Skip to content

Introducing a new way to use Hustle Broadcast

Book a demo to learn more

AI and Data Led the Way at NTEN’s 2024 Conference

Nonprofits are using new technologies in creative ways, and spent the NTC conference sharing their best practices.

Earlier this spring, Hustle joined the nonprofit community for one of the most important technical industry gatherings of the year. The Nonprofit Technology Conference, hosted annually by NTEN, focuses on how nonprofits can leverage technology to impact communities and equity while building knowledge on emerging trends and resources in the industry. While learning alongside our clients and community, the Hustle team hosted an exciting cocktail hour to celebrate our time together and discuss trends across the conference. Throughout the sessions, the team was struck by a few key themes that will likely direct the use of tech in nonprofit engagement throughout the coming year. Below, we’ve listed a few of the big takeaways that came from the community at this year’s conference.

Text Messaging Is Still Underleveraged

While text messaging as a way to connect with donors has been a theme over the last few years at NTC, this year it was clear that organizations still aren’t using texting as frequently as they should or could. Whether in conversation at our booth or mentioned during sessions, our team heard from many different orgs that their traditional communication channels aren’t yielding the same level of engagement as they have in the past. Emails and physical mailers are going unread, leaving a gap to reach supporters. Texting in particular is a great way to connect with your community without having to make a fundraising ask.

Generative AI Leveraged For Efficiency

Throughout the conference, AI was a big point of conversation. This year, we observed a shift in the ways that nonprofits are using AI versus the previous year. Rather than consideration of, or in some cases fear of, replacement of individual contributors through this technology, most AI-related sessions identified different ways that AI can enhance workflows or increase team efficiency. Some of the most useful practices mentioned included:

  • Voting rights nonprofit Fair Count, founded in 2019 by Stacey Abrams, is using AI in their canvassing efforts. By analyzing voice notes through technologies like Claude, they’re gauging voter sentiment to direct their strategy for the remainder of the voting season.
  • Attendees also discussed using AI to identify harmful content online and remove it from Google search results.
  • Organizations using texting or email as a primary means of communication use AI to read messages from supporters and generate a potential response. Similarly, Hustle’s AI Script Assistant enables users to generate text scripts to use in their outreach.

Focus On Data Hygiene 

With AI gaining traction in the nonprofit tech stack, more organizations are emphasizing data governance and hygiene, which we saw clearly in the formal sessions and informal discussions with attendees. Highlights from what we heard include:

  • It’s important to understand where data is stored within each platform, and how data flows between them.
  • Data hygiene helps meetings run smoothly! Things like sharing agendas in advance, note-taking, and creating clear takeaways may not seem like “data,” but are important information-gathering tactics that can help nonprofit teams be more effective
  • When nonprofits use many different systems and tech platforms, it’s easy for data hygiene to deteriorate. One solution to this challenge is to consolidate your tech stack through platforms like Hustle that integrate with CRMs and other software.

Overall, the NTC conference carries a real sense of community and togetherness. Everyone in attendance was eager to learn together and from one another. We saw so much generosity from different organizations sharing new ways of doing things and what’s working well for them.  We had a blast connecting with nonprofits across the country thanks to NTEN, and can’t wait to do it again next year.

For any nonprofits looking to learn more about how Hustle can play a role in their tech stack, we hope you’ll reach out to us:

Ready to Hustle?

Have questions? We have answers. Schedule a demo to learn more.