Committee Aims To Guide AI In Fundraising

A committee of fundraising professionals aims to tackle the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on nonprofits, guiding best practices and ethics while accelerating the impact on advancement.

Gravyty, a two-year-old AI-enabled fundraising software company, announced the inaugural 16 members of the AI in Advancement Advisory Council (AAAC). Ten of the members are from higher education, three from healthcare, two members are from Gravyty and one from a consulting firm. They are:

  • Armin Afsahi, vice chancellor, advancement, University of Denver;
  • Dan Allen, vice president, advancement, DePaul University;
  • Marijana Radic Boone, executive director, advancement services, College of Charleston;
  • Evelyn Buchanan, associate vice president, university advancement, California State University, Chico;
  • Nathan Chappell, senior vice president, advancement operations and giving campaigns, City of Hope;
  • Jim Dicker, vice president, development and alumni relations, University of Delaware;
  • Nathan Fay, associate vice president, prospect development data analytics, City of Hope;
  • Karin George, principal and co-owner, Washburn & McGoldrick;
  • Rod Grabowski, vice president, university advancement, University at Buffalo;
  • Laurel Lyle, vice president, development operations and fundraising programs, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund;
  • Adam Martel, co-founder and CEO, Gravyty;
  • Rich Palmer, co-found and CTO, Gravyty;
  • Kim Rich, executive director, advancement series and annual giving, Medical University of South Carolina;
  • Reed Sheard, vice president, college advancement and chief information officer, Westmont College;
  • Colleen Whelan, director, advancement services, Providence College; and,
  • David Woodruff, associate vice president and chief operating officer, resource development, MIT.

“Artificial Intelligence has proven to be the catalyst that changes the way people work, across all industries,” said Adam Martel, CEO of Gravyty and a former major gifts officer at Babson College in Wellesley, Mass. “The council will be at the center of major progress in applying AI in advancement and, ultimately, this core will change the world by accelerating the impact that nonprofit organizations have on the world at large,” he said in a press release announcing the council.

The AAAC will initially focus on three initiatives:

  • Define and evaluate specific use-cases to accelerate the impact of AI in advancement;
  • Aggregate learnings from the use of AI in advancement and communicate best practices to the community at large; and,
  • Guide the advancement community in ethical applications of AI technology.

“We’re living in the most exciting, but also the most critical time in the history of philanthropy,” said Nathan Chappell, senior vice president, philanthropy, at City of Hope in Duarte, Calif. “I believe that AI and machine learning have the power to achieve this incremental change and go even further to define the future of generosity,” he said.

“The AAAC is a group of leaders who understand that AI and machine learning present opportunities to combine the art of building strong relationships with the science and data of systems so we can redefine the future of fundraising,” said Reed Sheard, vice president for college advancement and chief information officer at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Founded in 2016, Boston, Mass.-based Gravyty announced a second round of funding in May, raising $2 million with Boston’s NXT Ventures and Launchpad Venture Group, along with support of John Huysmans, Stage 1 Ventures, and The Venture Capital Fund of New England.

For more information or to keep up with the AAAC’s activity, visit www.grayty.com/aaac