AI and the Future of our Field

Disclosure: this article was written by a real human.

The year was 1988. I was standing at my drafting table, drawing an illustration by hand for my nonprofit’s next publication. That’s when a colleague walked in and unboxed the innovation that would eventually turn everything on its head: our department’s first computer.

Needless to say, the computer did not take my job, but my career in nonprofit marketing has evolved significantly since then. I often like to point out that Iris Creative is a year older than Google, so we’ve had to adapt from the start.

Today, we’re standing on the cusp of the next big thing that promises to change our field as we know it: Artificial Intelligence, or AI.

AI stirs up all kinds of thoughts and feelings for people—from excitement and curiosity to fear and anxiety. Afterall, big changes like this can have big impacts on the way we work and live. Yet AI has already been touching our lives through technology like autocomplete and Alexa.

As I look back on all the changes I’ve experienced in my career, I’ll admit that there were growing pains along the way.

But overall…it was exhilarating.

And I feel the same excitement and anticipation around AI. We’re constantly discovering new ways AI can help make our marketing duties easier and more efficient. From AI copy support to AI imagined Barbie Dream Homes, we’re surrounded by different ways to use AI to connect with and excite our audiences.

In our office we’ve been experimenting with ChatGPT for doing research that would have been far too time consuming to do with Google. We’ve asked ChatGPT to find us specific information needed for blog posts. We’ve also asked it to give us background on potential clients so we can better prepare our pitches.

Our CRM tool, Ontraport, has an AI Copywriter feature that we’ve used to write subject lines and sales emails — yep that’s right, some of you may have gotten an AI-written email from us without even noticing.

Canva’s AI photo editing tools have helped us quickly make photos for our social media accounts look even better and more professional. We’re testing the AI image generators to understand the opportunities and limitations. AI features are also getting embedded into professional tools we already use every day like Photoshop.

Are all these new applications perfect? No. We’ve had to tweak the copy or research we’ve gotten back to fit our voice or get more information. We refine our prompts and then refine some more. Right now, generative AI is a product of its input. That includes what you ask it as well as all content it was trained on. It guesses at what a normal human response would be based on everything else it has seen.

Will AI close a few doors? Probably—but I prefer to focus on all the windows it will open.

When stock photography sites first came out, we thought they were laughable. Then we thought they were an amazing cheap resource. Then one day our pro photographers were unavailable because they were in Prague shooting images for stock.

AI is only in its infancy, and its potential is vast. Right now, there’s so much to learn, test, and have fun with! And we’re excited to share this journey with you as we discover all AI has to offer the nonprofit marketer.

For starters, we’re hosting a free webinar on the role of AI in digital advertising with Devon McCrossin of Boomtown Internet Group on Thursday, July 20 at 2 PM Eastern. We can’t wait to hear Devon’s insights and ask all our questions! We hope you’ll join us. RSVP for the webinar here.

In the meantime, give us a call at 267-468-7949 or drop us a line at to discuss your organization’s current marketing needs!