Ep 196: How Risky Is AI For Nonprofits? (with Beth Kanter)

by Joan Garry

Organizations around the world are using artificial intelligence to improve processes, delegate tasks, and drive progress. What do nonprofit leaders need to know?


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Today’s discussion with Beth Kanter converges at the intersection of leadership, artificial intelligence (AI), and ethics in the nonprofit sector. We explore the potential impact of AI, specifically generative AI, on nonprofit work including the democratization of AI, its potential benefits, and the need for ethical considerations.

AI can alleviate mundane tasks and allow leaders to focus on more impactful initiatives. But, for AI to be most effective, we must reimagine how time is utilized, create a culture of innovation, and foster a mindset shift in the nonprofit sector that “busyness is not productivity”. 

We discuss the need for a human-centered approach that incorporates the strengths of AI, while thoughtfully managing its risks, to enable nonprofits to powerfully perform and adapt for a sustainable future.

About Beth:

Beth has worked in the nonprofit sector and dedicated her career to answering these questions: How can nonprofits leverage online technology and networks for social change? How can nonprofits create digital resilience? I’m not just a techie. I understand organizational culture change and workplace well-being and how these contribute to social change strategies. Beth was named by Fast Company Magazine as one of the most influential women in technology and one of Business Week’s “Voices of Innovation.”

Beth loves teaching and facilitation. She has trained thousands of nonprofits on all continents of the world. She has also designed and facilitated professional development learning programs for staff of foundations and nonprofits. Beth has over 25 years of experience in delivering in-person, virtual, and hybrid models of trainings.

Beth is the co-author of “The Networked Nonprofit,” and “Measuring the Networked Nonprofit,” winner of the 2013 Terry McAdam Nonprofit Book Award. Her third book, “The Happy Healthy Nonprofit: Strategies for Impact without Burnout,” grew out of her interest in resilience and wellbeing in the nonprofit workplace. Her current research project, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is about Artificial Intelligence and Scaling Generosity.

Key Takeaways:

  • What is Generative AI?
  • How does AI enable leaders to delegate more effectively?
  • What are the risks and rewards of leveraging AI at your nonprofit organization?
  • How can AI help you with nonprofit fundraising?


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