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1 min Read
January 7, 2021

Alexa, chatbots, and other robots your nonprofit shouldn’t ignore

A decade or so ago nonprofit communicators started wondering if they needed to pay attention to and use social media (The answer was clearly, “Yes!”). These days, chatbots, voice-based systems like Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri, marketing automation software, and other tools are increasingly a part of our daily life. Wondering what this means for your nonprofit, too? Here are three resources to help you get up to speed.

Can chatbots improve donor experiences? 

Episode 38 of the Smart Communications Podcast is a 20-minute crash course in how consumer-focused technologies like Alexa, chatbots, and others are becoming more commonplace in the nonprofit sector, particularly to help supporters stay connected. This is a great way to start wrapping your brain around what’s happening if you find it a bit daunting. 

Unlocking generosity with artificial intelligence

Ready to dig in deeper? Allison Fine and Beth Kanter recently released a report funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation about using artificial intelligence (AI) for fundraising and philanthropy in which they state that we’re at a sector-wide tipping point for the adoption of AI systems and practices. Their article in the SSIR provides a useful overview of what they found and is full of helpful nonprofit sector examples- and they’ve also discussed how to incorporate bots into your work here.

Robots make bad fundraisers 

A useful cautionary tale and counterpoint to this perspective is covered in Steven Shattuck’s new book, “Robots Make Bad Fundraisers,”, and in the webinar, we recently co-hosted with Advomatic. Watch it to get a sense of where nonprofits go wrong when they rely on marketing automation tools to create meaningful experiences and how to maintain a human touch in a digital world. You can also listen to Steven and me discussing these ideas in this podcast episode.

How will you use technology differently in 2021? Tweet at us @bigduck and let us know.