How AI Can Enhance Your Storytelling for Major Gifts

CASE, the higher education fundraising association, just published a study showing that 79% of philanthropic dollars come from major donor gifts of at least $100,000. Major gifts are necessary to the success of an organization, but securing significant contributions requires more than outlining statistics and describing your mission. It requires forging a deeper connection, igniting passion, and inspiring action.

The art of storytelling becomes key to building these relationships and AI can help you take your storytelling to the next level. By hyper-personalizing communications and identifying when to reach out to which donor, AI can be the fundraising assistant you need.

Why Stories Captivate Major Donors

Facts and figures are important, but they lack the emotional punch that compels major donors to open their wallets. Stories, on the other hand, bridge the gap between information and inspiration. By weaving narratives that showcase the impact of donations, you allow donors to see the difference they can make.

  • Emotional Connection: Stories tap into the emotional core of major donors, fostering empathy and understanding for the cause.
  • Tangible Impact: Facts tell, stories show. A compelling story featuring real beneficiaries breathes life into your mission and demonstrates the direct impact of donations.
  • Memorable Moments: Data is easily forgotten, but a well-crafted story sticks with donors long after they hear it. This fosters long-term engagement and loyalty.

AI, Your Storytelling Partner

While crafting a compelling story requires human expertise, Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be a powerful tool to elevate your storytelling and steward major donors.

Identify Compelling Data: AI can analyze vast datasets to identify the most impactful stories hidden within your impact reports. Or, on the flip side, if you wanted to share a resource with your major donors, but weren’t sure who to share it to, you could give AI the link and have it tell you who in your CRM would resonate with the content.

Storing Information: A trained AI model can store information that you can refer back to. Whether it’s the donor’s interests, preferred communication method, or information the donor has shared about their passions, AI can be used to continuously build out a donor’s profile.

Personalize the Narrative: AI can personalize your message based on a donor’s interests and giving history. Imagine tailoring a story about a program that aligns perfectly with a donor’s passion, and doing so at scale. What would take hours to individually craft communications to major donors can be done in minutes with the help of AI.

Craft Engaging Content: AI can assist with writing compelling narratives by suggesting different phrasing and emotional hooks to maximize engagement. From subject lines in emails to thank you cards, AI can help you better communicate your organization’s mission.

Know What to Ask For: By reviewing giving history, cause affinity, and wealth data, AI can help more accurately estimate when and how much to ask a major donor to give. So instead of asking for less than what a major donor would be willing to give, AI can help major gift fundraisers, ask for the appropriate donation amount, removing the guesswork.

AI nonprofit tools can support fundraising efforts in more than storytelling. From removing tedious tasks, such as updating contact reports, to identifying major donors to add to your portfolio, AI can help take your fundraising program to the next level. Explore Momentum’s guide for more information on AI and fundraising.

AI Is Not a Replacement, but a Helping Hand

It’s important to remember that AI is a tool, not a replacement for the human touch. The most effective stories still come from the heart, grounded in the lived experiences of your beneficiaries and the passion of your organization.

But, AI can be the resource you need to help you streamline your workflow, avoid repetitive tasks, and craft communications that better engage your major donors.

To leverage AI effectively:

  • Focus on Authenticity: Don’t let AI fabricate stories. Use it to surface powerful narratives buried within your data, to identify donors who would resonate with the storytelling, and to personalize communications.
  • Have the Final Say: AI can suggest storylines and draft communications, but the final edit should be human-driven to ensure authenticity and emotional resonance. If you have AI craft communications for you, review them before sending to make any edits and adjustments.
  • Keep Your CRM Data Clean: AI uses your CRM data to learn about your donors, your writing style, and craft communications. The data needs to be clean in order for AI to be effective. Try to do a sweep of your CRM data to remove duplicate contacts and ensure contacts are being appropriately tagged.

Strengthen Major Donor Relationships With Storytelling and AI chatgpt for nonprofits memoryfox

By combining the power of storytelling with the efficiency of AI, you can forge deeper connections with major donors, ultimately securing the resources needed to fulfill your mission.

While AI is not the replacement for a person, it can help you hone your storytelling and draft communications so you have more time to focus on what matters most—building relationships with major donors.

Start leveraging the power of AI with Momentum’s AI Donor Engagement Platform. Momentum offers a variety of donor engagement and campaign creation tools to help you streamline your workflow and engage donors like never before.

Griff Bohm memoryfox momentum guest author partner

About the Author

Griff Bohm
CRO, Momentum

Griff is a behavioral psychologist by training where he studied financial decision making and philanthropy at CU-Boulder. He has led successful capital campaigns for two international nonprofits and founded a microbrewery in Chilean Patagonia. He was Executive Editor of the BikeLife magazine, the nation’s 3rd largest cycling related print publication by circulation. When he has free time, he’s on his bike.