Salesforce + AI for Fundraising

With the emergence of ChatGPT in late 2022, talk of AI has reached unprecedented levels.  Organizations want to embrace generative AI, but may be wary of the risks – such as hallucinations, toxicity, privacy, bias, and data governance.  Einstein GPT provides an additional trust layer to help prevent large-language models (LLMs) from retaining sensitive customer data.  This separation of sensitive data from the LLM will help customers maintain data governance controls while still leveraging the immense potential of generative AI.  The Einstein Trust Layer sets a new industry standard for secure generative AI.

There are multiple use cases for AI within Salesforce, particularly for nonprofits in fundraising. Let's explore these categorized by the two primary AI types.

Predictive AI

Predictive artificial intelligence analyzes data and patterns to anticipate future outcomes. It learns from existing information to make more accurate predictions over time.  As such, it is highly dependent on accurate data and requires a minimum number of records within a data set to begin even making predictions.  Two ways nonprofits can leverage predictive AI are:

Einstein Prediction Builder (EPB) - EPB can analyze the data in your Salesforce environment to produce probability scores for the likelihood of each constituent to be a first-time donor, recurring donor, or top donor.  EPB is specifically designed for the Nonprofit Success Pack, as it is trained to look at common NPSP fields when modeling its predictions, specifically fields on the Contact, Opportunity, and Recurring Donation objects. 

Salesforce AI Fundraising

Einstein Send Time Optimization (ESTO) - ESTO analyzes your email engagement data and can determine when it is best to send an email to a particular person.  Specifically, ESTO analyzes 20 various data points to determine when a person is most likely going to open an email within a specific window and delivers the message exactly then.

ESTO is available in Marketing Cloud and Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (formerly known as Pardot).

Generative AI

Generative AI actually creates content based on input.  ChatGPT is a great example of this. You provide a prompt (input)  to ChatGPT which then interprets your prompt and then generates text (output).  The output is only going to be as good as the input, so it’s important to offer very clear and concise instructions.  This is a fairly new technology, at least in the sense that generative AI is now becoming reliable enough to create quality text and images.

But how can this help a nonprofit with fundraising?

Chat GBT Example *Example of ChatGPT

Gift proposals and acknowledgments - Leveraging Einstein GPT, which in turn leverages OpenAI’s AI model, you can have Salesforce automatically generate things like gift proposals and thank you letters in your organization’s tone.  Einstein GPT can leverage data points on Contact records too to customize messages.  This can potentially save fundraisers time, but also prevent the tendency to reuse content and have repetitive messaging.

Subject lines, email copy, and landing pages - Einstein GPT can also help in the marketing realm with auto-generated subject lines, email copy, and landing page content.  Salesforce has announced that Einstein GPT will be coming to Marketing Cloud.  Imagine an email appeal written in seconds with an optimized subject line that will land in a donor’s inbox at the perfect time based on their past email behavior!

Einstein GPT will certainly be a game changer for most fundraisers, a word of caution - all content created needs to be reviewed before being sent.  The technology is advanced, though there is still plenty of room for errors.

Future AI Use Cases

We’ve covered four different use cases for leveraging AI for fundraising that are either already available or coming very soon, but there are more exciting advancements that are going to keep coming.  In a recent Classy Tech Talk, Lori Freeman, VP & GM for Nonprofits at Salesforce, discussed the future possibilities of AI being able to find grant opportunities and then to even complete the application!  Fundraisers can look forward to exciting possibilities as they harness future AI enhancements within Salesforce, empowering them to make even more informed and impactful decisions for their causes.

About The Author

Terry Henretty
Terry Henretty,
Salesforce Consultant

Terry brings over 15 years of Salesforce experience, with a robust 5-year tenure as a Salesforce admin. Now a Consultant at Prolocity, Terry specializes in crafting and implementing solutions that align with clients' objectives and missions. Terry's prowess as a Salesforce admin lies in streamlining business processes through automation, harnessing platform best practices for optimal efficiency and minimal technical overhead. With a strong sales background, Terry possesses a keen grasp of sales processes. Before joining Prolocity, Terry recently spearheaded a nonprofit's adoption of a marketing automation solution (Marketing Cloud Account Engagement) and generated impactful online giving initiatives, resulting in remarkable revenue growth and heightened constituent engagement.


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