How to Implement AI: Change Management Strategies for Your Team

Artificial intelligence offers nonprofits an opportunity to unlock efficiencies and tools that can help produce better results, especially for fundraising. AI can see patterns in data that people can’t, so AI can provide fundraisers with actionable information to increase their results.

However, staff may be hesitant to embrace AI tools for fundraising at your nonprofit. They may even be fearful of this technology. Nonprofit leaders can be resistant to change, so that’s why it’s important to follow a change management strategy for implementing AI tools for fundraising. 

In case you missed it, you can catch up on our earlier posts about fundraising AI, Introduction to AI for Nonprofits and Artificial Intelligence and Fundraising for an intro into AI for nonprofits and how AI tools can be used in fundraising. 

How to Get Started With Implementing AI

Like any new software or tool implementation you should follow a change management strategy for implementing fundraising AI tools at your organization. Change management will help you manage the implementation smoothly and ensure clear communication and understanding between your key stakeholders. 

You’ll need to be understanding that some people may resist this change – and that’s okay! Change management can help you to overcome that resistance. 

Why Your Fundraising Team May Resist Change

As you implement AI fundraising tools it will be helpful to understand why your fundraising team may resist this change. Once you understand where the resistance is coming from you can work to overcome the resistance so it doesn’t become a source of conflict. 

  • Lack of time
    • But remember: Fundraising AI can save your fundraising team lots of time in the future
  • Lack of understanding
    • When you implement an AI tool like Wisely fundraising software, you don’t need to know all of the ins and outs of AI because you’re not programming it yourself! 
  • Change resistant culture
    • Nonprofits tend to be change resistant and risk averse, but change management can help! 
  • Fear of an “unknown” 
    • Including fears that AI will make their jobs obsolete. A well trained AI can see patterns that humans can’t, but it’s not about replacing anyone. It’s about making things easier for human fundraisers with better data insights! 

Change Management for Implementing Fundraising AI 

Change management is a strategy to help people adjust to and complete a big change, like implementing new software. Implementing AI is likely to be a big change for your nonprofit and change management will help bring people onboard with this project. 

Here’s how you can proceed through change management to implement AI. 

Provide Information and Resources

One of the reasons people may resist change is a lack of knowledge, in this case a lack of knowledge about AI and AI for fundraising. 

  • Save people the time researching and provide information and resources to them
  • Make information easy to access like in a resource library 
  • Arrange information sessions or lunch and learns
  • Include a plan for a transition period and training in the pre-rollout plan

Gain Buy-in

Getting buy-in from key stakeholders and leaders at your nonprofit is one of the most important change management steps. Once you get these people on board they will become champions of AI implementation and the next steps will be easier. 

  • Turn key stakeholders and leaders into project champions 
  • Create a fundraising AI implementation task force and invite these stakeholders 
  • Approach key stakeholders ahead of time to get them on board, and give them more information if required

Focus on the Outcomes

Focusing on the outcomes of AI implementation will help in the change management process because any obstacles to fundraising AI implementation need to be considered relative to the outcomes. 

The key outcomes of AI for nonprofits are: 

  • Automation that eliminates a lot of legwork for staff
  • Time saving to give fundraisers the time to focus on what they do best: building relationships with donors! 
  • Better data insights to increase revenue 

Create a Clear Plan

A clear implementation plan with dates for key milestones will help your colleagues feel more in control of the change. This creates transparency around your fundraising AI implementation and lets people know what to expect and when. 

  • Create a detailed timelines for implementing AI
  • Mark key milestones in implementation 

Evaluation

The last step of change management strategy happens after you have implemented AI! Conduct an evaluation of your fundraising AI tool after you’ve been working with it for a while, as well as a review of your change management strategy.

Here’s what you can consider:

  • How is fundraising AI working for your nonprofit? Are there adjustments needed?
  • How was the change management process? 
  • What would you do differently? 
  • Were there any unforeseen obstacles?
  • How will you move forward with AI for your nonprofit 

Implementing a new tool like AI for fundraising is a big change for your nonprofit and we understand that. When you get started with Wisely, our team is just a phone call away to answer questions. If you’re interested in moving forward with AI for fundraising, set up a demo with us today – we’d love to get to know you! 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.