What Chat GPT Can (and Can’t) Do for Planned Giving

What Chat GPT Can (and Can’t) Do for Planned Giving

You can’t hear or read the news without learning more about Chat GPT, the AI-powered provider of information (and the curse of college professors everywhere). It’s an amazing tool for gathering facts and data, and it’s something development professionals should be following. 

AI Can Offer Data on Your Organization 

After all, with one quick question, donors can get a ton of information on your charitable organization. No need to read your whole website. I asked Chat GPT a couple of questions about one nonprofit we work with.  

Typing in “Is Second Harvest Heartland a trustworthy charity?” produced a comprehensive answer, telling me that this particular organization is trustworthy due to its long history, its transparency, its high ratings, efficiency, community support and partnerships.  

“Why is Second Harvest Heartland important?” gave me a good argument for the importance of the nonprofit—what they do, who they serve, how they collaborate, their efficiency, and the way they advocate and educate. Today might be a good day to find out what it says about yours! 

AI Can Offer Planned Giving Advice 

Similarly, donors have less need for expensive professional advice on estate planning. As Bryan Clontz said in a recent Forbes article, “With an AI-powered assistant at their fingertips, donors no longer need to rely solely on financial advisors or spend countless hours researching charitable strategies.” They can get a quick and understandable explanation by opening an app on their phones. 

So Why Does the Planned Giving Professional Still Matter? 

Data and tax advice is not the heart of planned giving! Flooding donors with facts, figures, or whatever else Chat GPT can offer is no substitute for getting to the heart of why a faithful supporter cares about your work. AI can offer information, but not inspiration.  

Lead with Inspiration 

Here are some important things to consider as you have conversations that turn into real relationships. 

  • Giving a gift of any kind is an emotional decision. 
  • Donors are already committed to your work—find out why they are passionate about it. 
  • Giving information is a one-way street, instead lead with content that speaks to a donor’s heart and open two-way conversations. 

But what about that great planned giving page on your website? Isn’t that enough? Information on your website should be viewed as a resource, not a vehicle of real communication. 

  • View your website as part of your strategy. 
  • Include articles, stories, and blogposts with passion-forward content. 
  • Focus on inviting curiosity about creative ways to leave a legacy. 
  • Language matters. Even “planned giving” can be an intimidating phrase. Try phrases like “leaving a legacy” or “gift in my will” for your call to action. 

Yes, artificial intelligence is creating a stir and it’s offering new ways to inform ourselves. But take it from those beleaguered college professors. They are finding that it’s still not that hard to identify a paper written by AI; there is so much information, but no human voice. Be the heart, and the human voice, of your organization as you help donors connect more fully with the important work you are doing.