Who doesn’t love a good chatbot?  Version 1.0 of chatbot world was a lot like comparing Siri to Chat-GPT, it’s Artificial Stupid vs. Artificial Intelligence.

But, modern day bots are increasingly more GPT-like, which means they’re more human like, more conversational, more adaptive and more helpful.

Consider today’s off the shelf chatbot options allow you to program rules of the road using a user-centered design:

    1. The brand, mission, values and goals of the organization
    2. User needs and goals
    3. The role/job of the chatbot

Now swap ‘user’ for ‘donor’ in #2 and ‘chatbot’ for ‘communication’ in #3.  This 3-part list nails how any fundraising communication ought to be done.

I say “ought” because the sector seemingly gives enormous weight to #1 with endless editing-to-nowhere on brand guidelines and 100% obsession on what issue or program or fund to build the campaign.  This leaves 0% to talk about #2, the messaging showing the donor we know who they are, independent of Issue/Fund/Program A, B, C.

Let’s keep playing out the chatbot example.  This was an experiment for a meal planning app  promoting healthy options with two chatbots programmed to achieve the same goal but with a different user group in mind.

Chatbot A was programming to be high in trait Agreeableness to match users who prefer a more friendly, informal tone.  Chatbot B was programmed to be high in trait Conscientiousness to match users who prefer a more cut to the chase, workmanlike style.

Users interacted with the app and afterwards, answered a bunch of researcher questions rating their experience with the app along with a Big Five personality assessment.

What did they find?  The Agreeable app got better scores overall.  One-size-fits-all wins again…not so fast.

You guessed it, when the Personality style of the chatbot matched the Personality of the user the scores were even higher.  Conscientious people prefer a Conscientious chatbot.  Birds of a feather.

User/Donor traits matter.  They dictate what a person will pay attention to, like and act on.  The messaging aimed squarely at the donor’s innate goals and values deserves 99% of your time and attention, leaving 1% for picking Issue/Fund/Program A, B or C.

Like the chatbot, if your fundraising message mirrors your reader’s orientation on the world it will be more read, more liked and more acted on.


P.S. The DonorVoice team can tag your entire house file with Personality Tags so you know who is Agreeable and who is Conscientious (and Open and Extroverted and Neurotic).