In my work helping philanthropic and nonprofit organizations consider how to integrate Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools into their work, a pathway for good outcomes is emerging.


It starts with Foundational Elements (for some this means dusting these off):

– Strategic Plan that includes Technology – even better if there is a detailed Technology Plan

– Stating Values, often part of having articulated Mission/Vision/Values

– Actively working to improve Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility and Justice

Bonus Element: work has been done to refine business processes by mapping and improving them.

We can start down the path without these, but having these in place – or working on them as you go – greatly improves the chances of positive outcomes.




1. Understanding: Learning about AI and ChatGPT not in a deeply technical sense, but how they work, the benefits and risks.

Activities: Facilitating learning for the board, management and staff


2. Use Cases: Learning about how nonprofit folks are using the tools, as well as how they’re integrated into the tools you already use.

Activities: Providing examples of how nonprofits use these tools, facilitating discussions on how your organization is already using them and might use them in the future


3. Navigating Challenges: These tools are made by humans, so they include bias and prejudice. They generate content by using works without permission. They sometimes provide false and even dangerous information. Powering the tools has a large carbon footprint.

Activities: Facilitating discussions about how to navigate the risks, crafting guidelines and policies for careful, ethical use.


4. Experimenting & Learning: Brainstorming ways the tools can support your work and crafting experiments to see what works.

Activities: Defining experiments, articulating desired outcomes, crafting safe ways to experiment.
Reviewing and discussing results, evolving new ways of trying things, integrating successes into our work.


If your organization is just starting tho think about this, The Smart Nonprofit by Beth Kanter and Alison Fine is an excellent primer in laying out what AI means for the nonprofit sector.


I am working with boards, management, technology teams and staff working groups to navigate these new opportunities.
If I can help your organization, lets connect to help your organization move forward thoughtfully.


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