26 June 2018 by Alice Curtis

Chatbots For Good: Examples of Charities Using AI

Chatbots For Good: Examples of Charities Using AI

Fear of the unknown is the overriding theme when it comes to artificial intelligence; you’ve probably read about the number of jobs that could be lost, what changes it will bring to the world, and how we will interact with each other.

So what does this mean for the charity sector - an industry so reliant on human emotion and connection in order to inspire others?

There are many charities that are using AI. Below are some of my favourite examples of charities that have used chatbots to reach out to those who care about their causes whilst educating them on their work.

Charities Using Chatbots

Walk with Yeshi: Lokai and charity: water

A powerful use of artificial intelligence, the Walk with Yeshi Facebook Messenger chatbot provides an emotional account of an Ethiopian girl called Yeshi and her journey to collect water every day. During the two and a half hour experience, Yeshi shares with you her journey to collect clean, safe drinking water by sending images, videos, but also interacting with the users by asking questions about their life. This eye-opening story is a fantastic example of how a charity can successfully use a chatbot to engage prospective donors.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SVOq4IurI4

Talk to Sellu: WaterAid

Similar to Walk with Yeshi, this chatbot also uses the art of storytelling to engage with users. The charity chatbot was part of their #Untapped appeal, which focused on the village of Tombohuaun in Sierra Leone. Through the chatbot, you could speak to one of the villagers named Sellu and how being able to access clean water will improve his life and the community.

Ida: Idealist

Want to make a difference but not entirely sure how? Ida is the charity chatbot for you. The Facebook Messenger chatbot asks you to specify what causes you are interested in and then explains how you can donate, whilst using location services to discover volunteering opportunities near you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNRBVK1-FZ8

Understand Me: Mencap

Unlike the other bots mentioned, the Understand Me chatbot by Mencap is located on the Mencap website. The chatbot guides you through a conversion with Aeren, who was born with a learning disability. She tells you about her life, provides statistics on learning disabilities in the UK whilst engaging in fun conversation complete with GIFs and emojis. Compared to other chatbot examples it’s simple, but that’s the beauty of it; instead of typing complicated queries, the multiple choice answers allow users to take the user journey they wish, educating them in an engaging way and even encouraging newsletter sign up at the end.

Artificial Intelligence in the Charity Sector

The nonprofit sector has fully embraced chatbots and artificial intelligence, using different aspects of machine learning to encourage donations but also to tell stories, explain their incredible work, and make you feel part of something. Charities should definitely consider chatbots as part of their digital strategy as an innovative way to engage prospective donors, spread their message, and easily communicate with their supporters.   

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