Tech Thoughts — How AI, Avatars & the Metaverse will Increase Nonprofit Success


Last week was NVIDIA’s GTC conference during which, as usual, they announced a number of revolutionary AI-based offerings that will transform a number of industries with a particular focus on robotics, automation and self-driving cars. However, I got a chance to chat with CEO Jensen Huang about the future of the 3D web and the metaverse, and he shared with me his vision which suggests that not only will the internet evolve into the metaverse, but change dramatically how we interface with it, as well.

The future, particularly for entities like non-profits that rely on donations and direct frequent interactions with customers, will move to a new set of technologies to increase donation rates and protect against competing entities that will be doing the same.

Let’s talk about the future of donor/customer interactions this month.

The Rise of the Metaverse and the 3D Web

Thanks largely to Facebook, you are likely aware of the metaverse and have, at best, a mixed impression of this unfinished concept. What Facebook is showcasing is similar to Second Life, a VR-based social network that came to market around two decades ago. It still exists but at a fraction of what it once was.

The real metaverse is in use for companies like BMW which is designing its future factories, and firms like Siemens that use the metaverse to create these factories for clients like BMW. The level of resolution is photorealistic down to textures and shadows. And a variant of this technology is being used to create photo-realistic avatars that can increasingly be used as customer interfaces that will become the front end to metaverse experiences and more realistically demonstrate products and services or showcase the problems that drive donations.

Creating a New Customer/Donor Interface with Higher Close Rates

Backed by conversational AI, these avatars will dialog with the customer/donor and have access to both the public information on that donor/customer and the history of all past interactions. This will allow the virtualized rep to engage with the customer like a real person who knows a lot about them and sustain a conversation while being able to deliver dynamically customized pitches that keep the individual on the line until the avatar can close them.

IBM has reported close rates (with its limited Watson platform during a large insurance sales trial) as significantly exceeding initial expectations and reported that some of the men actually attempted to ask the AI out it was so convincing. And that was a solution that was trialed well before the pandemic.

On top of the personal information on the prospect, recommender systems and customer management systems, depending on availability and need, will help push the donor/customer into the plan that they are most likely to want to fund and to manage the relationship if some service or product subsequently needs to be delivered.

At scale, this solution should be able to equal or exceed the capabilities of an experienced sales staff without the health, cost and interpersonal problems that typically result from a large direct sales force. The result is higher closing rates, higher loyalty to the company, and far happier customers/donors over time.

Wrapping Up

Conversational AI, recommender engines and avatars are about to change the web and how traditional companies and well-funded non-profits maximize their potential and create deeper relationships with their customers/donors.

According to Huang, these technologies will eventually transform the internet as we know it into the 3D web, heavily tied to the metaverse and avatars that will eventually populate it and create a second reality that will first enhance the image of companies, particularly smaller ones, and eventually encompass the world and more effectively deal with things like Global Warming (the Earth 2 Project).

The coming anticipated change’s magnitude is in line with the creation of the internet in the first place and promises to massively alter and improve how we relate to our employees, investors and customers over time. The change has already started. By the end of the decade, the Internet and those companies that still remain will have been forever changed by this trend. • 408-272-8560 •


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