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Commentary - "AI and the Future of Generosity" by Nathan Chappell

By Sarah Rose, Petrus Director of Communications

Recently, I was invited to watch one of OSV talks titled “AI and the Future of Generosity” by Nathan Chappell, Senior Vice President of DonorSearch Aristotle.

The OSV Talks are a “series of topics from Catholic leaders to spark discussion, explore new, or re-explore old approaches, and inspire creative thinking, all from the heart of the church.”

In the talk “AI and the Future of Generosity,” Nathan Chappell answers the question “How do you solve the world’s most pressing issues?” in 18 minutes or less.

The simplified conclusion is INCREASE GENEROSITY. Now we’re talking! 

Nathan leads the research and development division at DonorSearch Artistotle. In other words, he is a data man. 

According to Nathan, the data shows that last year 56% of Americans made donations. And the average American gave about 2% of their income to charity. 

If Americans donated 1% more that would equal $200 billion dollars to alleviate some of the world’s most pressing issues.

However, data also shows that in the last few decades America has become less generous. The average American, middle and lower class, are giving less and less each year. 

With 30% of all giving directed to religious-causes, the Church has the most to lose with this decrease. And could have the largest impact on the decline. 

Through AI, we know that any person affiliated with any religion is 16% more likely to donate. Furthermore, we see the rise of the “nones” at the same time as the decline in generosity. 

So how do you solve the world’s most pressing problems? Build up the Church, which increases generosity. And only a 1% increase would mean $200 billion more for addressing the world’s most pressing problems.

Nathan challenges us to “decide if fundraising is something we do one time a year because we have to, versus engaging people in all forms of ministry to be generous.” Which will your organization decide?

Watch the OSV Talk: “AI and the Future of Generosity,” by Nathan Chappell


“Fundraising is, first and foremost, a form of ministry.” - Henri Nouwen


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