I’m finally coming around to the inevitable question: How should Artificial Intelligence (AI) be part of my work as a nonprofit professional, especially in the fundraising space? AI is certainly not new in the fundraising world, but its profile seems to have significantly elevated over the past six months or so. I’ve been avoiding looking into it, but I finally decided to take the plunge and see what all of the fuss is about. There are a few different ways I’ve been tinkering with it, and here’s one for your consideration: blogging. Is AI a better blogger than I? Results are mixed.
I started by asking ChatGPT-4 to generate blog ideas for stressed out fundraising professionals. Here’s what AI came up with:
Alright, let’s focus on the topic: wellness for stressed-out fundraising professionals. Here are some blog post ideas that could be particularly helpful:
Mental Health & Mindfulness
- “5 Mindfulness Techniques for Fundraising Professionals”
- “The Importance of Mental Health in the Fundraising Sector”
- “How to Manage Stress During High-Stakes Fundraising Campaigns”
- “Achieving Work-Life Balance in Fundraising”
- “Why Taking Time Off Can Actually Improve Your Fundraising Efforts”
- “Setting Boundaries: Tips for Fundraising Professionals”
- “Easy Desk Exercises for Fundraising Professionals”
- “The Benefits of Physical Activity on Job Performance”
- “Healthy Eating Habits for Busy Fundraisers”
- “Coping with Rejection in Fundraising”
- “Building Emotional Resilience in a High-Pressure Job”
- “The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Successful Fundraising”
Time Management & Productivity
- “Top Time Management Apps for Fundraisers”
- “How to Prioritize Tasks for Maximum Impact”
- “The Pomodoro Technique: A Time Management Strategy for Fundraisers”
Self-Care & Relaxation
- “The Ultimate Self-Care Guide for Fundraising Professionals”
- “Why Fundraisers Should Consider Taking Up Yoga or Meditation”
- “How to Unplug and Recharge Over the Weekend”
- “Continuing Education Opportunities for Fundraising Professionals”
- “Networking Tips for Fundraisers: Expanding Your Circle”
- “How to Seek Mentorship in the Fundraising Field”
- “The Benefits of Journaling for Stress Relief”
- “Creating a Healthy Work Environment: Tips for Fundraising Teams”
- “How to Deal with Burnout in the Fundraising Sector”
Writing a Blog Post
Not bad, right? I would consider writing a blog post about many of these topics. Of course, I’m not an expert on all of these things! I would have to do a fair amount of research on some of them.
Next, I asked AI to write a blog post about one of the ideas. After it’s first draft, I asked it to write a second draft that included research citations for the ideas in the blog post. Here’s where things got interesting:
Certainly! While I can’t browse the internet for up-to-date research, I can suggest the types of studies or sources you might want to cite to back up the points made in the blog post. Here’s how you could incorporate research citations into the article:
Why Taking Time Off Can Actually Improve Your Fundraising Efforts
[…] In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons why taking a break can actually make you more effective in your role as a fundraising professional, backed by scientific research and expert opinions.
The Importance of Rest and Recovery
Continuous work without breaks can lead to physical exhaustion (Smith et al., 2019, Journal of Occupational Health).
Burnout is a real concern in the fundraising sector (Johnson, 2020, Nonprofit Quarterly). Taking time off allows you to recharge mentally, reducing stress and preventing burnout (Williams, 2018, Psychology Today).
A break gives you the opportunity to step back and evaluate your strategies objectively (Brown & Green, 2017, Harvard Business Review).
A well-rested fundraiser is more personable and engaging (Davis, 2021, Journal of Philanthropy).
With Team Members
Taking time off can also improve your relationships with your team members (Smith, 2020, Journal of Organizational Behavior).
A break can serve as a ‘reset button,’ allowing you to return to work with fresh eyes and new ideas (Williams & Johnson, 2019, Creativity Research Journal).
To find the actual studies or articles to cite, you could search academic databases, journals related to occupational health, psychology, or fundraising, and other reputable sources. This will add credibility to your blog post and provide your readers with valuable insights backed by research.
LAUREN’S QUESTION: Are the citations listed above real?ChatGPT
I apologize for the confusion. The citations listed in the sample blog post are not real; they were included as placeholders to demonstrate how you might incorporate research citations into your article. To substantiate the points made in the blog post, you would need to search for actual studies, articles, or expert opinions from reputable sources. You could look in academic databases, journals related to occupational health, psychology, or fundraising, and other credible publications to find the information you need.
Setting aside the fact that AI didn’t write a conclusion, here’s where I think AI got it right, and where AI got it wrong (or, more accurately, where I was expecting things from AI that it is not equipped to deliver:
AI generated some good topics and subtopics. The ideas that taking time to rest can help increase your creativity and can enhance your relationships with donors and colleagues — these are ideas worth exploring.
There isn’t much meat on the bones. The ideas are good, but they are not really fleshed out with illustrative examples or further discussion.
The citations aren’t real. When I started using AI, I thought it would be a great resource for finding solid research citations. Not so fast. As you can read in the chat above, AI only included “sample” citations. In other words: AI’s citations are fake. I would have to find citations for the assertions in the blog post. In other words: if I want to include backup, from credible research, that taking time off from work will improve a fundraiser’s relationship with donors and colleagues, I would have to find the citations on my own.
The tone is… fine. Not great, but fine. Is this writing really engaging? Does it enlighten and inspire, or at the very least, amuse? Is it memorable? Does it sound like me? If I had chosen to take it a few steps further, I could have asked AI to rewrite the post in a funnier tone, or a more serious, inspiring, or reflective tone.
Is AI a Better Blogger?
So far, I think I’m the better writer, but AI is a good partner in generating ideas and organizing them into a strong format. AI doesn’t have my 30+ years experience in the field, my talent for turn of phrase, or my acerbic wit! I’m not yet worried about AI completely taking over my job, but stay tuned as I try out ChatGPT-4 for other job-related functions over the coming months and share the outcomes on my blog!
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