working on omnichannel charitable giving and capital campaigns. By using strategic marketing that works, B&Y can help your organizations harness technologies to grow your donor contributions and engage new donors.

Want to learn more about the best technology for your fundraising campaign? Give us a shout!

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Leih Boyden

Resident word-wrangler, Leih is a meticulous and imaginative copywriter. Rolling up her sleeves, she’s not afraid to grapple with the tiniest footnote or a mighty headline. She knows firsthand the power of the pen from her previous sociological work. By delving into the minds of clients and customers, she crafts a unique voice for every brand, which directly speaks to and spurs target audiences into action. Leih’s constantly refining her craft for her clients by greedily reading the marketing canon, the backs of cereal boxes and everything in between.


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