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Nonprofit Radio for May 6, 2024: Prompt Engineering For Beginners & Get The Most From Your Current Tech

 

Nyle Malik & Alfredo Ramirez: Prompt Engineering For Beginners

Our 2024 Nonprofit Technology Conference coverage continues. This panel explains how to get the most out of the generative Artificial Intelligence tools when you write your cues, or prompts, to them. You want ChatGPT and their ilk to serve you best, so here’s wisdom from Nyle Malik and Alfredo Ramirez, the co-founders of Prosal.

 

 

 

 

Dana Larkin & Patrick McDermott: Get The Most From Your Current Tech

Dana Larkin and Patrick McDermott encourage you to explore the lesser-known features in the software you’re probably already using from Microsoft and Google. There’s a tech stack sitting in your office, underutilized. Let’s put it to work! They’re both from Heller Consulting and this is also part of our 24NTC coverage.

 

 

 

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Welcome to Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I am your aptly named host and the pod father of your favorite Hebdomadal podcast. We’re welcoming donor box back to the nonprofit radio family. They took a break and saw their mistake. Now they’re back with us for goodness sake. II, I think I have to say that uh Bruce Springsteen is probably the, the greatest influence on my poetry. Oh, I’m glad you’re with us. I’d come down with Keto Asura if you rained down on me with the idea that you missed this week’s show. Here’s our associate producer, Kate with what’s up this week? Hey, Tony, this week it’s prompt engineering for beginners. Our 2024 nonprofit technology conference coverage continues. This panel explains how to get the most out of the generative artificial intelligence tools. When you write your cues or prompts to them, you want Chad GP T and their ilk to serve you best. So, here’s wisdom from Niall Malik and Alfredo Ramirez, the co founders of Prosal. Then get the most from your current tech, Dana Larkin and Patrick mcdermott, encourage you to explore the lesser known features in the software you’re probably already using from Microsoft and Google. There’s a tech stack sitting in your office under utilized. Let’s put it to work. They’re both from Heller consulting and this is also part of our 24 NTC coverage on Tony’s Take two, the vacation finger wag. We’re sponsored by Virtuous. Virtuous, gives you the nonprofit CRM fundraising volunteer and marketing tools. You need to create more responsive donor experiences and grow, giving, virtuous.org and buy donor box outdated donation forms blocking your support, generosity. Donor box. Fast, flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor. Box.org. I love that. The alliteration is back, fast, flexible, friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit. Love this, love the alliteration. And you didn’t even say anything about my insightful poetry. It was, it was cute. Didn’t you see the, couldn’t you hear the Bruce Springsteen influence in it? They took a break and saw their mistake. Now they’re back with us for goodness sake. I mean, if that doesn’t scream Springsteen, I, I don’t know you, you’re not appreciating uh his music uh deeply. Yeah, not a Bruce Springsteen fan. Well, you don’t have to be a great fan to recognize the, the depth of my work and, and how it’s influenced by him. Let’s just move on here is prompt engineering for beginners. Welcome to Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio coverage of 24 NTC. It’s the 2024 nonprofit technology conference in Portland, Oregon at the Oregon Convention Center where we are graciously sponsored by Heller consulting technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits with me. Now are Niall Malik. He is co founder and chief technology officer at Prosol and Alfredo Ramirez, co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer at Prosol. Niall Alfredo. Welcome. Thank you for having us. We’re excited to be here. Absolutely pleasure. All right. Uh Alfredo seems a little more excited than Niall. Maybe we can pump you up a little Niall. Do you have enough coffee? I’ve got my first cup in. I’m ready. It’s gonna hit in probably 10 minutes. You’ll get me. I just sense a little, a little more enthusiasm from uh out of Alfredo. I’ll put some coffee in your cup now, I got you. Thank you. Yeah. OK. We are talking about prompt engineering for beginners. Your session is uh prompt engineering for beginners. Use artificial intelligence for better, faster communications. I was excited to do this. Uh This intrigued me a lot because we’re hearing about prompt engineering. This new field, there are gonna be degrees, I don’t know and certificates at least maybe even some degrees in prompt engineering. Um Let’s uh let’s turn to you Alfredo. What, what, what is, what? Let’s make sure everybody understands what prompt engineering is. Let’s start with the basics, please. Yes. So prompt engineering at the very base level is how you communicate with an A I tool like chat GP T. Um A prompt is just the way that you speak to uh chat G BT or to another tool. Um It is the input that you give it that it then takes to generate an output. Uh All of these tools that we’re talking about, they are generative uh artificial intelligence, they generate text, they generate images. Uh And so you are telling it what to generate with your prompt and we’re gonna get into the details of it, but the more defined and the more specific uh your prompt is the more tailored the output will be to what exactly you are looking for and Niall this is very iterative, right? We’re not, you don’t do one prompt and, and you’re done. Absolutely. This is actually I consider it almost to be a little bit more of an art form because as these tools evolve and we’re getting better models, um the strategies to approach them are changing. And then also as you start to start using some of these models like Chat GP D specifically, um iterating on kind of their outputs and getting more granular about what you want it to display is is essential to getting the right output for you. What more should we know about these tools before we get into the details of, of, of good prompt engineering? Uh Absolutely like um this is a new field for sure. I I’m sure everyone’s heard about Chat G BT at this point. But um the fairly the release to the public was really just over a little over a year ago where that started blowing up. Um And since then, a lot of research and a lot of iterations of on to these tools. And we’ve heard of GP T 3.54 being released. And now we have the next iterations coming out. There’s plenty of competitors in this space. People um start using Google’s tools to do this. Um So while this is all happening and we, we’re giving kind of the best way to do stuff right now. This is an evolving field and we will constantly be trying to get humans to use these tools as best we can to get the outputs that we need. And so it’s just kind of the learning process, always be open minded. Uh use these tools to basically help you in your job. Um And to stay on top of kind of the latest news of those things? OK. OK. Um Are we ready to get into some of the, the details of what, how, what makes good prompts, how to work with what you get back? Who, who wants to, who wants to start with like our our first prompt? What do we, what do we need to plan? We need to, I guess we have to have something in mind before we start, we start before we start typing our prom. So I brought this chi sheet. I was, I have a chi sheet in my hands that folks probably can’t see but they can’t, they just promise you, you can envision me just holding a piece of paper. It’s much, it’s a little bit for me as much as for the people that we’re talking about. Prompt engineering at NTC uh tomorrow. Uh But there are really five components when it comes to a good prompt. Uh the role that you are setting for the tool, the intent, what do you want it to do? What is the outcome that you want, that intent to accomplish? You can think of that almost like your goal or your objective, the format that you want it in um and format can be anything from the typeface to uh the style to the writing tone and then the a, the context, any background or information that might be more specific to your use case and to your need. And within each of those five elements, there are guides, instructions, best practices so that you can generate the absolute best output for your needs. OK? The role uh you are, let’s stick with you, Alfredo. Uh The role you are a, you are a something. You are a, you are a writer, you are an expert uh podcast host. You are an expert writer. You are an experienced uh fundraiser. Uh You are a professional grant writer. Damn. And so what kind of differences are you gonna see if, if you keep all the other, the four variables, the same and you just change the role, you’re gonna see different massive differences. This is, this is like bringing somebody like, like it’s almost like giving someone a college education with, with a sentence. Um You’re gonna bring in vastly different bases of knowledge because ultimately all these tools are, are trained on what is available on the internet up to a certain period of time. Um And so by telling it, you know, these things, this is what you are best at. You are telling it to focus on those specific things and draw knowledge from what it believes with a world class marketer, a world class uh podcast host will know and will rely on to generate their, their knowledge or to rely their knowledge on. This is incredible. And, and these are uh Niall this all just comes from the large learning, the large language language learning. LLM to me, it was master of laws when I was in law school, but I have an LLM degree, but I don’t have that but some people do. But uh large help me with LLM, please. Large language model exactly that. Um And as Alfredo is mentioning, you know, these are trained on massive massive corpuses of human output attacks, robot generated text, just tons of English language. For example, if your, if your outputs in English. And so there’s so much in that corpus of information. And if you just throw a general prompt at it and you don’t really specify a role or an intent. You’re going to get a general generic output because it’s just trying to synthesize all this information and give you the expected output that it thinks you want. Um But the more specific, the more granular you can get, the more it can kind of fine tune or, or get on the specific training data that it’s, it’s seen and it can actually get you an output that’s much more tailored to what you’re wanting. Should our, our, the first words of our prompt be ur A Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. So, I mean, that’s simple. It’s, it’s, that’s the first step for sure. At least UR A is simple. Now, what, what, what you want, what you want to fill that in as well. You’re a nonprofit executive director. I don’t know, you’re a nonprofit fundraiser. You’re, you’re a nonprofit donor, right? Um So that, that’s up to you, but you should start with you something. Yeah. And a lot of um strategies that people use to, to really get really good outputs is they mirrored themselves. So they use some mirroring and saying, hey, I’m the CTO of a start up and I am trying to do this and this is kind of what I’m looking for and in doing that, it can almost act as your brain in this sort of way. Um Alfredo has a really good saying of uh use these tools like their interns. So always verify their outputs and all that stuff. Um But in taking your own or the problem that you’re facing or what you want to generate, I use it a lot for generating emails, for example. Um I say, hey, you are the CTO of a start up company that does this um I need you to make an email for this and in, in that kind of way it can mimic the tone or the language that I should use and it gets much, much better in the output. This one through five is ideal. By the way, we’re breaking this down. So anything more we should say about role before we move to uh before we move to intent, this is going to apply to anything that we say there’s not one fixed way to say this and what Niall or to write this out, you can say you are, you can say act as you can say your role is. Um So there, there are a myriad of different ways where you can kind of execute this prompt. Um And to Niall’s point earlier, this is all changing, you know, these, the way that we’re gonna write this right now. This is the best practice in six months. This might not be the case. So in six months, we might be back here and we might be saying you gotta talk about role in a different way or you gotta specify role in some other way, we better air this quickly. Then we’re doing 25 of these interviews. That’s 25 shows. That’s about uh well, we’re gonna double up some so we’ve got a couple of months worth. Alright, we better air this one promptly. So it’s promptly look at the World Class. I appreciated the World class uh uh World Class podcast host. Whoever was that you, I think it was Alfredo. Thank you. Um I’ll just, I mean, you were using that as an example, but I take it personally. Thank you. Thank you. Uh Intent, intent. Who wants to talk of uh start us off with understanding, intent? Yeah, I can totally take intent. Intent is kind of exactly what is described as it’s really what is the goal you’re trying to accomplish with this prompt output. Um And going back to the email example, if I just said write me an email to send to my friend to schedule dinner, um That’s partly an intent there. II I have a dinner planned. That’s kind of what I’m trying to allude to, but what we really try to do is get more and more specific. Um So the more information that you can give these models, the better they can use that information in the output. Um So that’s really the intent is really what, what are you trying to accomplish with this prompt? OK. Like it’s a fundraising, we’re trying to raise money or encourage volunteers or we’re trying to write to a funder. We’re trying to encourage folks to work for us. We have job openings. It’s very different to say, write me an offer letter as opposed to write me an offer letter for a project manager that starts on Monday, April 1st. Ok. Ok. All right. So intent, that’s different than your, your objective is more the next one like the outcome. So, so I see as a fine difference between your intent and your outcome. So yeah, so the intent is like now to now’s point, he’s writing an email, he might be saying draft me this email. Um But the outcome, what do you want that email to do? Who’s receiving that email? What is the effect that you wanted to elicit? You can say write me an amazing fundraising email and it probably will give you a really good fundraising email, but you can say write me a fundraising email to uh audiences who respond to environmental conservation and who care about the Arctic and the bees and want to, and we want them to donate $5 when they read this email, it’s going to be very different language and wording. That’s a, that is a perfectly good prompt, that’s in a perfect prompt that you can put in and you can and it will give you back exactly what you were looking for. Um Any, any more so that intent outcome, anything more on outcome. I love this. I, I mean, I didn’t imagine that this degree of specificity though, I mean, the bees and the Arctic, I mean, you can, you can get real specific, I mean, and this is this all feeds, this is why the last one is context and we’ll get to context. But this all ultimately feeds into what is the information that it needs to know. This is where you should really consider. This is this is why I always say treat it like an intern, an intern. If you tell it, go create an Excel table, you know, we’ll probably create an Excel table. But does that accomplish what you need? You know, is that, is that the, the outcome or the objective is not being fulfilled? Whereas if you tell an intern, I need this Excel table in this exact space in this exact formatting with these letters and I needed to do this and have these formulas, then they have a guide to follow. It doesn’t mean that they’re gonna do it perfectly. And that’s again, Toni’s point, verify the output, make sure that the information is correct and it’s what you’re needing, but it’s at least gonna get you a lot closer than if you had just given it very vague instructions. I was just a joke that I needed an intern on this podcast. So I have somebody to blame. Now you can just hire Chad GP. T there you go. We have an associate producer. I blame her occasionally. I’m getting, I’m getting more, more comfortable blaming her. She’s only been with us since July but I’m I’m I’m it’s just uh it’s out of necessity, leave it at that. Um ok, the format. Alright, so Alfredo, you started, you know you mentioned like Excel spreadsheet. Uh we’re not even getting into art. We’re talking about text output, but you certainly could work with a Ali and you could be talking about a piece of art. Yeah. And I mean, this is actually beyond my level of expertise, but go to the example of Dali and formatting, you can talk about the level of contrast um the aspect ratios, the um the temperature of the colors that you’re using, you can, you can get very specific. And so for what I want something that looks like a Chagall. Yes, exactly like I want, I want the Streets of New York painted in Mark Rothko style and our prep drive style like, but when it gets to form, when you get to text, I mean, and, and all of this also applies to Dolly and Mijo and other tools, uh we actually specify this is not just for text, you can use this um especially if it’s, if you don’t have like a graphic designer on staff, you can use a tool like mid journey or Dali to at least maybe create that inspiration that you can then share with a designer and say this is kind of what I’m looking for a draft exactly. Um But in the same, in the same vein, you can draft content to say, you know, give me an outline with, uh heading with H two tags and with bullet points, um, and give it to me, you know, properly format it and then you can tell it, tell it, give it to me in html. So I can just copy, paste this and drag it and put it into my, uh, my email builder or into my website. So there’s a lot of different ways. I’m not by any means a coder, but for any coders listening, I’m sure Niall’s got really good tips for when it comes to the actual coding. No, but Alfredo is exactly right. And even if you go back to that email example or you’re doing an offer letter, like the standard elements of an offer letter will be part of that output if you specify that this format is going to be in an offer letter. Um And you can get even quirkier with it, especially with text. We’ve seen um I saw some pretty fun examples of them people testing the tool and they, they’re out putting in uh Shakespearean format like I am big pentameter is coming out in the text. And I was like, wow, this is pretty incredible and it gets even more important with some of these other generative A I tools like you’re mentioning dolly mid journey. Even um open A I is just demoing a new model called Sora, which actually can do video and with video, they can specify this was filmed on 35 millimeter film or something like that or even give it a specific camera that this should uh mimic in the output. And it’s really incredible stuff. It’s time for a break. Virtuous is a software company committed to helping nonprofits grow generosity. Virtuous believes that generosity has the power to create profound change in the world and in the heart of the giver, it’s their mission to move the needle on global generosity by helping nonprofits better connect with and inspire their givers. Responsive. Fundraising is the donor at the center of fundraising and grows giving through personalized donor journeys that respond to the needs of each individual. Virtuous is the only responsive nonprofit CRM designed to help you build deeper relationships with every donor at scale. Virtuous. Gives you the nonprofit CRM fundraising, volunteer marketing and automation tools. You need to create responsive experiences that build trust and grow impact virtuous.org. Now back to prompt engineering for beginners with Niall Malik and Alfredo Ramirez. How could you not be a Bruce Springsteen fan? You’re from New Jersey. Well, I I that’s impossible. I don’t know. You don’t know. There is no, there’s no good excuse. Alright, let’s continue. Anything more about format. Should we say anything more uh writing styles? Um I think that’s one that you can probably get into it. There’s some pretty funny ones in the early days of chat G BT where you can look up like stories of certain characters that are written in humorous ways we’ll say. Um but humorous is a tone persuasive is a tone argumentative um uh formal professional, informal. These are all writing tones and styles that you can apply also to your writing. So don’t feel limited in just that in formatting is the actual format of the output. But what is the style that you want writing in? Now, I mentioned I am a pentameter. You can ask it to write you an email in Haiku format. Haiku is very good, but even just something as simple as, hey, I’ve written all this stuff and I want to be a little more concise about it. Um It can go there and chop it up and make it much, much better and it kind of gives you, it helps give you a voice that maybe you’re not used to writing in. Um I know for me, I can tend to blabber a lot when I’m writing an email. So when I start using this and I I tell the output format to be more concise. It helps greatly. Alright, last one context, let’s stick with you now. So context is kind of an overarching term to just basically give it more information about more specificity will always lead to a better output. And so when I’m saying um draft an offer letter or send an email to schedule dinner with my friend. Um The more information I can give it, the better it can get and the better it can tailor that email or that offer letter to the, to the audience. And so it goes much beyond that. Even um we use it a lot, we deal with a lot of documents all the time, massive, massive PDF that we have to kind of go through and figure out different things about. And so you can actually take big corpuses of text. You can take um other additional supporting information and give that to chat G BT or to any other LLM tool. And it will actually go through that and find out what’s most relevant to you and what’s important and use that in the output. Um You gotta remember these tools are kind of, they, they’re trained on a lot of different knowledge, but your goal is to use the knowledge that’s most per pertinent to you. So taking it and giving it any kind of context that you have or anything that you think will be useful in the output and just providing it to the model will just help it, give it something to reference and something to use in the output. Can you, can you reference your own, your own, writing your own website uh and on like a, a blog post that you did, of course, yeah, that you wrote yourself and you wanted to imitate. So you give it the URL, you can give it the URL. There’s a different, I’m not sure about 3.5 but I know chat G BT four does uh parse link so it can go directly to a link. If it’s not even trained on that Corpus, it will train itself in the moment. Uh You can also just copy, paste the text and I’ll mention there’s a ton of plugins that do this. Now you can link to a PDF in your Google Drive or somewhere online that’s easily accessible. Um One example that I’ve used it for uh there’s tools that already do this. But if you record a meeting and you have the entire transcript and you need to summarize the meeting for somebody, you can just take that transcript and upload it and say, when did uh when did Tony mention a role in our conversation? And what was the question that he was asking? So I can go back and make sure that I’m answering them and pull out those questions specifically rather than having to go look at my notes or look at the video. Um And you can use that information to say, OK, we had this conversation. Now write me a blog about this, this entire topic, write me a summary, um make it seo optimized too and, and you can give it additional context and additional background information. It doesn’t have to be on the first one. Now is probably going to bring up chain prompting at some point. Um but you can build on all of these prompts. This is a one and done. No, this is an ongoing conversation. So it’s remembering, it’s gonna remember that from when you’re in prompt. Number seven, it’s gonna remember. It remembers the first six exactly. And you can tell it to reference, hey, that last prompt was missing this specific piece of information, update paragraph two to reference this information that is now new to you, but it is important to this topic of conversation. Alright, so you can train it, you can train it on your own. You’re talking about links, your own, your own text, your own document that you want to summarize. You can give it. Yeah, and absolutely. And for example, I’m, I consider myself to be a terrible writer. I’m not writing blog posts. That’s why we have Alfredo over here and Alfredo outputs great blog posts in his style and he’s, he’s really good at writing um the text that goes on our blog. So if I’m ever writing a blog post, I just take all of Alfredo’s old blog posts. And I say this is a blog post. I want to write, I want you to act as a blog writer and give it all the role, the intent, the outcome, the format and then as context, I’ll give it all of Alfredo’s blog posts and say this is the kind of style I want to mimic or this is some of the information I want to retouch on and you can actually use that in the output to one mimic Alfredo’s writing style or his voice. And then also reference some of the older blog posts that Alfredo has written so that we can keep everything kind of in a tree structure. Now, when I was growing up, we called that plagiarism. Well, I think, I think uh plagiarism is uh yeah, there’s a fine line there because you’re giving it, use these as examples. You’re not saying copy, you just copy it yourself. But plagiarism came to mind as you were, as you were explaining. And I think you now bring up the, you start to go into the pros and cons of some of these elements where, you know, you could, I don’t, I don’t see plagiarism actually is an accusation but if you are posting, say a blog post or you’re sending an email um or anything like that, some of the writing, especially if you’re not specific with your prompt, it can be easily detectable. You know, I, I think I’ve gotten, I think to the point and now too where we can see if something was written with a poor prompt and you can, there’s a general writing style that Cha GP T has where you can see. OK. Well, this was clearly written by Cha GP T uh and Google is doing the same thing. Search engines are doing the same thing and they’re deprioritizing content that it can tell. OK. Well, this was obviously written by an A I tool. So it’s not written by a human. We’re not going to give this priority when sharing it with the rest of the world and other. And it’s not just Google, Google I think is the one that’s probably most known for this right now and building it into its search algorithms. But I think other platforms, social media search engines are following closely behind to de prioritize uh A I generated content as opposed to human generated content. Now, let’s go to you because uh Alfredo referenced something. So now we’ve got our first output from our first newly engineered prompt. Uh And it’s not, it’s not, it’s not what we want. What, what, what do we do? Well, the beautiful part about um these LL MS and the interfaces that they’ve built um is that you can conversationally talk to them so you can actually tell them exactly what you liked about the previous output or you can actually ask it what you didn’t like or tell it what you didn’t like and it can go and refine that and further refine the output. Um and you can just take it along a completely different direction just based on you giving it feedback. Um Something that’s also pretty cool that I’ll touch on a little bit is um you can even give it an output that you like, like one of Alfredo’s blog posts and you can actually have it reverse engineer the prompt for you. And so that you’ll start on a better baseline. So I can give an Alfredo blog post. And I can say, hey, if I’m I’m trying to create a prompt to use with Chad GP T for, with, with an output very similar to this style. What is a good prompt I should use? And it will actually give you a prompt that you can reverse feedback into it. Reverse engineer, a prompt. Exactly. And from a, from a document from text engineer and a lot of the time um the output is never going to be perfect on the first try. And that’s just to be expected. Uh We all have our different biases in the way that we want to see the output. Um So the key here is that you can talk with it and you can refine and you can further further refine and you should um because that will help your voice come across better, that will help you get something that you desire better than just some generic chat GP T content off the first try. And then, you know, people start to recognize that or Alfredo was saying it gets de prioritized, it just becomes obvious you can spot it. So certainly Google and other search engines can spot it and de prioritize it. And once you get to the point where I think it’s important to give that feedback to arrive at some at that output that you want, especially when it comes to prompts that you might be reusing if you’re a marketing professional or if you’re a blog writer and you’re constantly churning out content and you need a little bit of help with inspiration on that first draft. You want to have the best prompt possible. I would recommend saving that prompt in chat G BT in maybe a Google doc or some other kind of text editor. And you can ask Chat G BT, I’ve actually done this where I’ll give it something and it will give me the output and I will say you missed this or you didn’t include this information or this format was wrong and I will ask it, what, how would you update the original prompt so that you get this right on the first try and it will give me that prompt and I’ll test it again three or four times and it will give me exactly what I wanted. OK. Uh What else? Uh So we, OK. So the iterative, so it’s not uncommon, we shouldn’t be frustrated if we’re getting, we’ve got to do this four or five times. Remember? Yeah, you gotta give it the intern feedback, you gotta give a guidance and feedback and over time, hopefully it’ll get a little better. Don’t be frustrated with the first three or four or five. OK. OK. Um What else? Uh maintaining, you mentioned uh in your description of the of the session, maintaining an authentic and personal touch. We have we touched on that already. I mean, we, we talked about using Alfredo’s blog posts. We got a sample but alright, well, go ahead. So I say more, I mean, so authenticity especially now with these tools and they’re kind of, they’re helping a lot of people in a lot of different ways. Um Maintaining authenticity is, is kind of key here. We want to make sure that although something else is generating maybe the bulk of the content, you’re ensuring that you’re looking over it and you’re giving it your personal touch because um I think as we see a lot of, and we’re seeing this pop up everywhere, especially in the blogs that um different companies are uploading. We’re starting to recognize when we’re seeing A I generated content. And I think that is taking away a little bit from just the personal experience of, of seeing someone having written a blog post and seeing their original thoughts and ideas. It’s not that you can’t contain your original thoughts and ideas in A I generated content. That’s not all what I’m saying. It’s just that you, there needs to be an element of a human element there of maybe a proofread or a fact check. Um And the way I always think about it is that chat GP T and LL MS, they’re really great for the blank page problem. That’s something that I encounter all the time when I’m just looking at the blank page. And I’m like, hey, I need to write about this or I need to draft an email for this and I just don’t know how to even start. Um, the way I found to keep my voice coming through and keep my authenticity in, in writing is to use chat GP T to just put something down on the paper. And once I actually see it there and I see some kind of uh general output that’s a little more tailored to what I’m doing. I can actually go in and start editing and start chopping it up and doing that proofreading process. And that editing process is really where I can come in and reform the message or reform the intent to better suit me as a person. I’m gonna share with you something that is, is my concern. My biggest concern about the, the use of uh the generative A I which is, and it is directly related to what you’re saying now that we’re seeing to the technology, our most creative role, like you’re saying, you know, looking at the blank screen, I think, I think that’s the most creative thing that we can do is to start filling that page with, with what flows from our mind. And I’ve, I’ve, and we’ve all been there with the frustration. Like I, I’m not sure how to start or you know, should I start with the conclusion or? You know, but, but we, but we worked through it and we did it and we’ve emerged and we, here we are, I’m concerned that we will sacrifice some of our own, the most creative stuff that we can do to the technology. And then it, it, it reduces us to the role of, you know, copy editor, proofreader. What’s your, what’s your reaction to my concern? I think, I think it’s valid and I totally think it, it just depends on you personally and where you think your creative process comes in, uh you and I might be different in that. Um I really struggled with that blank page problem and that’s actually not where my creativity shines. It’s more when I have something that’s 70% there, I can really chop it up and I, my creative process happens by cutting out a bunch of texts and rewriting parts of text and really getting it better to, to my voice. But if that initial process of the blank page is very important to inform your creative process, then you should totally keep that. That’s, that’s your voice and what you should go do instead or maybe where you could start using chat to your tool. Like this is maybe a part of that process where you struggle where maybe at the output, you want to get it in a specific format or, you know, you tend to just write in a stream of consciousness or bullet points and then you want to reform this back into full sentences. That’s probably where a tool like this could come and help you out without sacrificing any of your creativity. Awesome. That’s the best response I’ve heard. And I’ve, I’ve mentioned this a few times to guests. OK. Alfredo. Do you want to leave us with? Uh Well, well, let me ask first before you leave anything. We haven’t, we haven’t talked about that. You wanna, you think is important? I, I think I would say um again, this is still a developing field. It’s early. Uh There is so much application that is possible, especially in the nonprofit industry and, and for those supporting nonprofits where demand is high capacity is low and we’re all trying to just get the next thing done. I think it’s an additional pair of hands and eyes that is invaluable and will only continue to improve our productivity and being conscious of those elements that you’re bringing up. Don’t sacrifice your creativity. Be careful about the information you’re sharing because this all in all this information will, it’s not necessary public, but it will be used to further train the, the A I tool um and stay up to date on what is a best practice and what you should and should not be doing for these because the use cases will evolve and the applications are there for nonprofit professionals, whether it’s grant writing email, writing, fundraising, event planning, uh Anything that requires text thought images, it’s, it’s gonna be helpful. Um So don’t be scared, you know, follow along. It’s, it’s just the start of the journey and I think it’s going to be pretty exciting um for anyone that gets involved in prompt engineering today, that’s Alfredo Ramirez, he’s co-founder and Chief marketing Officer at Prosal. And with him is Niall Malik, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Prosal and uh Niall, I appreciate, I really appreciate your thoughtful response to my, my, my concern. I mean, I, I don’t feel 100% allayed but you gave it no, really. It was very uh it was a reasoned and uh and thoughtful, thoughtful response to it. So, thank you. Well, I’m glad I’m glad and um there’s definitely room for you to use some of these tools um to, you know, improve your process and everything. But I think you’re absolutely right. We gotta keep our voice, we gotta keep our creativity, we gotta keep our authenticity. I think that’s absolutely key as this whole world evolves around us. Niall. Thank you, Alfredo. Thank you very much. Thanks for having us. Thanks Tony and thank you for being with Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio coverage of the 2024 nonprofit technology conference where we are sponsored by Heller consulting technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits. It’s time for a break, donor box, open up new cashless and person donation opportunities with donor box live kiosk. The smart way to accept cashless donations. Anywhere, anytime picture this a cash free on site giving solution that effortlessly collects donations from credit cards, debit cards and digital wallets. No team member required. Thus, your donation data is automatically synced with your donor box account. No manual data entry or errors make giving a breeze and focus on what matters your cause. Try donor box live kiosk and revolutionize the way you collect donations. Visit donor box.org to learn more. It’s time for Tony’s take two. Thank you, Kate. Although I don’t know how you could be from New Jersey and not be a Bruce Springsteen fan. But um thank you nonetheless, it’s time to be thinking about yourself. You gotta be a little bit selfish at summertime so that you set time aside to refresh yourself, to relax in whatever way you do that maybe with lots of family around or friends, it might be hiking in solitude, sitting on a beach. Uh I’m, I’m a big endorser of uh beach usage. Of course, I will be taking full advantage this summer but whatever it is more, cooking, more, more needlework, more working out at the gym. Whatever it takes, please, I’m, I’m giving you like the, the annual finger wag. Think about yourself this summer, set time aside to rejuvenate, relax, take time for yourself because you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. So please be good to yourself this summer. The finger wag. That is Tony’s. Take two J, take care of yourself this summer and make sure you listen to Bruce Springsteen. Ok. And I hope you’re gonna take your own advice. Yeah. Yeah, I know this summer I will. All right, I’m gonna make sure of it though. Believe me, we’ve got VU but loads more time here is get the most from your current tech. We are sponsored by Heller consulting, technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits and where our guests right now are both from Heller consulting. Dana Larkin is principal project manager at Heller and Patrick mcdermott is strategy consultant at Heller. Dana Patrick. Welcome. Thank you. Thank you for Heller’s sponsorship of nonprofit radio at the conference. Absolutely fun to be booth mates in our, in our oversized booth sharing space together. Thank you very much. We’re talking about your session, which is uh do we really need new tools getting the most from your current tech? Technically, it’s Patrick’s session, but Dana knows an enormous amount about this too and it just made sense to collaborate together. So, Patrick, why don’t you start us off? What, what, what are we missing? Why are we sometimes going beyond what we have to uh to accomplish what we could with what, what we, what we already got part of the impetus for even wanting to do this session in the first place was and I was even victim of this too when I was in nonprofits is you get entranced to a certain extent by all of the bells and whistles and the marketing of all of these very discreet vendors that try to solve very specific problems like appointment scheduling and those types of things. And so that really kind of compelled me to look at. Well, are there features that maybe aren’t necessarily as well known by the platforms that you’re already using as a nonprofit? Google and Microsoft probably being the two top ones from a kind of productivity platform standpoint that can do a lot of these things that these discrete tools are trying to sell you on doing for a price that nonprofits just honestly can’t really afford to spend a lot of resources on. Um Could they really get away with doing a lot of what it is that they’re looking to do based off of what they already have available within their technical stacks? So some of the examples that I cite in uh the session that I’m doing tomorrow is specifically around say like appointment scheduling for instance. So Microsoft Outlook has a scheduling poll feature. I don’t know if necessarily a lot of people know that. Uh In fact, actually, there are even some colleagues of mine at Heller that didn’t even know that that was a feature and there’s always this constant like back and forth in email exchanges with clients about. All right, let’s find like a mutual time to meet. But if you use scheduling pull feature, you might be able to get to that result a lot faster. And some of the ways in which you see nonprofit clients work is they look at solutions like a calendly, for instance or something like that, not to take anything away from calendly. I’ve used the service before. It’s a very well known, very good service to use. But with a nonprofit that is resource strapped if they already are a Microsoft shop or a Google Shop, because Google calendar has these appointment slot features that you can now use as well that do something very similar to that. Can we just use that instead to achieve the same end and the same function without necessarily having to pay an extra subscription cost, especially because as a nonprofit, you get Google often times for free or discounted price and the same with Microsoft. So Dana, how about you? Uh T us off? What, what uh what can you add to our, our intro? Yeah. So, um the other thing to think about when you are trying to make these, these technology changes is that uh you know, there’s an element to this that is change management and there’s pieces to this that you need to make sure you get the right buy in and it’s much easier to get that buy in and you’re like, ok, but we already have the technology. We just need to do a little bit of change management to get it. You’re going to have a lot more success and buy in. So it’s just going to be an easier change all around. What if the tool is free though? The tool is like Patrick mentioned calendly. Yeah. So to that, I would say, well, the learning curve, it, what’s the learning curve on it? There can be free tools out there. But what is the, the one the tech, uh, you’re gonna expand your tech stack either way and you know, if you can keep it smaller, it’s gonna make your tech stack a lot less complex, easier to hand over, transfer whatever it is. And, um, if they already know a tool like outlook, it’s just gonna make it that much easier to give them one more little thing that they can do in outlook versus you’re now gonna need a new log in. You’re gonna need a new, you’re gonna have to learn this new tool and how to use it with the, you already have outlook. So there’s a learning curve piece to it. You’re gonna need to learn the integration between Calendly and mis and outlook because you want it on your calendar, don’t you? Exactly. Right. So, like the two of you together make a lot of sense. Like why bother? We already got it. We’ve already got something that does it. Why you use the shiny new tool because everybody else is ok. I think Calendly is a very easy and simple example. So um so Daniel, let’s stick with you. What, what are some other devices? What are some other tools that we’ve already got that? We like Patrick was saying, you know, even folks at Heller didn’t know exist. What else, what else do we might we have in our tech stack that we’re not exploiting Microsoft is the great example of like a ton of tools because they, they pretty much do anything you could think of. Really uh you think about process mapping, for example, they have visio for that. Um And that comes free. So, process improvement and process mapping when you take a step by step and visualize that. Um And so you say, OK, uh step one, get up in the morning, step two go to the bathroom, you know, something like that, that you can make a process map that just lays all that out. And a lot of nonprofits use that as a tool to uh figure out where in their processes they can improve. Um So like how an acknowledgement letter gets out, that’s a popular one, maybe event management or management is a big one too. Um So Microsoft has a tool to do that. It’s called viso. Yeah. And that comes free with your Microsoft 365 subscription. And you, there is a downloadable desktop one that is more, you have to pay a little bit for that, but you can do the same things that you can do on the desktop app in their free cloud version. And it comes with your subscription a lot of times and it’s underutilized. You can even use it to make org charts. For example, uh It’s a very easy tool to make org charts. Again, used for process mapping, used for uh any visualization that you want to make, you can probably do that in Visio. And again, it’s a free tool where do you find it in the search? There’s like an app that like at the top of the I forget they’re called the nine dots in the top the grid pattern. Yeah, the grid pattern button. Um where you would find outlook where you would find a word all of the, it’s in the same spot, you just scroll a little bit further and vis another way you can also find it too. If you go to office.com, it’s a Microsoft domain. And if you log into your Microsoft account, there’s usually a home page, but it also offers you a kind of a directory listing of all of the apps that are a part of your subscription as well. So another example, I’ll also point out that’s part of the Microsoft stack is Microsoft stream. So this is the system and the uh the app that they use to be able to do their teams recording. So if you’re using teams to be able to record sessions stream is the one that is basically like a video hosting or recording hosting platform. But one of the other things it offers as a feature is uh you to be able to record screen clips of yourself and screen recordings. So if you are a kind of virtual, a quick, thank you. Thank you so much to a donor for, for a gift or a volunteer for reaching their 100th hour. I can do it. I can just record myself and, and, and send it or if you’re on like the IT team and you need to show people like how to do something in particular, you can do a quick recording of that and then you can post that either on your sharepoint site in teams in whatever platform that you want because it’s essentially a link, but you’re just embedding it into wherever is that you want. Can I do screen share with that? If you’re, if I’m, if I want, if I need to show someone where something is, look at it, screen share is included and this can be in substitution of like a platform like loom for instance, which I know is very popular and very slick looking and I’ve used it before, nothing against it. But it’s another added thing that you have to use with stream. However, it’s already a part of your Microsoft subscription. Now, these are brilliant. I mean, it’s sitting in it. It’s like a gold sitting in the subscription. You’re already paying. Alright, Dana, it’s your turn but name some more. Wait a minute. Why don’t we stick with Microsoft for the time being and then we’ll move to Google, you know, after a few minutes. But what else we got in the Microsoft stock in the Microsoft? Oh, well, so kind of ripping off of that stream piece. Um A lot of people are starting to get into the A I note taking apps and those pop up. Yeah, Microsoft actually has their own and it can auto generate not only the transcript from your meeting, but it will auto generate. Not like a summary of the notes. Now, sometimes it is a little bit more expensive to get that with Copilot. But again, it’s built into your system, right? So you’re not having to get another subscription necessarily, you might have to pay a little bit more with your current subscription, but it will do all the things that you’re probably gonna have to pay for from a third party vendor anyway. And it’s like a toggle of a button, right? Co-pilot does that for you. It’s called Copilot. Copilot is where you access it from or co-pilot is the A I like the A I that Microsoft uses and that’s the subscription that you would get. It’s for Copilot. But that is a feature of co-pilot to do this note taking Copilot’s essentially the branding that Microsoft has given all of its A I products and features. And it’s weaving it into the fabric of every one of the apps within their stack. So you’ll have co-pilot for Word Excel powerpoint teams, all of these different kinds of things. Um in terms of Microsoft, another one that I’ll also point out too, which is one I’m gonna cover in my session tomorrow is Microsoft Lists. So this is another app that’s part of your subscription, that is essentially a database product. So you’re able to put together like really quick, easy, fairly straightforward databases. Uh Some of the use case examples I can think of for nonprofits are if you just need like a basic it asset inventory or something like that or a quick kind of digital asset manager or something along those lines, you can use this as a part of your subscription instead of paying for a tool like air table or coda or notion or any of those other like really popular database applications that are now available out there that are trying to sell themselves to nonprofits again, nothing against those products. But this is already a part of your Microsoft subscription. And you can do ostensibly a lot of the things that those platforms can do in a very kind of foundational way, but you don’t necessarily have to pay extra for it. You don’t. Is there any more Microsoft ecosystem is so large? So very treasure, all you have to do is just we’re providing you two are providing the map now, you know how to get to it. It’s waiting there, the tools are waiting there for you. Anything else? I think it’s just if you think of something and you’re thinking about a third party, just check, first check to see if Microsoft can do it because there’s probably a chance it’s there. Um It might not be as like clean looking as maybe the third parties are making it seem, but it’s gonna be better for your users. Most likely the user experience, it’s gonna be uh most likely a lesser cost and just a much shorter learning curve and to be fair, you know, some of these third party applications try and sell themselves with certain like differentiating features that are more like at a premium work level. And so there might be some benefits to going in that route. It all depends on specifically what your needs are as a nonprofit. But if you’re just kind of looking for a base solution for an asset inventory management system or you know, a quick screen recording or something like that and you’re not really all that interested in the extra bells and whistles, you just need something to get the job done. You probably already have something in your tech stack right now. You already have it. Alright, just gotta find it. Alright, so where I’ve been using Apple since like 1983. Ok. So uh I I use Microsoft because clients give me uh an HP laptop, but I, I’m a reluctant user of Microsoft. So this may be a totally basic question. But um where, where can you see like an inventory or a description of what you’ve already got in your 360? I mean, Patrick, you mentioned a place where you could go. You were when you were talking about stream where you could find stream, where can you see something comprehensive that describes what you’ve got and what, what it does. So I think one of the advantages to more and more technology moving to web-based is that it’s now uh operating system agnostic in a lot of ways. So this is true of Microsoft of Google and a number of others, a lot of the functionality that you’re looking for can be found just by going to the website of the particular vendor and you can find all of the different products that are listed in uh the license or the uh plan that you’re subscribing for be be it on the Microsoft or on the the Google side, you could also do it when you’re logged into your accounts. Usually through a web browser. Google is the same similar fashion to Microsoft. They usually have a uh a little grid icon in the corners um that when you tap on it, it lists all of the different apps that are a part of your subscription that you have access to. So Dana was talking about Microsoft, you have that grid app uh that shows everything there. You also have the same thing on Google. So when you click on it, you can see all the things like your Gmail, your Google calendar, your doc sheets and slides, uh your app sheet, which is uh kind of the database and app builder uh component that’s similar to Microsoft lists. So there’s a lot of parody there in terms of building tables and databases and those types of things. Um But you can see all of those that are available to you and if you just click on it, it opens it up in a new tab or whatever kind of format they take with it. Uh And then you can more or less just kind of like start creating like right off the bat. There’s no paywall that’s listed, that’s listed there. So just browsing exactly know what you have. That’s what I’m just trying to get at like, where’s the inventory? Ok. So that, that nine the grid, the grid is a good place for both. Alright, so then uh it sounds like we’ve exhausted the hidden the buried treasure in Microsoft. Let’s go to Google Patrick. You start to tease a couple. Go ahead. So similar to what I was mentioning before about the scheduling poll and outlook for Dana too. Yeah. Yeah, I’ll, I’ll just do one at a time and we’ll, we’ll piggy back and forth. Um So uh similar to the scheduling po and outlook uh, Google calendar now has these, uh, appointment slots or appointment schedule, uh, options that it recently introduced. And so these are, uh, very similar options where you can, uh, block out specific time slots on your calendar, uh, to be able to then go and, um, send that out to particular folks that you’re looking to have a meeting with. It says these are the slots that I’m available for and go ahead and book it and you can take out a lot of that back and forth, emailing uh to be able to do that kind of thing. It’s also very similar to, again, like a calendar or a doodle, uh which I know a lot of nonprofits use as well to just try and find mutual meeting times that work for everyone. Uh This is a way to be able to garner that interest within the same ecosystem and tool that you’re using. So, you know, today at this point before, you’re not necessarily having to toggle between different tools and do a lot of context switching, which is just frustrating and takes out time in people’s days to be able to get to the end result that you’re really looking for. It was just a meeting at the end of the day. You just wanna be able to have something on your calendar and then move on to the next thing. Nonprofits and nonprofit employees especially have way too much on their plates already. And the last thing they want to do is have to spend an exorbitant amount of time just to try and find a meeting time for folks. So, and what is this tool called? It’s within Google calendar. So if you go to your Google calendar and you click on the new button, it is one the options that now pops up. So instead of like just a new meeting, you now have an option to be able to uh book appointment slot. Yeah. Well, they don’t call it a poll, they call it an appointment slot or something like that, but it’s essentially the same functionality. But basically, yeah. Um so they aren’t new tools, but it’s improvements on the tools that are already part of Google. So, you know, you got the, the slides which is equivalent to Microsoft powerpoint. The comparison point is always going to be Microsoft. So Google Docs is equivalent to Microsoft Word. Uh Google Sheets is Excel powerpoint is slides in Google, all of the functionality um was being slowly built up. And I think that’s the big thing to think about um with your tech stack is you need both still because Google has come a long way in making their powerpoint or slides better, making their doc, you know, very close to what you can do in uh word doc. I was an early adopter of Google drive and Google, all of that Google Suite. And I was frustrated at first because I couldn’t get it to do all the things that you remember that specifically on sheets. Right. But now they have, they heard the feedback and they pushed to get it closer. Right. And so all of that functionality, I would double check it. If you haven’t checked it in a while, I would double check if you can do the things that you were missing before because there’s a great chance you can. Now, one other thing I’ll also add to that as well is Google has actually made a lot of recent investments on you being able to edit a word Doc, an Excel doc or a powerpoint file uh in the native file format within doc sheets or slides. So what that means is you don’t have to convert it to a doc a sheet or a slide first to edit it. You can do it within its native format and still have some of that powerful functionality that Google has within the web browser. Uh and it preserves it. So if you’re working with someone, like, especially if you’re like a Google user for instance, but you’re working with people that are adamant about using the Microsoft suite, you can do it in your own preferred Google method, but it’s not gonna necessarily affect what other people need to use it for in opening up in Word Excel and powerpoint because it’s gonna keep them file resolution, the file format. Does that work by default? It does no, it does by now because it will detect the file that you upload as either a native Doc Excel or powerpoint file. And it will actually give you a little indicator next to the file name. Uh of this is a Doc X file or an Excel X file or a powerpoint X file and it’ll just indicate it for, I’ve seen that designation but I didn’t know what. So it means that it’s editing in the native format format after I’ve uploaded an Excel spreadsheet. Ok. I saw that right after the file name and I just thought, oh, well, yeah, I did upload a an Excel sheet. So it’s just telling me that, but so I can bring it back down and, and not have to go through the conversion process. Download it back down. That’s a winner. Ok? Ok. Um Another one on the, oh, I’m sorry, sorry. No, it’s ok. Go ahead, Patrick. I gotta think of another one. Another one I was gonna mention too, uh which I alluded to a little bit before is uh app sheet. So uh Google recently had a kind of beta product that it was teasing um called Tables, which was kind of their answer to Microsoft Lists and Air Table and those types of things. They’ve now incorporated that kind of stand alone beta product into apps sheet. And so essentially what apps sheet is, it allows for you uh to build custom applications, especially for like mobile phones based off of data that you are uh storing within uh Google products, whether it be docs sheets, those types of things. Um and tables is one of those components now where you’re basically just creating much like you would in Microsoft lists a quick database, say for instance, like an inventory system uh where you put all of that information, you uh customize the columns and those types of things, store that information. And then you can build uh an application where let’s just take the example of an IT inventory. For instance, if you are on the it team of a nonprofit and you’re in your office and you just need to do maybe like a month’s end inventory of how many computers you have or something along those lines, you can have this mobile app that’s connected to a table that you, you can go and you can log OK. This is the serial number of the asset tech for this and you can do XYZ with this and these are the specs for that machine. Like the use cases are almost endless, but it’s based off of a free tool that’s already available to you with your Google subscription that you can build, that allows for that kind of functionality. I will preface it. I will say that in terms of apps sheet, Google recently offered um the app sheet uh in a certain kind of context where it’s part partly free uh as a part of your existing subscription up until like a certain tier, you could probably still do quite a lot in a really kind of fundamental like rudimentary way with what they’re already offering to you right out of the box. Now, we’re talking about app development. It sounds intimidating. Is that something? But is that something the average user could do? I would say again, rudimentary, I mean, it’s not gonna, it’s not gonna look like uh my Delta Fly app. But can an average user, I would say it has a little bit of a learning curve. I will say that but you don’t have to code at all. There’s no coding involved in this whatsoever. In fact, I wouldn’t even say it’s low code, which is more of a a nuance that I think us tech professionals understand a little bit more. But it’s basically just all these clicks that you’re making that Google walks you through in terms of a wizard. It also gives you templates that you can start. Like if you’re looking to build like this it asset inventory system, it can, it gives you an option of this template that allows you to basically start not from scratch, but instead with uh a sample app layout and different buttons you wanna click on and those types of things. And it’s asking you then what Google Sheet, for instance, do you want to link the app to as far as databases goes? And so if you spend all of your time on just building the Google Sheet and then go to App Sheet and then, uh, tell them that you wanna start like an ID inventory app and then connect it to the Google Sheet you were working on. You’ve already done probably 7580 percent of the work. And it was mostly in the sheet that you worked in. Not necessarily configuring an app for someone to be able to use. I mean, I’ve created kind of a dashboard that we can, that’s more user friendly than the sheet. So it’s worth looking at Dana. Did you think of one? Yeah. So um there’s a product called Google White Board. And so this is on the opposite end of, you know, Patrick’s going into apps. If you just want to draw something, you know, you, you’re a nonprofit professional, that’s a visual person just wants to draw something. Google Whiteboard is a great tool. The equivalent of Microsoft would be mural. Um The third party apps are gonna be Miro or Lucid charts. You know, there are products that are now inherent for Google and Microsoft that you can just draw and you know, brainstorm, you know, work it out. Um And you can do it, you can do it collaboratively. You can also use these white boards on Google Meet calls. So it’s like it’s not just a stand alone board that you share with somebody. You can also bring that board to a call and you know work on it together on the call, which I think is really cool. Yeah, that’s outstanding. Alright. Anything else Google? So buried treasure, I would say also Google and Microsoft both have uh data visualization tools. So Microsoft is very well known for its Power BI I platform. So you can use Power BI I to do lots of different types of data visualization. Basically a data visualization tool or platform is one where you take the data that you have ostensibly mostly in like Excel workbooks and that kind of thing. And it allows for you to more visually represent what that data is saying and telling you so your bar charts and graphs and those types of things and you can kind of suss out different insights from those different types of platforms. So Power Bi I is one that uh allows for you to do that kind of visualization to a certain extent you can do that um as a part of your existing subscription already based off of certain Excel workbooks that you have and those types of things. And then Google has a similar product. It used to be called Google Data Studio. I think it’s called Looker Studio now, but it’s still a Google product and allows you to do ostensibly the same thing. So you connect it to a Google sheet, that’s your data. And then it allows for you to do these different types of visualizations and dashboards that you can then share freely with internal colleagues publicly, whoever it is that you want, all these are fantastic. Anything else don’t hold back on nonprofit radio listeners, you all are sponsoring the show. I’m thinking like, really you can start using Microsoft for, you know, your CRM now and I don’t know how widely that’s really known in the nonprofit world. You know, there’s always these big names of Cr MS Microsoft has become a really big player. So look into that as well. If you’re looking to transfer from your Excel sheets to something more user friendly, maybe something that’s a little more robust and can do data um in a different way and give you statistics. Is there a tool, AC RM Microsoft tool? It’s called Microsoft. It’s like um fundraising and engagement is one of the ones that we recommend to nonprofits and it is an actual CRM. It’s an extra cost, of course. But you know, it’s, it’s not something that maybe is top of mind for listeners or, or for nonprofit professionals, right? It’s, they are newer to the space, relatively newer. They’ve still been around for a while, but they’ve really made an investment into nonprofits and what they need. So they’ve made modules that work for fundraisers, they’ve made it work so that you can do all your email, your mass emailing through this Microsoft CRM. So it’s just another, you know, it’s a big one actually, but maybe your listeners might not know as much about it. Would you say it’s as robust as sales force? Yes, it’s a competitor. It’s a very um good competitor actually. And, you know, cost comparison is really a lot of what our clients come down to is when they’re looking at the two and Microsoft has a good price point. And if again, if their users are already using Microsoft products, that learning curve again, it just, there’s a big benefit. Um So I don’t think anybody knows about you all, but I don’t think the vast majority of people know that Microsoft has AC RM product. Yeah. And, and we help implement that product. So we are seeing the, the really the big benefits for our clients getting to use that and finding out, oh, this exists. Oh I already know Microsoft, this looks exactly like I’ve like, I’ve been using for years, you know, um and when you get to a product like sales force, it’s just a little bit bigger, it’s way different. And so the learning curve again is just so high that some people they, they just don’t have the time or the investment that they can put into a product like Salesforce, Microsoft can do almost everything you keep coming back to the learning curve, which is, which is important. It’s just, it’s just the way it looks, you know, it just looks comfortable to me because I know Microsoft, you know, to me me personally, Tony Martignetti. Apple looks comforting to me. The fonts, the organization, I think more like Apple because I’ve been using it since 1984 than I do than I do. Microsoft Microsoft is still a little illusive to me for, for some things. But, uh, but yeah, it just to come, I mean, I’m just, I’m, I’m just emphasizing your point, the comfort level and even just to the appearance, it just, it just feels like a friend. It’s somebody I already know it’s something I already know, let’s not get carried away somebody. It’s something I already know. I recognize it. Ok? And I’ve, I’ve I’ve worked with it for years. Alright, so, alright Microsoft Crm. So tell me how again would you access? You have to, you have to this is something you would have to you’d have to purchase it. You would want to go through Microsoft to purchase it. Um but then it is just in your again that nine dot uh I have been in that you just click that nine dot And you go to the CRM section and you can see your full database. Ok. That’s they’re all brilliant but that’s that particularly because I don’t think most people are thinking about that at all because there are so many CRM providers um and they all look shiny and new and but you don’t have to, you don’t have to go that way. Consider like you said, consider Microsoft as A as AC RM vendor, I mean, Microsoft has a lot of help and assistance that is providing nonprofits and it’s very um focused on trying to discount its products as much as possible for nonprofits that could really benefit from them as well. Um and offer add-ons as well. Like one of the things that I’m also gonna be mentioning in my session tomorrow is, you know, if you are in the sales force or the Microsoft ecosystem and you need like a volunteer management solution. There are discrete ones that you could pay for that are third party apps, but sales force has a volunteers for Sales Force app that you can install for free. And then there’s also volunteer management and engagement on the Microsoft side that you can also install for free. It might require a little bit of configuration for you to be able to get the best uh the best um kind of usage out of it depending upon what your needs are. But there are free add-ons that you can install that are gonna work within your existing ecosystem and, and structure uh that you can start using right now. OK, Patrick, we uh we opened with you. So we’re gonna close with Dana. Give us uh just give us a little more motivation and, and comfort about what we may very well, we do already have and why it could very well be sufficient. Yeah, I think uh you gotta take the take the time to research. That’s like our main message. Maybe you do end up with a third party app but do the research to really understand what it is that you’re paying for. Because everybody knows a nonprofit, those dollars really matter, they’re going to the communities, they’re going to the places that are getting impacted the most. And so when you spend even a couple more dollars on a product that you don’t need, that’s money you’re taking away from whatever cause it is that you are trying to uh you know, bring light to, right? So if it just takes you 10 minutes more to just check if Microsoft does that check if Google does that, you know, that’s that much more impact that you can give to the community and it’s going to make your staff a lot happier. You know, we’re hearing about burnout a lot. If they don’t have to learn a new product. Like I’ve been saying, if they don’t have to learn something brand new, you’re gonna have happier staff, you’re gonna make more impact you. There are many benefits to this. So just take the 10 minutes. That’s Dana Larkin, principal project manager at Heller Consulting and with her is Patrick mcdermott strategy consultant at Heller Consulting. I thank you both again for the Heller sponsorship. We’re Heller consulting, technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits. Thanks Dana. Thank you, Patrick. Thank you and thank you for being with Tony Martignetti Nonprofit. Radio coverage of 24 NTC next week will depart from 24 NTC with experiential fundraising. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at Tony martignetti.com were sponsored by virtuous. Virtuous. Gives you the nonprofit CRM fundraising, volunteer and marketing tools. You need to create more responsive donor experiences and grow, giving, virtuous.org and buy donor box, outdated donation forms blocking your supporters, generosity, donor box fast, flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor. Box.org. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. I’m your associate producer, Kate Martinetti. This show, social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by Scott Stein. Thank you for that affirmation. Scotty be with us next week for nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for June 5, 2023: Artificial Intelligence For Nonprofits

 

Afua Bruce, Allison Fine, Beth Kanter & George WeinerArtificial Intelligence For Nonprofits

We take a break from our #23NTC coverage, as an esteemed, tech-savvy panel considers the opportunities, downsides, potential risks, and leadership responsibilities around the use of artificial intelligence by nonprofits. They’re Afua Bruce (ANB Advisory Group LLC); Allison Fine (every.org); Beth Kanter (BethKanter.org); and George Weiner (Whole Whale).

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[00:04:19.33] spk_0:
And welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio. Big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me, but you’d get slapped with a diagnosis of algorithm a phobia. If you said you feared listening to this week’s show Artificial Intelligence for nonprofits, we take a break from our 23 NTC coverage as an esteemed tech Savvy panel considers the opportunities downsides potential risks and leadership responsibilities around the use of artificial intelligence by nonprofits. There are fewer Bruce at A N B advisory group LLC Allison. Fine at every dot org, Beth Kanter, Beth Kanter dot org and George Weiner at Whole Whale on Tony’s take to a give butter webinar. We’re sponsored by donor box with intuitive fundraising software from donor box. Your donors give four times faster helping you help others. Donor box dot org. Here is artificial intelligence for nonprofits in November 2022. Chat GPT was released by the company open AI they’re more powerful, maybe Smarter GPT four was released just four months later in March. This year. The technology is moving fast and there are lots of other platforms like Microsoft’s as your AI I guess the sky’s the limit. There’s Google’s help me, right? And Dolly also by open AI creates images. So artificial intelligence can chat and converse answer questions. Do search, draw and illustrate and write. There are also apps that compose music, create video and coding computer languages. A team at UT Austin claims their AI can translate brain activity into words that is read minds and I’m probably leaving things out what’s in it for nonprofits. What are we risking? Where are we headed? These are the questions for our esteemed panel. Bruce is a leading public interest technologist who works at the intersection of technology policy and society. She’s principal of A N B alpha, November, Bravo Advisory group LLC, a consulting firm that supports organizations developing, implementing or funding responsible data and technology. She’s on Twitter at underscore Bruce Alison. Fine is a force in the realm of technology for social good as president of every dot org. She heads a movement of generosity and philanthropy that ignites a profound transformation in communities. You’ll find Allison Fine on linkedin. Beth Kanter is a recognized thought leader and trainer in digital transformation and well being in the nonprofit workplace. She was named one of the most influential women in technology by Fast Company and is a recipient of the N 10 lifetime achievement award. She’s at Beth Kanter dot org. George wegner is CEO of Whole Whale, a social impact digital agency. The company is at whole whale dot com and George’s on linkedin. Welcome all our esteemed panelists. Thanks, welcome to non profit radio. We’re gonna start just big picture. Uh I’d like to start with you just what are you thinking about artificial intelligence?

[00:05:30.10] spk_1:
That is a very big picture question. What am I thinking about artificial intelligence? I think um there are lots of things to consider, I think first is um all of the hype, right? We have heard article after article whether or not we wanted to, I’m sure about the promises and the potential of chat GPT specifically generative AI more broadly. Um Well, uh you think about some of the image based AI solutions, generative AI solutions that are out there that have been in the headlines recently, of course, as someone who’s started their career off as a software engineer where AI has been around for a while. And so sure, generative AI is a different type of application of AI, but it is building on something that has been both out in the world developed for a while. Pre chat GPT most organizations or several companies just embedded AI into the tools you already use, whether it’s gram early or something, I’m betting ai into their solutions. So what I’m thinking about now is how do we help organizations navigate through all of the hype and figure out what’s real, what’s not real, um recognize where they should lean in, recognize where they can take a pause before leaning in and then of course, underlying it all, how do we think about access, how do we think about equity and how do we think about how embracing AI will change or evolve jobs?

[00:05:59.52] spk_0:
And these just define generative ai for us? So everybody knows what, what we’re referring to and we’re all, we’re all on the same platform.

[00:06:08.78] spk_1:
Sure. So, generative AI is where it is essentially looking at a large model. Chat gps specifically uses a large language models. So lots of text and looks at that and then gives you what is statistically sort of the next uh most reasonable or probable word based on a prompt that you give it. So developing the recommendations as you go along,

[00:06:35.79] spk_0:
Allison, please. Yes, big picture.

[00:08:08.00] spk_2:
Well, a few adjust said it beautifully that this isn’t a brand new idea, although we are in the next chapter in terms of advanced digital technology. I think organizations tony need to get their arms around this right now. Ai before AI gets its arms around them and their organizations, Beth and I started to look at AI about five years ago with support from the Gates Foundation and the promise of it is that AI can eat up the road tasks that are sucking the lifeblood out of so many nonprofits, staffers, they are drowning in administrative um tasks and functions and requirements that AI can do very well in fundraising. It might be researching prospects, taking the first cut, communications with donors not sending it out, just taking the first cut, helping with workflow, helping with coordination. Um And the responsibility is for organizational leaders, not line people and not tech people, but organizational leaders to figure out where the sweet spot is what we call co body between what humans can do and need to do. Connect with people, solve problems, build relationships and what we want the tech to do mainly rote tasks right now. So understanding ai well enough tony to figure out where it can um solve what we call exquisite pain points and how to make that balance between humans and the technology is the foremost task for organizations right now.

[00:08:32.35] spk_0:
Death.

[00:10:18.39] spk_3:
Great. So Alison and Noah said it so well. So I’m just going to actually build on it but go into a specific area that where that is kind of the intersection between ai and workplace well being and kind of the question, you know, well, ai fix our work. Um can it transform like the work experience from being exhausting and overwhelming to one that brings more joy that allows us to get things done efficiently but also to free up space to dream into plan? Um And or is it going to be a dystopian future? I don’t think so. Um And by dystopian related to jobs I’m talking about kind of, you know, we’ll get rid of our jobs like who, who will lose out. And um just a week or two ago, the World Economic Forum released a report that predicts that nearly 25% of all jobs will change because of generative ai and it’ll have a, you know, a pronounced impact by displacing and automating many job functions um that involve writing, communicating and coordinating, which is, which are the things that chat GPT can do so much better than previous models. Um But it will also create the need for new jobs, right? I heard a new job description recent, a prompt engineer. So somebody who knows how to ask the types of questions of chat GPT to get the right and most accurate and high quality responses. And I think I’m building on what Alison said about co body. I think this is the future where AI and humans are complementary, they’re not in conflict and it really provides a leadership opportunity to redesign our jobs and to rethink and reengineer workflows so that we enable people to focus on the parts of the work that humans are particularly well suited for. Like relationship building, decision making, empathy, creativity, and problem solving. And again, letting the machines do what they do best but always having the humans be in charge. And again, that’s why Allison and I always talk about this as a leadership issue. Not a technical problem.

[00:10:50.46] spk_0:
Leadership, right? Okay, we’ll get the leader responsibilities. George, what are you thinking about ai

[00:11:30.47] spk_4:
hard to add such a complete start here. But I would say that just because this is a fad doesn’t mean that’s not also a foundational shift and the way we’re gonna need to do work and how leaders are gonna have to respond. I also just want to say like right now, if you’re listening to this podcast, because your boss forwarded it to you saying we gotta get on this. I understand the stress you’re under. It is really tough, I think right now to be in the operational layer of a nonprofit doing today’s work expecting to make tomorrow’s change. So stick with us. We appreciate you listening.

[00:12:03.93] spk_0:
Thank you, George. Like happening to the co host role, which uh which doesn’t exist so careful care. Watch your step. Let’s stay with you, George, you and I have chatted a lot about this on linkedin. Uh use cases. What, what uh what are you seeing your clients doing with ai or what are you, what are you advising that they explore as their um as they’re also managing the stresses that you just mentioned?

[00:13:00.00] spk_4:
Well, right now we’re actively custom building AI is based on the data, voice and purpose of organizations that we work with. One of the concerns that I have is that when you wander onto a blank slate tool, like open ai Anthropic Bard, you name it, you’re getting the generic average as of who pointed out the generic average of that large language model which means you’re going to come off being generic. And so we’re a little concerned about that and are trying to focus our weight on how you tune your prompt engineering toward the purpose of the organization. We’ve already mentioned, grant writing, reporting applications, emails, appeals, customization, social post, blog, post editing. It is all there if you’re using it the right way, I think.

[00:13:22.32] spk_0:
And that gets to the, the idea of the prompt engineer to that, that Beth mentioned what, what you’re so avoiding that generic average with sophisticated prompts. George.

[00:13:47.96] spk_4:
Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, we jokingly call it the great jacket problem where I showed up to a conference and I was wearing the same gray jacket as another presenter and I was like, we both walked into a store and we both thought that the beautiful gray jacket we put on was unique and that we would be seen as such for picking out such a great jacket. When in fact, when you go in to a generic store and get a generic thing, you get a generic output. And my concern is that without that leadership presence saying, hey, here’s how we should be using this with our brand tone voice and purpose that every single new hire out of college. We’re running into the social media game. Beth has already played this game, Allison, we’ve already played this game where we handed the intern the Twitter account because they used it in college. We’re gonna just replay that again and I’d rather just skip that chapter

[00:14:22.42] spk_0:
and that we’re going to get into this too. That, that generic average also has biases and misinformation. False. Well, they’re not false, false information. Um How about you? What are you seeing your clients? What are you advising usage wise?

[00:16:24.89] spk_1:
A couple of things. So, first, I think Allison touched on this as well is that you can sort of take a breath. You don’t have to embrace everything all the time for everything. I know it can seem right now that everyone’s talking about generative ai and how it’s going to change your world. Um But you can sort of take a breath because um as I think Allison and Beth both mentioned, right, the technology is only good if it’s working for our mission, if it’s working for organizations. So really taking the time um as a leadership team to really be clear on what you want to do, what differentiates your organization and make sure your staff is all aligned on. That is the first thing that um advise organizations to do. The second is to think about then the use of AI both to help your organization function and deliver it services out in the world. But then also to think about how it impacts your staff. So I think sometimes we can get caught up in, we’re going to use A I hear it’s going to like, you know, we’ll be able to fix all of our external messaging will be able to produce more reports, will be able to produce more um grant applications, all good, all valid. But remember also, your staff has to learn how to use it and staff has to learn how to make the prompts. Your staff also has work internally that they are doing that. Perhaps AI could be used to help speed up the their task and free up their time and their brain space to lean into what humans do best, which is some of the relationships and having empathy. So thinking also not just about how AI can help you maybe generate more culturally appropriated images for different campaigns around the world or how generative AI can help you fine tune some messaging or how generative AI can help you better sort of segment and deliver services to, to your communities that you serve. But also how you can use AI to do things like help with notes, help with creating agendas, help with transcripts and more what are some of the internal things to really support your staff that you can, you can apply AI towards

[00:16:48.76] spk_0:
Alison that’s leading right to some of those rote tasks that that you mentioned. Um So I’m gonna put it to you in, in, in terms of uh Kirsten Hill on linkedin asked, what’s the best way for a busy nonprofit leader to use AI to maximize their limited time?

[00:18:49.78] spk_2:
So people are looking for some magic solution here, tony and we hate to disappoint them, but AI is not magic fairy dust to be sprinkled all over the organization. Uh This is a profound shift in how work is done. It is not a new word processing, you know, software AI is going to be doing tasks that only people could do until just now. Right? Any other year going back, um people would have had to be uh screening resumes or writing those first drafts, um or, you know, coordinating internally. And now basically the box are capable of doing it, but just because they’re capable of doing it doesn’t mean that you should, you know, unleash the box on your organization. Our friend Nick Hamlin at globalgiving, a data scientist said AI is hot sauce, not catch up a little bit. Goes a long way. We Beth and I have been cautioning people to step very slowly and carefully into this space because you are affecting your people internally and your people externally, right? If a social service agency has always had somebody answering questions of, when are we open? And what am I eligible for? And when can I see somebody? And now a chatbot is doing that, tony, you have to be really careful that one, the chatbot is doing its job well and two that the people outside don’t feel so distant from that organization that it’s not the same place anymore. So our recommendation is, that’s

[00:18:52.67] spk_0:
a, that’s a potential. I mean, it could, I guess mishandled this could change the culture of an

[00:19:36.78] spk_2:
organization. Absolutely. If you are on the outside and you’re accustomed to talking to Sally, who at the front desk and all of a sudden the organization says to you, your first step has to be talking to this chat bot online. Instead the organization has solved perhaps a staff issue of having to answer all these questions all at the same time. But it’s made the interaction with those clients and constituents much worse. So we need to first identify what is the pain point we’re trying to solve with AI is ai the best solution for doing that and then to step carefully and and and keep asking both staff and constituents, how is this making you feel? Right? Do you still feel like you have agency here? Do you still feel like you are connected to people internally and externally and to grow it from there? There is no rush to introduce AI in everything that you do all at once. There is a rush to understand what the impact of automation is on your organization.

[00:21:00.42] spk_0:
It’s time for a break. Stop the drop with donor box. Over 50,000 nonprofits in 96 countries use their online donation platform. Naturally, it’s four times faster, easy payment processing. There are no set up fees, no monthly fees, there’s no contract. How many of your potential donors drop off before they finish making the donation on your website. Stop the drop, stop that drop donor box helping you help others donor box dot org. Now back to Artificial Intelligence for nonprofits with fewer Bruce Allison. Fine Beth Kanter and George wegner. Beth, I see you taking copious notes. I think, I think there’s a lot you want to add.

[00:23:39.85] spk_3:
Oh, there’s so many good points made and I was taking a lot of notes because like nowhere to jump in. Um So a couple of things, uh George said, uh we, we did the social media thing and we turned it over to the intern. Let’s not do that again, but I’m not sure that’s gonna happen because with social media adoption, if we think back, uh you know, the dawn of social media started in 2003, it really wasn’t until six or seven years later. And I remember it quite distinctly when the chronicle, Phil apathy and organizations were really embracing it. There was a lot of skepticism because social media adoption was more of a personal thing because it started as the individual, it wasn’t immediately brought into the workplace. Um And I think chat GPT will be a little bit different because the benefit there is, you know, the sort of the allure of efficiency saving time, right? And or it can help us raise more money. So I think we might see it develop more quickly in the workplace and if nonprofit leaders are, are part do smart adoption, then there will also be the training uh required and the retraining and the re skilling. And I think for me, the most important thing about this is that it is going to change the nature of our work and that if you just let that happen, you’re missing an opportunity because we have a chance to really kind of accelerate workplace line learning, both, you know, formal and informal to, to re skill staff that in a way to embrace this, that’s not going to cause more stress and burnout. The other thing I was thinking about the great jacket and I love that um Metaphor George, I love it. Um In that, you know, if nonprofits are turning to and buying the $20 a month subscription for Chat GPT, they’re getting the Great Jacket version and missing out on the opportunity to really train it. But the other hand, if they’re just going without an organizational strategy, are they being trained in, are they put entering confidential information into Chat GPT? Are they using their critical thinking skills? Because we know that uh chat GPT can hallucinate and pick up crap? Right? Are they really, you know, are they, are they doing that? Like, are they just saying, write me a thank you letter for this donor versus write me a thank you note in the tone of in a conversational tone um that recognizes this donor, you know, quality blah, blah, blah, right? And um and then go back and forth and refine a draft. So, so there’s a piece of like um uh I guess technical literacy that has to be learned and that’s like the technical problem. But then there’s also this whole workplace learning and workplace um uh you know, reengineering of, of jobs and bringing in new jobs and different parts of descriptions that also need to take place as well. So we’ve got to prepare the organization’s culture uh to adopt this in a way that is ethical and responsible.

[00:24:07.24] spk_0:
George you feel any better.

[00:25:12.72] spk_4:
I’m not sure how I felt to begin with, but the uh the, the piece to add on as a nuance, there is not just the generic output but the normalization and ability for people to identify A I created content is going to explode. What does that mean if I were to show you a stock photo right now? Versus when I took on my phone, it would take you 0.5 seconds to be like, yep, stock photo, stock photo, stock photo. And we have all seen the appeals that go out with generic Happy Family with Sunset and background. And I think what’s going to happen is the text that is generated by folks that are using gray jacket G P T s is that your audience is going to see it, identify it and shut it down mentally. It’s like driving past that billboard or that banner ad. It’s going to be a wash. It may seem unique to you. But I think, uh, I think that’s another thing that we’re going to see happen. I just want folks

[00:25:13.82] spk_0:
to know, okay, I just want folks to know that that Great Jacket is a real story. You, you and you and another guy did show up with the exact same jacket

[00:25:21.64] spk_3:
at some point and 10 conference, wasn’t it in New Orleans?

[00:25:24.91] spk_4:
It was, it was a fundraising uh fundraising conference. And actually the other guy’s name was George. So there was two Georges to great jackets. I felt very um silly.

[00:25:38.76] spk_0:
Yeah.

[00:26:29.31] spk_2:
So, um the ultimate R oi Beth and I feel and we wrote about in the smart non profit is what we call the dividend of time that is to use AI to do those rote tasks that I talked about a few minutes ago in order to free up people to do human things. And George the opportunity isn’t we hope to send out more messages or to be, you know, continue down the transactional fundraising path. The opportunity is to use your time to get to know people and to tell them stories and to listen to them. So with or without A I organization stuck in that transactional hamster wheel tony for raising money. And if they can’t get out of that AI is definitely not going to help them. The opportunity here is to move that entire model into the past and say we’re going to create a future where AI gives us the time and space to be deeply relational with people. That’s the opportunity.

[00:27:17.67] spk_0:
Well, I’m gonna come to you in a moment and talk about how we can prevent the, this generic average, this gray jacket uh from taking over our culture. But Alice and I just want to remind you that when I had you and Beth on the show to talk about your book, The Smart non profit, I pushed back on the dividend of time because it feels like the same promise that technology has given us through the decades. And I’m not feeling any more time available now than I did before I had my, my smartphone or um whatever, whatever other technology I’ve adopted that was supposed to have yielded me, yielded me great, great time. I don’t, I don’t, I don’t feel any, any greater time.

[00:28:42.12] spk_2:
I don’t believe that that was the promise before. And certainly what we found with the last generation of digital Tech tony is that it made us always on and everything became very loud and very immediate. No question about it. And this next chapter in AI is not guaranteed to give us time. What we’re saying is there’s an opportunity to work differently and to create this time if leaders know how to use it. Well, that’s the big if, if we’re just going to sit back and said late, let’s ai supersize our transactional fundraising and send, send everybody 700 messages a day because that’s worked so well said very sarcastically then no, it is not going to make us any free up any time. But what we are saying is this technology has the capacity to do all of that work that is sucking up 30 40% of our time a day and we could be freed up. But only if we use it smartly and strategically,

[00:28:51.05] spk_0:
how about, you know, how we can help prevent these generic averages with their biases and marginalization of already marginalized voices. You know how and, and just from the fear of taking over the institutions, culture, how, what are the methods to prevent that?

[00:33:20.42] spk_1:
Um Sorry, I think I would start with an analogy that I’ve used before. That technology is not a naturally occurring resource. There’s no like river of technology that we just walked down to and scoop up and now we have technology and it immediately nourishes us to some of what Alison was just mentioning. Um in order to actually use AI effectively, it takes intentional management, it takes intentional decisions about how to use it when to use it and why to use it. And so that definitely applies when we think about how do we differentiate, differentiate ourselves even as we use AI and also how do we make sure that we then are being intentionally inclusive? Um I don’t know of any technology that just by happenstance has been inclusive. Um And so it requires intentional decisions. So some ways that bias can appear in generative ai systems are with some of the, the coding that is done inherently with some of the data sets that are used. Even with large language models, they reflect right now every on the internet. Um I know a lot of great people on the internet, there’s a lot of things on the internet that do not align with my values, um or even my actual lived experience. Um And so how do we then think about sort of combating that? So I think one, we’ve already touched on prompt engineering to make sure that we are asking it the things that we want to get back if you ask chat GPT, for example, um to describe what, what are risks with chat with generative AI will give you one list. You refine that prompt to include specifically what a risk with chat with generative ai including or specifically affecting women or people of color. It will give you a more refined response. Chat GPT a month ago. If you asked it, the doctor and nurse were arguing because he was late, who was late. It would tell you the doctor was late. He asked the same question but said because she was late, it would tell you um it was the nurse that was late, that now has changed because the people who are programming to GPT have manually made those changes. So as we think about how we can use it, it is through some of the software that we’re building on top of it, some of the plug ins that you decided to take advantage of, to not take advantage of how you might be able to use it on your own sort of proprietary information with the right parameters in place to keep it on your, keep it with your own data in ways that make sense for your organization there. Um I think it’s an opportunity for funders to fund the creation of new data sets or fund the creation some more responsible plug ins or fund um you know, new open source developments as well. So I think that’s an exciting play there. Um And then I think also there is an opportunity to use chat GPT or sorry, generative AI in ways that really do enable more representation. Um Working with someone who is um an advocate for women’s rights in India. We’re talking through ways that she could more quickly generate posters and informational materials using generative AI for both images and text for different places on the subcontinent that she couldn’t physically get to. Um And that she didn’t have talent on the ground to get to. That is different though I’ll say from the announcement from LEVI a couple of months months ago that they were going to use chat cheaper generative AI to create a diversity of models rather than hiring people or buzzfeed recently saying um shareholders meeting that they would use AI to help create authentic black and Latino voices presumably um instead of talking to actual authentic black. So um they didn’t, she was a statement a day or two later saying no, no, no, that’s not what we meant, we meant something else. Um But, but my point is there are ways to think about how you can use generative ai as a nonprofit organization to better reach and connect. But also make sure that you are still doing it in a way as I think all of us have said so far, that really does center people that does center communities and isn’t trying to necessarily replace those relationships.

[00:34:11.43] spk_0:
Beth our our master trainer, I see a need for training for leaders for for for users. I mean, I’m not seeing any of this happening now, I’m not seeing how to use, you know, but is there, is there a training issue here for, for people at all levels? You’re sorry,

[00:35:55.78] spk_3:
sorry about that. I don’t want them back. Absolutely yes. But we, I make a distinction between training and learning. Alright. So training professional development, formal ways of learning particular skills and those might be more around the technology, literacy, literacy skills like, you know, prompt engineering, for example. But then there’s also the informal piece of learning which is informally uh discussions with different teams about how it’s changed their job, right? Or uh or, or reflecting on a job description or, or job workflow that needs to be changed and then sharing that with other departments. Um So, you know, so there’s kind of like workplace learning that is connected to with the workplace culture. Um and which in some ways has nothing to do with the technology. It’s kind of like as a result of the technology. Uh what do we now have the possibility to do because we have this freed up time or because we have not spent so much time staring at a blank screen and not doing anything because of blank screen syndrome. You know, chat DBT has like helped us get to that first draft quicker and maybe human editing has done the second and the third, third draft. Um uh and we’ve gotten a better result. Um And that has improved our end results with our fundraising goals or whatever we’re trying to accomplish. Um you know, what comes next. Um So those are the pieces of learning that, um you know, that haven’t been possible a lot of times in nonprofits because we’re so busy trying to get the stuff done on our to do list and, and or were being overwhelmed. So, um so what, what is possible now that we’re able to do our jobs better and we’re able to take on these different tasks. How can we improve our results? Um And outcomes,

[00:36:24.68] spk_0:
George, how are you teaching your, your clients who are hopefully translating that into learning about using non using generative ai are you, are you talking directly to leaders? Are you, are you training users on, on better like skills like better prompting? What’s what does teaching training look like for you?

[00:38:14.82] spk_4:
I mean, we’ve done our best to put out as much free content as possible, first and foremost, to try to, you know, raise the tide of understanding for nonprofits and we’re putting all of that out as fast as I can think to create it internally. We’re having weekly training sessions on use cases for us and we’re actively building and improving on client custom created GPT uh endpoints that pull their data in and their purpose in. I want to go back though to Beth talking about what actually, you know, education and this looks like and we could train you on how to swim over this podcast. We could talk about all the things you need to do. Like I’m watching my daughter learn to swim. There’s no storybook, there’s no encyclopedia, there’s no webinar that you could watch that would teach you how to swim. There is a fundamental component of this. If you jumping in the water and interacting with the tool learning, coming back, realizing where it frankly lies to you. As I am really happy, we have all pointed out where it hallucinates where it’s helpful and where the opportunities are. And by the way that’s gonna change next month and so it’s not a single point in time and, you know, this, you, you’ve been an engineer for, you know, a while and seen it’s like the, you know, the code you played with, you know, a month ago, it’s just different tomorrow and what’s possible is different tomorrow. Um On the other side of the coin, I’m a little concerned, you know, we have gone through and maybe you’re getting anxiety when you hear yet another tool. Yet another tool. There’s over 1600 tools listed on just one site, future tools dot IO. And there’s going to be even more tomorrow. There are 95% of these things that are just going to be gone within a year. So I’m also cognizant of the rabbit holing that can happen in this.

[00:41:48.75] spk_0:
It’s time for Tony’s take two. I’m doing a Give Butter webinar later this month, debunk the top five myths of Planned Giving. I am especially excited about this one because the Give Butter host Floyd Jones and I are gonna be together co located face to face person to person in person real time. So, uh the energy that he brings and I try to keep things light moving. I think we’re gonna have quite a bit of infotainment on, on this one with Give Butter debunked the top five Myths of Planned Giving and it’s Wednesday, June 14th at two p.m. Eastern time. But you don’t, you don’t need to be there you can get the recording. If you can’t make it live. Watch archive. I used to say that on the show, listen, live or archive now it’s just listen, archive no more live but this is listen, live or archive bonafide. Uh If you want to make a reservation, you go to give butter dot com, then resources and resources and events. Very simple. So make the reservation. If you can join us live, that would be fun because I love to shout folks out and I’ll answer your questions. If you can’t sign up and watch the video, it’s all at give butter dot com resources and then events that is Tony’s take two, we’ve got the boo koo but loads more time for artificial intelligence for nonprofits, I’d like to turn to some of the some of the downsides even more explicitly. So we’re all talking about efficiency and uh the the time time saved the dividend of time. But um at what cost, what potential cost, short term, long term, um We’ve already talked about, you know, they’re being a bias towards dominant voices that are existing, dominant voices remaining dominant. Um For you had a great example of someone in in in India, right? Trying to, trying to represent folks that she can’t get to see. So there, I mean, there’s a potential upside but you know, all this at, at what uh at what potential cost and then there’s, we haven’t even mentioned, we mentioned false information, but in the video realm, deepfakes, video and audio, deepfakes, photograph, deepfakes. Who wants to, who wants. I’m being an egalitarian there who wants to uh launch us into the, the risks and downsides part of the conversation.

[00:41:54.45] spk_1:
I’m happy to start, I’ll say for the record, I am generally an optimist. However, um there, there

[00:42:02.41] spk_0:
are some things uh we’ve taken judicial notice.

[00:44:17.34] spk_1:
Thank you. Thank you for the record. It has been noted, I appreciate that. Um So again, just reiterating what we’ve already said, intentionality really matters here without intentionality. Um Things can go really wrong because General Ai has the ability to hallucinate. Um And because General Ai is reacting to what data already exists, recognize that sometimes the things that decisions that we can make based on that could be really wrong. So um if you can think through and imagine how Ai might be used to help with hiring processes, um even with a more standard version of AI, for example, Amazon a few years ago, put some work into developing a system that would identify people who were best poised to be managers and succeed in senior management at Amazon. The results of the AI show that white men from particular schools were best boys. Is this actually true based on skills? No, but it was based on the data that they had, which was trained on their internal data, which showed being a company and Northwest, it just reflected what their practices had been in some of the things they changed. Amazon end up not rolling that out because they had a human in the loop there that sort of looked at what was coming out and showed that in reviewed and determined this is not actually in line with our values is not in line with what we’re trying to do. Um So I think uh pushes to completely remove a human from that decision making loop are ways that generative ai can go really wrong very quickly in organizations think we’ve already started to talk about some of the bias that can appear in results. Um give the example already with gender that is true for um along a number of other demographics as well. And so not correcting for that or recognizing even that even with these large language models, even with something that’s trained on the internet, um not everyone is represented there. And so making a lot of decisions based on what’s there may not give you and may not give you the most inclusive and equitable response that you want. I think those are two ways that this can go wrong.

[00:44:33.58] spk_0:
Allison anything you wanna, you wanna add to this? Sure.

[00:45:47.94] spk_2:
Um So the AI revolution is far bigger than Chad GPT in generative AI AI is going to be built into every software product that an organization buys in. Finance in hr in, you know, customer service in development. Those products were created by programmers who are generally white men and then trained on historic data sets, which as you just mentioned, are deeply biased as well. So you have a double whammy that by the time the product gets to an organization, it has gender and racial bias baked right into it. This again is why it’s a leadership problem, tony, we need organizations to know what to ask about these products, to ask how it was built, what assumptions were made in building and how it was tested for bias, how you can test for bias before that hr software program you just grabbed through into your mix is screening out all of the black and brown people applying for these positions. So these are real everyday concerns about integrating AI into work and why we need to be careful and strategic and thoughtful about how we’re integrating it into organizations.

[00:47:32.67] spk_3:
Yeah, Beth, I really want to pick up on a point that a film made about um the concern about not having human oversight at all times. And one of my favorite examples of this comes from Kentucky Fried Chicken in Germany. And um they were using a generative ai tool that was um that could develop different promotions that they could put out there. And the data set that it was using was a the calendar of holidays in Germany and of course, then some promotional language like 5% off cheesy chicken, right? Um And they got into trouble because there, there was a lot of social media messaging that was just put out their generated by the generative ai and the message was um happened on November 9th, which is the anniversary of Kristallnacht, which is considered the beginning of the Holocaust. And the, and the promotion was, you know, enjoy $5 off a cheesy chicken to celebrate the night of broken glass. And, you know, and so I think that the issue is, is that we begin to put so much trust into these tools that we think of them as human or the equivalent of human intelligence. And that, you know, we just take it for face value and we don’t have that human intervention with those critical thinking skills. And um and that’s where harm could be done um to the end users. Um So I, I just really think it’s comes back to that co batting example that we’ve talked about and again, the, you know, the need for leaders to really be reflective and strategic in how they executed. It’s not just about learning how the right prompts to ask GPT chat to get a particular output.

[00:48:10.15] spk_0:
There was another example of that uh at, I think it was at a college. Uh they put out a press release and at the bottom of the email, it said, you know, generated by chat GPT or something. I mean, so a human, you’ve all talked about humans being involved with the technology you know, a human hadn’t even scanned it to, uh, to know to take that, that credit line off the, off the email. So, you know, like blind usage.

[00:48:58.01] spk_3:
That’s an interesting thing to, to think about. Like, um, do I disclose, like, if I, if I was writing a post an article and I went to GPT chat to, like, because I needed to get it from 1000 words to 750 words. And I could ask it, you know, too long. Didn’t read standby for some text, please reduce from 1000 words to 750 words um which I actually have used, but I don’t take a cut and paste and I actually sat and compared what it, how did, how did it change the language? And one thing I did notice is it took out any sentences that had a lot of personality to them and it transformed it into this very generic kind of text, you know. So again, it requires a human editorial oversight. If you will,

[00:49:20.80] spk_0:
George, you want to talk about risks downsides.

[00:50:17.62] spk_4:
Yeah, I would say this is more of a bigger picture risk that I see as the net result of we’re talking about GPT tools being built into everything we use. One is that, you know, if, if you were using it blindly, you were the product you’re handing over information. Uh There was a actual open ai hack. Well, a hack or data leak where all of the conversations that were being uh stored on the side were accidentally shared and open. And so I think that’s something to be aware of bigger picture. I am watching very closely. The impacts of chat, first search chat, first search bard and being barred is Google’s AI that is now rolled out out of their private into a public beta is going to destroy organic traffic for information based searches to nonprofits. Inside of what I believe is the next two years. The second order effects of that are so many that we would need several podcasts to understand, but I’m no longer telling clients that we should expect more organic traffic next year. Versus this year.

[00:50:57.37] spk_0:
You experienced this with your own with the whole whale site. You, you had, you had, you did a search and it gave and the search tool gave you back some of your whole whale content. It did credit it. But then your concern was that that credit was purely optional, but right, you, you experience this with your own, with your own intellectual property.

[00:52:14.75] spk_4:
I’m watching it across a lot of, you know, we get roughly 80,000 month in terms of monthly users looking for information that we put out there. I test what that looks like when I do similar searches on bing as well as perplexity dot AI and now barred. The thing that scared me the most is that bar just sort of decided not to even bother with the footnotes in its current iteration and just gave the answer to one of uh several articles that dr significant traffic to our site. There are two types of traffic that S C O is providing. It is informational and then transactional. And so for the informational, I would encourage your organization to do some of these sample searches and begin to plan accordingly. And it makes me a little sad that that part of nonprofits ability to be a part of the conversation when somebody’s asking for, I don’t know information about prep and HIV information or something about L G B T Q rights history doesn’t get you engaged with the organization. It just gives you the answer and there’s something missing there that I think is going to have negative downstream impacts for social impact organizations. And

[00:52:22.87] spk_0:
you expect to see declines in there

[00:52:38.37] spk_4:
will be a decline, significant declines. And that’s concerning to me because it’s cutting non profits out of the conversation that they have traditionally been a part of when people are looking for information. And especially in a time where we’re going to have a rapid increase in disinformation because these tools can be used to create that at scale.

[00:54:19.95] spk_0:
We already have enormous disinformation. It’s hard to imagine it growing exponentially or logo rhythmically. Um I’m interested in what you all think about my concerns. Uh Executive summary that it will make us dumber my my, my reasoning behind that is that a lot of what we’re suggesting, not just us here today, but a lot of what is being suggested is that, you know, it’s, it’s a tool, generative ai is a good tool for a first draft. Uh Beth, you mentioned the Blank Screen syndrome, but to me writing that first draft is the most creative act that we do in writing or in composing, it could be music. And my concern is that if we, if we’re ceding that most creative activity away, and then we’re reducing ourselves to editor or copy editor, not to, not to minimize the folks who make their living editing and copy editing, but it’s not as creative a task for a human as sitting in front of that blank screen or that empty pad for those of us maybe start, maybe start with pen and paper and, and then we’re seeding the most creative activity away and reducing our role to editor, which is an easier job than starting from whole cloth. And so I fear that that will make us uh dumber, reduce our creativity. And I’m saying, you know, generally dumber, you’re all being so polite. You could have just jumped

[00:56:12.96] spk_3:
in. I was well, I, I didn’t want to just interrupt you. Challenge you, but I do want to challenge you. I agree with you, but I also disagree with you. Um So one piece of this one thing that I worry about and it might be um science fiction, but I, um, and I haven’t yet seen research on this, but I do know there’s this thing called Google Brain. You may be familiar with it. Um You’re trying to remember something and you can’t remember it because you haven’t exercised your retrieval muscles from your brain. So you go to Google and you start Googling to, to remember something and it’s a thing called Google Brain. And there was a study that showed that people who were using Google Maps or the other or Apple maps um to navigate. Um it is making their geospatial skills less robust. Um And so the recommendation is you don’t want to completely lose your ability to navigate that you should like get a map, get to go back to a paper map. So there’s definitely some and there is research around this that there’s definitely when you’re doing something in an analog way, if you’re writing it down, it encloses your brain in a different way than if you’re typing it. So the thing that I worry about with this is less about it being creative, taking our creativity away because I think if if you’re trained as a prompted engineer, you could be trained to like brainstorm with it right in a way that sparks your creativity versus takes it away. But what I’m worried about is how does this affect, how will this affect the human brain? Um You know, down the road another decade or so that if we’re not using our brain skills of encoding information and retrieving information and it’s like a muscle, you know, is that going to make us more at risk for dementia or Alzheimer’s down the road? Um, I know it sounds crazy but that’s like the thing I worry about.

[00:56:47.28] spk_0:
I don’t think it’s crazy. That, that’s what I’m concerned about. I’m, I’m concerned on a world level that we all collectively will, will just not be as creative and I’m calling that will be dumber. I

[00:57:49.77] spk_1:
don’t think the amount of creativity and innovation is sort of finite and that if we use tools that we’re no longer going to be creative, I think we have computers now to help us draw, to help us um write, we can write on a computer versus before we had to use different paper, we had to only draw with a limited set of tools when we got, um you know, computer aided graphics and more, we just had more different ways to see the world, more different ways to uh to figure out what images we wanted to see and how we wanted to engage. Also someone who likes to write a lot. I’d say I’m really grateful for my editors and the fat that their brains were different than mine do when I start writing. And so um those skills are complementary. But I say that because I think that we will have to change sort of will evolve, how we think, what we think about and how we work. But I think that is a different type of creativity, different types of innovation rather than us just no longer being creative. Yeah,

[00:57:55.80] spk_0:
I didn’t mean eliminate our creativity but reduce it. It’s

[00:58:10.94] spk_2:
important tony to stay out of these binary arguments of AI is so bad or AI is so good, it is going to be a mix as technology always has been. I was just reading a book the other day that talked about the introduction of moving pictures and how how appalled people were that, you know, they could see these images over and over again, right? And was going to take away all of people’s creativity.

[00:58:23.12] spk_0:
The same thing when when silent movies became talking,

[00:58:36.56] spk_2:
you know, we do this every time we are changing our brains. I’m not saying that we aren’t, however, there is going to be an explosion of creativity of jobs we haven’t thought of yet of opportunities, we haven’t thought of that comes out of this next chapter that we are just beginning now. And I think it’s important to go into this with as much information as we can cautiously again, but with a sense of X with a sense of excitement and adventure as part of this because something really, really interesting is about to unfold.

[01:00:49.90] spk_3:
And I just want to also affirm what Allison just said this kind of new creativity and it was making me think of. Um I think it was about a year ago that dolly came out, which is the image generator um that works by looking at patterns and pixels of images that are on the internet. Um And, and create something new based on your response. And I know um and I heard an artist talking about this, like, you know, there’s this whole debate about, you know, should, is it our tools like dolly that are analyzing pixel patterns and images created by real artists? Are they stealing their work without their consent or without their compensation or is it or is this like creative thinking tool? So I, you know, I was messing around and I have a black and white Labrador party, you know, a Labradoodle party, black and white guy. And so I, I asked, you know, create a image of a black and white party. Labradoodle surfing a wave and the style of Hokusai. And it generated for um images in the style of Hokusai. Some of them were silly. Some of them were, oh, this is really interesting and it prompted me, oh, what would it do if I asked it to do this in the style of Van Gogh or the style of money? And then I started getting all these other ideas about things that I wanted to do. And before I knew it, I had 1000 different images of a black and white party. Labradoodle doing all kinds of things that I wouldn’t even have thought of if I hadn’t seen, like, the response that it gave me from the first one. Um, but so is that different than if I were to, if I just did a brainstorm with myself about what I could draw, if I could draw anything, or is this aided creativity much in the way that an artist would go out, you know, and look at landscapes for inspiration.

[01:01:22.10] spk_2:
Yeah. Now one place, one place in a lot of trouble, tony is the fact that our policy makers are so far behind on AI, right, we’re gonna have enormous copyright issues. We have enormous ethical issues coming up of when AI should be used in policing. The department of Defense is experimenting right now with completely automated lethal drone weapons. Is that really who we want to be that we have robots killing people without any human oversight on the ground at all or, or in, you know, some, some headquarters at all, there are really profound policy issues that we should be talking about right now and we are way behind on those

[01:01:51.16] spk_0:
George you wanna comment on the role of government or, or push back on my

[01:02:45.37] spk_4:
uh the role of government is beyond my pay grade. If I’m honest, um you know, I’ll stick to my scope. I will say though tony in 2004, podcasting became a thing, new technology before that there were gatekeepers there and I think you’ve done very well as like as far as I know the longest running podcast for nonprofits, like it opens up new opportunities. There are over two million images created on Dolly per day and that was back in October. So I’m willing to bet it is increase the output, you know, at, um and on a personal level, like it has increased my output and I have, you know, had a lot of fun building and working with it. And as it, you know, unblocked me for, for the new creation of content undeniably though the way we use tools then shapes the way we change. And I do agree, there is a depth of knowledge potentially lost in being able to simply say, write me an article about this thing and then I tweak it as opposed to that part of learning an approach. And I think academia is um really reeling from how to teach this next generation. And I’m, I’m curiously watching how they train the next generation of people coming into the workforce on

[01:03:24.54] spk_0:
you all gave, well, let me say you all gave your all optimistic about your, your, your, your all probably more optimistic. I’m, I’m, I don’t know if I’m skeptical, I’m just concerned, I’m just concerned about the dumbing down of the culture and the culture, meaning the world

[01:03:31.72] spk_2:
culture, you

[01:03:33.67] spk_1:
know,

[01:03:36.64] spk_2:
have you seen our culture? How much dumber?

[01:03:39.30] spk_0:
Yeah, we’re starting at a pretty low level. That’s, that’s how bad I think it could get. Yeah. Yeah,

[01:05:17.38] spk_1:
I just wanted to uh um just emphasizes, I don’t think we spend enough time on one of Alison’s last points about the, um the copyright issues, the ownership issues, even as the data economy has exploded since the age of big data was declared. Um We have created systems that really extract from certain people, some certain populations, historically marginalized populations rather than enable and empower these same populations who stated we then rely on or I should say corporations in general sometimes oftentimes nonprofits as well. Um And that is just um increased at scale with generative ai with AI more broadly, right? And that um you know, especially with generative ai and things that scrape the whole internet of things that people put out there no longer as George uh mentioned no longer at attributing sources, no longer pointing to source material, no longer giving credit to people. Uh Same with artists and music and others. I think that is a huge issue. And I think one um from an ethical perspective, ethical perspective, especially for a nonprofit whose mission is to empower marginalized communities. And that’s a particular nonprofits mission. It’s a big question to consider of how and when should you use generative ai systems that do not um attribute information. Um And don’t sort of close that loop back to the people who powered the systems?

[01:05:25.25] spk_0:
All right.

[01:05:26.81] spk_1:
I don’t know, that’s a positive note, but it’s a note that was,

[01:07:14.66] spk_0:
that was more mixed and positive but great valuable points, you know, great promise um with potential catches and leadership, the importance of leadership and, and proper usage and all. All right, thanks to everybody for Bruce, you’ll find her on Twitter at underscore Bruce. She’s principle of A and B advisory group, Allison, fine president of every dot org where there are fires to put out. You find Alison on linkedin, Beth Cantor at Beth Kanter dot org and George Weiner, Ceo of whole Whale whole Whale dot com and Georges on linkedin. Thanks everybody. Thanks very, very much. Next week. What power really sounds like using your voice to lead and using your executive skills if you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by Donor Box with intuitive fundraising software from donor box. Your donors give four times faster helping you help others donor box dot org. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. The shows social media is by Susan Chavez Marc Silverman is our web guy and this music is by Scott Stein. Thank you for that affirmation. Scotty B with me next week for nonprofit radio, big nonprofit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for April 17, 2023: #23NTC & Building An Inclusive Board Culture

 

Amy Sample Ward#23NTC!

Amy Sample Ward, NTEN CEO

Amy Sample Ward kicks off our coverage of the 2023 Nonprofit Technology Conference, hosted by NTEN. They cover the Conference details, and delve into weighing the benefits and risks of the fast-moving technology, artificial intelligence. They are the CEO of NTEN and our technology and social media contributor.

 

 

Renee Rubin RossBuilding An Inclusive Board Culture

Let us explore the signs and symptoms of your board’s current culture, and strategies to be more inclusive and equitable, if that’s something your nonprofit needs to pursue. Let us also dive into how to manage toxic people on your board. Renee Rubin Ross is founder and CEO of The Ross Collective.

 

 

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[00:00:11.08] spk_0:
Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti

[00:00:13.08] spk_1:
non profit radio.

[00:02:02.99] spk_0:
Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. We’re beginning our 23 N TC coverage this week. And, oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d have to undergo counter immuno electrophoresis if you opposed me because you missed this week’s show. 23 N T C Amy Sample Ward kicks off our coverage of the 2023 nonprofit technology conference hosted by N 10. They cover the conference details and delve into weighing the benefits and risks of the fast moving technology, artificial intelligence. They are the C E O of N 10 and our technology and social media contributor also building an inclusive board culture. Let us explore the signs and symptoms of your board’s current culture and strategies to be more inclusive and equitable. If that’s something you’re non profit needs to pursue. Let us also dive into how to manage toxic people on your board. Renee Reuben Ross is founder and CEO of the Ross Collective on Tony’s take 2 23 N T C. Thanks. We’re sponsored by Donor box with intuitive fundraising software from donor box, your donors give four times faster helping you help others. Donor box dot org. And I’m sorry, my voice is a little horse because I did spend so much time capturing interviews at 23 N T C. Here is 23 T C with Amy Sample Ward.

[00:03:08.83] spk_1:
Welcome back to tony-martignetti, non profit radio coverage of 23 N T C. You know that it’s the nonprofit technology conference hosted by N 10. This is not our first interview today, but I’m sure that this is going to be the kickoff of nonprofit radio’s coverage of 23 N T C where we and you’ll find out why very shortly where we are sponsored by Heller consulting to technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits. The reason that we’re going to do this interview first of the many 20 to be exact interviews from 23 NTC is because with me now is Amy Sample Ward. You know who they are, the CEO of N 10 and our technology and social media contributor, which makes them the grand imperial wizard and Grand Poobah of the 2023 nonprofit technology conference. Amy Sample Ward. It’s a real pleasure to see you in person. It

[00:03:25.91] spk_2:
is wild to get to see you in person after all this time. I know I, I am touching you and I think I need to update my, my business card. The uh I have a whole string of titles now, I guess

[00:03:28.75] spk_1:
well, to the extent you’re willing to put on your business card.

[00:03:33.04] spk_2:
This was all a

[00:03:43.27] spk_1:
joke. But nobody uses business cards anymore. So I’m not offended. Although there’s this little stack of cards, I’m trying to get rid of. Still some people take them. Yeah, there are some, maybe,

[00:03:45.35] spk_2:
maybe they’re really helpful. Maybe

[00:03:47.33] spk_1:
they’re all boomers. I don’t know. But somebody, somebody’s, there are people who would rather not just scan a code, would rather take a physical card. So I have

[00:03:57.10] spk_2:
actually don’t even have business cards. You don’t, I don’t have business cards no longer if I wanted to

[00:04:06.11] spk_1:
no longer. Okay. That’s fine. Well, then don’t add it to your business card. Um We’re at 23 NTC. Congratulations.

[00:04:11.57] spk_2:
Congratulations happening. We are looking around at a big old hall. There are booths, there are people, there are snacks.

[00:04:21.96] spk_1:
How many people, how many people are here with us in Denver? We

[00:04:30.14] spk_2:
have 1600 people here in Denver. 400. That’s a lot of people online. Four

[00:04:33.31] spk_1:
104 100 virtual 1600 in person. Yes, we’re feeding 1600 people toilet ng for 1600 people. Yes, we have, we

[00:04:43.17] spk_2:
have lounges, we have many parks. We have everything.

[00:04:47.19] spk_1:
Yes, there’s, there’s a quiet room, there’s birds of a feather rooms. There’s yoga. There’s,

[00:05:18.21] spk_2:
did you see the, the everybody yoga out downstairs earlier? It was beautiful. It was like 50 people and it was yoga. You don’t need to have ever done. Yoga before you don’t need experience for everybody. You know, there were folks who were in chairs versus sitting on the floor, you know, and everybody was just doing it all together out in that big foyer downstairs. Yeah. Yeah, it was, it was beautiful

[00:05:23.26] spk_1:
wall of windows.

[00:05:42.24] spk_2:
Yeah. I mean, we can be at a technology conference but I think, you know, we’ve talked about this lots of times whether it’s the NTC or, or just how we think about technology in general. It’s actually not about the technology, right? It’s about people and people being able to meet the needs they have and honoring that those needs are different for different people. You know, like there have to be a lot of different lounges because you maybe want a different lounge that I want, right? Like somebody wants to not be talking. Tony-martignetti wants to be talking, you know, like to

[00:06:08.22] spk_1:
talk. Yes, indeed. Right. So you, yeah, you take care of the whole person, you the NTC collective, the collective. Yes, the collective. Absolutely. Um Today’s keynote. Yeah, I don’t know which of the three I was interviewing

[00:06:13.50] spk_2:
this morning was no ball.

[00:06:15.34] spk_1:
Okay. What was, what was their message?

[00:07:16.99] spk_2:
She had so many different things to talk about. And one thing that I want to call out and that encourage people to maybe think about themselves and go follow, go find she’s written books. She has lots of ways that you can follow her content. But this morning, we talked a lot about technology as a social economic and political practice. It is it is happening, you know, it’s not static, it isn’t just there. These are, these are ways that certain economic issues, classes dynamics are, are, are actively being managed. These tech through technology power, social dynamics are being managed, right? Like those things have been baked in from the beginning. So when we think of and we’ve certainly talked about this before, like bias that gets built into a tool. It isn’t just I like orange and you like blue or something, right? It’s biased that some people will forever be able to better use that tool. It’s bias that some people maybe never access that tool. That um the, the idea that we are in surveillance systems all of the time and we are kind of being told these are utilities, we must all use these tools right there. Their convenience, they’re making our lives better

[00:07:45.95] spk_1:
safety and security are often uh just justifications. Yes.

[00:08:51.14] spk_2:
Yes. And even if, even if it does feel this is this is the point that made this morning, maybe it does feel kind of casually better that the ads you’re getting are things maybe that you actually would consider buying versus something that’s totally unrelated to you that is not worth you. Your data being sold, used, misused and deciding who you are, right? Some of some of our data being sold um and being used by other, other. Well, anyone that isn’t us is deciding, can you get alone? Right? Can you do? Are we even gonna, like, actually believe that you can graduate from college? Are we gonna let you in? Are we gonna hire you for this job? Right. Um, so it isn’t just this like, I think we kind of, um, anim eyes it or make it, make it so generic that it loses a little bit of its harsh reality when we think, oh, the data is out there but whatever, it’s like my purchase history and I like that they recommended a good product, right.

[00:09:05.44] spk_1:
Right.

[00:09:56.03] spk_2:
But, but that same data set is determining if you know, like Sophia said in the UK, banks are looking at social media to decide if they’re going to give you a loan. Does it look like all the people that you’re connected to our, like historically separated from any access to wealth? Well, we’re not going to give you a loan. Well, then that means we’re not using, we’re not predicting anything we are deciding with that technology, right? This isn’t predictive analytics, this is restrictive analytics, right? We’re using this to gate keep and to continue to oppress people. Um And I think a really big part of that conversation too was we everybody here at the NTC and folks that are listening to non profit radio are folks who are both the users impacted by that and organizations in a position to maybe not realize they’re playing a part in that, you know, like, maybe you’re sending all of your users into those tools because it was easier. Or you thought they were already on Facebook or even if it’s not social media, you’re using a certain product and you didn’t realize that

[00:10:23.67] spk_1:
because you didn’t do your due diligence around exactly their privacy rules. Jeez. You gave me chills. I’m getting my synesthesia kicked in and I’m sure it’s not the air conditioning, that’s it. We need to show about this remarkable

[00:10:34.23] spk_2:
this,

[00:10:34.53] spk_1:
right? We could be contributing ourselves, right? Uh innocuous, unknowingly

[00:12:18.15] spk_2:
unknowingly, right? Um And she works um and as a faculty and leading a department at U C L A and brought up an example from the academic world of years ago when there was the tool that was being sold marketed to professors and universities that you could upload all of your students papers into it. And then it would tell you if they had plagiarized from the internet, you know, oh, that’s something else that already exists. And she and her colleagues immediately said, oh, this is not good. This is actually not good. And a lot of other folks like, what do you mean this means like we’re catching the students who were trying to plagiarize. Of course, we all know that means that small successful company got bought by a bigger company who knew what they could do with a big old data set. Right. So what just think if you wrote a paper in college when you’re still trying to, like, figure out your ideas and you’re still learning, like, the paper is meant to be a learning practice. It’s, it’s not meant to be published for the world. And now 15 years later you’re applying for a job and that shows up, you know, as part of your data record. Right. And maybe it has ideas that you fundamentally don’t believe now or even ever, but didn’t really know what you were saying and now you can’t get a job because people see this and say, oh, you wrote this paper. So as organizations, when we think we’re saving time or we think that we’re doing something by, by letting the robots do it so that we ourselves are not subjectively making decisions, right? We might actually be making even harder subjective decisions down the line for those people, right? We might be setting them up into systems where their data and their issues are.

[00:14:14.62] spk_1:
This is so enormously timely with, with all the talk about artificial intelligence, chat, chat GPT. The other ones I can’t name off the top of my head and, and our use our use of them. Look, there was a guest on maybe an hour and a half ago. He said we’re not going to know it was Maureen will be off. I think we’re not, we can’t stop this. It’s like trying to stop the the, the innovation around automobiles, you know, or the phone or trying to stop airlines, airplane, airplane flight, it’s not possible but are smart use of it and, you know, are constrained use of it. So I shared with this another thing you and I, you and Gene and I need to talk about this, the three of us together, informed, informed and, and thoughtful and, you know, I’m concerned about the, the more the likely less the due diligence, but just the thought that goes into it. My concern is that I shared this with Maureen and um the advice, a lot of the advice that I see is use artificial intelligence as a first draft. And then so you’re not, you’re no longer facing the blank page, put a pin, I’ll come back to that in a second and then you put your own tone to it, your own language. That’s exactly my concern. You’re reducing yourself from creative thinker working from a blank blank screen to, to relegate it to copy editor. And I don’t mean to insult any copy editors

[00:14:21.63] spk_2:
very valuable

[00:14:22.73] spk_1:
but not nearly as creative process as looking at a blank screen working from

[00:15:28.53] spk_2:
nothing. I think the really big piece of that is we have seen plenty of evidence. We do not need more evidence to know that what these artificial intelligence tools are providing to us is misinformation. The tool is not only giving us quote unquote facts, right? So it isn’t even that you need to add a copy editing layer. If you were to do that, you would need to go back and actually say, is any of this real like Sophia Sophia said this morning, they had received um you know, that other people in academia are making this point of, you know, oh, this is leveling the playing field, right? Because now folks who maybe aren’t naturally confident or comfortable writing and they communicate better in other ways. Now they could use artificial intelligence to help them get a jump start on the paper and then they edited and you know, whatever, but they have reviewed papers written in this way. All of the footnotes are not real articles, they’re not real books, right? Because artificial intelligence made up a book to reference. So

[00:15:38.17] spk_1:
the footnotes are not

[00:16:02.10] spk_2:
real, right? Because artificial intelligence was told to make a footnote. So it notated words in the format that it learned online is what a footnote looks like, right? So the idea that it is there, I like I like you’re saying, you know, the idea that gets us started and then we go in and like we judge it up. No, I mean, unless you’re using it for the outline structure of, I want an intro paragraph and then I want, you know, but what, what then is left that is viable. We are not helping people get a jump start. We are actively creating more in misinformation in in content.

[00:17:14.98] spk_0:
It’s time for a break. Stop the drop with donor box there. The online donation platform. How many possible donors drop off before they finish making the donation on your website? You can stop that drop and break that cycle with donor boxes. Ultimate donation form you added to your website in minutes. There’s no coding required when you stop the drop, the possible donors become donors. It’s four times faster. Checkout easier payment processing, no setup fees, no monthly fees, no contract required. You’ll be joining over 40,000 us non profits that use donor box, donor box helping you help others at donor box dot org. Now back to 23 N T C.

[00:17:24.69] spk_1:
There’s another layer on top of that because you mentioned the footnote specifically uh linkedin Post someone I I follow a lot on linkedin. He follows me. Um I think I can George Weiner at the whole whale whole whale. Um

[00:17:33.94] spk_2:
Who’s maybe here

[00:17:35.73] spk_1:
is George here, George,

[00:17:37.74] spk_2:
I don’t want to be part of this information, but I think that George might be

[00:18:11.92] spk_1:
here. His concern was he did a search of something that whole whale is very well known for. I guess it was, I think it was S C O basic seo basically. And um he did a search in artificial intelligence. He was using an AI tool for search and it came up with a top result that was taken from Whole Whales resource page or something. And it credited Hole, it did credit Whole Whale. His concern was that the next step would be, it would take from Whole Whales resource page and not credit Whole Whale, right? There was no requirement for it. So in this case, it was a legitimate footnote, but his concern is that it’s gonna be stealing his intellectual property and not crediting him in whole

[00:19:24.95] spk_2:
Whale. Because if you think about what artificial intelligence is doing is like at scale able to read all of the internet, right? We’re not able to read all the internet. It’s reading, not technically all of it, but like, you know, so much more of it than we could read without the kind of human context that we’re able to put on something. I know that on the nonprofit radio website, there are pieces of content where you’ve said, Amy said, quote blah, de blah, de blah, right? I work at N 10. My name is Amy Sample Ward. The idea that artificial intelligence would know to read the next sentence to know that I said the thing when that thing is all that mattered because it was relevant to what it was trying to create. And even if it did create a footnote, it would likely be non profit radio, right? But the radio show doesn’t talk, right? It wouldn’t be crediting you. So it’s already set up to fail.

[00:19:35.14] spk_1:
But even the greater likelihood is that it’s not going to credit anyone. It’s just going to take the it’s going to take the intellectual property,

[00:20:08.19] spk_2:
right? Of course. And so, you know, I think we’re over estimating what it could do and putting human expectations onto artificial intelligence that it can’t and shouldn’t, it doesn’t need to be human, right? But we are we are blurring the lines of what is best for humans to do and what is best for a data crunching tool to do, right? We did talk about things I

[00:20:26.90] spk_1:
feel like I’m drowning, drowning in the ocean that I live across the street from. Look. Um Alright, so we know we need to talk about this again, but I mean, I guess you know what we’re talking about is thoughtful use, but I’m not, I’m not convinced that humans are thoughtful enough to to to to thoughtfully use this wave. That’s the tsunami that that’s gathering such speed that even Elon Musk said, signed something that said, let’s take a six month pause, which

[00:20:45.04] spk_2:
which, which is ridiculous. Well,

[00:20:48.70] spk_1:
but, but the idea that there be a pause and artificial pause in in technological growth is absurd.

[00:20:56.52] spk_2:
So this thing, what we know of is not actually accurate to what has currently been developed that just hasn’t been released.

[00:21:02.62] spk_1:
I don’t know it’s happening nefariously and, and the Washington Post will uncover it in, in six months or something when it’s already too late.

[00:21:13.26] spk_2:
And I think

[00:21:14.47] spk_1:
the point is it’s not stopping and no, we need to be thoughtful, but I’m not, I don’t have a lot of confidence that were thoughtful enough beings to not take advantage of this

[00:23:18.18] spk_2:
about necessarily that were not thoughtful and we need to be more thoughtful. I think what, what I see at least, and here in the community is that folks feel like there wasn’t a choice. This was the only tool that was available and we’re sitting in the middle of a giant exhibit hall, right? With like 100 and 20 people. And there are people in here that do the same things as each other. You know, there’s no other nonprofit radio in here. But, but there are people, you know who do the same thing and the the illusion that we don’t have a choice as individual nonprofit organizations or as individual users of technology is a myth that is being over and over and over told to us so that we don’t go looking right? That we don’t unsubscribe that we don’t opt out that we don’t say no, you cannot have my data, right? Because that’s the say it’s the same story of you need this, this is useful to you. This is improving your life is also and don’t look behind the curtain. There’s nowhere else to go. There’s no one else, you know, because that’s, that’s the power that is the that is that political, social, economic practice that’s happening by technology to keep us as we are, right? And so breaking out of that is not okay. Everybody here has to go make their own tools. That’s not what I’m saying either. Even just knowing that there are options, pushes you into thoughtfulness because now you’re saying, oh, well, how would I decide between these? Let me ask some questions, right? And when we think there’s no choice, we don’t bother asking the questions. We don’t know what they’re gonna do when we sign up for their product. Right? So even just thinking, well, let me like, shop around already sets us up to be so much more mindful of what we’re doing with technology, the decision, the investments we’re making, you know, what products were putting our communities data into, you know,

[00:23:22.21] spk_1:
your consciousness, right?

[00:23:40.59] spk_2:
So I don’t think it’s hard to like turn that to go over that hump. And it’s not like we’re asking everyone to become enlightened on a topic that they’ve never heard about were saying just ask questions. I know that there is more than one option, right? Um And that already gets you moving the power back on to your side, right? They are answering to you now versus you feeling like, well, I just signed up and now now we’re using this tool, you know, you have

[00:24:08.84] spk_1:
options, you have options. NTC is one place to find out what those options are. 10 is thoughtful use of technology and 10 the courses and you can do them for certification for God’s sake. If you need certification diploma, they have them. Uh 24. Yes,

[00:25:07.14] spk_2:
Portland, Oregon. We really thought when we had the NTC in Portland in 2019. Um and we thought, oh, everybody loved it. We just got so much great feedback from the community that the city was fun and accessible, that restaurants were good, you know. Um People had a great time and we’re like, okay, well, we can come back to Portland. Let’s really put this a long time from now and now it will be, you know, we just had Denver and then we’re back in Portland because we had three years of not being on offline. So, yes, back in Portland, everyone on the team is super excited just to be back in a place we’ve been before and it makes all the decisions easier. Um We already have ideas for making it better. So, and, you know, we’re in Denver here, but we’re also online and there are sessions that are only in Denver, their sessions that are only online and then there are sessions that are simultaneously in both places. And let me tell you, we are learning a lot.

[00:25:20.41] spk_1:
There’s a lot of that takes a lot of technology support, especially the, the ones that are here and virtual.

[00:25:31.86] spk_2:
Yes, I would say in person stuff, you know, fine under control, you know, regular snap,

[00:25:36.15] spk_1:
totally

[00:25:54.20] spk_2:
online stuff also totally fine, you know, every once in a while somebody logs in the wrong zoom or, you know, whatever, but that’s fine. It’s the hybrid sessions where we have really asked a lot of technology and technology seems to still be deciding how it feels about us. What does it

[00:25:59.14] spk_1:
look like in those rooms? Can camera, can we see the the audience members who are virtual screen with all of them?

[00:26:35.76] spk_2:
Both places can see, you know, back between and we have and 10 staff person or one of our trained volunteers is a host on both sides so that there’s somebody who’s not the speakers or the attendees themselves trying to say somebody has a question or the questions over here or you know, like those two hosts can talk 1 to 1 and like own their side, right? So we have those two house, we have the actual like zoom and then we have all of the technology that needs to be in the Denver room to make sure that the microphones are sinking in real time to the stream to the video, to everything else.

[00:26:55.46] spk_1:
Yeah.

[00:27:59.56] spk_2:
And honestly, so far, knock on wood, I think we had a snafu this morning where, you know, and it’s like the perfect worst thing to happen. You know, the bad thing that happened was volunteers wanted to make sure that their sessions were great and tried to log in early to set them up early. And so they booted the session that was already happening. So it wasn’t like nobody came or nothing ever happened. You know, the caption ear’s have all been there and it’s the normal caption team we work with who are just so great and consistent. All the volunteers have been early, if not on time, you know. So the pro and then we realized, oh, the problem is that, that volunteer logged in? Oh, that’s why we all got booted. Oh, they were able to figure it out. Send a message to everyone and say if your shift starts at 9 15, we mean 9 15, we do not mean 9 13. Yes. So it wasn’t easy to fix challenge,

[00:28:02.27] spk_1:
conscientious volunteers. Not

[00:28:20.38] spk_2:
so we’re learning a lot about like what prep do the folks on both sides really need to pull that off. Like maybe maybe, you know, Ash and Jeremy and Drew have a session with you in the summer and talk about doing hybrid virtual events and how to make them really successful. You know, people are still doing. I mean so many folks fundraising gala have kept the hybrid piece where they’re like, oh, we could have 100 people at home donating that we didn’t buy food for. Yes, please, you know. Um so I think I think we’re really gonna see hybrid stay around. People are gonna want to keep doing that. Um and you know us, we’re happy to share all of our mistakes so that you can learn from them. Yes.

[00:29:30.55] spk_1:
Alright. Alright. So 24. So I would expect 24 NTC is also going to be a hybrid. It sounds you wouldn’t abandon that. All the learnings. Yeah, all the, all the problems next year, it’ll be 800 virtual. Alright, thank you. All right, we’re looking forward to 20 well, we’re loving 23 NTC here in Denver. Looking forward to next year. You and Gene and I, I think we just picked, identified probably three different subjects that the three of us could spend an hour talking about. I’m glad, you know, I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s concerned, even George wegner kinda, you know, he was more leaning towards, well, the risks aren’t, you know, I don’t, I don’t think that, that, that had great. Yeah, but I, I need George to be more and more thoughtful before he comes down on one side or the other.

[00:29:42.55] spk_2:
And I think that from, from any position

[00:29:44.61] spk_1:
Georges, let me just not put it on George wegner. I need the Georges Georges to be more

[00:30:56.77] spk_2:
thoughtful. I think it’s important to also remember that when we’re thinking of what are those risks, we’re filtering that through. What do I think those risks are? And, and I, or you and who you as the listener, whoever the one asking that question cannot be the one assessing risk for everyone. You have not experienced the same harm that everyone has experienced from tech in Ology. You maybe don’t have the same view of what you need that technology to do so, the idea that any one of us could say, oh, the risks aren’t that bad or these are the definitive list of risks. We just can’t, you know, it’s too dynamic of a constantly changing situation to say that the risks, the risk list stops or that it is or is not too much to care about, right? Because for some folks, there are people who are not online because of these risks, right? They are choosing to not even have access to some of the utilities that we all can benefit from working remotely, having access to education remotely because these risks are too harmful, right? So I just want to caution any of us from saying this is it or this is the view, right? The view is changing every day when all the people in this room release a new version of their product, right? Or by each other and decide to do different things and it’s

[00:31:12.82] spk_1:
also very personal. Yes, it has to be personal, organizational

[00:31:37.77] spk_2:
and that’s the that’s the place from which I want everybody here to take their duty, right? Is that it is personal and you have a duty as an organization to honor that personal level of choice and risk for every community member that you are expecting to give you their data, right? That you’re expecting to trust you. And that that’s kind of an entry point to to that mindfulness around technology is like it’s not yours. It is theirs. And are you allowing them to have choice? Are you allowing folks to decide how much data to give you a knot or what you can do with their data? Like it just opens up a whole five more shows of what we talk about, right?

[00:32:02.44] spk_1:
Alright, good. This is not, this is not there, this is not their last appearance.

[00:32:06.97] spk_2:
Let’s talk about Jean about the legal piece of that too, right? Because there’s a social conscience of what you do with your community members, data and there’s actual legal.

[00:32:46.00] spk_1:
We will, we will. All right, Amy Sample Ward, the C E O of N 10 grand high exalted mystic ruler of 23 NTC. Um I was surprised to see them walking on the street today. I thought I’d see them in a chauffeured limousine. You bring 1600 people in the city of Denver. I thought you get the penthouse suite concierge Bellman. Okay. Thank you very much. So. Good to see you. Thank you and thank you for being with our 23 NTC coverage where we are sponsored by Heller consulting, sharing the booth with us doing technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits. Thank you.

[00:33:04.34] spk_0:
It’s time for Tony’s take two first. I need to thank Heller consulting. So thank you Heller consulting for your sponsorship of tony-martignetti non profit radio at the 2023 nonprofit technology conference.

[00:33:21.78] spk_1:
Very

[00:34:52.37] spk_0:
grateful that we shared a large booth together that I was able to make lots of interviews to Heller after each interview, bringing folks over to meet the Heller team that was Kaya and Paige and Jet. And I also met the CEO Keith Heller. Uh Thank you. Thank you. Hello, consulting for partnering with me, sponsoring nonprofit radio at the 23 N T C. Thanks so much. Thanks to the listeners who came by, but a bunch of folks come over say, oh, you’re the, you that radio got, you know, the nonprofit radio guy, one guy said in the bathroom. But in any case, I got a chance to meet lots of listeners. So that’s very gratifying. Thank you to those folks came over. I’m not gonna name who came over in the men’s room. We’ll just leave that uh to lay right there. But thanks listeners who, who joined us at 23 N T C and thank U N 10 N 10 supporting nonprofit radio. I’m grateful for our partnership. Thank you to the team at N 10. Congratulations to the staff for a successful fun valuable conference. My thanks, my congratulations out to end 10. That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got boo koo, but loads more time here is building an inclusive board culture.

[00:35:28.60] spk_1:
Welcome to tony-martignetti, non profit radio coverage of 23 N T C. The 2023 nonprofit technology conference were at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado where we are sponsored by Heller consulting technology strategy. And implementation for nonprofits with me now is Renee Reuben Ross. She is founder and CEO of the Ross Collective. Renee Reuben Ross. Welcome to nonprofit radio.

[00:35:35.60] spk_3:
Thanks so much. Great to be here.

[00:35:39.78] spk_1:
Absolute pleasure to have you. Your topic is building an inclusive culture on nonprofit boards. Right. Right. I think I have some sense, but I’m gonna let you articulate because you’ll do it better. Why we need this session?

[00:36:51.10] spk_3:
Oh, wow. Well, so many things. But, um, I think that I do a lot of different things. I do strategic planning and board development facilitation. And I also teach board development at Cal State University, East Bay. And so I’ve had so many, I identify as a white person and consultant. I’ve had so many people come up to me who are on board saying, wow, we are really struggling to build a positive culture and what do we need to do? How can we make things different? And I mean, I would say people of all different racial backgrounds, people who are, you know, people who might just be joining the board, who don’t know what’s going on. And so in, in, in having these conversations, I’ve developed a way of thinking about all right, what are some practices that support boards to do better work? Because I think that many of us, you probably know someone who’s joy. You know, it seems like everybody else knows what’s going on here and I’m trying to catch up, but I just don’t feel like I’m part of this and that might be around information. It might be around the culture in terms of racial equity, it might be around relationships. So, really thinking about what are some great practices that boards can keep in mind gender equity as well

[00:37:18.08] spk_1:
as a board. And there are two women and one’s a woman of color and, and we, you know, we feel minimized. Yes, I’ve heard things like, you know, we feel patronized, minimized. All the power is in the middle aged white guys.

[00:37:45.07] spk_3:
I start with the assumption that we all that we each have something to contribute. And going back to this idea of equity that the people who are closest to the problem should be weighing in on the solutions so that we really need to do consciously design boards and organizations in a way where all voices are heard and affirmed. And that that’s a good thing. That’s not, that’s not anybody losing anything that’s actually all of us getting to do better work that supports everybody. Yeah,

[00:38:01.01] spk_1:
the zero sum game where, well, if, if she has a voice than I’m losing that much of mine. But it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s

[00:38:12.05] spk_3:
ludicrous. Right. Right.

[00:38:12.78] spk_1:
Power is, power is infinite. Power, infinite. So you’ve got some signs and symptoms, indicators of, of what your current culture

[00:39:55.78] spk_3:
is. Right. Well, I am going to have a story that I’m going to share stories. So I was on a board and I had a colleague who came and joined that board. And at the beginning, she was pretty quiet. But then over time, what happened, which I had not expected was she started to come to the board meetings and there was always something bothering her and she was really angry and she, she became sadly this, this angry person in our meetings. And I didn’t expect this. She was someone that I knew she had some good things to contribute. But I started to think about what can I do? And I know that many of my students, many of the clients that I work with have the same issue which we’re going to talk about tomorrow in my session, which is what do you do about somebody who, who has, what do you do about somebody who has become a toxic board member? And so I suggested this kind of, this is really what happens. This is not like, oh, we’ve never met this person before. Usually people who come on board, somebody knows them ahead of time. But what ended up happening was I did my, I did my checklist, which is our, the board procedures. Good. Yes. Are we generally building positive relationships? Yes. Are we honoring equity and listening to all voices? Yes. And then it was like, what I ended up doing was counseling Micah colleague off the board. And I just said to her, you know what I’ve noticed is, it doesn’t seem like it makes you happy to be on this

[00:40:03.54] spk_1:
board. She probably realized it herself.

[00:40:21.46] spk_3:
She realized it herself. I’m somebody who’s not afraid to have the tough conversations. I wasn’t, I wasn’t angry with her. I was stating the truth in a courageous way and it got her to reflect on her participation and to leave the board. What

[00:40:23.47] spk_1:
do you think? Was, was there anything having to do with the, with the organization? Was it was, it was, it was some

[00:40:47.30] spk_3:
other things that were going on. And so many of us have a lot of things that are happening in our homes and with our families that maybe we are bringing to board meetings, right? So it’s really a matter of how can board members act courageous and proactively so that the board so that everybody feels, everybody feels like, wow, when I come to this meeting, things are going in a positive direction because what I’ve heard about boards these days is people really need to feel like their time is worthwhile and if they don’t, they want to do something else, especially now in this post pandemic time, my time is really valuable.

[00:41:13.58] spk_1:
Take off your three little three questions that you ask.

[00:41:16.68] spk_3:
Right. So, so I, so I have this framework that I share with my students, with my clients and my blog. It’s all about, are you utilizing formal practices? So that the first one is formal practices, goals agendas, agreements, term limits. We could just have a

[00:41:34.43] spk_1:
whole bylaws,

[00:41:39.98] spk_3:
bylaws, right? And, and I have, I have encountered or that will say, oh, no, we don’t have term limits. We have people on our board have been here for 20 years. You need to tighten that up. That is not responsible.

[00:41:51.17] spk_1:
You’re saying, I notice you’re saying not just have procedures. Are you following the bylaws may have two consecutive three year terms as the max and you’ve got this 20 year board member. So great,

[00:43:25.55] spk_3:
you got to enforce this and have a way of being in conversation. So first of all, for good, good meeting agendas that are aligned with the goals of the organization. Second of all informal procedures and this is really the relationship building peace. And I think that in these days, if anything, people want more than ever to feel that they feel connected to other board members, they feel a sense of belonging on the board that there’s compassion understanding that, you know, that it isn’t just get the work done, but they’re really that there’s some sort of positive team feeling. And I will say that I share this on a podcast on a webinar and someone said, well, how much does it cost to build? It doesn’t we’re talking a Starbucks coffee. Yes, presence, right? So, so first, so formal practices, informal practice and informal practices given attention, given, given attention really accounting for the fact that people process information differently, learn differently. That’s another informal practice that can really support good, good culture and good

[00:43:33.49] spk_1:
meetings on this, on this one before we move to the third, can other social events for the board which don’t have to be expensive. The person who’s concerned about spending too much money, you can, you can bring everybody into witness, witness some of the work you’re doing if you have that type of work.

[00:45:15.15] spk_3:
But you know what you just is, there was a board that I was invited to join and they said we want to have, we want to have, we’re having all of our meetings at seven a.m. And I was like, I know that I’m a working parent that’s seven a.m. is a horrible time for me. And, and so it is also a matter of being aware of how are, how, how can these practices of, of the board be as inclusive as possible. Um So, so then, and then going on to equity and the reason that so, and I define equity as being committed to shifting systems and sharing power as we talked about before. And the reason that I mentioned equity is that sometimes and I do some work as part of a cross race team where I’m leading along with my colleague, Crystal Cherry. We lead conversations for, for mostly historically white boards around racial equity. Sometimes there is the one person who one person who may be black or who may have something really, really important to say. And that person, even if it’s one person, that person needs to be hurt. Uh And so there’s some, some stepping back that needs to happen on behalf of, you know, by white people sometimes and some real perspective taking to focus more on equity

[00:45:16.30] spk_1:
sharing, power sharing. Uh

[00:45:32.37] spk_3:
And, and this is, we’re all on a learning journey, but it’s like start the journey, the train is going and, and again, if you, when we leave these conversations, we talk a lot about how does this align with the mission of the organization? So we had an arts organization that had their location in a primarily white neighborhood. Um Alright, how do you, what are you going to do in terms of outreach? Given that 45% of your city are people of color. You are not serving the mission to serve the whole community

[00:45:53.92] spk_1:
perceived in the community as a white elitist organization. So you’re not, you’re not attracting new supporters of any type volunteers, donors, board members, whatever is really

[00:46:04.04] spk_3:
about how does this work of um shifting systems of listening to more perspectives, deepen and strengthen the work of the organization?

[00:46:16.29] spk_1:
Anything else on the on the culture? Before we talk about dealing with your toxic person personages?

[00:46:26.56] spk_3:
I think that what I would say is I when I do this work, I encourage, I’m sure you do the same kind of thing. The first step is really assessment. How are you doing right now? And so as people are listening, I would say, put your podcast on pause for a second.

[00:46:52.19] spk_1:
Okay, come back. So, so,

[00:47:17.83] spk_3:
so, and, and these are questions for, for not just for one person, for the whole board. Um I will say that, that we had, we did one conversation with a potential client and it was this man, white man. And we said to him, well, are you building belonging on your board? And, and he said, of course, I am so and we said, well, how do you know? He’s like, well, I’ve asked my three best friends and they all feel a sense of belonging, you know, it’s like, okay, you got to go beyond beyond who you hear from. And maybe that means you survey your whole board or do you have a consultant come in and do interviews, whatever the way that you’re, you’re gathering data, you need to be more comprehensive in, in your learning and perspective taking.

[00:47:44.26] spk_1:
Can we go to toxic, toxic folks had to deal with? I mean, you had a good sample of a good story about your friend, your friend did the board experience.

[00:48:50.06] spk_3:
She’s still my friend because I spoke in a caring way. I wasn’t angry with her. I can see I do that. This is how I approach any kind of service or work, you know, and the same thing that I um that I would suggest for clients, positive or negative. In her case, there was she was having more of a negative experience. So it wasn’t the right fit for her. Other times, sometimes the situation comes up where somebody is on the board, they had a really strong relationship with the previous executive director with the previous staff. And then those people have left, the organization is going in a new direction and this person’s really frustrated. That is a pretty common scenario, right? And so what do you do? It’s up to the new leadership to say yes, we affirm the direction that we’re taking. We’re, we’re sorry that you, that you are not with us, but we are going forward. That’s okay. Again, it’s sometimes leaders, some of the leaders that I meet need just more courage to take this kind of action.

[00:49:10.61] spk_1:
Yeah, other other advice about approaching someone who’s, who’s toxic on a board.

[00:49:17.22] spk_3:
I think that’s just

[00:49:27.99] spk_1:
straightforward factual, you know, conversation. What about, what about in the moment in the, in the, in the heat of a meeting? Someone is dominating the conversation or, or just belittling someone else’s idea? That’s a good, that’s a better example, belittling someone else’s ideas were in the board meeting right now. Thank you for

[00:49:56.99] spk_3:
that. So, some of the practices that I do. So, one of the things that I do when I lead a meeting, I always use meeting agreements and meeting agreements are how it takes a minute or two. How do we want to be together? I have a list of meeting agreements around listening to one another. Curiosity respect

[00:50:03.32] spk_1:
before you joined the board meeting, at

[00:50:06.02] spk_3:
the beginning of each meeting for a minute. And then, and then it’s a matter of depending on how the meeting that helps frame

[00:50:14.81] spk_1:
things. How do we,

[00:50:55.00] spk_3:
is there anything you need to add? Um But I do think that this is where this is where some of this goes back to the framework that I’m a before. Because if, if there is, you want to start with a good agenda and you want, and it is possible to say, all right, well, we’ve been talking about this for 30 minutes. We said we would talk about it for 15. We’re going to cut it off here because we have other things that we need to accomplish and we’re gonna need to talk about this in committee. But so two different things. So one is if somebody is sort of going off, you can use some of those kinds of moves. But then the next part of it is is if someone is belittling somebody, I think that goes back to how do we want to be together and

[00:51:03.86] spk_1:
remind them of what we all agree half an hour

[00:51:06.90] spk_3:
ago and, and have maybe it’s the board president, maybe it’s executive director again, going back to that person. It should be the

[00:51:13.84] spk_1:
board chair in the, in the heat. Of the men in the heat of the meeting. It should be the board chair. It’s their job to run the job to run the meeting.

[00:51:24.00] spk_3:
But it may be that, that person, you want to talk to that person offline, find out what’s

[00:51:27.98] spk_1:
going on. But I’m putting you right in the, in the battle right now. We got to defuse the situation right now because someone is feeling someone has been hurt and, and minimized and someone else’s trotting over them. I think I would like, what do we all agree at the beginning of the meeting? This is not appropriate

[00:51:53.00] spk_3:
and I would go and what I would do would be to go back to them. Like I went back to my colleague and just said, you seem really angry in these meetings were all trying. We’re all working to get more meals to seniors what’s going on. You know, this is really a little bit beyond hear what they have to say and then see what the next step for them is. But, but really, but really again, courage, directness and, and I want to say, protecting everybody in the meeting by, by keeping a safe and caring environment.

[00:52:23.02] spk_1:
It’s also gonna depend on how the person reacts. I think in that moment with apology, you know, I’m I’m sorry, I got carried away versus

[00:52:34.27] spk_3:
okay. Fine. Yeah, that’s true. You’re right, you’re right.

[00:52:36.24] spk_1:
But this possible responses in between those but you know, apology a public apology in the moment goes a long way.

[00:54:03.20] spk_3:
Right. I had, I had another person who reached out to me and said, you know, we have one person who’s hijacking our meetings and he just won’t stop. And so then that was where I went back to my framework. And all right, do you have term limits? Do you have a structured agenda? Do you know what the purpose of these meetings is? I’ll use your checklist to have that structure. Have you talked with other board members to get clarity on what you want and how, how you want to be together and once you can get that, oh and adding the equity piece, are you, can you confirm that this person doesn’t have a perspective that are you sure that this person doesn’t have a perspective that needs to be listened to because I don’t want to, I don’t want to take that off the table. It may be that, that they do. In this case, the person did not. And when, when I talked to this client, it gave her the permission to say, alright, we understand that you want to do blah, blah, blah, but the nine of us don’t. And so we’re going forward over here and it seems like maybe this board isn’t right for you anymore. That’s okay. And that actually kept, it’s that it’s that 2020% of the people or 5% of the people taking up, you know, so much of your time and, and then the board got back on track through that. Okay.

[00:54:05.24] spk_1:
Um What else? What else? We’ve only spent like 20 minutes together? What else are you going to share with folks tomorrow that we haven’t talked

[00:54:12.14] spk_3:
about yet? Yeah, I think that. So I just, this is my first NTC to see how it is. I would say that, that, that

[00:54:23.47] spk_1:
congratulations on being selected as a speaker community, the community voted and chose you.

[00:55:55.14] spk_3:
It’s exciting. Um What I’m trying to do now is create a lot of spaciousness in the meetings that I lead in these presentations. And by spaciousness, I mean, spaciousness, interactivity you’re really giving because people more than ever want to talk, want to have the opportunity to talk. So how I’m, how I lead this conversation, so how I recommend board members should lead these conversations really to say we want to hear from you, we want time for us to talk it through and sometimes there may not be enough time in um in the meetings themselves that may mean that you need to go off and you know, have committee meetings so that you can be more expansive in exploring a certain topic. But really understanding that with everything going on in the world, people are holding a lot and there is a need for more processing of all of this and that needs to go into the design and to just come into you don’t want to come into a room and say, let’s, we’re just getting down to work. It’s really the opposite of that. It’s really what’s here in the room right now. Um, I, I have, there’s a book called Permission To Feel by Marc Brackett. Don’t know if you’ve ever heard of it. And there’s an app to that and it’s really about how you’re feeling right now and it’s such a simple question, but just to say as a check in with your board members, how are you feeling right now? And again, it doesn’t cost very much, but it’s a way to say we’re all here together. But what do you need to leave behind? So you can be here in the room and that creates a lot better work.

[00:56:25.24] spk_1:
You’re promising the folks who attend tomorrow that you’ll, you’ll leave them with a take away the next the next step, next step for building a healthier board. How do you help them identify that next step?

[00:57:33.26] spk_3:
So my, my theory of learning is what you care about. What you embrace. What you notice is what you’re going to start working on. So the reason that I am handing them my hand out with the Venn diagram of these three areas and sorry, I’m being technical, formal practices, informal practices, equity is because I, I don’t, I want each person in the room to reflect on what is working and, and what they want to do next. And to commit to something, right? Something that they want to change in the organization. And it might just be, um, I’m gonna go back to my board and I’m gonna share this with them and we’re gonna have, uh, you know, group conversation about this understanding that we are doing really well in terms of informal practices because we all get along really well. But we actually, we don’t have term limits and that’s hurting us because we’re not getting new people involved with our organization. So a

[00:57:39.50] spk_1:
lot of his internalized what you believe should be a next step where you believe you should work first.

[00:58:17.40] spk_3:
I have a longtime background in education, doctorate in education and studied adult education. Truly believe that we are building our own knowledge and motivation from what we care about and boards are too. What are you giving your attention to? So give my goal for the session is that people give their attention to these three different areas and think. Okay, I’m going to share many practices, but which ones do you need to pay more attention to? Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Can we leave it there? What do you think? Sure. Feel good.

[00:58:20.02] spk_1:
Yeah. Alright. You know, feeling like there’s something else we didn’t talk about. He didn’t ask me.

[00:58:46.44] spk_3:
Um I think we’re, I think we’re good. It’s really exciting to, you know, it’s really, I’m very curious about who’s going to come to this session and the challenges they’re bringing and I was, it’s very energizing to see okay room full of people, most of them I haven’t met before. And what will they, you know, what questions do they have about this and what, what’s working for them most? And where do they find, where do they feel like they need to do more fine tuning? What are you excited

[00:58:57.59] spk_1:
about that? What drew you to the nonprofit technology conference? This is your first one, but you’ve obviously been working with nonprofits a long time. What brought you to an NTC?

[00:59:07.30] spk_3:
I was, I was interested in, you know, in meeting all kinds of people and connecting and, you know, learning about some of the ideas that are out there and how this conference works. You

[00:59:17.40] spk_1:
just have never heard of it

[00:59:34.55] spk_3:
before. I have heard of it before. Yeah. And I mean, what I’ve noticed in my work is I have a lot of referral partners who are fundraising consultants who are sending me work and I’m sending them work and I’m guessing that I’ll connect with some new people, you know, who could be potential referral partners. So, yeah, you know, it’s funny because I did have a friend who said, wait, your, your facilitator, why are you going to the technology conference? But I was like, well, there’s a leadership track and so it’s not

[00:59:48.62] spk_1:
only for technical techies I T directors, we all know

[00:59:52.41] spk_3:
that. Right. Right. Right.

[01:00:02.14] spk_1:
Great, Renee Ruben. My pleasure. Thanks for Thanks for sharing a Reuben Ross founder and CEO at the Ross Collective. Thank you for being with tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 23 N T C where we are sponsored by Heller consulting technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits. Thanks for being my pleasure, Renee. Thank you. You’re welcome. And thank you

[01:01:16.37] spk_0:
next week. Technology Governance for Accidental Taxis as as accidental taxis, technology governance for accidental techies. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. I’m not sure you’d want to do that though. Actually, this week were sponsored by Donor box with intuitive fundraising software from donor box. Your donors give four times faster helping you help others. Donor box dot org. I’m sure my voice will sound better. Next week, our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. The shows social media is by Susan Chavez Marc Silverman is our web guy and this music is by Scott Stein. Thank you for that affirmation. Scotty B with me next week for nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.

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[00:00:44.94] spk_0:
Oh, I neglected to mention, you hear me, you hear me do an intro to the show and then we’ll chat uninterrupted and then I’ll do the outro and then I could say goodbye Hello and welcome to Tony-Martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d bear the pain of infra occlusion if you made me chew on the idea that you missed this week’s show. The smart non profit That’s Beth Canter and Alison finds new book revealing the potential of smart technology and artificial intelligence for your nonprofit and the entire sector.

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Beth

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and Allison are with us to share their

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thinking

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on Tony’s take to debunk those top five myths of planned giving, sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o and by fourth dimension technologies I. T infra in a box. The affordable tech solution for nonprofits. tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant four D Just like three D. But they go one dimension deeper.

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What

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a pleasure to welcome

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back

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Beth Kanter and Allison Fine to the show. Both been on multiple times, although you know them uh they they they each deserve their own special

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introduction.

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Beth Kanter is an internationally recognized thought leader and trainer in digital transformation and well being in the nonprofit

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workplace.

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She was named one of the most influential women in technology by fast company and received the N 10 Lifetime achievement

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award.

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She’s at Beth Kanter and

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Beth

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Kanter dot org. Alison Fine is among the nation’s preeminent writers and strategists on the use of technology for social good. She’s a member of the National Board of Women of Reform Judaism and was chair of the National Board of Naral Pro Choice America Foundation and a founding board member of Civic Hall. Allison is at a Fine and Alison Fine dot

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com.

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Bethan Alison welcome back to nonprofit radio

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Thank you for having us. tony

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congratulations on the book.

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It’s very exciting. The response has been tremendous so far.

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So both of our 4th book and 2nd collaboration together.

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Second,

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yes, you’ve co authored the network non profit if I’m not mistaken. Alright and fourth book for both of you. Congratulations all around. I would actually like to start with the last sentence of the book. If every nonprofit in the sector can transform itself into a smart non profit we can transform the world end quote. Uh does anybody want to claim authorship of that particular sentence? Is it possible for co authors to remember who wrote each each sentence throughout the

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book?

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Not, no,

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not possible, but so

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then All right, Allison, what what uh what does it take to become this uh ideal. Smart non profit

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So a smart non profit tony is an organization that understands deeply how to stay human centered and by that we mean putting people first, internally and externally using the most advanced technology organizations have ever had at their disposal. This this, you know um family of technologies like ai machine learning robots and so on and by doing that tony we can stop the incredible hamster wheel of business frantic business of organizations just playing a daily game of whack a mole with email and telephone and ongoing meetings. All of that road work can be done by the technology, freeing up people to build relationships and tell stories and build communities and solve problems and do the deeply human work that most of us came to the sector to do in the first place.

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And you you used the word business that was not business, that was business

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in the U.

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S. Y. Yes. Okay. Um Alright. So there are many uh considerations for becoming a smart nonprofit and some some important roles of leadership that that come out in the book. Um Beth anything you would like to add to the to the intro to our conversation.

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Um Sure. What Allison laid out so beautifully is the key benefit of that nonprofits get from embracing this technology and that is the dividend of time and that time can be reinvested either in building better relationships with donors or or clients or stakeholders or also could be reinvested in the staff to free up time. So we’re not. So as you said, the busy work takes up a lot of time but it also takes up a lot of cognitive overload and maybe if we had more spaciousness we would be less exhausted. Um and and more inspired and less burnout.

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Yeah the that that dividend of time is throughout the book. And uh well except that hypothesis for now I have I have I have some questions about that, some little skepticism about that, but for now we’ll accept that the dividend of time will indeed accrue to people who work in in in smart nonprofits and to to the to the organization generally. Um Are

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you skeptical that it can be created or are you skeptical that people will know what to do with it once they created it? No,

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well I don’t wanna I don’t I don’t want to challenge right off the bat but

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uh

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skepticism that that it that it can be realized. Not not that people will know what to do if it does get realized, but um yeah well let’s come back to it, let’s leave the hypothesis uh as as as perfectly fair and and uh something to truly aspire to because there are as you say, and as you lay out mostly in the last chapter, um there are great places that the sector can go when we realize this uh this dividend of time. Um

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let’s

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talk a little about, you know, some of these elements of being a smart non profit Um beth let’s stay with you for you know, human centered. What what do you what do you all mean by by that?

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Well I guess we use another term in the book um called co batting and really with that I like that because it’s like figuring out what the machines can do best. Right that the automation technology there’s certain tasks that the technology is really good at doing. And those are things like analyzing large amounts of data and automating kind of rote tasks. But there are there’s stuff in our jobs that humans should do and always do. And that is the relationship building, taking the donors out to lunch. Like you were telling us you took a donor out to a nice restaurant recently. You know that’s not something the automation is going to do for you. Um and being creative having empathy, making intuitive decisions. And so when we use this technology leaders really need to understand like what is the right workflow and always keep humans in

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charge?

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What what’s the what’s the

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how

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can we how can we make sure that we center humans in in adopting this this smart technology?

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Well I think the first step is to ask to talk to them and get their feedback and their input in before you even like grab the software off the shop? It’s not about that at all. Um you really have to start with. Um you know, what are the points of pain? What are the exquisite pain points that we want to address by adopting this technology and getting feedback from the end user’s whether that staff clients donors and then, um, setting up a, you know, an understanding of what the journey is, what the workflow is and where you divide things. And then you begin to go look at software tools and uh, and and find vendors that are aligned with your values and once you’ve, or technologists that are aligned with your values and then once you’ve done that, you can begin to start with pilots and uh, an iteration on it before you get to scale. This is so different tony than social media, which both Allison and I have talked to about where we’re encouraging people to just jump in experiment fail fast. What we’re saying with this technology is that it’s really important to, um, to go slowly and to be knowledgeable and reflective about it.

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And reflective. Yes, reflective is, uh, something else I wanted to ask about. So what you read my mind fantastic being reflective Alison, what is why, what’s that attribute about for the, for the smart non profit

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So this is, um, something I’m deeply passionate about tony Um, I don’t know if, you know, I had a first career as a program evaluator and uh, it’s very, very difficult to get, particularly smaller nonprofits who are so busy and so under resourced to take a step back and not only think about how is what they’re doing, Getting them closer to the results that they want to do, but how can they improve over time and we need them to understand not only the human centeredness that beth just spot on, you know, outlined, but in particular tony how are we making people feel internally and externally about our efforts? Are we making people feel seen and known and heard or and this is particularly important when we talk about smart tech, do you feel like a data point, just you know, a cog in large machinery? Um that’s just getting lost um and we know that feels terrible, everybody has experiences of feeling being made to feel small by organizations and nothing is more important in our work, particularly in the social service and human service areas of making people feel known and heard and yet it is just the sticking point for the sector that it is the thing that gets left off and again we’re back to the business of work, so we want people to be reflective of. Is this the right technology, are you solving that exquisite pain point that you had? How are you making people feel when machines are now doing what only people could do until just a few years ago, you know, through smart tack and is it solving the problems that you set out to solve?

[00:12:00.50] spk_0:
Uh Yeah, I I admired that idea of, of reflective because you know, it’s it’s closely related as you said to being human centered uh you know, thoughtfulness um and it goes to like preparation to um it

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also goes to leadership right? You have to have a leadership within an organization that isn’t so brittle that they are open to learning about how to improve and there are too many organizations that are so fearful of being seen as not doing something well that they won’t openly and wholeheartedly be reflective about their activities.

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And it’s also about the culture too, and we’ve used this word a lot dizziness and when we have a culture of business and people are multitasking and there’s back to back meetings. They don’t have that space to be reflective. So um and and that’s so required to um to make the changes that you just read about the last line of our book, you know, to get to that place

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and we’re gonna talk some about the leadership. Uh you talk about being trustworthy and empathetic, we’ll we’ll we’ll get there. Um Another, another attribute you you mentioned um beth is being knowledgeable, knowledgeable about the tech and I think it’s limits too. But what would you you say it you’ll say it more eloquently than I will.

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I

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think we can both say that both Alice and I can say both eloquently, but I’ll kick off with um when we say knowledgeable and we’re and we’re saying this to leaders, we’re not saying that you need to know how to code. Um you know, roll up your sleeves and write the code but you need to understand um

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what goes

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into the code and whether it’s biased um the data sets it’s been trained on and you need most of the time. A lot of leaders in the nonprofit sector when it comes to technology it’s kind of push back, you know sent down the hall to the I. T. Department and we’re really asking leaders to lead in because there’s you know potential challenges which Allison is really great at explaining.

[00:14:16.56] spk_1:
Alright

[00:14:18.19] spk_0:
well Alison explain those but then maybe you can tell us a story too about

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uh

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about like the degree to which a leader needs to be knowledgeable.

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Uh So we’re talking about um this family of technologies tony that is very quickly becoming embedded in every single part of organizational life. Right? This is not a you know fundraising software, smart tech is going to be embedded in the finances and the back office and the coms and development and everything. And the idea of having machines automatically paid for things or screen resumes or screen people for services is a fundamental shift in who is doing work and how it’s being done. Right? So when you understand that premise, you have to have the C suite leaning into this to underst and what it means when your staff is doing different things than they used to do and when people on the outside are engaging with machines instead of people, these are fundamental shifts. So one area. Um Well too I just mentioned that are so important is if you are automating the screening of resumes, then the assumptions that some programmer put into that system and the resumes that were used to test it for looking for certain kinds of employees with certain kinds of skills are going to be biased. I can tell you that right now, right. They are going to have a bias. And largely that bias is going to be against, you know, people who are black and brown or or women.

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It’s gonna be in favor of white men.

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Exactly. Because that is what employment looks like. Those are the questions we use those are the expectations that we have and the programming was done most likely by a white man. Um So if you don’t know what to ask. The creator of that software that you’ve just bought that is going to quote save you a ton of time looking at resumes. Um but also screen out um people of color and women then you’ve just an incredible disservice to your organization and the same if you are providing housing services or food services to people in need, the same kinds of biases are going to be found in these systems, right? This is a systems problem. And that’s why as Beth was saying, this is not a technical problem. This is not something where you say go I. T. Guys go find us a good product. You know, they’re not looking out for your organization’s interest in equity. That’s what leadership is for right, setting those moral standards, setting that compass and making sure that your values are aligned in everything you do and how you do it as an organization.

[00:17:59.64] spk_0:
Yeah. You both are very clear in the book that this is a leadership issue, not a technology issue. It’s time for a break. Turn to communications. They have another interesting newsletter this week advocating for the use of cliches. Their argument is that cliches shouldn’t be ruled out entirely but used judiciously. Like not don’t go overboard either. Whatever you think about cliches, my point is they’re thinking about them. They’re thinking about how best to communicate your story because your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot C. O. Now back to the Smart non profit any any stories, can we can we tell a story at this point? Alison

[00:18:23.00] spk_1:
sure there are, there are social services agencies around the country um that we’re using smart tech systems to provide um food assistance. And only after the system had been in place for several years. tony did they find out that it was literally leaving out black people from the system. In the opening chapter of our book, we talked about a screening tool called V. I. Speed at uh

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three times.

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I

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just kept saying it. V. I. S. P. D. D. Yeah.

[00:18:50.81] spk_1:
Yeah the I stood at that was programmed by um why white man with very good intentions that unintentionally was leaving black people out of getting priority housing in hundreds of communities around the world, four years before the social workers finally got heard saying, we know this tool doesn’t work on the ground, we’re using. It, it is not screening people correctly because the questions were biased against people of color who have so much trouble getting into public systems.

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You you have three caveats sort of that that you uh you make very clear and bias is one of them. So we’re just talking about that um responsible use is another another of the three beth can you can you talk to uh what you’re thinking about responsible use and sort of thinking through problems?

[00:19:59.01] spk_2:
Um Sure. Uh it’s kind of like taking a Hippocratic oath that you will do no harm. Right? So the example that Alison just laid out, obviously there was harm done by keeping people screening people out for important services. Um so so it it who’s um non profits to do uh something that we call threat modeling? I know it’s a big scary term and word and it comes from the internet cybersecurity but

[00:20:11.51] spk_0:
didn’t frighten me.

[00:20:17.94] spk_2:
Okay, well it might frighten some people we have had that reaction, um but it’s just basically

[00:20:19.33] spk_0:
not profit radio It’s very savvy listeners here.

[00:20:21.72] spk_2:
Absolutely,

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this is this is a higher echelon audience than you’re

[00:20:25.77] spk_2:
right, of course, your

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other podcast. So please

[00:20:28.49] spk_2:
threat

[00:20:29.80] spk_0:
modeling is not intimidating to us.

[00:20:31.51] spk_2:
Okay, so threat modeling is actually having a brainstorm of all the possible things that could go

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wrong.

[00:20:42.33] spk_2:
Um if you uh implement this technology um what what harm could be done to the end user um if they if they were given um let’s say you have a buy right? And in fact the Trevor project is an example of an organization that did this threat modeling. They wanted to they had a problem. Um they had, you’re familiar with the Trevor project,

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explain, explain what what

[00:21:04.80] spk_2:
okay, so they provide uh

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counseling

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to yes to L. B. G. T. Q. Youth, you know through text and online phone, if you will. And so they’re dealing with kids who are in crisis and a whole, you know, um continuum of issues and they have councilors that there who are volunteers but they’re trained in this very specific, very sensitive type of counseling, especially when young people are coming to them in crisis. And so um so the problem was, you know, they needed to scale um and get more counselors in there so they could help more clients. And so they decided that they wanted to use a bot,

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which

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is, you know, automated response. We’re all familiar with thoughts, you know, buy a pair of sneakers online or trying to make a doctor’s appointment and you encounter a bot. And so rather than replace the counselors on the front line with this technology that won’t be human center, it could be potentially dangerous. Um especially with a sophisticated self learning bot, which could learn through, you know, and learn through interactions and say the wrong things and that could be devastating to an end user who’s in crisis. But what they decided to do was to use the bot for training simulations. So they took data from real conversation, stripping all privacy information and they use this to train their bot, which was a highly sophisticated software that was self learning. But they said that this spot will not be on the front lines with anybody, will only interact with um for training simulations. So what this did was free up a lot of time from the staff in terms of delivering trainings to more quality control. So they were able to get more counselors on the front

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line, so

[00:23:01.15] spk_2:
it’s an example of being human centered, but it’s also an example of that dividend of time and and repurposing it um and also uh making sure, you know, so it’s doing no harm. Yeah,

[00:23:15.16] spk_0:
and that and that responsible use. Okay, okay. Um the other the other caveat you have, so you have, you have three caveats bias, responsible use and privacy. Talking about ethical standards who’s uh, who’s who’s most interested in talking about privacy Allison Fine, raised their hand first.

[00:25:08.25] spk_1:
Yes, I did. Um so this is not a new issue, right, We’ve been dealing with digital privacy um for a long time, but as a sector haven’t really ever gotten our arms around it. tony right in that we has a sector have just subscribed to. I think we think the lowest expectations from the commercial side, which is you try to get as much personal data as you can write. You ask for those emails and you leave. You might let somebody unsubscribe from a newsletter, but you don’t delete their emails. Right? And a much, much more ethical model we feel is in the european union, the G D P R. I can’t remember what that stands for. But the idea is that, um, the people, the consumers, constituents, donors, volunteers are in charge of their data and they get to tell us how they want to be engaged with us, right? They get to tell us that they want to be forgotten entirely from our systems. They don’t want to be on any of our list. They don’t want to be in our systems. And that flipping over of the model we think is very in keeping with being human centered, right? It’s very in keeping with the values that we’re trying to, uh, in view in this whole concept of smart nonprofits, right? That we shouldn’t fear, um, asking people what the value we provide to them is. Right. Do we brought enough value in having their email for them to want to stay with us or are we just turning through again, as we said in the beginning, turning them through systems like the cogs in a great big machinery. So we think the smart tech is going to generate even more data than the last 10 years of digital tech, which is astonishing to think about kind of mind blowing to think about

[00:25:18.86] spk_0:
Because I think didn’t you cite 90 90% of the data that we have is in the past two years?

[00:25:34.41] spk_1:
Yeah, yeah. It is remarkable to explode. And so we need to be, we need to raise the bar on our ethical considerations on the use of data and the relationship that we have with our constituents. They need to trust us more. The fact that the nonprofit sector along with other sectors, the degree of trust is going down. tony is, is not good and we ought to hold ourselves to higher standards of privacy and data protection.

[00:26:52.20] spk_0:
Two weeks ago, Gene Takagi and I talked about that exact subject in a show that I called in nonprofits do we trust? It was just, it was just two weeks ago. It’s time for a break. 4th dimension technologies, your tech is an investment invest wisely. What’s the state of your office infrastructure? Should you give remote or hybrid employees tech allowances or just give them the equipment outright or both or neither. How’s your disaster recovery plan? How’s your backup working? four D. Can help you with all these investment decisions, check the listener landing page tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant four D. Just like three D. But you know they go one dimension deeper. Let’s return to the smart non profit Do we know what the impact has been on, on business? Uh,

[00:27:02.62] spk_1:
coming

[00:27:13.65] spk_0:
out of the G D P R has, it, has it had the devastating effect on business that the business community in europe was, was claiming when they were, uh, lobbying against it or trying to, you know, trying to weaken it. Do we, do we know I’m putting you on the spot. Do either of you know, whether that’s had such a devastating impact on european business?

[00:27:25.95] spk_1:
It’s been fine. And, and look, companies, commercial companies here have had to put, uh, more effort into privacy issues when they do work in the european

[00:27:37.36] spk_0:
union,

[00:27:40.59] spk_1:
you know,

[00:27:40.96] spk_0:
California

[00:27:41.82] spk_1:
for Nya are holding people to the same standards now. Um, but it hasn’t had a huge negative impact on business,

[00:27:50.70] spk_0:
you know,

[00:27:51.44] spk_1:
it’s fine.

[00:28:01.23] spk_0:
Okay, okay, now this, this smart tech artificial intelligence we’re talking about, this is widely used commercially, Right? I mean, isn’t this, I don’t know, fundamental to amazon google the 24 hour chatbots that beth mentioned, you know, you see a little about 24 7, the likelihood of that being a live person at four in the morning is very, very small. This, this is, this is ubiquitous in the commercial sector,

[00:28:22.79] spk_1:
isn’t it?

[00:28:23.82] spk_2:
Yes, it is, but I think we’re at this point um, uh, Allison likes to call it the heel of the hockey stick where it’s going to the cross of this technology has come down. It’s becoming democratized and it’s becoming more accessible to non profits of all sizes.

[00:28:41.29] spk_0:
You

[00:28:42.67] spk_2:
don’t have to be nasa to use this.

[00:28:51.56] spk_0:
All right. Now to keep yourself out of jargon jail. You’re gonna have to explain the, uh, the hockey stick on a graph metaphor. So go ahead, tell us what X and Y are and why it looks like a

[00:28:54.63] spk_1:
hockey stick.

[00:28:55.50] spk_2:
Okay. It’s okay. So imagine a hockey stick, right. Or I should do it this way. I’m looking at my

[00:29:02.71] spk_0:
nobody can, nobody can see your hands, but we all know what

[00:29:04.91] spk_2:
happened, but

[00:29:05.98] spk_0:
not sophisticated enough to know what hockey sticks.

[00:29:20.11] spk_2:
It basically shows. And this happens with technology. Um, is that, you know, early adopters use it because it’s very expensive, experimental. It’s unproven. And as it, the technology improve and the cost comes down and it becomes more accessible to consumers and small businesses into organizations. The adoption rate starts to skyrocket. So it goes up. So you see sort of a flat line and then a steep hill or steep mountain increase in

[00:29:35.49] spk_0:
X’s time. And why is technology adoption?

[00:29:39.42] spk_2:
Yes.

[00:29:40.76] spk_0:
Yeah. You’re better at

[00:29:41.91] spk_2:
charts than I am.

[00:29:43.65] spk_0:
Okay, well, you, you, you invoked the metaphor of the hockey stick. You gotta, you gotta be able to stand behind it now.

[00:29:48.41] spk_2:
Oh, I guess I guess I should.

[00:29:50.13] spk_0:
All right. All right.

[00:30:31.21] spk_1:
It’s not just nonprofits adopting this now. tony I would say that it’s all medium and small sized organizations in every sector that now has available to them, technology that they couldn’t afford just a few years ago. And that’s, that’s what the difference is. The technology is a brand new, it’s just become very affordable for smaller organizations. However, as I mentioned before, just because it’s available and just because it’s affordable, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right stuff to grab off the shelf. And that’s the part that’s that’s the impetus for us to write this book. You need to know what you’re grabbing and using, Yeah,

[00:30:42.60] spk_0:
the availability to small and midsize shops, I think is through is throughout your book. Um, let’s tell another good story. The one with the, uh, uh, the repurposing of the school bus routes to deliver food instead of drop off Children during the pandemic because Children were no longer going to school. So they repurposed school busses to drop

[00:30:55.43] spk_1:
off meals.

[00:30:57.87] spk_0:
Who knows that story best.

[00:30:59.76] spk_2:
Yeah. So, you’re, you’re talking about research at Carnegie Mellon University and you’re talking about Pittsburgh school system and

[00:31:07.96] spk_0:
Pittsburgh school system.

[00:32:38.23] spk_2:
United Pittsburgh school district or whatever it’s called. Um, so this was at the very beginning of the pandemic when we were in the shutdown and um, and kids that are in schools that are in poorer areas relied on the school lunch program to get their meals right. And so if schools were shut down and, and, and students were tele community, there’s no way to get this food. So they used a machine learning algorithm to re engineer the must routes to take the food to the kids in the most efficient way. It’s really interesting how during the pandemic, you know, there was a little bit of a silver lining. I know it’s awful. But there was a silver lining for some nonprofits to really push and to innovate. And I think food banks in a way we’re forced to do this. Um, there’s another example in boston of the boston food bank completely automating its inventory and it’s stocking to become a lot more efficient. And at one point they even were experimenting with having robots come in and stock the shelves because most of the food banks, volunteers are older and they were told not, you know, during the very early part of the pandemic, not to, you know, come in because it could be dangerous to their health. Um, and that’s also a great kind of idea story, use scenario to think about to do the threat modeling that we were talking about earlier. So let’s just say for example, food banks. So let’s let’s bring in the robots and have

[00:32:38.99] spk_1:
them stock

[00:32:40.47] spk_2:
the shelves, you know, so, but you also have to think about that volunteers who are coming in, um, to do this type of work. Those were their lifeline in terms,

[00:32:50.89] spk_0:
yeah.

[00:32:51.75] spk_2:
How are they going to feel and how are we going to redesign the volunteer job and how are you going to encourage them to come back in and make them feel safe and welcome into the food

[00:33:02.13] spk_1:
bank. Right.

[00:33:02.86] spk_0:
Less feeling less unless they feel useless and replaced by machinery. And this is all the organization thought of us. And now they now it’s just a bunch of metal replacing us metal and plastic parts. So yeah. Alright. Also being human centered, reflective,

[00:33:59.75] spk_1:
but that that’s that’s the dividend of time, tony if you can say all right, we used to have these uh, you know, two dozen volunteers who came in and were stocking shelves all the time. And now we’ve automated that task. What is it that these, you know, lovely people who wanted to help could do that would be so, you know, deeply human and centered as you say, and uh, you know, in in improving our relationship with our clients. Maybe they could be calling clients. So what else do you need? You know, what else is happening for you or just saying hello to somebody, Right. I mean, there are all sorts of wonderful human things that those people could now do if they want to um that they never had the time to do before. That’s the that’s where this is again, a leadership issue of really thinking about how do we want to use our human capital in the next chapter of organizational development?

[00:35:40.16] spk_0:
Okay, I think that’s an excellent example of the dividend of time that we’re we’re about a half an hour in or so. So let me uh let me try my, my skepticism out on you that we I’ve heard this before, that there was gonna be, there were promises of increased productivity and increased time. I’m thinking of smartphones, we’re going to give us more time and they certainly make us more productive, but I don’t I don’t I don’t see studies saying that we we have so much more time. I see that time being absorbed now you might say, well maybe I’m making your case for you that time being re allocated. Unthought feli unwisely. But I don’t I don’t see people walking around feeling that they’ve got so much more free time since the widespread adoption of smartphones 10 years ago or so. Um Another video conferencing, you know, whatever teams uh zoom, I hear more about zoom burnout than I do about feeling that I’ve got so much more time available because I don’t have to go to meetings. I don’t have to go to the office. Um You know, so those are a couple of the paperless office. That was another paper, the promise of the paperless office was going to be so much so much more efficient for us and I think that was gonna save time because we wouldn’t have to file papers and it was gonna save office space because we wouldn’t need storage and these promises. Um I sound like a whining 60 year old, but these promises have not come

[00:35:44.78] spk_2:
to not

[00:35:46.09] spk_0:
come to fruition in the

[00:35:46.96] spk_2:
past. So I’ll take what I’ll tackle the zoom fatigue thing and, and then Alison can kind of related to smart text. So

[00:35:56.32] spk_0:
I guess I should say uh, it’s not whining. I don’t want to sound like a curmudgeonly 60 year old.

[00:36:00.94] spk_2:
Well you’re not a curmudgeon and you never whine.

[00:36:03.79] spk_0:
All right, Thank you.

[00:36:52.45] spk_2:
So, so if you take zoom fatigue, right? Um, and that came from stanford University and basically what is causing it is the flight or fight response that is going on in our bodies when we see the grid. I mean, there’s some ways to mitigate it. But what happened is is that nonprofits like many businesses all of a sudden were forced to pivot to becoming remote distributed teams. We never really work like that. So the idea was, let’s just all make, get a zoom meeting. Let’s just take everything we did in person and just plop it online. And what happened because everybody was doing this there was, we didn’t really evaluate how do we collaborate effectively. What do we need, what can we do? Like a synchronously so we can make use of our synchronous or real time experience. So we can make meetings shorter. There’s research from Microsoft that shows that if you have stacked back to back meetings without taking a break your level of stress just stays the same throughout the day. And so if organizations were reflective, knowledgeable

[00:37:07.39] spk_0:
and kind of prepared, they

[00:37:16.17] spk_2:
Would have looked at and said, Okay, so let’s look at how we can, you know, stick to a culture of maybe a 20 minute meeting with 10 minute break in between or have a zoom number per day that we know that we’re not going to schedule more than x number of meetings, which would then think to how do we rethink our work? Um So it’s not just the technology, that’s true, the technology doesn’t create the dividend of time. It’s a combination of the technology with thoughtful leadership, reflective leadership as we’ve been saying, that can then change the culture.

[00:37:41.25] spk_0:
Yeah.

[00:37:51.31] spk_1:
And let me let me let me build on that tony So we have an entire generation of digital technology That was intended to make us go faster, right? That was that’s what it has done. We are at a point now, we’re checking your email on average, 74 times a day is quote normal, right?

[00:38:04.53] spk_0:
We’ve gone from uh let’s say facts to email, to texting to to to um slack.

[00:39:36.27] spk_1:
We we we get that this technology, smart tech ai automation is not that technology, it is a fundamentally different kind of technology that’s intended to do things instead of people not to have us do more, But as Beth just said, it’s only going to do that. If we implement it thoughtfully, right, if we end up in the same place where we are checking on the box 74 times a day shame on us. The stuff has the potential to relieve us of so much administrative wrote work that just eats up everybody’s day. And if we can co bott well and have the bots do what they’re supposed to do and the people do what they they’re supposed to do, we can actually re humanize work. But as you know we’re just at the beginning of this process a lot of this is theoretical and that’s again is why we wrote this book instead of jumping in and grabbing the stuff and adding it onto your existing dizziness, frantic nous culture, we need you to stop and think and figure out how to do this. Well you know

[00:40:34.55] spk_2:
there’s some research that’s from M. I. T. Sloan school that looked at the effectiveness of this technology and um and where it is effective is if people don’t just focus on the efficiency of it that is to, okay well we can get all of these tests done way more efficiently because people aren’t cutting and pasting from different spreadsheets. Um But we’re not gonna fill up people’s with more work to do so it’s not to go faster, it’s really to be more effective and so if this technology can be implemented and it can kind of relieve some of that stress and pain of overload then that has an impact on morale and people feeling good about where they work and there is a synergistic impact that the study found that where efficiency and kind of effectiveness, let’s work together. So there’s so that can have more people feel better about their work, they do better, they get better results, they’re less likely to quit, there’s less likely to be turnover and the organization moves forward in a in a better way with better outcomes.

[00:41:09.01] spk_0:
Right, Okay. Alright. And that’s that’s if if it’s adopted with leaders consciously being human centered, knowledgeable, reflective, prepared. Uh and we’re gonna get to trust and empathy. Um All right, well you may have moved me from skeptic to uh cautious optimist.

[00:41:16.14] spk_2:
I was gonna say, what are you still are you still a little uh

[00:41:34.32] spk_0:
you know the history, the history has not has not borne out that leaders have adopted the new technology reflectively thoughtfully and prepared. Lee um It’s just so I’m just basically,

[00:41:36.18] spk_2:
pardon

[00:44:17.51] spk_0:
Me, they never had its 2022. Now they have the book, they didn’t have it when we went from facts to email or email to slack or email the text and text. Alright, Alright. No, no it’s okay. Um so leaders please uh keep listening. It’s time for Tony’s take to debunk the top five myths of planned giving, that’s my free webinar coming up. It’s Tuesday october 18th at 10 a.m. Pacific one o’clock Eastern I say free webinar but it’s not free for everyone. It’s free for you because you’re gonna use checkout code tony T. O N Y couldn’t be simpler. I think you have to put it all in caps too. I’m not sure about that part but do it all in caps to be safe. So I’m gonna be talking about debunking these insidious, pernicious top five myths of planned giving, I hate them, I loathe them, they are loathsome, that’s why I loathe them because they keep people away from planned giving like the one that says plan giving is gonna ruin all your other fundraising. It’s going to take away from your annual gift and your major annual giving and major giving. Debunk. We’re gonna debunk that and for others as well. So join me very simple to sign up. Of course. You go to our gracious host site. We are thoughtfully hosted by N. P. Solutions. So you go to N. P. Solutions dot org. You click workshops, you’ll find me in the list and then when you’re checking out use that code tony do it in all caps and it’ll be free for you. Not for everybody, but for you, I hope you’ll be with me. Let’s debunk these Hateful Top five Myths. That is tony stick to we’ve got boo koo but loads more time for the smart non profit with Beth Canter and Alison fine. Let’s let’s talk some about the leadership. That’s perfect. So you mentioned the three things I really want to talk about trustworthy empathy uh, and curiosity and I have to get this in. If you had an H then you could have spelled out tech trustworthy empathy, curious, high minded

[00:44:18.40] spk_2:
human, human centered,

[00:44:26.89] spk_0:
human centered. You need, you got the T. E. C. In the book. I was looking where’s the H. All right. Uh, what does it look like for leaders to be to be trustworthy? To adopt Trust?

[00:44:34.88] spk_1:
Who

[00:44:38.64] spk_0:
who who’s the best, who’s the most trustworthy explainer of of trust?

[00:44:43.00] spk_1:
I

[00:44:43.18] spk_0:
don’t care. It could be either one. Okay, Allison Trust is yours. We got to go in order and then if we can come up with an H uh centered, but that you already have that in the in becoming a smart non profit That’s that. You already covered that one. So you can come up with another one. Um Herculean, heroic, heroic, Herculean, Right. Trust Alison, Why why is this trust?

[00:46:58.76] spk_1:
Important? So organizations are making a bond with people in their communities, right? We are, we are asking them to come along on a journey with us, uh, to be clients to be donors, to be volunteers, to engage with us in some way and trust is the stuff that’s sticking us together, right? It is social capital. It is thinking that an organization has your best interests at heart, not just their best interests at heart. And um, I feel like for 20 years, so many organizations have been going moving so quickly on this hamster wheel advised by people who make a lot of money off of transactional fundraising and transactional engagement online and have lost sight of the fact that unless and until people out there trust that you are doing the right stuff in the right way, nothing else matters. And we’re all trying to scale way too quickly, tony without really understanding the fundamental D. N. A. Of making sure that we are entirely values aligned from what we want to do to what we’re actually doing to the outcomes. And again, you know, beth and I feel so strongly that the nonprofit sector is such an incredibly special place, right? We are the epicenter of the world for you know, providing human services and doing advocacy work and it is such an incredibly brave, difficult work and yet we still have a ways to go in asking are the leadership of organizations both C suite and the boards to raise the bar to be more transparent uh to to ask more questions about how they’re doing, to measure their outcomes, to uh take care of their people internally and externally better. And so that’s why we put trust so high up on the scale of what we want organizations to be focused on.

[00:47:19.32] spk_0:
I think leaders feel when they’re there

[00:47:24.02] spk_1:
falling

[00:47:24.70] spk_0:
short in in in in in the aspirations that you just described. I think I think folks feel it it’s just but they’re on that hamster wheel and it’s, it’s hard to take, it’s hard to take that step back and and acknowledge what you’re feeling and be introspective as an organization.

[00:49:01.87] spk_1:
Let me, let me, let me describe something though. That’s really important. tony that we as a sector don’t talk nearly enough about. And that’s what Beth and I called the leaky bucket in fundraising. Right? So year one, you get 100 donors by year two, you’re down to 25 of those. You’ve lost 75% of those donors Because you’re so busy filling up the bucket again because you’ve lost 75% the year before and all you’re doing is this transactional fundraising, the email, the direct mail to fill up the bucket again. All of the measures of fundraising success are front loaded, right of did we hit those, you know, revenue targets for this year? Very few organizations are really focused on donor retention and how to increase it. It’s never been at a board table for discussion that I have been at in many, many years, many, many organizations of being on the board and that is where the panic comes in. And it feels terrible to staff and you know, my heart just goes out to all of those people who are in a panic about hitting those revenue numbers knowing that what they’re working with is hemorrhaging donors every single day and that’s where, you know, just in my heart of hearts tony I just want everybody to stop, just stop and take a step back and figure out how to improve your relationship with donors more. So they stay longer with you and you’re not in this panic every day.

[00:49:25.83] spk_0:
Allison, we’re gonna come back to you for for curiosity beth let’s talk about empathy,

[00:49:29.41] spk_1:
I’m

[00:51:40.41] spk_2:
sure. And I think the empathy is, needs to be turned within first before it gets turned outside to the donors to solve um, what what Alison was just talking about. But so empathetic leadership means the ability to understand the needs of others and being aware of their feelings and thoughts. And unfortunately it’s viewed as kind of like a soft skill. Um, and it’s not always linked to performance, um, indicators, right? And so I think it’s really important, especially with what we’ve been through in the pandemic, um, that organizations really need to have clear expectations with their managers to lead in a way that is supportive of, of employees and that supports and contributes to their overall well being and they can do that and still get work done. Um, and I think that like don’t get me started on well being, but um, well being has to be put center and it has to be raised up and given as much importance as fundraising metrics or, or other financial metrics, especially given what we’ve been through. And so this includes checking in training people to like actually observe on their staff and making sure that their, um, you know, caretakers for each other’s well being. And it’s, you know, like a one on one check in isn’t just about, hey, where’s that report? Where’s that proposal? But it’s also how people are feeling what their energy is. Like what their job experiences like what could be improved, which gets us closer to that conversation around technology. So, um, the types of skills and competencies that make for a culture of care or empathy or self awareness and self regulation, adaptive skills, active listening coaching with powerful questions, observing for signs of burnout. Being able to give and receive feedback in a way that doesn’t cause stress, disrupting microaggressions, inclusive facilitation, having those difficult conversations sometimes, which is too nice. But there’s ways to have those conversations that aren’t devastating and genuine perspective, taking. Being able to see it from other people’s points of view. And it doesn’t, I don’t think that makes us weaker. I really think it makes us stronger.

[00:51:54.81] spk_0:
You know,

[00:52:05.03] spk_2:
it’s not a bunch of, you know, reaction when I wrote the happy, healthy. Yeah. Right. We get the, you know, that’s a bunch of hippie crap. Yeah.

[00:52:07.04] spk_0:
I didn’t say that when I talk to you. You

[00:52:08.92] spk_2:
didn’t say that. Of course you wouldn’t say that. You’re too smart.

[00:52:25.83] spk_0:
Thank you. Well, you hardly know me, but thank you. I’ll take it anyway. Um, I know a lot of what you’re describing to is vulnerability. And I think vulnerability is a sign of uh is evidence of confidence that you’re, that you’re strong enough to be vulnerable where lots of people think it’s a sign of weakness that you’re showing, you know, you’re, you’re showing your human side and you know that I think that’s terribly misguided. Um alright, if we’re gonna, we’re gonna, I’m gonna keep you uh not beyond our allocated time. Let’s go to Alison for for curiosity.

[00:52:48.83] spk_1:
Why is it important?

[00:52:50.46] spk_0:
Yes. Why is, why is curiosity a valued trait for leaders?

[00:54:31.33] spk_1:
Uh, you know, the world is moving really fast tony and we have um, a lot of organizational leaders who think tech is not their thing, right? Tech is for somebody else and it can’t not be your thing. If you’re running an organization right now, it’s too important. It’s threaded throughout everything that your organization is doing and you can’t just lean back, You need to lean into it and to do that? You need to be genuinely curious about in our case for smart tech, What is this stuff and why is important and how is it different from the last generation of technology and what could we actually accomplish if we didn’t spend three quarters of our day responding to emails? What is possible out there in the world. And you know, my heart breaks for so many of the nonprofit folks that beth and I talked to who have such good intentions and are so deeply unhappy with how stressful their jobs are or how unrecognized they are by the C suite um or how um pressurized they feel. So it is just uh innately important for organizational leaders to be genuinely curious about, where do we go from here? Right. The world broke two years ago in so many fundamental ways the political economic stress of this moment is wearing people down but we can’t stay here tony we need to go somewhere and we genuinely believe that the family of technologies we call smart tech creates an opportunity to be different in the future to make work joyful and much more meaningful and rewarding and you can only get there if you’re genuinely curious and engaged in understanding the technology

[00:54:58.39] spk_0:
and I think curiosity and empathy are interrelated to curiosity about your people as beth was for all the, in all the ways Beth was describing. That’s

[00:55:08.56] spk_1:
exactly right

[00:55:12.54] spk_0:
alright. Um I don’t suppose the beth I don’t suppose you on the fly came up with an H for to spell out tech for us. Did you?

[00:55:23.89] spk_2:
You

[00:55:24.77] spk_0:
Have that one already?

[00:55:27.02] spk_2:
Humility

[00:55:28.26] spk_0:
Humility is a good one. There you go.

[00:55:29.86] spk_2:
So let’s riff on that humility in

[00:55:31.81] spk_0:
the second edition, you can add, you can add humility and spell out

[00:55:35.20] spk_2:
text and then we’ll footnote and say suggested by tony

[00:55:44.65] spk_0:
Thank you. Yeah, humility. Right. Isn’t that simple? Yeah, related to being empathetic leaders don’t need to know everything, do they?

[00:55:49.85] spk_1:
Oh gosh

[00:55:50.62] spk_2:
no listen

[00:56:15.01] spk_1:
we you know the reason why we wrote the network on profit tony was to take that idea of the hierarchical model of leadership and organizations out of the equation and say the point is somebody else in your network has the answer. You don’t have to have the answer yourself. You just have to know how to go about getting it right and and that of of flattening your organization and your worldview is so important to being able to survive all the uncertainties of what’s happening right now.

[00:56:52.37] spk_0:
Since we started with Allison, Beth I’m gonna let you wrap us up please. There’s so much more in the book. There are use cases, you know, we don’t the book, we can only scratch the surface here. You gotta get the book. That’s the point. You get. They talk about increasing program capacity, fundraising, back office automation, including a lot of talk about human resources. Um you just you gotta get the book which is the smart non profit but beth why don’t you leave us with inspiration and wisdom?

[00:58:30.19] spk_2:
Okay. Um we’ve been through a lot the sector has been through a lot. I mean the world’s been through a lot in the last 22 plus years with the pandemic and accompanying other crisis is and as Allison is outlined and I think we’re we are like at a precipice where we could just either go down the rabbit hole of you know a human capital crisis and spiraling out and people leaving the field and organizations just, you know, stopping business and, you know, leaving lots of people who are vulnerable who need their services. I mean, that’s we can’t go there. We have to pivot. And I think that um, smart tech is part of the tools that can help us get there. But again, their tools, they also need this empathetic leadership that we’ve been talking about and we who can also steer and change the culture to put people first. Um, and um, and I think if we can have all of these things together, working for the organization, the Smart Tech plus the culture plus the leadership, uh, we’ll be able to move forward in a post pandemic world with much better outcomes with happier staff, with staff doing a better job with donors, feeling seen and heard and wanting to, you know, um write bigger checks if you will with clients who are receiving the services that they need and we’re on a path to a better world. It’s not gonna be easy, but uh, we believe that non profits can do this.

[00:58:48.89] spk_0:
That’s beth cantor at Beth Kanter and Beth Kanter dot org co author Alison Fine at a fine and Allison Fine dot com. The book is the smart non profit you can find it in either of their two sites,

[00:59:00.00] spk_1:
Beth

[00:59:00.35] spk_0:
and Allison, thank you so much. Thanks for sharing

[00:59:03.70] spk_2:
genuine

[01:00:00.00] spk_0:
pleasure next week. Eric Sapperstein returns after many years. Let’s talk about waking up excited and going to bed fulfilled. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I Beseech You find it at tony-martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot C O and by fourth dimension technologies I. T. Infra in a box, the affordable tech solution for nonprofits. tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant four D. Just like three D. But they go one dimension deeper. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff showed social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by scott stein, Thank you for that. Affirmation Scotty, you’re with me next week for nonprofit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.

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[00:02:26.44] spk_0:
on Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95% on your aptly named host. This marks a month of a dizzy production with audacity and zoom. I’m rather proud of myself. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d be thrown into Abdur mission if you made me numb with the idea that you missed today’s show. Easy A. I Artificial intelligence is an opportunity for your career, not a threat to your job. Najeeb Qassem explains how to leverage your skills in a new landscape and describe some of the intelligent tools available for you to work with. He’s CEO of Kayla. This is part of our 20 NTC coverage and impact storytelling. How can technology help you share your impact with the right people at the right time? How do you distill your big story down to a small, comprehensible individual story? Tim San Antonio is with neon one that’s also part of our 20 and TC coverage on tony Steak, too. Draw another breath were sponsored by wegner-C.P.As guiding you beyond the numbers wegner-C.P.As dot com by Cougar Mountain Software Denali Fund. Is there complete accounting solution made for nonprofits tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant Mountain for a free 60 day trial and by turned to communications, PR and content for nonprofits, your story is their mission. Turn hyphen. Two dot ceo. Here is Easy a I Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 20 NTC. That’s a 2020 non profit technology conference. The conference was canceled, but we’re pursuing it virtually. Yes, they are sponsored at NTC by Cougar Mountain Software Denali Fund. Is there complete accounting solution made for non profits? Tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant Mountain for a free 60 day trial? My guest now of our second interview of 20 NTC is Najeeb Qassem. He is CEO at tequila. Uh, Majeed. Welcome.

[00:02:30.64] spk_1:
Thank you. It’s a real pleasure to be here, tony. Pleasure

[00:02:33.14] spk_0:
to have you as well, and I

[00:02:54.21] spk_1:
want to correct you. But one thing and TC may have canceled, but the spirit of the conference has not been. There are events popping up all across the continent. Webinars recordings. It’s been I was texting with Amy last night, and I think despite the heartbreak that it’s been, there’s so much community and grassroots support of the folks looking to build capacity and continue their learning, and it’s been heartbreaking, but yet inspiring at the same time.

[00:03:02.91] spk_0:
Yeah, well, you jumped into the void, right? Didn’t Didn’t you start put up a page or pages with, uh, virtual webinars that people were gonna be that we’re planning?

[00:03:27.71] spk_1:
Yes, sir. Actually, key allies hosting Ah, three day conference called Plugged in. Um, nope. You’re all needed. And Ah, and ah, it’s 99 sessions on different sort of some of the many of the topics. A lot of the speakers from from the intense conference I they’re gonna be speaking on everything from using tech in your social media toe A I and fundraising we’ve got I think five of aunt intends 12 board members are actually speaking. So we’ve had an incredible amount of support from amazing women and men across the U. S. And in Canada to bring people together.

[00:03:53.54] spk_0:
Now, when you’re doing this because I’m not sure when this interview you and I are doing right now is gonna air it, maybe after what you’re planning. So

[00:04:01.61] spk_1:
it starts today of all things.

[00:04:03.19] spk_0:
Okay, You’re definitely It’s not gonna not a

[00:04:06.01] spk_1:
big, but it’ll all be recorded as well as if you go to kill a dot com website. I’m sure you’ll be able to find it.

[00:04:11.25] spk_0:
OK. K E l a dot com. Yes, sir. Okay. Okay. Cool. Why is there a tennis racket hanging on your wall? Significance there. So

[00:04:40.04] spk_1:
it’s funny. It’s wow. Firstly, I had I have a love affair with tennis. I always tell my wife you’re my wife, but tennis is might miss stress. I’ve been playing since the age of three, which is also the time that I’ve been involved in the nonprofit sector. So by two earliest memories are volunteering and hitting a tennis ball. You

[00:04:40.24] spk_0:
were volunteering at age three.

[00:05:16.84] spk_1:
My mom and dad fled East Africa in the late sixties, early seventies and, uh, they had a rough go growing up and they’re 10. My dad got his first job at 11 to support a bunch of people. My mom had to get scholarships, but they were so supported by civil society and the nonprofit sector. I was born in Canada with, you know, what is the perfect life and so very early my parents taught me and reminded me how important it was to be involved in civil society to build nonprofits, to partake in my community. And so, you know, how do you tell a three year old that you’re not gonna donate to the cause? He’s He’s asking money he’s asking money for And so my mom and that it has refused, right? But I think more. They taught me about how important our sector is and how valuable it is. And so for 30 something years now, I’ve been playing in and around the nonprofit sector, and it’s it’s been a passion of.

[00:05:39.03] spk_0:
I should have had Children just so I could bring them along on solicitations. Its strike do.

[00:05:43.19] spk_1:
It’s true. I

[00:05:55.91] spk_0:
do plan giving, consulting plan, giving fundraising? Yes. If I had a three year old in my lap, I’m now. Could they have been impossible? It’s impossible. It’s better than a therapy dog. I don’t have Children. So I joke about, uh, well, my wife. I love Children. I love chilling. I love all Children, Children of all persuasions and and genders I love all Children know nothing about. Okay,

[00:06:09.51] spk_1:
well, you know, I think we’re building all of this for the next generation to write, to make every generation a little bit better and help this generation a lot. A lot, A lot as well. So I forgot to ask you how you holding up in all this craziness

[00:06:31.15] spk_0:
when I was gonna ask you Thank you for preempting. Yes, I’m finding in North Carolina, um, safe and well, and I have the ocean across the street, so I can not.

[00:06:36.54] spk_1:
The worst thing

[00:06:37.54] spk_0:
I can walk on the beach is alone on bits. Find where you and how are you?

[00:06:55.34] spk_1:
I’m in Vancouver, BC, and I’ve got the ocean about five minutes away, so I’m blast. My wife is nine months pregnant, so she’s due next week. Um, and so it’s a funny time to be bringing a baby into the world. But they say the 1st 100 days is brutal anyway, so I’m gonna be home, which is a blessing in disguise.

[00:07:03.12] spk_0:
Congratulations. We’re recording on March 24th. Are you expecting by the end of this month,

[00:07:09.49] spk_1:
Probably early April. I mean, who knows? Now it’s anything that’s two weeks, but it will be exciting. It’ll be

[00:07:51.51] spk_0:
right. Let’s talk about artificial intelligence. Your webinar topic, uh, was well sorry. Your workshop topic was on the topic we’re discussing remains easy. Artificial intelligence, simple tools toe tools to elevate your non profit impact. Let’s just start with a basic understanding. What? What what kinds of things were talking about with respect? Artificial intelligence? That’s a wide I was a phrase that could captures everything from manufacturing to big data. What are we talking about?

[00:08:23.11] spk_1:
So I think we’re more on that big data spectrum or just the data in general spectrum. So, you know, I’m actually giving the talk at Oculus plugged in in about two hours, so I should hopefully be able to answer this question. Well, you know, we’re talking mainly about machine learning driven, artificial intelligence that’s really part of software. And that’s what I wanted to talk about. How there’s tons of ways that organization, small and big anywhere in the world, can adopt tools some out of the box, some custom built that helped them gain insights, understand, get predictions for their organization on programming, on fundraising, on bullets, your management, whatever it might be on how that’s not some scary, um, mystical kind of thing. It’s a very tangible riel thing that isn’t all that difficult for us to adopt. Even if you’re a tech light, I like myself.

[00:09:21.08] spk_0:
It’s time for a break. Wegner-C.P.As. We received RP PP funding. Now what? That’s their latest recorded webinar. What about loan forgiveness? How do you get the max forgiven? Remember, it’s merely forgiveness, not absolution. You go toe wegner-C.P.As dot com, Click Resource is and recorded events. Now back to Easy A I with Najeeb Qassem. Okay, it’s not not easy to adopt and, uh, nineties to adopt and to adapt to also bringing into your daily routine.

[00:10:00.54] spk_1:
So, you know, I think it once you make the commitment to make the change, it becomes it’s It’s one of those things. I’m not sure how you lived without especially, you know, And I think so. It is making a change, but not a revolution. It’s about, you know, our thesis and the pieces of the conversation that I was gonna have an NTC was It doesn’t have to up and how you work. It’s not gonna fire people. It’s not going to fundamentally change organization. It’s just gonna make it a little bit easier and a little bit quicker to do some of your work. And so I think part of my responsibility at at in that in that conversation in the webinar I’ll be giving was to say, Don’t freak out of a the A I It doesn’t have to be super expensive. It doesn’t even have to be complicated. But it’s something you’ve got to go out there and be committed to learning about so that you can build capacity at your non.

[00:10:19.80] spk_0:
Okay, Well, instead of your saying it there, you’re gonna say it here before you say it again in two hours. So? So you didn’t put the jacket on for non profit radio? The jacket is on for plugged in, right?

[00:10:29.18] spk_1:
You know, I put the jacket on no matter what. Definitely for you, tony.

[00:10:37.22] spk_0:
Look, now look at me. I’m in a T shirt. Come on. Monday. But I’m on the beach. I’m but I’m

[00:10:37.94] spk_1:
a recovering corporate lawyer. This is like,

[00:10:40.83] spk_0:
all right. And you recovered a lot more recently that I did. I recovered General Liability melt medical malpractice defense attorney. But that was many years ago. 1990 1994. So you have. When you get further into your recovery, you’ll address you’ll just like this.

[00:10:55.84] spk_1:
It I’ll just sort of go from that high a lot of time. That’s all

[00:11:09.74] spk_0:
right. It’s incremental. It’s in command. Trust me. Yes, 10 years from now, you’ll stop shaving your wear T shirts every day. Im you 10 years Dennard.

[00:12:31.24] spk_1:
Yeah, Yeah. All right. So I think I think the first thing I want to talk about is a little bit about demystifying. What is a I and a at least a I that I’m talking about? Yeah, that I’m talking about is not the robot on TV that takes over humanity. It’s not a piece of technology that can think for itself that can make decisions for itself that can operate. And sometimes I think the perception is artificial intelligence is like I said, this big scary thing The thing I’m talking about is the thing that tells you what song to listen to on Spotify or what products to recommend for you on Amazon. Simply put, it’s it’s taking huge amounts of data and teaching it about ah, developer and engineer. Ah, data scientists will teach it something. It’s like writing an algorithm, right? It’s It’s the same thing we used to have. But instead of just writing the algorithm, if this then that right, it’s it also teaches them how to learn better. Because we know that the more data we have when operated in the right, you know, by the right people. When built properly, they can actually make decision making and better and better. So the a I that we’re talking about the eye that’s built in the Killah and built into tons of other tools sales tools, Amazon, whatever it might be, is simply saying to This is this piece of software that says When David gets in, I’m gonna get smarter and smarter, or it’s gonna get smart and smarter to make that decision or that recommendation or whatever it’s coded to do. It’s a very simple, not simple to build that simple task.

[00:12:52.60] spk_0:
Okay, let’s dive in. So can we start with, say, a fundraising application? Absolutely. Well, what? What do you have to offer there? What?

[00:12:57.17] spk_1:
So So And I don’t want to talk about kilo here because

[00:12:59.76] spk_0:
I know. And I don’t mean not

[00:13:00.96] spk_1:
No, no, no. Of course. But, you know,

[00:13:02.83] spk_0:
agnostic. What? What could we do with our r c R M database?

[00:13:48.78] spk_1:
Absolutely. So So let’s pick something like when a donor is gonna give. Okay? Like you know your your plan. Gift giver. You know, you probably know, you know, the organization to work with probably have years or even decades worth of data, right? They have it. It might be in a spreadsheet. It might be in a CIA ram. It might be, you know, like me on Post it notes. But it’s there. And so that data is, is the It’s the key to making these decisions. So if you know that Tony’s get probably gonna give on giving Tuesday and on December 30th because he’s got tax money, he wants to write off over time. Right now, that’s you. Now you add tens or hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands of donation records for you and for all the other people. What the’s tools could do is start to see patterns and the smart, the A I The machine learning of it is it sees the patterns, and as it gets more data, it the recognition of the pattern gets smarter. Does that Does that make sense?

[00:14:12.87] spk_0:
Yeah. All right,

[00:14:45.04] spk_1:
so So now I know if I run this through the you know, in my crn if I’ve got this tool later, don or whatever it is that tony is gonna give in these these times and the on the predictions over time over the years over the multiple donors you have are going to get better and better and smarter and smarter and ultimately, more accurate. Now you cannot replace the intuition of a fundraiser. The personal relationships A I tools and the fundraising space are not trying to do that. What they’re trying to do is give you tony a tool to help your work better.

[00:15:09.48] spk_0:
Okay. All right. So we need we need a decent amount of data. You know, obviously, the larger the sample, the smart area smarter it is, and the more you could pull out of it, Right? Sorry. All right. So, um okay, so we could predict, um, let’s say bringing into my arena because I’m shellfish. I’m the host planned giving. So I mean, I know from doing this since 1997 that the likelihood that someone is going to be make make a planned gift is based on their They’re giving two factors there giving history, consistency, loyalty, like these are people who now, of course, there are exceptions. But

[00:15:35.24] spk_1:
of course, of course. And so that’s what I can’t can’t override, right? You’re 14 right? I mean, sure, they can do it. Agree. But the exceptions or what? Why we need you. This is why you’re not out of a job. At least not yet, right? You know, But but But you’re right. Those two factors, or

[00:16:20.50] spk_0:
west, the loyalty of giving. So these are people who have maybe given 25 gifts in 20 years, 18 years or something. 30 givings, 25 years, lots of loyalty, regardless of the gift size and roughly age 55 to 60 over. Yes, some people make planned gifts when they’re 30 something. But again, we’re generalizing. How is ah? So how is artificial intelligence going to help me with that experience based conclusion?

[00:16:21.51] spk_1:
So you know what? It might do it And I’m just spitballing here, but you might have a tool that’s built that says that’s able to recognize those factors. And then at a tag or a badge to this ex donor, right? My mom who says, you know, she has the preconditions based on the data we have based on all of your donors, Not just you, all of your donors. These air the patterns. We see these are the preconditions that the developers have sort of said, You know, this is likely. Like you said, history and age and a few other things, and they may run these models is what’s really and then they can say this person is a high likelihood of medium likelihood of low likely. For example, it can spit out a prediction just like Spotify says, If you like Pink Floyd, it might suggest the Zeppelins right. That’s that. It’s this. It’s literally the same logic. It’s It’s a predictions. Okay? An algorithm.

[00:17:28.02] spk_0:
I just thought of a way it might actually work alongside. What I just described is, let’s say you’re you know, it’s a statewide organization. It would find the people you tell me if it could probably find the locations. Maybe the county’s sure have a You have a density of planned giving donors or play giving prospects based on who the donors are. But you never realised. You don’t realize there’s a there’s a There’s a greater likelihood for Johnson County to be a plan gift donor than for Smith County,

[00:18:50.74] spk_1:
for sure, and I think wanted great things. You know we talk about artificial intelligence as this siloed thing, but it’s actually not. It’s part of any a data or an intelligence strategy in a software or as an organization. It’s not one you know. Software can see stuff that we can’t not just because of the A I because it’s like there’s so much data. There’s only so many records that you conflict there or remember or into it like there’s there’s a whole other ah, bigger right. The reason it can do calculations, fasters. It’s not that it’s smarter than me. It’s just it’s got more processing power than Ideo, and it’s probably smarter than me. But you know, what I’m saying is, and so I think you, you know, you can add the benefit of these things and a good developer, well, actually work with the sector in this case and understand the different preconditions so they might look at location they might look at, You know, the primary things might be age and frequency, but there might be a whole host of other things that determine maybe the stock market, maybe not even example right now. But, you know, maybe the location, maybe the weather who knows. But these factors are then tested on a sample in the development process. What they do is they take the data set in. They carve out a sample, right, like a little bit of it, and they run their models to see if the machine will predict the same things. That the sort of the pure algorithm like, if then kind of stuff.

[00:19:33.87] spk_0:
Can we expect if we’re going to the artificial intelligence marketplace to find tools that are already exists? And then we cast we like it’s on a plug in for salesforce or razor’s Edge or something, while majors that you may not allow plugs, but Salesforce would resident probably would not, Um, is something like that is, This is not all custom development, right?

[00:19:39.80] spk_1:
No. And that’s really important to note. There are tons of amazing innovators and thinkers and technologists and dedicated, passionate people in the nonprofit sector who are building the stock times. A few on I get to work with a bunch of every day. So here’s where I will say Kayla is a C. R m. We focus on small to medium sized nonprofits, sort of sub 10 year and it’s built right into the tech. So it’s a C R M. But it’s got all this stuff already layered in. There are other tools, like gravity and I wave and other tools a couple of other organizations that lets you plug it into your your sales force or your or your whatever C. R m. And so and they’ve gone out and they’ve analyzed just like we have, you know, and built the factors and work with the sectors and built the technology. So you literally plug in your day that it’s just fresco

[00:20:29.04] spk_0:
that was very gracious of you to shout out gravity and I wave

[00:20:32.45] spk_1:
No, no, it’s, you know, we’re building something and innovating for the sector together, and I want to make sure that we’re doing what’s best for the sector. And it’s not often I believe it’s kilobit. Often it’s not.

[00:20:44.34] spk_0:
What else besides fundraising could give it? Give us another

[00:21:05.94] spk_1:
that I want to use a really, really out of a non one that’s got nothing to Akila or I wave or sale sports or anything. I want to talk about suicide prevention. Okay, so there’s an organization in the U. S. That’s that. That worked with data scientists to analyze 65 million text messages across which is heartbreaking by the way to think about the 65 million text messages have been sent in around that, I think it’s called the Crisis text line. The crisis.

[00:21:14.58] spk_0:
10 of them. Yeah, they were there, founded by the founder of Do Something.

[00:21:19.70] spk_1:
Maybe maybe? Yeah.

[00:21:48.41] spk_0:
Forget. Oh, my. I’m embarrassed. I forget her name. You know, the I know are your finger is the current CEO of Do Something but Crisis text line. Yeah, they’re they’re data intensive. Yeah, kids. Sorry, young people Azaz do something became and is now well known in data science and Lewis for people like, you know, like, 16 to 25 or something like that. Or maybe 11 2 25 like that. Yeah, yeah, I know. Crisis took Nancy. Nancy. I forget Nancy. Loveland e. I think Nancy Bubbling. We’re talking about the crisis text line.

[00:23:37.24] spk_1:
So crisis text line analysed 65 million text messages on what they were it. So one thing that I learned is that them every minute counts. When you’re talking about suicide, right, the more the quicker you get to the young woman of the young man who struggling that sent the text, the more likely you’re able to help them in time, right? And so what they did is they, You know, the example that I was taught was there’s to exempt to text messages. One. That’s, I don’t know if I could go on. I just want to drive my, um, car off a cliff And the other one is my friend committed suicide. I don’t know how I’m going to get by now. The urgency of those two things is very clear, right? And so, using machine learning, they were able to rank high priority and low priority cases on the high priority cases where they were able. I think there’s something like 50%. They were able to to read out the lower priority ones and get to the high priority ones really quickly. And so something like 90% 90 plus percent of the texts that are high priority as determined by this machine learning algorithm, and that within five minutes they could get to them. They took 65 million text messages, analyze them, built the model that got smarter, that was able to use. Think it’s called natural language processing To say this is high priority. This is lower priority. And because of that, they’re able to save lives. And that’s a really cool example of how our sectors using I Does that make sense?

[00:23:42.96] spk_0:
Yeah, of course. Yeah, uh, again, big data. Um,

[00:24:05.64] spk_1:
yeah, that one was custom built. A lot of other ones don’t have to be right. That one was cost. Okay. Yeah. Um, one of my engineers actually worked on a data science project in his master’s degree where it was using. And I don’t exactly know much about this one using artificial intelligence and machine learning to help people with prosthetics and getting the nerve movements right, because it was tons of data that they were able to crunch. To say, this is supposed to do this. That’s posted batter. You know, he’s 10 times smarter than I am. But the’s air application, some of them are custom like those and others air out of the box like some of the fundraising ones or chat bots. A really big example. Non.

[00:24:26.71] spk_0:
Oh, they are so check box for an example of

[00:24:42.64] spk_1:
what you do is you teach they can be. I don’t know if everybody you know you can Great chatbots. And some of them you can just, you know, kind of sign up for and you give up 50 questions or 50 answers. Right? Then people chat in, and as people talk to the bought, it gets smarter and smarter and more able to recognize which crushing it is an answer appropriately, or that it doesn’t know and categorize them and even suggest what questions you should be answering. That’s an example of artificial intelligence. Okay, okay. And not crazy. Not scary. Not take over the world end humanity. Kind of a I just simple. Yeah, you’ve

[00:25:14.44] spk_0:
reassured us. Oh, yeah. Okay. Those of those who were words worried in the beginning, um, you want your wonder bullets in your description says, uh, talk about how to leverage your skill set new landscape using working side by side with We’re working with artificial intelligence. That’s not fluid. Like it’s another employee working with it yourself. Well,

[00:25:30.52] spk_1:
you know, So I had property.

[00:25:32.58] spk_0:
Well, just know what skill sets are are advantageous.

[00:26:19.38] spk_1:
You know, I’m in the decades I’ve spent in and around the sector. One thing that I’ve learned is the ingenuity and the commitment of our sector is maybe the biggest and most important resource. And I think the commitment and ingenuity to learn and to continue to grow and drop these tools into our work processes is the most important skill, you know. And sometimes myself included, we’re a little bit rigid, and how we think we’re like this is how we’ve done it for 20 years. Why would I change it? But technology is is whether we like it or not a great disrupter. And this tech is not a fat. It’s not going anywhere. So we need Teoh. It’s not. It’s not difficult to learn, but it it does involve us taking a leap of faith or or getting at least out of our discomfort zones or rather, our comfort zones into our discomfort zones and saying this could be part of my work. The second thing is thinking structurally thinking about this as an opportunity rather than a threat, right? And I think that, you know, I’m disappointed to a degree in how our sector has reacted because this tech has been around its not like its 14 months old,

[00:26:54.98] spk_0:
Ondas you said earlier. You know, we’re already taking advantage of it through Amazon products, Absolutely. On Spotify Suggestions are easily see. This is an opportunity, not a threat. Um, but also

[00:26:55.61] spk_1:
like the big one, the big guys air using it hard. Just Rocchi’s universities use it for their endowments. They use this, the little guys, the medium organizations. Now that there’s out of the box solutions and other opportunities, you know, that’s great. Like, let’s let’s embrace them. And let’s have the courage to embrace

[00:27:29.74] spk_0:
them. All right, we’re gonna leave it there, and that’s that’s a perfect way because our audience is small and mid sized nonprofits, 13,000 weekly listeners so wonderful They’re there, right in your sweet spot as well. Thank you very much. All right. Tony Judaism CEO of tequila Kiva dot com Thank you again.

[00:27:31.14] spk_1:
Thanks. Don’t appreciate it.

[00:30:08.47] spk_0:
And thank you for being with tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 20 and T. C. We need to take a break. Cougar Mountain software. Their accounting product Denali is built for non profits from the ground up so that you get an application that supports the way you work that has the features you need and the exemplary support that understands you. They have a free 60 day trial on the listener landing page at tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant. Now time for Tony’s Take Jew Draw another breath. No, the ice age is not coming. You just need to take care of yourself. It’s essential. Things are still screwed up badly, and it takes a toll on you. It may feel like it’s more of a routine. Now it is. In fact, it is more of a routine now. But things are still screwed up, and it’s still impinges on the way the way we work and it and it impacts our minds badly. So please put yourself first at some time each day. Maybe it’s total relaxation. Maybe it’s a vigorous workout. I have been saying pure relaxation, which I do, but maybe that’s not it for you on, By the way, I do work out to I’m not a sloth. I’m not even sure what a sloth is. But I’m not a slug, No, but a slug. I’m not sure what a slug is is, um, you know, I don’t crawl around. Um uh, you know what is? Well, I’m not one of those, um Yeah. No, I’m not. That Whatever it is that takes your mind off, work off disease off everything that’s going on around you around, all of us. What is that? Puts you at peace. Find it? You know what it is, you know, think about it. Just got to make time to do it. You know what it is that puts you in peace? Do it. Take care of yourself. Do it each day. You deserve it. You need it. Please. That is Tony’s. Take two. Now it’s time for impact storytelling. Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 20 NTC. The 2020 non profit Technology Conference. The conference had to be canceled in Baltimore, but we are persevering by Zoom virtually. We’re sponsored at 20 NTC by Cougar Mountain Software Denali Fund. Is there complete accounting solution made for non profits? Tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant Mountain for a free 60 day trial. My guest kicking off Day two of our coverage is Tim San Antonio. He’s director of strategic partnerships at Neon One. Tim, welcome to the show.

[00:30:18.63] spk_2:
Hey, thanks for having me. Thanks.

[00:30:20.35] spk_0:
Thank you. I’m glad we could work this out virtually. And you’re well and safe in the Schenectady area upstate New York. I’m glad.

[00:30:27.75] spk_2:
Yes, yes. And I’m happy that you’re also doing well. Uh, you know, I am finding it. It’s a trying time for everybody, but I’m also inspired by the creativity that I’m seeing as well.

[00:30:56.45] spk_0:
There’s a lot, especially around NTC and and the community commitment to do these virtually whether it’s non profit radio are. Yesterday there was, ah, conference that Ah company called Kilo put together our NTC subset Virtual conference. Kilo did that plugged, and I think they called it. There’s been a lot of community support. We’re resilient. It’s a resilient. It’s a resilient, committed community.

[00:31:27.44] spk_2:
Well, and actually, that’s one of the things that that we kind of kicked into. High gear. Neon one is one of the sponsors of the fundraising effectiveness project. Okay, And so that’s Ah, that’s from it was an outgrowth of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Anderman Institute, in terms of data analysis, and we actually looked back in terms of like what happened in the last crisis, 7 4000 and eight. And we actually found this is a data set that draws from from neon serum, blue meringue donor perfect some other data providers. So it’s very accurate, especially for, you know, small the midsized organizations.

[00:31:38.32] spk_0:
That’s our audience here

[00:32:27.04] spk_2:
and so, so great. This is this is gonna be relevant because that’s gonna impact us for months, right? Even though we’re talking right now in the midst of the storm, this is not going to go away anytime soon. And what happened in 7 4000 and eight, with the study of about 2400 organizations, is that even when an economic downturn really started to kick in the gear, you know, GDP was dropping and things of that nature donation revenue relatively stayed flat. It didn’t go down that much. Um, and actually small to mid size donations kicked up in the beginning, actually. So? So there is historical precedence. It’s not apples to apples situation, especially with with kind of the social distancing elements here. But, um, if we go back, historically, there is data that shows that we’re resilient. It’s not just kind of like hope is, you know, hope is not a strategy, right? So So you

[00:32:34.58] spk_0:
have. And how about after the, uh what do you have data for what happened after the great recession was over 9 4010

[00:33:03.44] spk_2:
Yeah, things have consistently year over year, especially when you start to look at giving institute data alongside of it, which we help supply for think individual giving. But if you look at foundation data, even corporate social responsibility, things go up. Things have historically been going up. The issues are that donor retention is going down. That’s that’s the problem that the larger pie is going up. There’s more money being put into the sector, but individual donor retention has hysterically been kind of taking downward year over year. And that’s that’s the concern that especially a lot of people have with what’s what’s happening right now.

[00:33:23.83] spk_0:
I know there is a lot of donor attrition. I’ve had lots of guests talk. About 70 75% of first year donors don’t make a gift. Second year,

[00:33:34.04] spk_2:
it’s actually it’s actually a corner pheap. Most recent fundraising effectiveness project data. It’s probably in the eighties at this point when we look at what happened in 2019 and then the fourth quarter report is just about to get announced, so

[00:33:53.24] spk_0:
it’s getting worse than getting a guest. Like I said, 70 75. Yeah, all right.

[00:33:54.84] spk_2:
And ultimately, I mean that touch. Well, let’s let’s try to shift into the positive tone

[00:34:12.06] spk_0:
to the part of what I was gonna shifted into impact storytelling. Which exactly what We’re here to talk about what you were going to talk about MTC. And we’re talking about today standing, standing out in the crowd with impact storytelling. All right, so what do we need to do? Better about

[00:34:53.82] spk_2:
what we need to do to do it? Yeah. So ultimately, there’s kind of a lot of different industry theorists and consultants and other thought leaders, you know, talk about an impact feedback loop in the very simple, simple idea there is. When somebody makes a donation, they’re expecting the here report back on the impact of what was done with that. And then there’s data, you know, from people like Adrian, Sergeant and stuff like that that show that the quicker that you tell an effective story to someone on what was done with the money, then they’re more likely to donate again. And so especially way with donor retention going down for first time donors, storytelling is key to engaging those folks and keeping them coming back,

[00:34:59.33] spk_0:
Would you say as tell a story as soon as possible? Do you mean within 24 hours you have the donation? Here’s where here’s where your money went.

[00:35:07.47] spk_2:
Absolutely absolutely because and now, realistically, because of just how our industry works. And these are things that me on one wants to addresses, is speeding up, getting money into into organizations hands quicker But realistically, like unless it’s like a credit card donation, someone probably isn’t expecting that they’re check where their donor advised fund dispersement or something like that is going to like immediately from day one, like start, start feeding kids or

[00:35:37.67] spk_0:
being in the hands of right right being in the hands of beneficiaries, right?

[00:37:01.52] spk_2:
Just that’s not realistic. So there’s a little bit of, ah of a you know, gap in terms of what donors we’re gonna understand. But they do know that that there’s a rolling trailing basis of impact that should be happening. People should be doing work every single day that you can talk about right and so so the quicker that you can say, Look, this is what the money that you’ve you’ve put toward is going to do, then the better it’s going to be in terms of your retention rates that there’s there’s just concrete analysis and and and precedents for that type of thing. And so when you’re talking about impact storytelling, the thing that you don’t want to do is four people with statistics, right we could talk about, you know, for instance, just even in this conversation, we can talk about all the different things that people are experiencing right now when it comes to Cove in 19 and and things of that nature. But what we’re doing at me on one, for instance, were actually just about to launch a campaign called N Pose. Rise is focus in on concrete tactical examples of what people are doing to get through this. So examples. Let’s think about the arts world, right? You’re really getting hit because a lot of people’s attention are going toward, you know, health and human service is and food distribution and obviously things that are important. But it’s been fascinating to see organizations in the arts and culture world pivot very quickly the virtual, which they’re not very comfortable with in many ways, right like, If you’re if you’re doing a play or a performance to immediately, then go well. I don’t have the crowd in front of May. What Dough? I dio

[00:37:20.24] spk_0:
the only person an actor without an audience.

[00:37:35.71] spk_2:
Exactly. And so So to be able to see examples of that where it’s where it’s like one person, Um, one of my favorite organizations locally here is a small art studio that helps kids and it’s called Create Community Studios. And what their executive director start doing is making videos for kids on how to do art. Right? And that’s the thing where, where she’s not sitting there saying like We’ve had such an impact And here’s that, you know, x amount of number that our revenue has dropped right, like That’s not like those things are important to help supplement. But from an impact standpoint, it’s her face saying this is a way that we’re gonna help you if you want to turn around and support. This is how you can do it. But here’s me giving. This is This is the time that we, as organizations, need to give value as opposed to just kind of like provide value and there’s a difference between, like giving with no expectation of return and then like providing an expecting return. And

[00:38:48.72] spk_0:
there will be there will be a time for the for the ladder. Yes, on bit’s not in the next week or month, but the time will come when, um especially if you’re keeping in touch with your your supporters, your your donors in ways that you’re describing giving ways if you’re keeping in touch, just explaining. And here we are again storytelling, explaining what’s happening without your hand out. Then when that time is right, your donors gonna think 3/4 expect that there’s there’s been a need and, you know, and how can we? How can we be of help?

[00:40:10.37] spk_2:
And there’s there’s concrete in terms of even the psychology of storytelling. Um, uh, it’s interesting in terms of like, there’s been studies done, and we were gonna talk about this in terms of NTC. But But there’s been actual studies done where there’s a difference between, um, basically are you can somebody individually connect with the story that you’re telling because if you tell a story that has too much like it’s to big right, it’s very difficult for us to even think about Cove in 19. On the macro level, right? We hear, like, 200 you know, near 300,000 cases globally. Stuff like that, people kind of tune out. Like, psychologically, there’s there’s been studies that have shown that, like, once you get to, like, really high, big numbers don’t connect this much. And actually, data shows that if you can take the big macro story and then bring it down to here is one individual person or small group of people that have been impacted by this that is when donations actually go up. And so when we were gonna be doing the ah presentation, I was going to focus in on the Syrian crisis because, you hear, you know, refugees. And so you know. And we were gonna actually even show imagery that shows like Think about when you think about the Syrian crisis, what stands out right? And what stands out the images that people remember or not like people in refugee camps. It’s the little boy who lost his life and was washed up right? It’s a little girl who the photographer said, Can you please smile for May and There’s just tears in her eyes, but she is smiling, right? Those are the things that that send chills down people’s spines because it’s just like you and I were having a direct conversation. You know, imagine when you get all the different zoom things, it’s a little bit harder for you to focus in on one like multiple faces in even a meeting or things like that. Where is when you’re having a conversation? You’re building a relationship with someone, and that’s what you’re trying to do virtually as well as when you’re when you’re telling your story. When they’re not actually in the room with you, you know they might be reading a direct mail piece or things of that nature. You want to tell your story where there’s an individual residents because that’s when donations

[00:41:09.27] spk_1:
actually go up.

[00:41:18.81] spk_0:
Yeah, yeah, that’s consistent with what other guests have said. The macro level is just difficult to combat to comprehend. Okay, okay.

[00:41:28.99] spk_2:
And that’s ultimately there’s different strategies that you can do that because you also don’t want to be, especially now seeming opportunistic, right? But

[00:41:29.85] spk_0:
yeah, right. But

[00:41:30.87] spk_1:
it could be

[00:41:41.36] spk_0:
done with sincerity and genuineness and still showing a story revealing an impact without it being you know where your heart on the on your sleeve and with a handout.

[00:41:46.30] spk_2:
Now now is the time for

[00:41:47.89] spk_0:
the line there There was a line you don’t want across it, because then it looks like you’re being opportunistic. And exploiting the Corona virus for the benefit of your non profit

[00:41:57.28] spk_2:
authenticity is what’s going to to help most right now, being vulnerable, being being understanding, you know, like

[00:42:06.60] spk_0:
vulnerable is a good. That’s a good adjective. Yeah,

[00:42:09.31] spk_2:
it is. It is. I mean, and and for me, you know, it’s it’s difficult even on a personal level, because, like right now in the back of my head, I want to focus on you. But then I’m hearing my Children crying, right, And that’s the reality is that if we understand that that’s happening everywhere.

[00:42:25.10] spk_0:
Let’s assure listeners, your wife is home to

[00:42:32.97] spk_2:
my wife is home thing. This is not a Lord of the flies situation. My wife is. I

[00:42:34.16] spk_0:
want people to know. Yes,

[00:43:18.94] spk_2:
yes, so and were trading things off. And she’s an engineer and she has a lot of she’s actually deemed essential by New York state in terms of the work that they’re doing because its data centers that she’s supporting. But at the same time, we want to make sure that our Children are getting, you know, a good continuing an education as much as we can provide them attention. So we’re even picking themes, you know, weekly. So this week’s Dimas is store. It’s fairy tales. So it’s like storytelling, right? So I’m actually even trying to go back to them and and take the concepts that we’re talking about here and and apply that to their own life, right, because they don’t understand what’s happened in their little so. But how can you tell it? In a way, it’s actually purple. It’s going through. This experience is pushing me to be a better storyteller.

[00:44:22.45] spk_0:
Time for our last break turn to communications. They’re former journalists so that you get help getting your message through. It is possible to be heard through the Corona virus cacophony. Plus, you want to prepare to build media relationships when the din subsides. Didn’t I love that others with over dinner? It’s just just quick, then in in and at dinner, and it’s just a great word you use the word din. So when they didn’t subsides, you want to be ready to build those media relationships. They know exactly what to do. Let’s turn to. But we may. My, uh, didn’t die. Aggression may have forgotten We’re talking about turned to communications there at turn hyphen two dot ceo. Near the end of this segment, Tim talks about an April 16th virtual conference on giving events. Dream Big Virtual conference Forgiving Day hosts Tow. Watch the recorded conference. Email him Tim at neon one dot com. We’ve got but loads more time for impact storytelling.

[00:45:05.66] spk_2:
But everybody’s going through this right. It’s this weird young in collective consciousness that we’re all experiencing and and it’s global. And and And what’s fascinating is that we didn’t have this back in 1918 when you know they influenza situation hit right. Same elements happening there, but we didn’t have all the technology toe help us connect. I don’t know if tony have you seen the mean where it’s like before cove it and it shows everybody just staring at their phone. And then it’s those after Koven is like everybody’s outside. That’s pretty good. It’s pretty good social distance, though 16th

[00:45:18.99] spk_0:
in the meantime. What what advice do you have for, Ah, communicating with your institutional funders now and over the next Over the coming months, Way just talked about individual keeping in touch with individual donors. What if you’ve got a grants relationship pre existing? They’ve been funding you. How do you keep in touch with those folks? Is anything different? I mean, I would say institutional funders are made of people. Yeah, but you may have different advice for keeping in touch with whether it’s corporate supporters or private foundation.

[00:46:50.58] spk_2:
So and kind of the approach that neon one takes is that that we lean on people with subject matter, expertise and technical expertise because we don’t do everything right. And so what I’ve learned from Flux, which was gonna present with us for the NTC panel, is they focus on Ford Foundation like that’s their client base. So it’s all like private foundations and other institutional partners. And what they’re finding is that, um, one funders air stepping up. There’s a running list of emergency relief funds that we’re seeing because neon one actually does a lot of giving days, for instance, right. And so giving events by community foundations, private foundations or establishing relief funds Giving events are actually having dedicated relief funds and pages for these types of things. And so this is a time to basically don’t shirk away from being honest if you’re in pain. Um, if your organization is experiencing, um, you know, there’s a lot of things when it comes to rent. There’s a lot of things when it comes to paying employees insurance. Um, check what general operational support that you can like ask about general operational support for your institution,

[00:46:56.54] spk_0:
maybe even converting an existing grand from something project of programmatic to general operating.

[00:47:44.38] spk_2:
Yeah, don’t don’t. I was I got my start as a grant writer, tony, and that was like the first job that I had in the non profit space. And, uh, and this is not the time to focus on non restricted giving That has nothing to do with the immediate needs that your organization needs to distribute. You know, um and so being honest about that and also being prepared to to have difficult conversations around your budget is going to be key to talking to any of these. I will say on the corporate social responsibility side. It’s gonna I think I personally think it’s going to take a bit for that to recover. Now. I did check with our partners over a double the donation, and I said, Have you heard anything about corporations dropping their matching gift programs during this time? No, they have not. So we don’t need to panic. I’m actually seeing more matching gift elements come up, so I definitely lean into those. But you’re probably not gonna be getting a lot of ah, gala sponsorships at this point. Realistically,

[00:48:08.82] spk_0:
double the donation. Is that that Adam Adam What? What’s his last name? He was I’ve had him on the show.

[00:48:11.89] spk_2:
Why here? I think.

[00:48:12.95] spk_0:
Why, wegner? Wine, wine? Yeah,

[00:48:20.86] spk_2:
like that. He’s going todo while he’s actually one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. So he’ll be like, Oh, no, this is a supposed to me. You know, Santonio? No, that’s That’s how you say, Uh, yeah, Adam’s. Adam’s great. The team over there is is really great. And actually, Cougar Mountain is neon one part or two. So I’m pretty excited that they’re they’re sponsoring this.

[00:48:34.91] spk_0:
Oh, excellent. Yes. There are sponsors 20 NTC. We’re gonna have a booth together. Uh, we’re gonna We’re gonna be in double Booth 10 by 20 together.

[00:48:54.47] spk_2:
Yeah. So let let’s go. Actually, let me Let me ask you this. What do you think? The Post Cove it conference world is going to be like, Well, there are for ourselves,

[00:49:45.37] spk_0:
Coated. What? I mean, what do you mean, like next year? Yeah, I think there’s gonna be. I think there’s gonna be double the investment in 21 D. C or near double that. There was in 20 and D. C. Yeah. Um, and I some of that is that’s not just my thinking. Some of that is actually quantifiable because I have talked to any sample ward yesterday. You know, then 10 0 yeah. She is a regular contributor on the show she’s on each month. She’s great looking about technology, but on dhe, she’s been on with the show for years, so I know her very well. She said there were. She didn’t know why, but some of the major exhibitors and sponsors had had near double there. Their their support from 2019 to 2020. They were seeing big, some record numbers in sponsorships and support. Um,

[00:49:46.26] spk_2:
between We were gonna have a double booth, and actually

[00:49:48.42] spk_0:
you were going to Okay, that’s that. That was among a lot of the big sponsors, so it made cancellation that much more difficult.

[00:49:56.37] spk_2:
I know. It’s like what, like, 60% of their revenue was anti

[00:49:59.93] spk_0:
62 to be exact. Yeah, to pretend the revenue is that conference.

[00:50:03.82] spk_2:
Well, they definitely they do have a support fund. I’ve donated to it. For instance, in terms of the even, though my stuff would be covered by neon one. I I personally, uh, made a donation. So folks want to support NTC. I would say this is a good time to

[00:50:30.59] spk_0:
radio. Yes, I’ve done the same thing. I made a pledge by April 30th. Yeah, yeah, and 10 dot org’s, but in terms of Well, that s so I just know NTC. I think 21 in D. C is gonna be a blowout. I think I think it’s a mistake. If you don’t exhibit in 21 d c e. I wouldn’t be surprised if they pushed 3000 people where their usual is 24 2500. What

[00:50:44.86] spk_2:
I do see happening is supplement, Terry. Virtual events being spun up. So, virtual conferences. We It’s interesting. We actually

[00:50:52.02] spk_0:
amorphous gave that. I am I narrowed down to one. I only know in D C. You’re able to look global. Uh, all right, well, that’s why that’s why we’re picking your brain, you

[00:50:57.17] spk_2:
know? And that’s part of my job is to pay attention,

[00:51:03.84] spk_0:
wegner. Thank you. All right. Despite its strategic sponsorships, I’m a little leak in fundraising Consultant in podcaster.

[00:51:06.93] spk_2:
But I love it. I love the podcast, tony, Thank you into every year.

[00:51:19.82] spk_0:
Yes, Podcasts have a place, especially now. But, you know, I’ve been at this for 10 years. July is gonna be our 500 show, so you should jump on the sponsorship bandwagon and

[00:51:19.97] spk_2:
I’ll talk to marketing. I’ll talk to talk to our marketing.

[00:51:26.30] spk_0:
Okay. Um yeah. Cougar Mountain is already on. Um okay, so that go back to what you were saying? What you expect to see we’re

[00:53:39.84] spk_2:
going to see more. So a MP, for instance, they they’ve created So NTC has done community submission. So, you know, for instance, Dion, one is doing ah, Siris of Webinars and things of that nature specific. Teoh Cove in 19. Um, you know, virtual events, virtual galas, that type of situation. We have some interesting things around, live streaming with our partners That tilt if I, for instance, you know, silent auctions with click bid, Um, on then all of this needing to go back to a database of records so you can cultivate that relationship. But it’s also interesting to see what a f P has done, which is that they association fundraising professionals. Basically, that was going to back to back Ah, this week. So, you know, my wife was gonna hate the the fact that, um, you know, I was gonna be gone for a week, But be careful what you wish for, I guess in terms of my wife, um So if he’s done a full virtual conference and I think we’re going to see more and more of those supplementary things because even if you can get thousands of people in one space, which we will, that will happen again once once, you know it’s going to take months, but it’s gonna happen. I do still think from an equity standpoint that virtual conferences are, uh, are going to start popping up mawr as Look, you can’t make the physical thing, then come to our virtual conference. And I think we’re going to see more and more of that not only from an equity standpoint, inaccessibility standpoint, but just because it’s good business as well. Um, I mean, we’re spitting up our first virtual conference, and we actually planned it months before any of this happened. But, um uh, you know, it’s in April, April 16th and it’s gonna be on giving events, you know, 1st 1st virtual conference ever on forgiving event hosts. You know, if you want to run a giving day for your college, for your community, um, you know, we said, Hey, let’s start now, do it. But we had to shift the tone. You know, we had to shift some of the sessions, obviously. Ah, but what What’s actually encouraging is the data that we’re seeing is that we’re seeing massive spikes in people starting to pre pre donate or donate forgiving events. So the idea of giving vent think like giving Tuesday, right? Everybody goes to one site they donate to the community. We’re actually seeing a lot of this stuff go up very encouraging numbers when it comes to online donations popping up

[00:53:53.58] spk_0:
before before the actual day.

[00:53:55.61] spk_2:
Yes, yeah, so we’ve we’ve opened up the days Ah Teoh do early registration and stuff like that because And actually, what’s interesting is that Arizona gives, for instance, which is, I think, April 11th this year they had about 720 organizations log on and register for the platform there, almost 1000 at this point. So more and more non profits are saying you know what we want. We want to invest in and work with our community, and that’s it’s a rising tides situation. So giving events, if there’s one in your community join it doesn’t matter if it’s neon one or whatever, just do it because it’s gonna get a lot more attention this year

[00:54:33.60] spk_0:
and we gotta wrap up so I could stay on schedule. Let’s give a shout out to your what do you have coming up in April and where, where people go to find out about on April what 16th?

[00:54:41.44] spk_2:
Yes, April 16th and we have a ton of resource is that we’re rolling out over the course of the next few weeks, including Ah, you know, just go tony on one dot com and we’re gonna have a dedicated page just for all of some rapid response resource is to get funds into nonprofits hands quicker. That is what we need right now because then they can tell their story better. So that’s what we’re gonna be doing.

[00:55:08.39] spk_0:
I want to compliment you on being coordinated between your T shirt and that portrait on your say that is that portrait on the wall in red and black

[00:55:11.22] spk_2:
that is shaken Avara

[00:57:15.85] spk_0:
of our Congratulations on your coordination. Thank you. He’s Tim San Antonio director, Strategic partnerships at Neon one. Thank you very much, Tim. Thank you. And thank you for being with tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 20 NTC, as we mentioned. Sponsored at 20 NTC by Cougar Math and Software Denali Fund. Is there complete accounting solution? Thank you for that Thumbs up. All right. Made for non profits made for non profits. It’s great. Tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant Mountain for 40 free 60 day trial. Thanks so much reading with us next week. Lawrence Paige No Ni returns with his new book, Fundraising 401 I wonder if he’s inspired by Fahrenheit 911 and I still wish you would pronounce his name Panyu. Tony, I have not forgotten that if you missed any part of today’s show, I beseech you, find it on tony-martignetti dot com. I’m gonna challenge him with that Panyu tony. Maybe I don’t have done that before, but he can count on it again were sponsored by wegner-C.P.As guiding you beyond the numbers. Wegner-C.P.As dot com by Cougar Mountain Software Denali Fund Is there complete accounting solution made for nonprofits tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant Mountain for a free 60 day trial and by turned to communications, PR and content for you non for non profits. Your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot ceo Ah, creative producer is clear, Meyerhoff. I did the post production Sam Liebowitz managed extremely shows Social Media is by Susan Chavez Mark Silverman is our Web guy and this music is by Scots. They’re with me next week for non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95% Go out and be great talking alternative radio 24 hours a day.