AAAC: 2020 State of AI in Advancement Report

The AI in Advancement Advisory Council (AAAC), published the State of AI in Advancement report. The study builds on the benchmark report, first issued in 2019, and examines the accelerating need for AI to address workforce efficiency, the emergency of “digital” gift officers, pipeline generation, and more, in the context of a year of crises.

AAAC Releases 2020 State of AI in Advancement Report

“Advancement leaders in 2020 acknowledged the need reassess our true North. The tried and true methods we used in the past to secure philanthropic support for our nonprofit organizations must adapt and innovate,” said Reed Sheard, Ed.D, CIO and Vice President of Advancement for Westmont College and Chair of the AAAC. “Finding a new model for successful fundraising and artificial intelligence presents an incredible opportunity to move significant donor relationships forward at scale. I’m incredibly proud to present this year’s State of AI in Advancement report along with my fellow AAAC members because it lays the foundation for transformative change in our industry.”

During the COVID-19 crisis, the landscape of advancement changed dramatically. From staff and budget cuts to developing a new understanding of donor relations in a purely digital format, to reimagininig how to significantly grow new pipeline in order to offset revenue disruption — in many ways advancement professionals are increasingly being pushed to transform how fundraising operates. The 2020 AAAC State of AI in Advancement report specifically examines these industry shifts and finds that 82 percent of advancement professionals believe AI is a part of the long-term solution.

“This year, more than any other, advancement as a whole has been forced to face the uncomfortable and adapt to ensure future growth. The intersection with artificial intelligence is inevitable,” said Adam Martel, CEO of Gravyty and AAAC member. “This year’s State of AI in Advancement not only proves the leaders are already adopting AI to solve their largest challenges, it also is an amazing guide that shows three exciting areas where AI is yielding tangible results.”

The AAAC’s top-line findings from the 2020 State of AI in Advancement include:

AAAC Releases 2020 State of AI in Advancement Report

AI adoption is becoming a priority

  • 82% believe that AI will be part of the solution for challenges facing fundraising teams as a result of COVID-19
  • 66% of nonprofit organizations are considering investment in new tools and technologies to address challenges as a result of COVID-19

AAAC Releases 2020 State of AI in Advancement Report

There’s a new and accelerated need for workforce efficiency within advancement

  • 73% of nonprofit organizations faced budget reductions and/or hiring freezes in 2020

AAAC Releases 2020 State of AI in Advancement Report

New roles within advancement are emerging

  • 62% believe that some personnel will be shifted to the role of a digital gift officer

As need for pipeline development grows, so does belief in AI

  • 82% believe that AI can effectively prioritize and reach more prospects

The full AAAC 2020 State of AI in Advancement report is available here. The 2020 State of AI in Advancement report was compiled from the AAAC’s volunteer members. The data used for all sections of this report comes from surveys of advancement professionals conducted between March 3, 2020, and July 29, 2020. In total, 337 advancement professionals participated in these surveys.

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Leigh Porter's first love is to love people. Beginning her career as a neonatal RN was an obvious choice until life threw the curve ball to embark on a new IT endeavor. Pursuing this fresh career was a piece of cake with her resilient and steadfast character. Outside of the office, Leigh also diligently gives much of her time faithfully as a nationally awarded volunteer leader to a very dear to her heart organization.