ChatGPT for Nonprofits: How to Leverage Artificial Intelligence

Gia Chow
Gia Chow

Do you wish you had a round-the-clock assistant that could handle repetitive tasks or help draft fundraising appeals, freeing up time to focus on more pressing tasks? Well, there’s a solution.

I’m referring to ChatGPT, a revolutionary language model developed by OpenAI that’s changing the game in every industry. Since its launch in November 2022, millions of users have used the platform to do their homework, summarize content, translate text, and even write code.

The best part? ChatGPT is currently free to use, which means you don’t pay a dime to access the chatbot’s knowledge and expertise.

In this article, we’ll be taking a deep dive into ChatGPT and how nonprofits can utilize AI to augment their nonprofit fundraising efforts. 

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT (Chat Generated Paragraph Techniques) is an advanced natural language processing tool to provide information and cobble content together based on prompts entered by a user. With the ability to continuously learn and adapt to new information, ChatGPT can remember past conversations and constantly iterate based on user prompts. It can also reject inappropriate prompts and admit its mistakes. 

It’s the second chatbot to ever pass the Turing Test, the current standard for measuring sophisticated AI models. This means that one can consider the content produced by ChatGPT as indistinguishable from human.


The Differences Between ChatGPT and A Standard Chatbot

At its core, ChatGPT and standard chatbots are both computer programs that simulate conversations with users and provide automated responses. However, there’s much more to ChatGPT that a standard chatbot simply can’t match. 

For starters, ChatGPT is an asset to boost workplace productivity. The AI-enabled tool has an advanced ability to process natural language, which means that it can help nonprofit staff with their work by quickly generating content on the fly. Even if the content isn’t perfect from the get-go, it’s a huge time-saver and value-add, especially for nonprofits with limited resources.

Standard chatbots, on the other hand, are mainly designed to be used for external facing activities like customer support. They’re commonly embedded on website pages, showing up as a popup chat window or on an on-click basis. Since chatbots typically rely on templated responses, they are better suited for simpler cases, such as answering common questions or being a self-service tool for donors (which also make them faster to set up).

Why ChatGPT is Beneficial to Nonprofits

ChatGPT’s main benefit for nonprofits is that it’s an all-in-one knowledge, productivity, and creativity tool. Due to the vast amount of data that goes into training and optimizing ChatGPT, the AI-enabled tool can summarize ideas and answer questions with general accuracy.  

Additionally, it can help boost productivity. You can train ChatGPT to automate certain back office tasks such as processing donations, sending thank you messages, arranging to-dos, and even organizing data. In turn, this will reduce staff workload, saving countless hours on tedious tasks, and allow them to focus on more important things.

Lastly, nonprofits can use ChatGPT to improve the creative process by sparking new ideas. It’s helpful for first drafts on content such as social media posts and thank you letters. It can also run variations on what it puts out by refining the prompt or by providing additional details, an approach known as iterative prompting. 

Examples of How to Use ChatGPT in the Nonprofit Context

Whether you’re looking to raise funds, or recruit volunteers, ChatGPT can be used in a variety of nonprofit contexts including:

  • Writing Donation Page Copy
  • Writing Targeted Email Outreach Campaigns
  • Generating Social Media Content
  • Writing Grant Proposals

Donation Page

Here’s an example for donation page copy: 

Admittedly, the prompt phrasing resulted in an incredibly general template. For more specificity, simply provide ChatGPT with more relevant details. Below, I’ve added the type of nonprofit, which is reflected in the AI-generated response:

Targeted Email Outreach Campaign

Are you a little amazed? Because I am! And we’re only scratching the surface of what ChatGPT can do. Here’s an example for a targeted email campaign.

Social Media Content

A constant struggle for many nonprofits is coming up with what to say in social media posts. Chat GPT can help with that too!

Grant Proposal

And that’s not all. ChatGPT can also help with the time-consuming grant writing process.

ChatGPT Prompting Best Practices for Optimal Results

As illustrated by the examples above, how a prompt is phrased affects what ChapGPT puts out. To ensure accurate and relevant responses, here are some best practices for optimized prompting:

  • Be clear and specific: Be as clear and specific as possible about what you want it to generate. Provide context, background information, and any relevant details.
  • Use natural language: Use conversational language that is similar to how you would speak or write.
  • Avoid vague prompts: Avoid prompts that are vague or open-ended, as these can lead to unpredictable or irrelevant responses. Be specific!
  • Provide examples: If you have examples of the type of content you want ChatGPT to generate, provide them as part of your prompt.
  • Review and refine: ChatGPT isn’t going to get it 100% right. Be sure to review (and fact-check) what’s put out and polish as needed. 
  • Train and fine-tune: Over time, you can train ChatGPT to generate more accurate responses by providing feedback, and fine-tuning its performance by adjusting your prompts.

How Not to Use ChatGPT

AI-generated content can be incredibly powerful and efficient but no tool is perfect. It’s important to remember that there are limitations.

Potential Pitfalls of Relying Too Heavily on AI-Generated Content

The data put into training ChatGPT affects the content put out (and there’s a significant amount that goes into optimizing its performance). ChatGPT can’t distinguish between reliable sources. If the training data is biased or inaccurate, the AI-generated content may perpetuate these biases and inaccuracies. This can result in content that is inappropriate, offensive, or simply wrong. Not to mention, if you need information on something that happened in the last couple of years, you’re out of luck; Open AI last trained ChatGPT prior to 2021. To that end, it’s wise to use it judiciously and to always review generated content.

Importance of Maintaining a Human Touch and Voice

What’s more is that ChatGPT isn’t a replacement for a real person. While it can be exciting (and scary) that a computer program can process countless questions and output content on the fly, it lacks the empathy an actual human brings to the table. Let’s face it, AI-generated content isn’t perfect. Sometimes, it can come off as robotic. Having a human voice ensures content that doesn’t sound cold, clinical, or insensitive. In many cases, the best approach is a combination of AI and human-generated content.

Integrating ChatGPT into Nonprofit Operations and Communication Strategies

There’s so many ways you can integrate ChatGPT into your nonprofit operations and communication strategies.

Donor Engagement

For starters, you can create personalized content for donor engagement. You can use it to answer donor questions, generate catchy social media posts, or draft email newsletters.


Next, you can generate compelling and effective fundraising content such as donation page copy, email campaigns, and social media posts that resonate with donors. It’s a great companion for developing a peer-to-peer fundraising toolkit.

Program Management

But wait, there’s more. You can automate certain aspects of program management, such as scheduling and coordinating volunteers. It can also help you create and manage content, such as training materials and educational resources.

Data Analysis

You can also analyze donor data and generate insights to improve nonprofit operations and fundraising effectiveness. For example, you can gather insights on donor behavior, identify trends, and generate recommendations for improving fundraising campaigns.

Internal Communications

Of course, ChatGPT isn’t limited to external communications, it can also be used to streamline internal communications and improve collaboration among staff and volunteers. A few practical applications include automating reminders and generating reports.

ChatGPT for Nonprofits

ChatGPT has the potential to have a significant impact on the future of nonprofits, both in terms of the opportunities it presents and the challenges it may create. However, by leveraging the power of AI, nonprofits can improve donor engagement, increase fundraising effectiveness, streamline operations, and gain valuable insights from data analysis- ultimately enabling them to achieve their mission more effectively.

To get more articles like this + fundraising tips and tricks in your inbox every week, sign up for our weekly nonprofit educational newsletter.

Simplify and grow your fundraising

It honestly felt like using CauseVox expanded our team by another member.

    Easy-to-use Free to get started Cancel anytime
    Copy link
    Powered by Social Snap