How to Use ChatGPT to Boost Productivity and Improve Performance
I thought, when the robots came for me, that it would be a lot bloodier. But it turns out I’ve come to love my new machine overlord, ChatGPT.
I first learned about ChatGPT, the chatbot trained by OpenAI and taking the media world by storm, from a recent episode of the New York Times podcast, The Daily, but since then it seems to be everywhere. At first, I was amused. Write me a sea shanty about a boy named
Evan, who likes soccer and sometimes gets into mischief at school, I typed to it. Voila, a fun little ditty my son Evan and I both enjoyed. The chatbot was useful too. When I asked it to write me a thank-you note in German to my non-English-speaking
in-laws, it wrote me a lovely paragraph in a couple of seconds that would’ve taken me half an hour to do with my high-school German and Google Translate.
But as I saw evidence of chatbot-written materials cropping up more and more, my amusement turned to alarm (and not only when I read the creepy musings of Sydney, the alter ego of Microsoft’s new chatbot). As someone who has largely made my living writing necessary but often unremarkable marketing prose, would ChatGPT and other bots like it
force me into early retirement?
After more experimenting, the answer I have come to is quite the contrary. Like many types of automation, automated writing can be an effective efficiency lever for me—and you—to spend less time on relatively repetitive tasks and more
time on the things—like building relationship with a new donor over coffee—that can’t be outsourced to a machine.
Use It to Streamline Common Tasks
Case in point: email. Let’s take a common situation where you might send an email: you’ve had coffee with a prospective donor and want to meet with them again in the future.
I asked ChatGPT to “write an email to a prospective donor asking for a follow-up meeting next month.”
Here is what I got back, in a couple of seconds.
Subject: Follow-up Meeting Request
I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to thank you once again for your generous donation to our organization last month. Your support means a lot to us and has helped us to continue our mission of [insert the mission of the organization].
I wanted to touch base with you about a follow-up meeting to discuss our progress and future plans. Our team has been working diligently to achieve our goals, and we would love to share our progress with you. We also believe that your valuable insights
and feedback will be instrumental in guiding us towards greater success.
Would you be available for a meeting sometime next month? We would be happy to work around your schedule to find a convenient time and location for the meeting. We can arrange to meet in person, or if you prefer, we can set up a virtual meeting.
Please let me know your availability, and we can plan accordingly. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Thank you again for your support and generosity.
Now, is this a Pulitzer-Prize-winning, insightful piece of prose? No. Is it written in your personal voice? Probably not. But it has a good structure and covers all the main points you’d probably make. You can now tweak it a bit and send it
out, likely in much less time than it would take to start from scratch.
ChatGPT can similarly give you a head start on social media posts, reports, and even proposals.
Use It as a Starting Point for Strategy and Learning
ChatGPT was trained on a diverse corpus of over 45 terabytes of text data from the internet, including books, articles, and websites. Its wide reach means that it contains wisdom from, among many others, the writing of fundraisers over time and
around the world. Think of ChatGPT as your own personal suite of advisors, there to tip you off on the latest trends and help you figure out how to do your job better.
In many cases, the advice you get will be pretty general. For example, when I asked ChatGPT how to improve the performance of a grateful patient program, it suggested the following items:
- Develop clear goals and metrics
- Segment your patient population
- Cultivate relationships with physicians
- Focus on donor stewardship
- Use technology to streamline processes
- Invest in staff training
- Conduct regular evaluations
That’s not enough to start implementing, and you may even have been able to come up with this same list yourself. But it likely would’ve taken you more than the few seconds the chatbot needed, and it does give you a solid outline of areas
to tackle to create an improvement plan that fits your organization’s needs. And if you want more information, you can always ask ChatGPT follow-up questions to delve deeper into any of the topics on the list.
Use It for First Drafts of Policies and Procedures
Writing a policy is neither creative nor fun, but policies and procedures are necessary documentation in many situations. Because of these characteristics, they are ripe for sharing among organizations. One of the most common things we see in AHP’s
member community, the Huddle, is requests for help to avoid having to reinvent the wheel when writing a naming or recognition policy.
Similarly, ChatGPT is now another great resource when you need to create or update a policy or procedure. I’ve gotten the chatbot to write me several useful starting points for policies for:
- Gift acceptance,
- Finance, and
Like everything else in this post, you’ll need to do some customizing, but just like using examples posted in the Huddle, it’s a heck of a lot faster than starting with a blank page.
Have an Open Mind
ChatGPT and other bots like it will likely fundamentally change the way we conduct business writing, just like the invention of the calculator changed how accountants do bookkeeping, the invention of electronic banking killed the paper check,
and countless other inventions have automated the routine tasks of our work and personal lives. We should be aware of the weaknesses—including lack of common sense, inherent biases, and “hallucinating” or making up facts—but there is also plenty of opportunity to embrace its utility.
To show you just how useful ChatGPT can be, I’ll let you in on a little secret: portions of this post were written by it. Can you spot them? (Hint: I have never in my life used the word “corpus.”)
On-demand Learning Hub
Explore all our resources on this and many other topics in the On-demand Learning Hub
All the information you need to succeed in healthcare fundraising