Artificial Intelligence. Did you know that AI is embedded in almost everything we do? It’s often embedded in our workflow, our fundraising and our data analytics. Already, there are many in the nonprofit sector who are using AI but many not even realize that they are using. For example, in 2020, 75% of nonprofits reported using AI for predictive analytics to enhance their fundraising efforts. (Source: Nonprofit Technology Network) 64% of nonprofit professionals believe AI can help them better understand their donors and supporters. (Source: Salesforce) Additionally there have been a lot of studies about the impact of AI: like helping nonprofits increase program effectiveness by up to 43%, or how Classy has found that AI-driven fundraising campaigns have seen a 34% increase in donor retention rates.
So what should be the role of AI when it comes to nonprofits?
As nonprofit leaders, we need to have conversations around AI, because whether we realize it or not, it’s involved in nearly everything we do. Rob’s guest, Justin Spelhaug, argues artificial intelligence is making a positive impact in the nonprofit space.
Justin is the VP and Global Head of Microsoft’s Tech for Social Impact (TSI.) TSI brings together donation and grants programs, commercial sales efforts, and partner ecosystems to empower nonprofits globally to address the world’s most pressing needs.
Justin describes what Tech for Social Impact does, and how they not only help their nonprofit clients, but how TSI also donates a portion of the profits to public good initiatives. When it comes to integrating AI into their solutions, Microsoft uses six core principles to guide the work they do. Justin describes these six principles and dives deep into the principles of “Inclusiveness” as well as “Privacy and Security.” He explains why focusing on privacy and security is important when it comes to using AI, and the ways Microsoft ensures high privacy standards on all the solutions they create. Justin shares specific case studies on ways AI is being used in the nonprofit sector, specifically in cases that involve human rights, disaster relief, and biodiversity. He also describes a path one can follow, if they are not familiar with AI, so they can become more knowledgeable and skilled using it. Finally, Justin believes that while there may be potential downsides to AI technology, it is drastically helping nonprofits become more efficient, thus supporting the greater good.
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