AI Donor Summaries for Foundations and Corporations

A few months ago, we launched our AI Donor Summaries feature for individual CharityCAN prospect profiles. Today, we’re expanding this exciting beta feature so that our users can create donor summaries for foundations and corporations as well!

One of the jobs prospect researchers are tasked with is compiling information on a prospective donor. Valueable information like past donations, areas of support, a quick biography, and more are found and compiled into a report that might be used for a prospect review meeting.

With our AI donor summaries, CharityCAN can now create these types of quick reports for each of the types of donors in our database with the click of a button. We take all of the real, verifiable information in our database of Canadian donors and ask a large language model to summarize that data into a few easily digestible paragraphs.

This means organizations and fundraisers without dedicated prospect researchers can use CharityCAN to help them quickly get a glimpse of a new donor, or enable a prospect researcher to quickly add a summary to a note in a donor database to justify further review.

These new donor summaries lend themselves so well to donor database use cases that we’ve also created a new add-in for our integrations with Blackbaud Rasier’s Edge NXT. With only one click you can create a summary of a constituent’s CharityCAN data and import it directly into your database.

To get started with any of these features, please reach out to us for a demo!

You can also check out these summaries in action over on our YouTube page!

CharityCAN’s 2023: Models and weights and biases, oh my!

It’s the end of 2023, which means it’s time to take a look back to see what’s happened at CharityCAN over the last 12 months.

Since we’re a tech company at heart, you can probably guess that this wrap up will talk about artificial intelligence (AI) quite a bit. You’re not wrong! As I alluded to in our 2022 roundup, we started off the year diving into deep learning in a big way. The whole development team worked on a deep learning for coders course so we could wrap our heads around some of the underpinnings of the huge advancements in AI that have appeared in the last year or so.

We took the concepts we learned there and started playing around with tools offered by OpenAI around their GPT language models to experiment and see what we could apply to CharityCAN. I’m not always one to hop on the “new shiny tech” bandwagon – there are plenty of times in the past where we’ve been promised amazing things by AI (self-driving cars, anyone?) only for the reality to fall short of expectations. This time seems different though – maybe because we’ve already been able to work with language-model powered tools ourselves to get real results.

This year, we’ve used language models like Github Copilot internally to help our developers write and understand code. I’ve used ChatGPT with DALL·E to help generate presentations or to understand concepts in deep learning. And we’ve been able to use language models in our platform to build and create new features.

The first of those features to be released to the public was our AI-generated snapshots in our Prospect Profiles. These summaries take the raw data available in CharityCAN and turn it into something easily digestible. You can export or import those summaries where you need them, saving the time of writing your own prospect briefs. I love this feature because it aligns with where I think we’re going with AI in the near-term: a future where CharityCAN users can use our platform and other AI-powered tools to save time doing menial tasks so you can have more time to do the things that are really valuable. In prospect research, that might mean that CharityCAN can suggest and prepare reports on new potential major gift prospects, and prospect researchers and managers can focus on the best way to approach and connect with those new donors.

In non-AI related features, we also added new ways to mine your organization’s connections in CharityCAN. Ways to see how you are connected to donors geographically, as well as finding connected Federal Corporations. Also ways to see donation information directly in individual connections so you can better find those valuable connections in your network.

In terms of new data, we added donor demographics to our postal code data and new granting information for registered Canadian charities – plus new ways to use that data in our donor screening.

I’m excited to see what 2024 will bring – we’ll hopefully have some exciting new things to share soon!

A programmer working at a desk

A stereotypical software developer diving into deep learning, as presented by DALL·E (not bad except I can’t grow a beard in real life)

Prospect Profile Additions

Our prospect profiles just got some new additions this past week. We’ve got a lot going on, so let’s dive in!

Profile Snapshots

The first thing CharityCAN users will notice is that Prospect Profiles have a new front page summarizing things like donations, recent board positions, connections and household data. We’re bringing out recent or important information and putting it all on one page. From the snapshot you can jump out to view more detailed profile information, so you can dive into the nitty-gritty.

We think this will be a great first starting point when researching a new potential major gift donor.

AI-Generated Summaries (Beta)

The other thing that appears on our snapshots is our new AI-Generated summaries. We’re using Open AI‘s GPT language model to summarize raw profile data into easily digestible text summaries.  This is one of the new features we’re most excited about, as we think there are a lot of possibilities for these summaries. This feature will enable a researcher or a fundraiser to get a quick paragraph to add to an email, profile, or donor database. We’ll dive a little more into how we’re putting these together in a future blog post.

This feature is in beta and will probably be updated in the coming weeks and months, so we’d love to hear how you’re interested in using it!

Relationship Donation Filters

Every Prospect Profile has a full list of relationships. These are connections to other individuals through charity and company boards or other known organizations. We’ve taken that list of relationships and overlayed our donation data, so that not only can you see your prospect’s connections, but also which of those connections are donors to other organizations.

What’s more, you can now filter this relationship list to find donors by cause, amount or location. You can bring up a profile of a volunteer and quickly see if they have any new prospects in their network.

A Prospect Profile Snapshot


Profile Snapshots


AI-Generated Summaries (Beta)

The other thing that appears on our snapshots is our new AI-Generated summaries. We’re using Open AI‘s GPT language model to summarize raw profile data into easily digestible text summaries. This is a beta feature, so we’d love to hear your feedback!

Relationship Donation Filters

In the Prospect Profiles Relationships section, scroll down to the Full Relationship List to try filtering relationships by donation data. You’ll see prospect connections filtered by donation cause, amount and locatoin so you can easily mine relationships to find new potential donors.

New Data Now Available In Donor Screening

We’re pleased to announce that all the new data we’ve added over the last year in CharityCAN is now available as part of our donor screening data.

Now when you use CharityCAN to screen your donor database, we’ll return three new data points:

  • Federal Corporation directorships that match your donor
  • Aircraft ownership
  • Boat ownership

For additional fees, we can also append:

  • Matching obituary data
  • Detailed donor demographics detailing overall charitable behaviours

While we were in there adding these data points, we also improved our matching algorithm and our output format, so you get more information in your output file and more transparency about what kind of matches we were able to find.

Best of all, you can now use custom graph relationships while screening to see if a donor has a relationship to your organization.

Don’t forget, we can always work with you to integrate your donor screening results back into your donor database so you can slice, dice or analyze it to your heart’s content.

Or are you looking for something more sophisticated like predictive modelling? We’d love to hear about your project goals and work with you to come up with something that fits your organization.

Please contact us if you’d like to see some examples of our new screening output or to talk more about how we can help you get more out of your donor data.

CharityCAN’s 2022 in Review

When I told the team I was going to write a blog post to summarize CharityCAN’s 2022, a colleague told me I should get ChatGPT to write it for me. So I did! Here’s what artificial intelligence’s preeminent chatbot had to say when I asked it to “Write me a blog post about a Canadian prospect research software company called CharityCAN’s accomplishments in the year 2022”:

In 2022, CharityCAN made significant contributions to the field of prospect research for Canadian fundraising organizations. As a provider of prospect research services, the company has a deep understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities that Canadian non-profit organizations face.

Aww, thanks ChatGPT! What a great way to kick off our blog post. What did we do this past year?

CharityCAN expanded its database of prospect information to include more data from a wider range of sources. This allowed their clients to access even more comprehensive information about potential donors, including their professional backgrounds, philanthropic interests, and social networks.

Hey, that’s true! We added data on Canadian obituaries and Canadian Federal Corporations and incorporated all that data into our prospect profiles and relationship mapping. Great! Anything more?

This upgrade also includes a newly improved search function that is more efficient and user-friendly, which was a key feedback from their clients. The search results are presented in a more organized and understandable format with the most relevant information at the top, including giving history, demographics and affinities, this was a game changer for the fundraising teams and allowed them to focus on the most promising leads.

OK, well you’re part of the way there. We did spend a lot of time improving the back-end functionality of our search engine, allowing users to find results quicker. I think we’re starting to get into AI gobbledygook here though. Let’s bring it home!

In summary, 2022 was a banner year for CharityCAN, with major product releases, expanding the data source and added features such as improved search function. Their achievements helped non-profit organizations and other fundraisers to identify and reach out to more high-value prospects more efficiently, which helped them to raise more funds for their causes. The recognition by the industry further validates their position as a leader in the market, with a lot of room to grow.

Not bad! Well done, ChatGPT.

It feels especially fitting to use an AI chatbot to write our first blog post of 2023 because we’re hoping to dive into deep learning in a big way this year here at CharityCAN. The field has made huge strides (as evidenced by ChatGPT, among other significant advancements) and we’re currently brainstorming ways we can use the technology to improve CharityCAN and our donor screening product for our users.

I look forward to sharing more as we experiment! Happy New Year, everyone!