Tag Archives: Amy Sample Ward

Nonprofit Radio for March 25, 2024: Living Our Values & Healing Over Everything


Amy Sample Ward: Living Our Values

The first of our 24NTC conversations is with our technology contributor and the CEO of NTEN, Amy Sample Ward. They give us the numbers around the conference, and remind us to walk the walk on our nonprofit’s values, including centering equity.



Beth Leigh: Healing Over Everything

Wellness in your workplace. Is that a value your nonprofit holds? Then take in this conversation packed with suggestions for mental health, creativity and unity in your office. Beth Leigh from Village of Wisdom, shares hers.


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Welcome to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host and the pod father of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with us. I’d suffer the effects of Schwan mitosis if you unnerved me with the idea that you missed this week’s show. Here’s our associate producer, Kate with what’s on our menu? Hey, Tony, I hope our listeners are hungry for the nonprofit technology conference coverage. We’re kicking off our coverage with these living our values. The first of our 24 NTC conversations is with our technology contributor and the CEO of N 10 Amy Sample ward. They give us the numbers around the conference and remind us to walk the walk on our nonprofits values including centering equity and healing over everything. Wellness in your workplace is that of value your nonprofit holds. Then take this conversation packed with suggestions for mental health, creativity and unity in your office. Beth Lee from Village of Wisdom shares hers on Tony’s take two. The NTC conversations were sponsored by donor box, outdated donation forms, blocking support generosity, donor box fast, flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor box.org and by virtuous virtues gives you the nonprofit CRM fundraising, volunteer and marketing tools. You need to create more responsive donor experiences and grow. Giving. Virtuous.org here is living our values. Welcome back to Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio coverage of 24 NTC. You know what that is. You know, it’s the 2024 nonprofit technology conference, you know that it’s hosted by N 10. You know that we’re at the Oregon Convention Center. What you don’t know. Oh, you also know that we’re sponsored here by Heller consulting, technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits. Now, the reveal, what you don’t know is that I’m now with the N 10 CEO, the grand high exalted mystic ruler of NTC and our technology contributor at nonprofit Radio, Amy Sample Ward. Thanks for having me. It’s fun to get to do the interviews in person a year. We get to see each other while we do it. You know, in years past, your husband Max has been affiliated like stage managing. Is he with us this year? I didn’t, he hasn’t done it. And well, I guess we had a few years where the NTC wasn’t, wasn’t in person, but he hasn’t been helping with the main stage since maybe, maybe 2019 was the last year. Yeah, but um, he and Oren are gonna be here at the reception, so I’ll make sure you get to see them and say hi. Yeah, in the arcade staff or local, wherever the NTC is. Um we have staff in eight different states and you know, everybody has friends and family everywhere, so we’ll pick a reception and have that be where staff can bring their friends or their families so that it’s so it’s so rare to get to see what we do at N 10 since most of it is online. Right? And so it’s a fun way for friends and family of staff to get to see us in our element. The reception is this afternoon. That’s right. Ok. Awesome, awesome. Alright. Um So just acquaint us with some of the basics of uh 24 NTC. How many folks are here? How many folks are with us virtually? Yeah, we’ve got about 2000 attendees. Um Almost 400 of them are joining virtually. So they’re joining into the general sessions, the hybrid sessions and the virtual only sessions. Um and we have over 100 exhibitors here in the arcade. And I think it’s really interesting folks. We I heard some attendees talking about this yesterday, how diverse this group of exhibitors are? You know, I think sometimes folks think it’s, you know, 100 different Cr MS or, or, or 100 different payment processors or, you know, there’s so many different types of technology projects or service providers, even if they don’t have a technology product, you know, that they’ve made or that they sell so many different folks that are really invested in nonprofits being successful, you know, and um walking around here you go from agencies to communications firms, you know, to technology providers. There are Cr MS, there are payment processors, but there’s also like a safari fundraising team and like platforms that, you know, help you keep your board engaged. Like there’s just so there’s a video production booth, Bubu TV, they’re helping us with our live streaming and they’re recording. Yes. So there are, there is, there is a big diversity. You’re right. You’re right. Well, and the, the N the N 10 community is a diverse population and you, you are always very good about that. Um There’s a, there’s a, there’s a racial affinity room. There’s a quiet space for folks who might be neuro diverse and maybe just need quiet time alone. There’s like, I don’t know if it’s a silent room, but it’s a devoted quiet room. You’re always very intentional about that at N 10. Yeah. Thank you for saying that. Yeah. And I think folks that haven’t been um, had the opportunity to be at the conference in person, don’t necessarily know all of those other pieces. You know, we want the conference. Yes. To have this big arcade, this place where you could connect with service providers, vendors, et cetera, connect with other community members, but also educational sessions where you can learn and then third places where you can just find other people like you a feather along with, along with the quiet room and the racial birds of a feather. There’s dozens of those folks just say I’m coming from Chicago. Anybody else from Chi Town want to get together? That’s it. That’s a birds of a feather. That’s all. I think. This is one of the first years in easily like 15 years of, of the conference that I’ve been at where there hasn’t been a West Wing birds of a feather table. I don’t know if West Wing fans now have something new that they’re holding on to. But for many years, there was a stronghold, there was always a West Wing Table. Um In addition to, you know, Chicago or Canada, whatever or the other, we need some more entertainment related. I’m Binging Blair said she’s gonna do Love is Blind Table. So there you go. That’s all it takes. Yeah, I’m doing this, come join. You want to join. We’re now birds of a Feather. And ultimately, the bigger lesson here is you’re never alone in this community. There are, there are other folks who want to talk about the same things or have experienced similar challenges or issues or favorite TV shows, whatever it might be. You’re not alone when you’re in this community. Uh Portland is an enormously, uh and justifiably proud uh food, food city, very justifiably so many rounds tonight. Oh my gosh, we have to keep expanding the Google. We’re now going out to like a 30 minute drive out across the river and then, maybe, and then you gotta go into that other suburb. And, yeah, they’re, they’re going out. I know there’s, there’s one that’s, I was invited to, it’s like a 30 minute drive. Um Yeah, we’ve taken over the immediate uh convention center, downtown Portland, downtown. Uh, but, you know, at the NT CS you’re always very good about the food. I mean, today’s breakfast, there was, it was a European breakfast, there was salmon, there was Brie, there was blue cheese, there was a quinoa, a quinoa like breakfast, parfait with fruit and nuts, um cheeses. Uh There’s an oatmeal station, steel cut oatmeal station. You’re all, you’re very sure want to have folks feel taken care of because we know that the vast majority of folks who attend our conference are allowed one conference per year or maybe one conference every other year and that only includes their registration sometimes includes part of their travel. We don’t, we know we know we get it. We’re a nonprofit too. You know, we really want folks to feel like while they’re here, we are not expecting you to go try and find some expensive breakfast next to the Convention Center, right? That if you’re here, if you’re at the conference, we are feeding you, you are taken care of, you are supported. Um because that’s what we all deserve. And also humans don’t learn when they’re hungry. We don’t have fun at the birds of a feather if we’re hungry. Right. So we really want folks to feel taken care of here. I believe lunch today is Indian. Ok. Um, coffee, there seems to have been an adequate supply of coffee. Coffee is always like, I don’t know, 8000 gallons or something. There’s a $8000 per gallon. We talked about this, a couple. You’re paying like $80.90 dollars a gallon or something. It was 200 for cold brew. Damn, for a gallon. Jeez. You know, if you’re looking for a money making business, go into convention coffee. Um Not to mention convention furnishings, which you and I have talked about offline. We we’ll leave that there. Can I can I make some sort of bridge or paint some picture from this into something bigger? We actually were talking about this as staff and as an illustration, I think of how, how there are challenges even when we have these, you know, empowering messages from the keynotes of we, we can do it, right? Like we can have our values and we can build what we want. And we say that, you know, I say that, oh my gosh, I say that all the time and yet we’re not saying that because it means everything is now easy, right? We can say we want you to be fed, we want you to be taken care of. We want um accessibility is huge for us. That’s is a dedicated line item in our budget, accessibility is so important to us, but we are not the entire system, right? We’ve said we, we know that there’s a lot of reasons you might not be able to travel, you can join the conference remotely, you also have scholarships, but then we are not the internet providers. And so when the internet providers don’t deliver the internet and so the live stream goes down, it looks like we are not invested in that accessibility, right? So N 10 can say we will spend the money, we will focus on it. We will plan with the community, we will do all these things, but we are still only our part of that process or that system. And I just wanted to name that because I think it’s, it’s helpful to remember that it’s not just, oh, say the right things and like you’re good, we can say we’re invested in these things. We talk to these vendors for months and months and months. We’ve set the expectations, we even have staff in the room. But when the internet is down, it’s down, it’s, you know, we can’t magically make it come back on our own or even necessarily with the vendor sitting there saying I’m also pressing the big green button, you know, I also who want the internet to work. So I, I think it’s important to know. It still takes us saying those things, making those commitments, putting the, the values into our budgets and accepting how much can we influence in the process in that whole system? Where can we say? Well, we couldn’t change that. The internet went down in the moment. But we can say for the next conference that comes along or maybe a smaller conference or a conference that isn’t as invested in accessibility. We can meet with the convention center and the vendors here after the conference and say this can’t happen again to somebody else. And here’s how we think you can mitigate it, right? We can still pass along those knowledge and expectation kind of lessons. Even if our part is over, you know, it’s time for a break. Open up new cashless in person donation opportunities with donor box live kiosk. The smart way to accept cashless donations anywhere, any time, 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. Plus 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 in 2024. Visit donor box.org to learn more now back to living our values. That’s an enormous commitment because you want to convey your values even for the next convention. And, and I our conference and I I heard that uh from, you know, the, the uh, the, the, the exhibitors talk. We, I heard some exhibitors scuttle but that somebody had been told by, by someone who works here that, oh, this was an issue a couple of weeks ago, you know, so they know that there’s a dead zone here and, and, you know, it’s been weeks. So, you know, maybe those prior conferences hadn’t passed it on or maybe it’s the Convention Center not living up to values even though you had meetings with them. And they still, you know, they didn’t say, well, you know, in this area, we’re gonna be, I’m sure they didn’t relay to you, there’s gonna be a dead zone and for these uh eight or 10 booths. So, you know, because if they had, you would have told them to remediate it before the 12th of April 12th of March. Um So, yeah, but, but we each still have to be committed to our own values and we are, we’re, of course, we’re all players in a much bigger system. We just have to try to bring the others along. Right. And Sabrina’s message this morning of, you know, we do all have power and it’s not to say, ok, well, we really tried, we said that we’d have hybrid and virtual sessions and the stream went down like, you know, sad Trombone. So sorry, we can say, right. But so what is still in my sphere of influence? What is still in my power to do? It’s still in my power to say, hey, we did pay for this. We did expect this. We did talk about this. It didn’t work. So let’s document it. Let’s make it as public as need to be, you know, what, what else can we do here? Because I think that’s the piece where especially a nonprofit organizations where the list of things to do, the list of community members asking for support. It just feels long that we don’t always do the second part of it. We say, OK, well, we did try there, let’s move on to the next thing and, and spending a little bit of time just to do that final. OK. But what was the, what, what’s the last piece of influence I have here in instead of saying, OK, well, we did, we did do it, it’s resolved, it it isn’t resolved. Some of these things are never resolved. Um And feeling like we can take up the space inside our teams or, you know, with vendors in this case or with community members, whatever it might be with funders, whomever take up that little bit of extra space to say, actually, II, I have a little more influence I wanna put here. You know, this is why you’re a multiple book author, you see these, you, you make these connections and you see this bigger picture and it makes perfect sense. Uh Once you explain it when I have 250 pages to explain it. No, you did it in 13 minutes. Come on. All right. Um, no living your values and, and carrying them forward and even for the benefit of others, like you said, you know, for the next conference it’s admirable. It’s, and I know, I know N 10 lives its values. I see it in the conference. II, I see it in our, I hear it in our conversations. You know, you’re always, um you’re always putting, putting mission forward equity forwards, like centering equity. You know, it’s not a, it’s not an office on the side. You and I, you and I and Tristan and Justin Spell Haug from Microsoft just had a conversation about centering equity uh in uh in tech and artificial intelligence specifically. Um You know, so no, I admire it. I mean, I, I admire you the work you do and the organization you lead and the uh the pervasiveness of the, you know, just walking the, what did you say? Is it walking the talk or is it walking the walk? Like you talk the talk, don’t you walk the talk? I, I’m getting confused about this. I always used to say walk the talk, but I think you’re supposed to walk the walk because if you choose to talk, well, no talk to talk is in is insufficient. You know that. But walking the talk, you don’t want to walk the talk, you wanna walk the walk or is it or is it just, it’s it’s walk the walk, walk the walk, you don’t walk your talk to upgrade from talking your talk. No, you walk the walk. All right. I admire that intent is always walking. Always walking the walk. Alright. Thank you, Jason for your help. Jason is running our video and live stream as well. Hopefully, you know, uh communications guide correspondent colloquialism colloquialism king. Um Well, can I make another bridge to what you just said there? Something else that I think is coming up in conversations here? Um So many, so many sessions, not that they have to put equity in the title, right? But equity is the foundation from which they’re talking about technology in their session, regardless of the topic or, or whatever. And I can’t help but feel frustrated that we’ve been having these conversations, we’ve been successful in putting resources out like the equity guide that have helped folks create or find language around this for themselves and for their organizations and yet it’s 2024 and I look out at the tech sector and I’m like, yeah, OK. Yeah. Have we, what are we doing here? You know? Um And I’m really hopeful that other folks, you know, just as Sabrina said in the keynote, like part of solidarity is just saying, I also see that, you know, you, you’re, no, no, no, you didn’t lose it. I also see this and now we can be together. I see you, you know, we’re in this together, but I hope that we can not just find this language for ourselves or our organizations, but we can better use this language together to say more loudly because our voices are more united. Yeah, we see you tech sector, we really do have clear and different expectations than what you’re delivering. Um I’m hopeful that that 2024 especially with this continued just proliferation of A I tools marketed at us that we can be stronger in our voices around that I was encouraged by our conversation, you meet Tristan and Justin be Haug from Microsoft uh technology TSG technology for good for social impact T si, right. Thank you. Um I mean, he um you know, I like to think he’s not just um being condescending and the team and gratuitous when he was basically, you know, speaking truth to power because he does run he’s the global head and global Vice president or corporate vice president of uh of technology for social impact at Microsoft. So, you know, I think that was a valuable conversation and I think he said the right things, but you’re seeing evidence of it as well. Yes. And I think, you know, there’s there a piece of this, you know, we often talk about, we’ve talked about on the show accountability, but a part of that is helping make real and helping make visible incentives to be accountable to us, helping more technology companies that are not Microsoft, that do not have an entire tech for social impact division, right? Um these smaller tech developing or service related, developing uh entities to realize it isn’t to build whatever you want and then come market it to us as a vertical later, it is to build it with us from the beginning because there is real incentive to doing that with us in this community. There are users, there are clients, there are customers, there’s, there’s money to be made and also like impact to be made by, by doing that work in this sector and not just selling it to us later. Is this the, is this the proposal for your next book? Sounds like it. Yeah, I don’t know. I mean, I haven’t thought about another book but I feel like I hear the frustration, you know, but we have achieved but we, we’re but not to not to where we need to be, not to where we need to be. Because I think for me and I don’t think I’m alone in this. I think you, I think, I think this whole community, it isn’t just like a this hope, this optimism that maybe one day it will get better. I know it can be fucking better now, it can be better. So let’s do it. You know, it’s not about like, oh my gosh, we’ll build to one day like today is now and by the way, don’t blush because you said, fuck, you’re not the first one. Somebody said, fuck you. And somebody said as today, grab your ass with both hands or something. I never heard that before. So well, he said, but, but I encouraged him to say yes so that I can say whatever. But I think my point is like it doesn’t have to be a kind of grindstone where we say, OK, well, you know, it’s just worth it to have, have known in our hearts, we were doing the right thing, we actually can make it better. So what have been the obstacles then? Why aren’t we much closer? I mean, we, we, we both acknowledge the community acknowledges this is a journey. It was never gonna check it off and say, oh, we, we have a completely equitable tech community. I mean, I think some of the big, why aren’t we further in 20 24? I think some of the biggest challenges, at least specifically to this community to, to nonprofit organizations, especially as they think about technology and their work is access and uh kind of segmentation or separation. I think a lot of folks in organizations don’t consistently have access to technology knowledge, technology, leadership, technology decisions. And so those decisions become inequitable, they become not very strategic honestly, they, you know, so within our organizations, we are creating access issues to, to knowledge and power. And then as organizations, we are limited in our access to the service providers and the technology providers where it’s not clear. Oh, maybe three special clients that paid the most in our giant enterprise organizations got to be on their nonprofit advisory. Right. But as a sector, as, as everyday organizations, as you know, most organizations are under a million dollars, like these kind of regular organizations don’t feel that access to inform or influence the tools that they then adopt. So that’s, that’s an access piece at both levels within organizations and then between nonprofits and the service providers or vendors that they’re working with and the smaller or they just don’t, they don’t feel they have the agency and who would they would they would they ask for? Right? Like there, there it is uh systemic issue. The vendors are often set up in a way where there is no manager to ask for, right? And so they’re not creating an access point in um to allow for that influence. And then the segmentation issue I see this perpetuated so strongly by funders and technology providers, you know, this is a tool for arts organizations. We fund arts organizations. What is art in 2024? Like I think my definition is a little more broad than to consider myself an artist, any content creator, creating audio art, right? Um And what do we gain by pretending that we are fundamentally different because you work in the arts and I work in the environment, guess what? In an equitable world? We have to have the arts and we have to have an environment, right? We all of our missions are important and necessary. So pretending that we are so different that we aren’t sharing knowledge with each other. We’re not building that power together. We’re not both saying, hey, we both use this vendor. Let’s go together and ask for access and influence, right? So this segmentation and I think often it isn’t the nonprofit saying, oh no, we’re not like you, we don’t want to collaborate. It’s funders saying we only fund this city or this region or this topic or these three portfolio goals, you know, um and and technology providers who are also saying, oh, this is just for higher ed, really like really? So it isn’t, I I want to give people space that it’s not just your own making, you know, that that, that the segmentation exists, but it isn’t serving us and we need to do more to say, yeah, I have something to learn from this human rights organization and this housing organization and this environmental organization, right? That all of those groups, we are all trying to make this world better. So let’s do that learning and, and power building together. Let’s go. If it’s not a book, it’s a keynote. At least I’ll give you that. That’s just 45 minutes or so, you know, just listen back to this recording and you’ll have, you’ll have your keynote. Alright. Lots of good wishes for the rest of NTC. Let me ask about 25 NTC. Uh It’s on the website, but I, I in April of 2025 and we will be in Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland at the Convention Center at the Convention Center. Not the, not the gaylord. No, that’s, that’s something different. That’s in Maryland. Yeah. Yeah. Ok. Baltimore Convention Center, right. So we’re going east coast, we’re going west coast to east coast. Um Do we know the dates? I don’t, I did not. That’s, it’s on the website because the 25 NTC is already like, it’ll be in the notes below the stream. You know, like one of those, I’ll try, I’ll try. It’s on the website. That’s reliable. N ten.org N ten.org. All right. Good wishes for the rest of the conference. Thanks so much and thanks for being part of the conference for another year. It’s really magic and it’s such a gift to put more speakers who don’t have access to microphones on a literal microphone. So, thank you. It’s my pleasure. And this is our 10th. Wow, congrats. Yeah. Amazing. They’re Amy Sample Ward. They’re the CEO of N 10, the grand high exalted mystic ruler of uh event 24 NTC. And they are, of course our technology contributor here at nonprofit radio. Thanks so much to the pod father. Oh, thank you. You did like that. You’re giving me this wild title. I’m gonna remember Pod Pod. And thank you. For being with Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio coverage of 24 NTC where we are sponsored by Heller consulting, technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits. Thanks so much for being with us. It’s time for Tony’s take two. Thanks very much, Kate. Great conversations from the 2024 nonprofit technology conference. I was there all last week in Portland, Oregon. We were in our booth sharing with the sponsors Heller consulting. Let me add my thanks to Heller. Very grateful to them for second year in a row, sponsoring nonprofit radio at the NTC. So these conversations that I got 24 captured 24 interviews, conversations. I like to call them conversations. The two today living your values healing over everything. I mean, you wouldn’t think of healing and, and wellness in the workplace as belonging in a tech conference. But that’s because this is not a, you know, you know, that this is not a tech conference for techies. It’s a conference for everybody who uses technology and wellness is essential for everybody using technology. So just starting with today’s. But then we uh uh we, we, we’ve got conversations coming up on artificial intelligence. There are a couple of those matching gifts, email deliverability, uh which is a big issue. The uh the email providers are tracking your recipient’s actions and they’re penalizing your emails when folks that you email to uh put you in the junk mail or mark you as spam or don’t interact with you. So, email deliverability, very topical, timely. Um redefining generosity. That’s a very good one, avoiding tech debt, designing good surveys. Switching to a four day work week. That’s an interesting provocative 14 day work week, 32 hours, not, not four day work week, 40 hours, four day work week work week, 32 hours, no reduction in pay. Very interesting conversation. And um, the last one I just, um just hitting a couple of highlights leaving your job. So another very interesting one, lots of good conversations coming up over the next several weeks from the nonprofit technology conference uh and happy to taking off our NTC coverage this very week. That’s Tony Stick too. Ok. Well, I hope you had fun in Oregon. But also I must say I’m excited to hear all these new conversations and stories and hearing about the people that you talk to. If you met anyone new, I want to hear about that too. Oh, lots of, lots of new folks. Yeah. Lots of folks who have not been on before. That’s awesome. Plus plus uh plus some repeats. Yes. Love them too. Well, we’ve got Buku but loads more time here is healing over everything. Welcome back to Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio coverage of 24 NTC, the 2024 nonprofit technology conference in Portland, Oregon. Our coverage is sponsored by Heller consulting technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits. With me. Now is Beth Lee, director of development and stewardship at Village of Wisdom. Beth. Welcome to nonprofit radio. Thanks for having me, Tony, pleasure. And you are talking about a very interesting subject. We are gonna talk about you, your expert in it and I’m just learning your session topic is healing over everything. I’m just going to say, explain, explain the session, explain your title. Healing over everything is a mantra for me that I often say and it’s healing over everything, meaning any and everything that comes up, right? Because often if we center ourselves on healing and positivity, distractions come up, right? If you want to focus on being more financially stable, that’s often when an emergency shows up and takes all your money, right? And you’re like, oh, this is not what I should be doing, but in the world of nonprofits healing over everything, it’s more about healing over what your supervisors say or what the environment is telling you which is work 90 hours a week or pour all of yourself out despite feeling yourself back up. And so this is why the topic is important. There’s a couple of levels to it. Players healing over everything. I see. I was thinking of healing coming first over being supreme over everything else that’s going on in your life. But, but so that’s got different levels. That was, that was my, my take, which is a great take. You’ve been thinking about this for years, overcoming, overcoming everything over all. Love it Um So you, you thinking of this in three different, I don’t know, three different realms, three different ways, mental health, creativity and unity. How do these work together? How do these work together? Where’s this energy? So, for me, this all comes from research that I did for a small bit of people, 100 and 75 people from 2018 to 2020. For obvious reasons. The research stopped in 2020. right? And it was finding out what happens to people once they leave the nonprofit space, how do they feel what’s going on? 100% of the people mentioned having some sort of battle with PTSD. And so 100% 100% of the 175 people. And so that was to me pretty baffling that everyone felt in some way that they had been damaged by this space and they were damaged, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually, they mentioned different areas of that damage. So this is why I focus on the different creativity, healing and unity. And so in giving that research and talking about it this week, it’s really like diving into the environment of nonprofits. Why are they toxic? And why don’t we talk about it? And also in that we found in the research that and these are all ages, ages 22 to 60 eight, I was going to ask you about your sample sample, what part of the country or geographically diverse? So we were geographically diverse. I’m going to pull out just some of the stats. It’s 100 and 75 people. 100% of nonprofit employees that had left. They’re all former. Their time in the nonprofits range from one year to 33 years. Um Gender 128 women, 35 men, four, non binary, eight prefer not to identify their gender race. 40% identified as black indigenous or person of color. 30% Caucasian, 10% 2 or more races, 12% Asian and 8% prefer not to answer. And then ages ranged from 22 years to 68 years and I can tell you just off the bat we had probably more than 50% are from the east coast. Um And then 20% about the Midwest and the rest are coming from the west coast. Ok? I mean, I I presume you, you were you were trying to trying to achieve a representative sample of nonprofit employees, ok. Trust that you’ve done that. I mean you’re the expert, but thank you for the details. Um Alright, so mental health, mental health, you’re talking about mindfulness, but there’s so much more to it, help us. I’ll help you all through it. Yeah. So given that data and talking to everyone and then aggregating the data and talking to people about what they wanted out of this. If you could redo your journey again, what would you do? And each person, you know, in their positions were management to entry level positions were saying I wanted someone to tell me it was ok to take a break. And so when we talk about nonprofit spaces and mental health, where’s the mindfulness? Where are we saying? Ok, mental health has a place here on our day to day, 9 to 5 work. Right? And often I don’t see it even when I’m consulting or working with other nonprofits, we say it a lot. We want our employees to be healthy. But what are we doing? Where’s the walk? Exactly? Where’s the walk? And so we’re not seeing it. So, where do we put that in? For me? It’s a very simple 12 to 1 that’s a lunch break. But I also ensure that I also make it my mindfulness break. So I break it up for myself. But when I do these consultations, Tony, no one is going, oh, and maybe I can put that in my calendar. Yes, you can put lunch in your calendar. Yeah. So people are just like, oh, this is mind boggling. I’m not quite sure I could take a break. You can time for me. CEO S do it. Executive time. The president of the United States has executive time that nobody knows it’s some black box. But CEO S CEO s too trickle down closed door time or whatever they call it. It’s time that they don’t want to be interrupted. I have my time that I don’t need to be, I don’t want to be interrupted as well. So be conscious, conscious about time for yourself. There’s gotta be more to it conscious about time for yourself. And in that time, what am I doing? Right. So, is that, and I’m, is it breathing exercises? Is it journaling? Is it that you’re taking time for your spirituality? What is it that you need to do for you? So this is where we talk about emotional assessments and assessing that. What do you need to be your best self as you do this work in the nonprofit field? Right? Often in the nonprofit field, we’re seeing people at their worst because whatever our mission and vision is, it’s to help someone get out of something, I mean, very, very, very curt way of saying that, right? And if that’s the case, then you’re expelling a lot of energy you’re pouring from your cup often. So now I’m telling you take a break, maybe an hour a day in this hour, a day after assessing what you need to do to make yourself and keep yourself whole as you’re doing your work. That’s how you program your one hour, right? So for me, I’m going to program my hour to have breath work because that works for me. And that’s just taking time to, you know, do some deep breathing. But there’s also probably going to be movement yoga, walking just outside, being with nature or that’s going to be journaling. And that journaling is normally for me where I pull in my spirituality. So it might be writing prayers or it might be reading the Bible, anything like that, whatever feels good to you and your spirit and whatever you’re practicing. But that comes after you have assessed what you need in your environment. I’m going to presume that we’re going to discourage, you know, I want to be on Facebook for half of my one hour. This is not social media, it’s not social media, catch up time, it’s not social media, catch up time or text, catch up time, right? You know, and this is barring the normal checking in with your family type of stuff, obviously, right? But yeah, this is the time for you. Ok? I I’ve said for years that you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others and we’re all taking care of. Well, if we’re not, if we’re not explicitly others, you know, humans or animals, we’re taking care of the environment, we’re taking care of forests, we’re taking care of uh churches, whatever it is, you know, we’re expanding. You said it, I’m just I’m reinforcing and I believed it for years, whatever it is, whatever you’re engaged in, it takes energy, it, it takes some of you, it takes some of your heart and you have to take care of yourself before you can do this other work. For other agencies, people, entities, whatever, however you define your work. Because so that, that’s what caught me about this, you know, because people are not, you know, we’re not, we’re just not taking care of ourselves and we’re seeing it in rates of, I think depression, obesity, high blood pressure, suicide, right. These, these bad behaviors that we’re only increasing inflicting on ourselves are showing up in very bad ways. I mean, fatal ways sometimes. Absolutely just take care of yourself. And that’s why we’re talking about how, how to do it be purposeful, purposeful. I’m your cheerleader. I’m here for this, Tony. I’m here cheering you on. I appreciate this. This is work that I want to cheer on. Alright. Suppose, I suppose we have uh some leadership objections like, well, you know, yeah, you do get an hour but uh or you don’t even get a full hour or well, but we still need you to be on email during, during your lunch break. Uh You know, this, this your time is, it’s, it’s not working for me or us. How do we, how do we push back? We get some allies. I mean, how do we, how do we make the case for our own healing time? I’m glad you asked during the work in the workday hours. Yeah. So my biggest supporter has been hr right? And I know that sometimes hr isn’t always the best supporter because they’re there for the company. They work they work for the company. And I say that in the sense of using research to work for them and what I’ll do is say, well, I’m more productive when I have this hour, I’m less productive when you don’t give me the hour and then I actually back it up. You know, like when I don’t have this one hour, you can see that my work starts to dwindle, you can see the excitement in the work that I’m doing or the ability for me to do this work or now I’m frazzled and I’m not even bringing my best self to the office any longer. That has always worked for me with working with other supervisors who may not say I don’t want you to take this hour. I need you to still be on call. I also have learned to push back just personally. Are you adverse to me being my best self? Is that what you’re saying you’re opposed to that? Are you opposed to this? You don’t want my best self at work, work and often that stumps them and you’re like, take the hour, just take the hour. Ok. Those are very good. Anything else? Those are the two that have worked really well for me. And even though I’ve helped other people, those have worked really well. So those are two. I lean on now. You do consulting on an individual basis as well as the organizational level. Anything else you want to say about mental health before we move to creativity. So one thing I’ll say here on mental health too is leaning on allies, as you mentioned earlier and outside resources. I have a great therapist and I just, that’s my personal therapy. Yeah, I love my therapist and she’s a huge cheerleader and proponent of writing up breaks for me. If I need them at work to say, you know, Beth, if you need a week or you need a couple of days, let’s make sure we actually write that out and I’m just going to write you out. Your therapist writes to your employer to give you a break, a mental break, like a surgeon would say she needs two weeks for, you know, whatever surgery, mental health, mental health, she needs this. How do you fight with that? That’s medical back understanding. She’s got to go and there is no justification of, well, she’s out and she could still check email, she’s out and she can still do text message. No, she’s out and it’s a mental break and it’s medically recorded and given to hr and there’s no more questions about it. And I think we need to lean on our therapy resources more often for things like that because we don’t, I think we also, as we were talking about all these bad behaviors, we have an understanding and if someone were shot that they’re bleeding, they need immediate assistance. And we talk about those bad behaviors or negative behaviors, I should say of, you know, bad eating habits or mental health decline. That’s often because we don’t understand how emergent it is for us to get help. Someone says I’m exhausted at work. Those words, I’m exhausted are often not, I’m just tired. It’s, it’s everything, it’s work, it’s home life, everything is compounding. And they’re telling you I really need a break. So when they need that break, let’s give it to them. And if we can’t give it to them, let’s lean on outside resources to make sure you get it. So, tapping into your therapy network will help you with that as well. I think that’s brilliant. I mean, any, any hr department or CEO is gonna take a doctor’s note, an MD note. So this is the therapist note. This is mental health instead of physical health practitioner that brilliant. It’s time for a break. Virtuous is a software company committed to helping nonprofits grow generosity, virtuous beliefs 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 puts the donor at the center of fundraising and grows giving through personalized donor journeys. The response 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 healing over everything you want to move to creativity. Yeah, we can go to creativity. Let’s do it. Yeah. Creative spaces, creating creative spaces in the workplace that used to come up like 1020 years ago about, oh, we have a creative workspace. And what that meant was that your office looked like Google’s office and that you all had couches somewhere pong table. Exactly. Were you productive? No, you weren’t really that productive. You just had moments to play, which there is research that suggests that play is necessary for your brain to have a break, right? So I’m not doubting that. But what I am saying is let’s be intentional about creative spaces. And for me, when I’m working with individuals, I love to take pauses whenever we’re meeting or we begin meeting to do something creative together. And that may be, we’re going to just literally have a paint session, paint parties or, you know, we’re all building something together here. There’s a painting kiosks painting here. There is, there’s painting here and I love to see that type of stuff because what that shows you is that there’s an understanding for health, our abilities to tap into our creativity are so important. It’s important to just our daily lives. It helps us move forward, it helps us think of things that we’ve never thought of before. And again, we’re more productive when I’m tapping into my creativity, I’m thinking I go back to that problem and now I see it in a different lens because I’ve spent so much time on it. So, you know, introducing that in the workspace is really brilliant as well. And I think that the way we do that, at least that’s worked for me. The way that has worked for me is, you know, back to the arts, really bringing in the arts. I’ve worked at a place where we had an art table and it was really the old school kindergarten table which is paint and paper you squeeze and it’s just like a good jump in, just go for it, just go for it. And even if you were stressed out, just go for it and have a good time on those tables. And that was an environment that felt really good. It was an environment that when we had conflict, we took it to the table, like I’m still upset with you, but I’m going to go to this table for a little bit and then we’re going to come back and have a conversation. Those conversations were a lot more pleasant than if we just sat there and tried to bicker with one another and get to some kind of plausible solution that really didn’t work in the end because someone felt like they weren’t heard. And So introducing creativity truly in that way, there are rooms and spaces here that have little fidget spinners and things on them, right? Small creativity. But it’s for the introvert that wants to be alone, but still have an opportunity to color things like that. And then they can come back to the space when they need to. And so introducing that creativity in the workspace and your work flow in your scope of work even with at Village of Wisdom, one of the things that one of my colleagues is always saying, you always champion rest. They’ll give us these huge scopes of work which are amazing scopes of research and understanding. And then I’m like, well, where’s the rest built in? Did you build in the rest? Did you do that? Did you build in the creativity? No. OK. Well, let’s go back and do that, you know, and I think that’s just an amazing thing to do. But I love the environment of Village of Wisdom because they accept it because it’s one of those, you know, I can say let’s rest and we rest, we collectively rest. And I think that’s the thing is that you need an environment and space that will offer you the opportunity to rest. There’s something about the tactile, we’re talking about creativity, finger painting. I’m thinking of Legos clay, clay. I used to love clay. Uh I, there’s something about the, yeah, the tactile, you know, now all we touch is our phones and hopefully our families in loving ways. But aside from that, I mean, in the creativity side there’s, there’s nothing we don’t unless we’re, unless we’re devoted to the arts, you know, or it’s a big part of our life. Maybe as a hobby, maybe not a profession. But aside from that and that’s not, that’s not very many folks. We don’t have the touch. Right. And it’s so important, Tony coming out of the pandemic when you were shut off from touch, stay 6 ft away. I couldn’t touch a person for a while. We thought we couldn’t touch our groceries. We were wiping our groceries down for a while until we realized we’ve learned through science that it’s not on your grocery. The device is not on your groceries. But, uh, doorknobs, we installed the, uh, those things on the bottom of the door, open your shoes. You couldn’t even touch a doorknob. So we lost, yeah, the pandemic was enormous for isolation and loss of tech time. The sensation. So what else, what other kind of creative space you talking about? Painting? You talked about the clay, which is great, silly putty. And even I found that making those things together, you can make clay, you can make silly putty. You know, I have the benefit of living in North Carolina. So we actually sit on clay in Durham. I live in Emerald Isle on the beach and then I have a place in Pinehurst too. Even closer to down there in Pamlico. Yeah, you’re right there. You do in Durham. Durham is close to Pinehurst is, it’s right there next time I’m in Pinehurst. That’s not the one I don’t live there. But you go visit that one. Yeah. No, Durham is a very nice town. Great college town. Great food. That’s another good food town. Durham culture, universities. That’s a great place to live. I didn’t know that. So creative spaces in the workplace, what else can we do? What works for you? I say get involved in your community that way. What’s creative happening around you? Right? There’s some great exhibitions. There are great little opportunities to go visit different shows. I know that seems like a strange thing to do. Me and my group are going to go visit a show. We are and we’re going to talk about it afterwards. How did that make you feel? It’s really bringing field trips back into the workspace. You know, that’s one way to do that. The other way is, you know, like you mentioned Lego, Lego is great because it has so many different things. Now I introduce my best friend to it. I do it. I build cars. That’s my secret. I build cars. She got into the plants, they now have plants and so her home has all these little plants all around it, plant, decorate it that way. And so bringing that in where each person can maybe bring in a little tiny box. These are small boxes and build something together and talk about it. But you learn about each other video games. Another thing, right? Card games, old school uno we did that and that brought out some things but fun is another one. Yeah. And I mean, it’s just a matter of bringing play and creativity. And I say creativity because in the workspace, anything that’s counter to just sitting at a computer oftentimes is creative. At this point, journal prompts writing time, you know, working with your colleagues. OK. Well, together, we’re going to set aside an hour and that’s our meeting time. But in this meeting time we’re going to write, you know, I’ve seen that multiple times that’s been introduced into village of Wisdom as well, not by me, by another colleague. And so I think it’s great. You have something you haven’t mentioned that. I think it would be counterproductive. But I want your opinion. Uh We, we’re all gonna play for an hour together between 11 and 12. We’re gonna do it all together, we’re gonna do the same thing is that, is there value in that or is that counterproductive? There’s value in that like it’s mandated, we’re all going, we’re all going to do something. So if we’re all going to, there’s value in that the word mandate often is what takes the value off of it, right? Because I’m a big proponent of choosing, you know, just for that person during the day, you might not have the energy for it. If we’re talking about healing, it’s acknowledging your cup that day. So that day you might not really want to do it, but do it for those who want to, for those who don’t, you can take your personal hours and use it as you like those who want to. We’re going to, I don’t know, go to an escape room or Durham has something I love called a rage room. A room filled with things you can break and lots of different weapons. So there’s a baseball bat, sledge hammers and then there’s a whole bunch of glass plates and cups and you can just throw them against the wall. They suit you up and put on all the protective gear. So you don’t get injured and you just have an hour in there to smash things. They turn the music up and you just have a good time throwing beer bottles, all that Rage room. They also have a paint room where you can throw paint on each other in the same room. So it’s getting messy. It’s reactivating the piece of your brain that people tell you you’re too old to activate. Are you, are you too young to know Tinker toys? You know, Tinker toy. That was another Lincoln Logs were good too. I can remember the package that the Lincoln Logs came in. There was like a round thing. Lincoln Log. Blocks. Yeah. Those are the big ones that the toddlers have. They’re LEGO, but they’re real big. Ok. Again, there’s our sense of touch. It’s all on a smooth screen now. It’s important. And, yeah, I mean, even for your own health of feeling different things, right. You know, sometimes you can correlate touch to an emotion. Something smooth, reminds you of Xy and Z something crunchy. Feels like this and just reigniting those emotions helps you with just getting through your day. Should we move to unity? Creativity. We’ve given that adequate. I think. So, hopefully for whoever’s listening, you know, they can go, I can do this, you know, healing spaces, unity. You talk about fertile soil for all people. That’s what’s engaged here. Yeah. What’s engaged here? That becomes the um the evaluation of the space. That’s the part that people don’t often like and it’s the evaluation of self. And so in these spaces, we’re asking you to evaluate yourself and say, OK, do I have emotionally what I need to go through this? And so some of those questions are, you know, where am I today? Is my home life? OK. Is my work life? OK? Is my spiritual life. OK? And if everything is in balance is my physical life, OK? Can I move forward and expelling some more energy? Right? Only you know the answer to that. But then I flip this back onto the organization and the environment and say now do this for the environment. Does the environment have enough soil, fertile soil? That if this person says I’m not OK as an employee that you can hold them and if the answer is no, then what resources do you have for that person? And you say none, now we need to go find those resources because I don’t believe that everyone’s job should do everything for them. But I do believe that they should have the opportunity to provide resources. And that’s why there’s unity in that. Because I think in order to do that, you are looking at people as humans and you’re seeing their humanity, you’re not looking at them and saying, well, I don’t want to do this because I don’t like you or I don’t want to go down this path of helping you because you may be mad a little weird too. You know, it’s esoteric getting a little personal. I don’t really want to know you should deal with that on your own day. Exactly. But what I’m saying is that especially in the nonprofit space when we’ve had, like I said, the small sample size who told you 100% of them felt that they were damaged. Then we need to probably look at where we can actually provide you some fertile soil. What kinds of resources? What should we do even internally without external resources internally? So that’s where the other two, right? We talked about giving you that hour, things like that, but it is check ins and what I mean by check in, it’s meeting with your team to say, how are you feeling in the culture? And then based on that conversation, you need to have a plan for this person. Um And, you know, in my session, I’ll be talking about different ways that people can have these plans because they’re pretty extensive. We have a lot of time here but the planning is, is looking at this person and saying, all right, you don’t like the following things, recurring meetings. You know, you don’t feel like you’re heard, you don’t feel as though your work is being showcased in a way that other people’s work is being showcased. You don’t feel like you’re getting the credit, whatever it is that’s wearing on you, like diving deep into this, like why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling and then we’re gonna create a plan. What is this plan? And it’s not the same as a work plan. It’s more of what’s your feel good plan. So you can actually feel good in this space. And in that, if we need to increase some flexibility in your hours, you’re starting at 10 o’clock instead of nine o’clock and ending at six instead of five, you know, is it that you’re doing a four day week? Because some people are more productive with four days than five. Is it that these meetings, you only need to show up to every other week instead of every week, you know, what is the plan for you? Um And that’s why I was saying it creates unity because each person feels seen and held and as long as each person feels seen and held, then everyone is OK. What I’ve found is that if one person is getting more attention than the other, it’s not going to work. This is applied inequitably disparately, then this is just going to be breed resentment. Exactly. Some of the folks will be very content and feel better and heard and the rest will be pissed off. Ok? So it’s got to be done equitably. And then all the thing too for me has been Tony talking to management to have them learn different management styles. And what I mean by that is we’ve gone through a pandemic and people have changed. We all change coming out of the pandemic. My work style going into the 2020 is not the same. Now, the way I communicate is not the same, how I interact with people is not the same. And so understanding that we need to be able to say, ok, what do we need to come back? I don’t want to say come back to self to just nurture this new person that’s come out. Um You know, I talked to the executive director at V once before and we laughed about it because I said, listen, your executive director. Yeah, right now and I said, hey, you built a team in the dark because the organization grew in 2020 from 4 to 15 people in the pandemic year. And I was like, over the pandemic over the course of two years. And I said so in doing that, I was like, people don’t know each other. We know each other on screens, we don’t know each other and we don’t even know ourselves. And so now we’re doing amazing work. I call it root work in the sense of bringing in people to talk to us about the environment and the workspace because it’s not negative, but just learning to learn each other, learn each other’s work styles and things like that. And so that intention behind it has been great and I’m always excited from him and the rest of the leadership team of just diving in, it wasn’t a, oh, we’re going to just let this thing just be infertile. We’re going to actually dive in. So they brought in people strategic planners to actually focus on doing strategic planning in a holistic way. They brought in, you know, a therapist who’s doing, you know, culture planning in a holistic way and it’s done in a way that everyone has a voice and it allows us to move as a team saying, OK, this works for me, but this might not work for you. But how can we work together and show up in our whole selves? Yeah. So why don’t you bring this all three together again? The mental health and creativity and unity, uh, you know, leave us. Uh, well, I think we’re already inspired but, you know, just, just pull it all back together. Pull it all together. Yeah. Club, the benediction and the sermon. Right. For me, if I were to put a bow on it, it’s the understanding that every last one of us working in the nonprofit space is fostering humanity in some form, shape or fashion, right? And we need to take the time to love on ourselves in a way that not only replenishes ourselves but honors our own humanity so we can give our best selves in the workspace. And we do that by honoring our mental health. We do that by honoring our creativity and we do that by knowing that in a unified approach, we will always be our best selves. I bet you’re very good at the stewardship, part of, of Director of Development and stewardship because you, you hear people, actually, I think I would recommend you for promotion to like Chief Humanity Officer Cho Cho. I I I’ll speak to your uh now you’re a better advocate than I will be. She’s Beth Lee, Director of Development. My pleasure, Director of Development and stewardship at Village of Wisdom. Thank you again, Beth. Thank you 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. Next week, the generational divide, Tony, am I fired? Maybe so, as I said last week, if the generational divide didn’t come this week, there was gonna be a shake up. Uh but I’m taking responsibility uh for this. There, there could be other issues. So that’s why, you know, that’s why it’s a maybe uh around you. The generational divide. I have it, I have it, it’s recorded. It’s in the can, the digital can, but I wanted to really wanted to kick off our 24 NTC coverage this week the week after NTC. So the generational divide will come. Uh I, we’re not gonna keep promising it well, the next time you hear it, uh it’ll be for sure the next week. Uh And in terms of Kate, we’ll see about week to week. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at Tony martignetti.com were sponsored by donor box. Outdated donation forms blocking your supporters, generosity. Donor box. Fast, flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor box.org. Let me say a quick thank you very much to Donor Box. They are ending their sponsorship with this show. It’s been a terrific year. I’ve just been uh grateful to have you as sponsors. So we thank you very much Donor Box and 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. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. I’m your associate producer for now, Kate Martignetti. The 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. You’re with us next week for nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for March 18, 2024: Artificial Intelligence For Nonprofits, Redux


Justin Spelhaug, Amy Sample Ward, & Tristan Penn: Artificial Intelligence For Nonprofits, Redux

A second savvy panel takes on the impact, leadership demands, promises, responsibilities, and future of AI across the nonprofit community. We convened a panel in June last year. But this is an enormous shift in nonprofit workplaces that deserves another look. This panel is Justin Spelhaug, from Technology for Social Impact at Microsoft, and Amy Sample Ward and Tristan Penn from NTEN.


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And welcome to Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host and the pod father of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with us. I’d be forced to endure the pain of chronic inflammatory demyelinating, poly reticular neuropathy. If you attacked me with the idea that you missed this week’s show, that one is so good. It deserves two weeks and plus I spent a week practicing it. So it lives on for one more week. Here’s our associate producer to introduce this week’s show. Hey, Tony, I’m on it. It’s Artificial Intelligence for nonprofits. Redux, a second savvy panel takes on the impact, leadership demands, promises responsibilities and future of A I across the nonprofit community. We convened a panel in June last year, but this is an enormous shift in nonprofit workplaces that deserves another look. This panel is Justin Spell Haug from technology for social impact at Microsoft and Amy Sample Ward and Tristan Penn from N 10 on Tony’s take two. Thank you. We’re sponsored by donor box, outdated donation forms blocking your support of generosity. Donor box fast, flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor box.org and 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. Here is Artificial Intelligence for nonprofits redux. We’re talking this week about artificial intelligence. Again, it’s an important topic. Uh We did this with a panel in June last year today, a different distinguished panel shares their thoughts on this transformative technology. It’s timely, It’s got a lot of promise and a lot of risks. It’s moving fast. Those are the reasons why nonprofit radio is devoting multiple episodes to it. What are the promises and the responsibilities? What’s the role of nonprofit leadership about government? What are the equity concerns? The biases? What about access to this intelligence? What are the preconditions for successful integration at your nonprofit? What’s the future of artificial intelligence? Who to share their thinking? Are Justin Spell Hog recently promoted Justin Spell Haug. He is corporate vice president and global head of technology for Social Impact at Microsoft. You’ll find Justin on linkedin. Justin. Welcome to nonprofit radio. Congratulations on your promotion from vice president to corporate vice president at the uh enormous company Microsoft. It’s great to be here with the pod father. It’s a new name. So I’m proud to, proud to be here and look forward to the conversation. All right. Well, I’m glad it’s the first time you’ve heard the pod father. It’s, there’s on, there can be only one really there, there ought to be only one. So I’m glad it’s the first time. Um And I see, you know, global head. I’m sorry, you’re a little bit limited. You’re not working in the stratosphere, the ionosphere, the troposphere, you’re strictly limited to the globe. I’m sorry, we all have our constraints. We are working on Mars and the moon uh soon, but we gotta get a broader population of nonprofits there. All right. So we, we’re limited to the globe. I’m sorry for you, Amy Stample Ward. We know them. They are nonprofit radio’s technology contributor and the CEO of N 10. They’re at Amy Sample ward.org and at Amy RS Ward, Amy, it’s great to see you. Welcome back. Of course. Thanks. I know there have been a number of different conversations about A I that you’ve had on nonprofit radio. Um I’ve listened to them, I haven’t been in all of them. They’ve been great and, you know, we talked a little bit about a IJ and I, you know, when we started off with some of what’s gonna be big topics in the sector for 2024. So excited to be in a conversation kind of dedicated to that. I’m glad you are and Tristan Penn, welcoming back Tristan, he is equity and accountability director at N 10 as a Black and NAVAJO professional. He’s served on previous organizations, equity teams and been a facilitator for de I rooted in racial equity. Tristan is on linkedin, Tristan. Welcome back. Awesome. So happy to be here. Um Thank you for having me, excited to have this conversation with um Amy, who I work very closely with and um it’s really good to see you too and um also excited to have this conversation with Justin to see um you know what we can unearth. Yes, we’re, we’re representing the big tech perspective. Um Amy, since you are our tech contributor, uh we’re gonna start off, you know, just big picture. What are your, what are your thinking? What is your thinking? What are your concerns? Big picture stuff. Yeah. Well, I’m glad that we’ve scheduled five hours for this interview. I will be taking the first four. Thank you so much. I have many thoughts. Uh many concerns, many, uh you know, I think there’s so there’s just a lot to get into, I think some top level, you know, bites to put at the beginning here are, there’s a lot of hype and as with anything that falls into the hype machine, I think nonprofits do not need to fall, you know, victim to like, oh my gosh, I read this one article so I have to do the thing, right? Um There’s, there’s time A I is not done, the world is now now, not already over and everything’s predetermined, right? So, um you, you’ve seen the article that was like a I will end humanity? Ok. Ok. Here we are let’s calm down and talk about things. So I, I know I’ve talked to nonprofits whose boards are, like, I read that article and A I is good. You know, it’s ending all of us like we can take our time. That’s one piece. Uh, I also think it’s important for organizations to think about where they are already working, what communities they already work with, what data they already have. Like this isn’t start a new project when we’re talking about A I. Um And so I think we’ll get into that more in our, in our conversations here. Um And of course, that A I isn’t new. Well, I mean, artificial intelligence is a phrase is the, is the broadest umbrella term we could use for these types of technologies. And so to, to have these sentences that say like A I is new and it’s here and it’s going so fast. Like what is that? That’s like encompassing so many different components of technology. Uh And so what do, what do we really mean when we’re talking about A I? Are you talking about a model that you set up inside of your organization? You know, to help identify program participants that need extra support? That could, that can be A A I. But that’s very different than saying, oh yeah, we’re just using chat GP T to help, you know, start some of our drafts. OK. Those are so they are wildly different things. And so to talk about them in the same breath as it’s all a I it sets folks up to already have kind of a disconnected conversation even from the start. All right. Thank you and hold our feet to the fire. Uh Especially me because the three of you think about this all the time and I don’t. So, you know, if I, if I lose that context that you just revealed, shared with us, please, uh call me out. All right, Justin big picture, please. What do you go on Amy? You know, the hype cycle of it’s gonna save us, it’s gonna destroy us. And now just kind of how do we make use of it? We’ve been going through this, this process as a, as a community. I, I think one of the things when I zoom out, I, I just see um some tectonic shifts that are impacting the sector from some big demographic shifts in European countries in the United States where we force is getting older, that’s putting tons of pressure on aged care and front line community workers, some big shifts in uh continents like Africa where education, skilling and jobs are all critical and the nonprofits facing off on these issues aren’t getting any additional funding. GDP is stabilized in many countries, but we’ve hit a new set point for inflation that’s impacting pocketbooks. It’s impacting people’s ability to raise money. And so really, you know, the question that we have to ask is how do we use A I in, in missions to help organizations raise more money, help them deliver more effective program, help them rise to these challenges that are continuing to create pressure in the sector. And how do we do all of that in a way that’s responsible in a way that’s safe in a way that’s inclusive. And that’s actually a pretty complex topic that I hope we spend some time on. Indeed. And thank you for the uh global perspective. Tristan, big picture of thoughts, please. I have lots of thoughts similar to, to Amy. And I, I think where I start off with is kind of like in a very, uh, I worked for 20 years and I still am working in, in nonprofit and I see how, um over those years nonprofits and, you know, small organizations have seen something that’s bright and glittery and then like, so amazed by it and been like, yes, we want it, we’re going to take it in and we have no process for building it into our, our operations. We have no forethought for it. We have no contingency to, um, to live by when we’re folding this in this ideal state. We, we’ve already jumped like multiple steps to um us envisioning how we’re going to operate with this bright shiny tool that we have. And that’s never been the case in my years, um, that I’ve, I’ve been a nonprofit and it’s, if anything, it’s always been uh folded in, in a way that doesn’t have a lot of forethought too. So I think the things that come to mind for me that make me curious and also a little bit, um, reticence um about just the blanket, the umbrella term A I is um folding it in where it makes sense and not where you want to add a little, you know, uh icing on your cake where it does where it needs none. And so, um that’s where II I intersect with it. There’s another piece of it um where I, I am a little um critical of it and concerned about it. Um because I think that this can, you know, we, to Amy’s point, we think about A I and a lot of people go in different directions. I think the, the baseline for a lot of people is they go to like a I generated pictures or chat GP T um to do those things and it’s much more than that, but I do think about a time anecdotally where um I was at a conference and I was um passing by a booth and there was like a very lovely, you know, picture of an older um couple and I was like, oh, that reminds me of my grandparents. It was an older black couple and I was like, oh, that’s so cute. It reminds me a lot of my grandparents. It’s like very, you know, and then I I went in closer and this is a, a booth that’s, you know, managed by a bunch of white folks. And, um, and then they were like, oh, did you know that this is an A I generated picture? And that didn’t feel good to me as a black person that didn’t feel good. It felt incredibly like I had been misled in a really scary way. Um I feel like I have a really good detector of like what’s real, what’s not my BS detector is like always up and on and that scared me because I was duped hard and that scares me in a way um less about nonprofits, but just the overall overall globalization and usage of it and implementation that it could go in to hand to the hands of people and create false narratives about marginalized groups um just based on what they, what product they wanna sell. And that is scary. Um And that, that’s something that I think um has just stuck with me for um for a while. Thank you for raising the the risks and, and potential, you know, misuse abuse. We, we need to go to artificial intelligence to create a uh a picture of an elderly black couple that was, it was necessary to do. And also thank you for the valuable parallel, you know, you, you make me think of uh social media adoption when Facebook was new, you know, we, we assigned it to an intern and we put it like the cherry on top where we didn’t need a cherry, but the intern had used it in college. So, you know, she may as well do it for us full time. Uh It very valuable, interesting parallel. Um Amy start us off with just a common I definition, you know, um artificial intelligence, generative, I mean, a generative artificial intelligence. That’s, that’s what we’re largely going to be talking about. Uh if not exclusively. I, I think so, what is, what is, there’s a lot of that? I think we’re, we’ll start with taking one at one at a time, right? Sure. No, I was just gonna say, I think um we already are exposed when we’re thinking about technology in our nonprofit organizations to lots of different terms, lots of different companies putting things out there with the uh not necessarily cloaked, you know, it’s not, it’s not a hidden desire to reinforce that they’re specialists, they know what they’re doing. And like us lowly nonprofits don’t know, we couldn’t understand those fancy terms, right? And so I always, I mean, I teach a course and I always remind folks like you absolutely can know what these words mean, you know. Um And I appreciate that there are so many places even actually, like I, I, I’m never somebody that promotes um these things. So folks know this, but like Microsoft has actually offered, you know, community learning spaces to say these are what these words mean. Um So artificial intelligence is like I said, the biggest umbrella term for all different types, generative A I uh machine learning, all of these components that people might talk about as if they are one different thing. They’re all like within that same A I umbrella. And I just want to say two words because they’ll probably come up in our conversation. I know you want to go one word at a time. But the words I hear from folks the most where they’re not, they feel like they should know what this word means and they don’t and they feel like silly that they don’t understand our algorithm and model those words are used all the time in talking about generative A I, which means the tool is, is set up to generate something back for you. Tristan used an image, uh you know, visual image uh example, but that could be text, that could be video, that could be audio, you know, it’s, it’s asking the the tool to generate something for you. Um But an algorithm we’ve heard this word like, you know, oh Facebook’s algorithm is like choosing what I see, right? The algorithm means the set of rules. So in Facebook’s newsfeed, that set of rules says if something already has a bunch of likes prioritize it, right? If it has uh you know, two friends that you’re connected to already commenting, prioritize, so it’s whatever that set of rules is that says this is how to generate a older black couple image, what whatever those rules were, that’s what algorithm means. And model essentially means like you can think of the same, the the word is used in the same way as uh when you say model about cars like it is the whole set put together, right? It’s got the data, it has the algorithm, the rules that say how, how to do it, it has the input, whatever you’re gonna ask it to do that kind of when people say what’s the model? They’re really saying. OK. What, what’s the package uh of how this tool is working? Thank you for all that. It’s time for a break. Open up new cashless in 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. Plus 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 in 2024. Visit Donor box.org to learn more. Now, back to artificial intelligence for nonprofits. Redux, Justin, I see you taking lots of notes. What’s uh what’s going on? What’s going on in your head? What what? No, I think um what just as Amy highlighted. One of the things that’s important to highlight is um we, we’ve been using A I for a really, really long time and there are really important use cases that have nothing to do with, with generative A I, things like machine learning, right? That allows us to do things like predict donation, things like machine language that allows us to translate from one language to another. Things like machine vision that allows us to identify and classify objects. All of those are important um tools as we look to solve different problems. Um In in the sector, generative A I is as Amy was highlighting is a new class of artificial intelligence that allows that’s capable of creating effectively novel content because it’s reasoning across, you know, all of the information in the internet and using as a news highlighting algorithms to identify patterns that allows it to um you know, produce answers in a really uh in, in many times intelligent ways. However, uh as Tristan was highlighting, you know, ensuring that um these models are inclusive, are representative, are safe, are understood, are all things that were continuing to work uh to put frameworks around and tools around uh so that they uh produce positive impact, not negative impact. And Justin how can we ensure that that actually happens? You know, there, there’s a lot of talk about biases, you know, uh the the the large language models are trained on predominantly white uh uh language sources. So you’re gonna, there’s so there’s bias uh the, the so that, you know, there are equity issues. But uh what uh what is the big tech doing to actually uh keep these, keep equity centered in and, and keep lack of biases centered as these models are adopted using the algorithms that, that Amy just defined for us. Yeah, it’s a really multifaceted answer. I’ll only hit two points and we can go much deeper if we want, we release. Uh just in fact, in the last week, this the Microsoft A I access principles trying to get at this very problem which has 11 core components. I’ll speak to two to give you a flavor of the kinds of things that we need to do as we think about the A I economy globally to ensure it’s fair, representative uh and safe. The one of the principles is making sure that A I models and development tools are broadly available to software developers everywhere in the world, everywhere in the world and every culture in the world training on the language and on the history uh and on the societies all around the world uh to create much, much more representation. As you probably know, many of the models have been developed in North America and therefore reflect some of those cultural biases. So, federating these tools that is critical uh in the in the A I economy. Secondly, you know, um companies and organizations that produce A I need to have rules uh for how they um check and balance the A I to ensure that it’s responsible, it’s fair, it’s safe, it respects privacy, it respects uh security, it’s inclusive, it’s transparent and we call those rules that Microsoft are responsible A I framework and it’s not just a set of principles, it’s actually an engineering standard. And when applying that engineering standard, we were looking at uh fairness in speech to text. So taking speech and transforming it into text and we found it was a couple of years ago, we produced this article that our, our speech to text algorithms were not as accurate Black and African American communities in the United States as they were for Caucasian communities. Um And that was largely a function of the training data that was used. And so we had to take a step back using our framework that caught this issue to say, how do we work with the communities more effectively? How do we bring socio linguists in to help us understand how to capture all of the rich diverse city of language to make sure that our speech to text capability is representative of every citizen that we’re, we’re rolling this out to. And that’s an exam and we did that and, and today it performs much better and there’s more work to do. But it’s those kinds of frameworks and guard rails that are really important in helping uh people design this stuff in a way that benefits everyone. Tristan. What’s your reaction? You, you’re thinking about equity all the time. Um What’s my reaction? What isn’t my reaction? And I would say, um I, I love that and I love what Justin was saying about um how, you know, making it a Federated model as opposed to it. I mean, yeah, everything, I only say everything but a good amount of things are being generated created curated in North America and baked into those models and algorithms are like biases that skewed towards white men. And um and that’s not OK. I think that excludes me in particular, but also like, you know, I, I think um having um a plan for that as opposed to being reactionary to being like, well, gosh, we didn’t know what was going on and being um uh a little more, less reactionary and more um forward thinking in that way. Yeah, proactive um is, is always a good place to start. I think a few other things that do come to mind too in terms of um making sure that communities of color marginalized communities are um not um constantly shouldering even outside of A I but constantly shouldering um the mess ups of like the brand new tool that came out on the market and that seems to always be the case and there’s always like a headline months later where it’s like, so and so we found out, this tool wasn’t geared towards her facial recognition wasn’t geared towards like, you know, black folks. Um, and it was like, historically wrong. And so I, I think about those things, but I also think about um, it through a nonprofit lens because we’re on a nonprofit call. Um, and I, um, I bring up the, another anecdotal story of um having, uh, being on a call and having an A I note taker bot um hop into the zoom call too. I think we’ve within like the last half year we’ve been on calls where it’s like, oh, I don’t know about some actual person or a thing or like, you know, it, it’s very ambiguously named sometimes where it’s like Otter, one of them is Otter, right? And this Otter is all of a sudden it’s in our meeting. This Otter is, yeah. And I think, you know, there is a lot of benefit, there’s a lot of benefit in having um you know, uh note taking tools and um also captioning tools that are, are, are for folks in terms of accessibility. There are folks that have completely different learning styles. There are folks that take in information at different levels and different wavelengths of things. And I say that all to say that like, you know, I would like to see a world where um it was scarier um with, to keep with the Otter Box or not Otter Box. Sorry, that’s not Otter Box is not a sponsor of this. Um But the Otter A I um uh gene Note taking tool was that after I got an email randomly from the, the note taker to all the people also to all the people that were in that call with a um a narrative recap of everything that we, we talked over. It wasn’t a transcript, it was a narrative recap, which is fine enough. OK. Um There were, there was a screenshot of just a random person that was on the call that was also there. And also um what’s most scary for me, I think or just very concerning um is um at the bottom, it was like here’s the productivity score of the call, 84% here’s the engagement of the call, 72%. And it’s like where it, where is at least, at the very least, where’s the asterisk at the bottom that says this is how we calculated this whatever. And I, I immediately go, I’m not a pessimist, but in that moment, I was like, this is going to be used by people in higher positions, people in power to wield over folks, middle management and direct service to say, hey man, you didn’t have a um 84% or higher engagement score on our last zoom call, you are now on a personal improvement plan and that is a scary place to be. And so I think less about like these tools are what they are. But I think about the people and the systems and the toxic systems at times that sometimes wield these brand new shiny tools in a way that doesn’t feel good and also is working against their mission and against their employees. Its time for Tonys take two. Thank you, Kate and thank you for supporting nonprofit radio. Uh I like to say thanks every once in a while because I don’t want you to think that we’re taking you for granted. I’m grateful, grateful for your listening. And if you get the insider alerts each week, I’m grateful that you get those letting us into your inbox. Um This week, I’m in Portland, Oregon recording a whole bunch of good savvy smart interviewers for upcoming episodes. Hopefully, that helps like show our gratitude because we’re out here collecting good interviews for you to listen to if you can’t make the nonprofit technology conference yourself. So thank you. I’m grateful that you listen, grateful that you’re with us week after week. That’s Tonys take two Kate. Thank you guys so much for listening to us every week. We appreciate you. Well, we’ve got Buku but loads more time. Let’s return to artificial intelligence for nonprofits redux with Justin Spell Haug Amy Sample Ward and Tristan Penn Ki. I love that you brought that up. Um Don’t love that it happened that you brought it up as an example here for folks because I think it’s uh a easy entryway into a conversation on one of the points Tony mentioned at the start of the call, like, what are some of these preconditions? Um And you were like, oh people are like, oh bright shiny, right? That’s what we do. Oh bright shiny, like I’m going to use this tool that like took the notes in here and a place where we’ve seen for many people, many years in in ten’s research is that nonprofits struggle. This isn’t to say that for profit companies don’t also struggle with this, but nonprofit organizations struggle with consent, they struggle with privacy and security. And so here’s a well meaning well intentioned, right? I’m going to use this tool except it’s emailing you, you didn’t consent to that. It emailed all the participants in the call. There was no opt in, right? Let alone a very clear opt out like why did I even get this? Um That’s not even to say opting into sentiment analysis of whatever is a community zoom call, right? Um And so when we peel that back and say, OK, well, we just wouldn’t use that note taking, right? Sure. But when we’re thinking about preconditions for this effective work as an organization do, what are your data policies in general? The number of organizations that we work with that still don’t have a data policy because they think, well, isn’t there like some law about data? So like we, why would we have our own policy? OK, there is some law related to data, right? Different types of data have different laws, but that’s not the same as an organization saying, what data do we collect? Why do we collect it? How long do we retain it? What if somebody wants us to remove it? How do we do that in our systems? Right. So this level of uh fidelity to your own data, to your own community members, to the policies that you’ve set up to manage those relationships. Um And trust for so many organizations are already not in place or, or like I said, there’s just not a fidelity to them that that makes them trusted. So then to say, oh yeah, we’re ready to, we’re ready to add this note taking app to our community calls or our client calls. It just that that’s the place where I have the most fear is actually not the tools having bias. I know they have bias and that is a place of concern and, and a place we can, can address it. But my mo the most fear I have is people still operating within that without any of the structures or policies or, or training to deal with both maybe bias and a tool they use and their own bias or their own issues, right? And it it accelerates the harm that that can be created in that. I mean, I want to use some of that to, to go to Justin and uh that’s something very closely related. Uh the, the uh the nonprofit leadership role, the responsibility of, of nonprofit leaders. I think it gets to a lot of what Amy was just talking about. But what, what do you, what do you see as the, the responsibility of nonprofit leadership in, in formulating these policies? But also in just, you know, making sure that the preconditions are there so that we, we can be successful in integrating artificial intelligence, whether we’re bringing an exterior, an outside tool or, or or building our own. Even that, that may be a, that may be a big lift for a lot of listeners. But, but generally the, the, the nonprofit leadership’s role. Yeah, I mean, there’s a lot of the nonprofit leadership play today and I think we have to meet uh leaders where, where they’re at and, and I think the very first step and Amy mentioned this in the very beginning of the call is raising the the capacity of their knowledge and of their staff’s knowledge of how these tools work and uh what are the edges of the tools and how to apply them effectively in the flow of work. And um there is training available as, as an example, we have a four hour course on linkedin. You don’t need to do it all at once, but it’s actually pretty good. It’s for, it’s not for developers, it’s not for techies, it’s for front line program, staff, fundraising staff finance staff, the, the, the ed uh to really learn about how to think about these tools with that knowledge. Then you can take the next step, which is starting to engage, I think, simple ways to apply these tools to get on the uh on the ground experience of what they’re good at and what they’re not good at. Um you know, using things like uh from Microsoft. So I’ll mention, you know, BB or, or, or Microsoft Copilot to look at writing donor appeal letters or whatever the process may be, they can just start learning about these fundamental language models and what they’re good at. Um I think it’s important as an organization thinks about getting deeper into A I and really thinking about how do they apply it to their processes, whether that be fundraising, whether that be engagement with beneficiaries that they think really deeply about data uh and data classification and that, that, that gets a little sophisticated, but just ensuring that we’ve, we’ve got a strategy to use A I for the data that we want to use A I for and that we segment data that we do not want A I to reason on away. So start with, start with getting the basic skill skills built out. Um A lot of uh organizations I met I meet with are just at the very beginning stage of that, use the simplest tools to accommodate uh the job to get some experience and then start to think longer range around data, data, classification and more advanced scenarios that can be applied. Tony. Can I just, what’s that four hour course on uh Tristan? Let me just let me drill down on a free resource. I love free resources for our listeners. Tristan answers. It’s a linkedin course uh nonprofit uh A I fundamentals. But let me get that for you here. Ok, Tristan, go ahead. Yeah. Um Can I um I really like how Justin um initial uh said, you know, there’s a lot of nonprofit leaders plates already too in terms of responsibility. And I want to gently push um and answer your invite to, to call you in Tony um in, in the premise of the question which, which was what’s, what is the responsibility of, of nonprofit leaders now? And I would say yes, there, obviously, there’s a responsibility as Justin has illustrated that like we need to be better in terms of strategy um in terms of tech, in terms of A I um in general on how we fold these, these crucial tools in. But I would also say that there’s an equal and almost um larger responsibility on those who fund nonprofits. Um I think a lot of times in the nonprofits that I’ve worked with, interacted with and worked within um their operational and financial model has been very ham handedly built in a very um doctor Susan way, which doesn’t really make sense at times and it’s because a year after year, there are different grants, different fundings that require different things um at different times based on whatever the the hot new term is. Uh 1015 years ago, it was mentoring. So a lot of times everything was geared towards mentors. And I say that because this implies that um a lot of these nonprofits are already built on a structure that is very shaky. And so there’s a lot of other things that need to be done. But I do think um a big responsibility sits with folks who fund um nonprofits foundations. Um and also local governments, federal, the federal government in making sure that when they are pushing a grant or um putting out an RFP for a grant that says you need to fold in tech and you need to fold in A I in this way to get kids to learn or get kids in seats um in the classroom that you’re doing. So in a way that creates um longevity and solid um solid nonprofit organi operational work. Um And just doesn’t like slap an ipad in front of a kid. Um And I think that’s really, I used to work with boys and girls club. So that’s where I always default. Um But III I think that um I’ve based on my experience, it’s always been um a really weird way um of, of having um o going into a financial model um of an organization year after year because it’s like, oh, well, that we started doing that because last year’s grant asked for it and now we just do it into perpetuity. And so again, you have that little weird Dr Seuss style way of thinking. And I think um funders and um grant, um grant folks can do a lot by being very clear and very um forward thinking and how they are offering up these monies. 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 puts the donor at the center of fundraising and grows giving through personalized donor journeys. The response 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 artificial intelligence for nonprofits redux, you know, that’s not only the mindset like this, this, it, it feels like they’re being strategic by saying, oh, yeah. Well, we were able to come, we were able to pitch that in a way that we got the fund, but then that’s changing their strategies all the time. It also back to the point before is meaning the data you have to work with inside your organization is OK. Well, two years, we structured it this way for two years, we structured it this way. Do we even have like a unique idea to connect these people and say, oh, they were in both of those programs, like our own data sets are messy and influenced by funders saying, oh, now we need you to collect these demographic markers, you know, and it’s, it’s we we as organizations are often pressured by those funders to do it the way they want because it’s easier for them. Um and tells the story, they want to tell, but that’s really, really messing up the data sets and the program kind of uh processes or, or business processes that we have in place. And I I just wanted to connect that to broader things that intens worked on and advocated for for many years from the equity guide specific to funders. And that is that funding technology projects takes time and it takes a lot more money than like $30,000 for whatever the licenses are for something, right? Like it’s not uncommon that an organization building a model, an internal use model. This isn’t some big flashy commercial thing. This is just for them to, you know, like I said before, identify program participants that maybe, you know, could use intervention it’s not uncommon that would take two dozen tries to get the right model in place right? To really make sure the algorithm is, is fine tuned that the outputs are appropriate. Well, you can’t go through two dozen models in, in three months, right? And then have something there. A nonprofit would need a couple of years. And our, our funders, there’s already plenty of funders saying like, oh, now we have this A I grant, you know, opportunity or is that grant gonna be comprehensive of the work to get their data in a good place to get their program, staff ready and trained to Justin’s Point. Every staff person really trained adequately on, on not just what are these tools but what’s a good prompt? What’s a good use case for this, right? All of those pieces so that they can adequately and materially contribute to, then what is this project we want to do? What is the best fit for us and how do we, how do we build it and, and just to add on and we’ll wrap up to Amy’s Point and Tristan’s Point A I hasn’t changed the fundamental physics of what makes a good technology project. I mean, it’s people, it’s process, it’s tools, it’s capacity building, it’s a long term strategy, all that is the same. Um And if your listeners are wondering, where do I even get started in understanding the language of this stuff? Uh Because you asked the question. It’s called Career Essentials in Generative A I it’s on linkedin, it’s free. Uh And I take it it’s, it’s pretty good. So I think it’s worth worthwhile for your listeners. Thank you, Justin. How about uh in 10 Amy, what resources for folks? I mean, hopefully they’re already going to the nonprofit technology conference where there are gonna be a lot of, uh there are a lot of sessions on artificial intelligence. I know because I’m gonna be interviewing a bunch of those folks. So this is, this is probably the second of, I don’t know, six or seven A I episodes uh in, in, in different uh around different subjects. But N 10, N as N 10 as a resource for learning A, we have lots of them. There’s um you know, work uh not workbook but like a guide. There’s of course, the equity guide, there’s some materials on the website. We have an A I course and other courses that talk about A I, there’s community groups where you can ask questions and of course the conference. But uh thanks to Microsoft and Octa gave us some um supporting funding and 10 along with Institute for the future and project evident are at the tail end of a community design process where we’ve worked with over 40 organizations um in this process to create an A I framework for organizations, whether you’re a nonprofit or not, who are trying to make decisions around A I and our framing for this is the framework for an equitable world. So it isn’t just that you are a 501 C three registered in the US, right? Or that you’re a grassroots organization in whatever country like if you want to live in that equitable world, then this is the framework that we can all share and work in together. Um We’re going to do a little preview at the end TC and have whoever comes to the session is gonna get to road test it with us and then we’ll publish it publicly after the NTC. Um So lots more and obviously, I’ll, I’ll share that with you when it comes out. But um what’s really, I think important from this is that it is a framework that uh is built on the idea that all of us are part of these decisions that all of us have responsibility in these decisions. Um And that all of us are accountable to building, right? This isn’t um you know, the quote unquote, responsible tech or this isn’t like this isn’t just for those projects where you’re, where you’re gonna do something good over here. This is whatever we’re doing, it’s gotta be good. It’s gotta be building us into an equitable world because what else are we doing here? Right. If it’s not for that. Um And so I’m excited for folks to get to use it. It’ll be published for free everywhere anybody use it. Please go, you know. Um, so lots more on that too. Amy. You are perfectly consistent with the framed quote that you have behind you. All of us are in this life together. You’re living your, you’re living your framed art. Uh, uh, I admire it. Uh, Justin, we have, we’ve got maybe 10 minutes left. What, what would you like to talk about? We haven’t, we haven’t touched on yet or go further on something we have. Well, no, maybe, maybe I’ll just um build a little bit on what Amy was the question you asked, what are, what are the resources available? So I think that’s pretty useful to the, to the organization. So, so one is, one is the training that I mentioned too is uh we just recently ran a nonprofit Leaders Summit where we, where we had 5600 people together. Uh uh about 4500 online, about 1000 in a room talking about how do we grapple with A I? How do, what are the use cases that make this make sense? How do we think about data security and privacy? And we’re going to continue to invest in in that? We’re going to be rolling that out more globally as well with uh events in Australia and others. But that convening and that dial and just getting the community and dialogue I think is so important. I I learned a ton from that. We’re also going to continue to push on affordability and making sure that uh we’ve got affordable access to our technology so that every organization can use things like Microsoft Copilot uh for, for free um providing, you know that they, they’ve got access to our nonprofit offers and then finally, innovation. And I, I’m, I’m interested looking at scenarios that span the sector where if we invest, once we can create a multiplier effect. And one of the areas that we’re, we’re partnering on is with Save The Children Oxfam and many other organizations on the humanitarian data exchange, which is a large data set used to help organizations coordinate humanitarian and disaster relief domestically and internationally in a more effective manner. Uh So our mission don’t overlap uh but that data set hasn’t been super useful to date, applying things like language models training on that and creating a tool set that is cross sector for many organizations, you’ll see us um continuing to invest in that way. And I look forward to ideas from our intent partners here on the phone as well as you know, the community at large on on where we can make bets that will really help the sector together. Uh move, move forward Tristan. What would you like to touch on or, or go deeper in? We’ve got uh we got the, it’s 78 minutes or so. Um You know, I, I think I just wanna underscore what, what Amy was talking about and that we’ve, we’ve all been working on. Um, which is the, uh, I’m a little tired of you underscoring Amy, Amy and you, we force each other. You know, I agree with you should have seen us, we work together. It’s getting a little dull. It’s a little dull. Now. You should have seen us when we were in office. Our desks were 20 ft away from each other and there was a constant, there was a worn line in between our desks and nobody wants to be in between in that 20 ft in that 20 ft space. Um I will say um being a part of the community group, what Amy was saying about working with 40 other organizations um to figure out what um a healthy and um robust and equitable processes for any organization to um interact with and um field A I is crucial and I’m, I’m so glad that we are able to be a part of it and we’re, we’re going to be um debut it at NTC. It’s something that I’ve learned a lot from just based on someone who again, like I said before, I came from youth development. My degree is in child psych. Um So, but I’ve learned a lot over the years um working with N 10, working at N 10. Um But I think um one thing that’s, that’s been uh really, really beneficial is learning from all those folks in the group and um a couple of things that did come up in when we were creating that framework, which uh was um that organizations are making all kinds of decisions every day today. Um And I, I will say that it kind of highlights that I, we are talking about A I and how it like will look sound and feel and how it looks. This is all kind of uh we’re not meaning it to be, but it’s all within a vacuum. Um And we can’t think like that. We can’t think of all of us who have now, we are four years out from 2020 our lives were forever changed and every nonprofit will have their own sad story to tell about how the um the pandemic impacted them. And I say that to say is that like none, no one was prepared for that. And so if we um keep on talking about or um playing around with this idea of A I is like, it’s going to solve problems or it’s going to sit in this world um in this vacuum, we’re not doing ourselves justice and we’re being very forgetful about the past that we just went through. And so if we’re able to instead consider how A I will interact with the dynamic world that we all live within, um That’s going to better behoove us um both individually, but also organizationally when we’re planning strategically. Um If that’s year after year for you, if that’s every five years, I don’t know what that is. Um So having that strong tech um baseline for folks. And then I think also the other thing is people in all roles are considering A I and aren’t sure how it applies to them. Um I think uh staff, we’ve read stories um that A I will replace workers but have no idea what to do with, you know, where, where that fear sits with them too. Um It should just add to their work and not replace them. And I think a lot of we’re seeing uh you know, I’m, I um am on tiktok and so, you know, that’s a whole other like bag of algorithms and like, you know, things that we can dissect and pull apart. But I do, there are a lot of stories of, you know, there are folks getting laid off left and right. And um I, I would have to, you know, that begs the question why generally, but also like, what is the role of A I in all of this too? Um I think it’s really interesting when layoffs happen at a time when A I is accelerating um in a lot of our worlds, whether it’s in tech and whether it’s in other sectors across the world. And I think that there is a lot to be done by organizations who don’t fall prey to like the siren song of like A I and are going into a clear minded and not saying, oh, well, we can cut out this department and put it in, put, um, you know, this learning module in or this, you know, I think that’s, that’s really where, um, you’re going to see a lot of organizations and commu, um, organizations and companies thrive as opposed to just, um, laying folks off a lot there. No, we’re, yeah, we’re, we’re taking it in. Yeah. No. And, and the reality is that I admire the, the consistency between you and Amy. Uh, and, and, and, and, and generally, I mean, I made fun of you, but what it shows is you’re all thinking the same way. You know, you’ve all got the, uh, the same concern for the nonprofit Human first, human first. You know, like we’re all humans and we’re all prioritizing um us as humans and if we start prioritizing other things and it’s not going to, um, go well, well, but at end to end, you’re, you’re walking the walking the talk. So, and consistently Amy, you want to check us out with, uh, all of us are in this life together. Yeah. I mean, I think the biggest thing I, I want folks to leave with is that, that future is not predetermined. We, we are not sitting down and saying, well, ok, like I’ll wait for my assigned robot to come tell me what to do, right? It, it is still up for all of us to write that every day. And the people who most need to have their sentence at the start of the article or whatever, you know, at the start of the book are the folks who are being told in a lot of different systemic media type ways that they do not get to have their sentence in the article, you know. And so I, I hope that nonprofits know this is both an opportunity to shape and influence as A I tools are being developed to shape and influence the tools that we build within our sector for ourselves with our communities. But it’s also a responsibility for nonprofits who are the ones often closest to and most trusted by those systemically marginalized communities who are experiencing the most real time harm to be the supporter that brings them into that work. They are not necessarily going to get tapped by uh a company to learn this or do whatever. Even though I hear Justin saying these, these, you know, opportunities are, are free and accessible. You as a nonprofit can say, we think we might build something. Can you be in our design committee? Can you work with us? We’ll make sure that we all learn together, right? As an organization, they’re already in relationship with they, they’ve, you know, maybe benefited from programs or services. You have the responsibility and incredible opportunity to be the conduit for so many communities to enter this, this quote unquote A I world. And that’s a really important I think gift uh you know that we have as a sector to, to be the ones helping make sure so much, so much more of the world is part of developing these tools and designing them to be accountable to us as people, their Amy Sample ward. Our technology contributor here at nonprofit radio and the CEO of N 10. Also Tristan Penn Equity and Accountability director at N 10 and Justin Spell Haug, new corporate vice president and Global head at uh Technology for Social Impact at Microsoft. My thanks to each of you. Thank you very much. Real pleasure. Thanks so much, Tony. Thanks Justin. I’ll see you in 20 ft. Thanks so much, Tony. Next week, the generational divide now, this is interesting uh because uh we’ve been promising this for a couple of weeks now and it hasn’t materialized. It’s very relieving to have someone, an associate producer who I can blame for this show having been promised the generational divide, having been promised for weeks on end and not coming through even though it doesn’t matter that the associate producer, Kate has nothing to do with booking the guests that the host takes care of that himself. That that’s irrelevant. I blame the associate producer and this, this show, the generational divide had better come through next week or there’s gonna be a shake up. I’m the one who just reads the script to either. Oh, yeah. Minimize the uh OK. Your title is not script reader it’s associate producer. Well, if you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you look, I was slow on my cue. There I beseech you find it at Tony martignetti.com were sponsored by donor box. Outdated donation forms blocking your support, generosity. Donor box. Fast, flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor box.org. And 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. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. I’m your associate producer, Kate Martinetti. The show’s social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by Scott Stein. Thank you for that information, Scotty. You’re with us next week for nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for January 8, 2024: Our Esteemed Contributors’ 2024 Outlooks


Amy Sample Ward & Gene Takagi: Our Esteemed Contributors’ 2024 Outlooks

Amy Sample Ward and Gene Takagi kick off the New Year with what they’ll be keeping eyes on this year. They delve into artificial intelligence (AI); the presidential election; donor advised funds; workers’ rights; and more. Amy is our technology contributor and CEO of NTEN. Gene is our legal contributor and managing attorney at NEO, the Nonprofit & Exempt Organizations law group.

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Nonprofit Radio for December 4, 2023: Misinformation & Disinformation


Amy Sample WardMisinformation & Disinformation

Amy Sample Ward returns with their insights into what to do about these maladies plaguing our world. They reveal smart internal tactics to reduce the odds of your nonprofit’s info being misused by bad actors; what to do if it is; how to avoid your org itself being a source of misinformation; and a lot more. They’re the CEO of NTEN and our technology and social media contributor.

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Hello and 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 abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with us. I’d bear the pain of nocal Beura if you dampened my spirits with the idea that you missed this week’s show. Here’s our associate producer, Kate with the highlights. Hey, Tony, this week it’s misinformation and disinformation. Amy Sample Ward returns with their insights into what to do about these maladies plaguing our world. They reveal smart internal tactics to reduce the odds of your nonprofits info being misused by bad actors. What to do if it is how to avoid your org itself being a source of misinformation and a lot more. They are CEO of N 10 and our technology and social media contributor on Tony’s take two December, good wishes were sponsored by donor box, outdated donation forms blocking your supporters, generosity. This giving season donor box, the fast flexible and friendly fundraising platform for nonprofits donor box.org here is misinformation and disinformation. It’s always a pleasure to welcome Amy Sample Ward back to nonprofit radio. You know who they are for Pete’s sake. Nonetheless, they deserve the proper introduction. Of course CEO of N 10 and our technology and social media contributor, they were awarded that 2023 Bosch Foundation fellowship from just this past summer. And their most recent co-authored book is the Tech that comes next with AUA Bruce about equity and inclusiveness in tech development. They’re still at Amy Sample word.org and at Amy RS Word. Welcome back, Amy. What a pleasure. Thanks for having me. I’m excited and I appreciate an intro that doesn’t list the number of years or episodes I’ve enjoyed on nonprofit radio. That always makes me take, take a bit of a pause. Well, we regale you on the anniversary show, right? Each July we’re coming up. This next July will be the 7/100. Wow. But only then will we remind you that which show you began in? Yes, I can accept these terms. Close listeners will remember but uh but the others who may not remember, you’ll have to wait till the 7/100 show to learn what Amy’s first show was. So we’re talking about uh misinformation, disinformation. Why don’t we just start with the basic explanation of what the differences are between Miss Miss and Dis Yeah, I appreciate starting at the beginning because I do see especially in this, you know, world of tweet or Instagram sized language where people kind of write Miss slash disinformation, but they’re not interchangeable. They mean very different things and the implications for your organization or even the potential that your staff do wanna these things is very, very different, right? Um A good way to remember. It is misinformation is a mistake. So, misinformation is you or a staff person or a community member even saying the wrong thing, you know, they said 73% instead of 37% or something where it doesn’t have an intentional agenda, right? It’s not, it’s not created or distributed as a way of trying to um do something whether nefarious or just, you know, against what you’re trying to do. Um And misinformation, unfortunately, like we can still talk about, this is something we, we need to think about as organizations, especially when we think about um trying to have staff out in the community um being present, sharing their thought leadership, all of these places. We humans, we do make mistakes, we do say 73 instead of 37 right? But that means we just maybe just said that to, you know, and we’re here um at a big donor recognition event and we say the wrong percentage and all those people then they want to be informed, they wanna look like they know things. So then they repeat the same wrong stat, right? So it is something we want to think about. Um and there’s some tactics for making sure staff have all those resources um to fact check themselves and to share things. But I think the more concerning one of these two is disinformation. Um And that’s not to say that your staff don’t and intentionally or unintentionally create um or, or participate in disinformation, but especially want to talk about what it looks like for your organization’s images, content, data website, et cetera to be used as part of someone else’s disinformation campaign. Um And that means again, people who are creating or sharing or distributing information with the intention that it is, you know, going to change people’s mind and that they know that what they’re doing is not factually correct. Yeah, the intentionality is the distinction. I like misinformation. Very good, helpful and disinformation, of course. Intentionally interesting. Yeah. Uh Right. Uh Yeah, let’s definitely talk about what happens if you’re essentially a victim included in disinformation, disinformation, post article campaign. Right. I OK. Excellent. All right. Um So some basic things, you know, uh we could be like on an individual basis as well as an organizational basis. Some simple things to help you avoid on either level, misinformation and disinformation. I think, you know, basic news literacy, you know, let’s, let’s flush out, flush this out a little bit for folks and maybe it may be covering things that are obvious. But II, I think there’s value in the, in the basics, you know, just, yeah, and, and some of it really is kind of a, a journalism like go back to the basics um place that we don’t all have that kind of training or background. So it’s not um I’m not saying this to say, oh, everybody you know, knows this and isn’t doing it. No, a lot of people have never had the privilege to get this information or to be trained to do to operate in this way. But I think as organizations, we already see that there’s silos, there’s certain staff who know certain things and other staff who don’t. So that’s going to still be the case when it comes to organizational data, data or information reports that you’re putting out etcetera. Um But creating kind of a information center for all staff. And again, not thinking well, only these three people on the communications team who are the ones who do our presentations need to know it, put it in a place where all staff can see. Here’s the deck that explains our organization and our, you know, latest numbers of impact or how many people we’ve reached this year, right? Um That’s a number that many people on staff maybe have an occasion to say and you want them saying the correct number, right? Um Having uh uh we used to create a cheat sheet, for example, where in 10 puts out lots of different reports and they have so many different data points in them. But what are the ones that we know the community is most interested in, regardless of which report it was in? Let’s make one cheat sheet for staff that says, ok, this is the trend on this topic and here’s the number of organizations, you know, that responded in this way on this other topic in one place. Um That way anybody who’s presenting or answering a question from a community member is all pulling data from one place. If the a new year goes by a new version of that data, it’s updated in that document, people are still going back to the same place. They’re not like, oh, let me find this year’s version of this, right? They’re always going to the same place. Um And what that looks like externally, which is where the kind of misinformation to the dis gets connected is making sure just as a a good journalist would, would cite their sources, organizations need to be comfortable citing their sources too. But I think um part of this has come from feeling like we need to be the authority on everything we say. Uh And, and what that means is that organizations don’t, you don’t have the latest information on every topic under the sun. That’s fine. What you’re, what you’re an expert on is your mission. So cite the source for the data on your page where you’re making the case for what you do. Is it from the census? Is it from a partner organization? Is it from a state department? You know that, that you work with actually putting in where that 37% came from is going to mean that if someone out there has an agenda and they’re saying, oh, yeah, I’ve heard that 37% of people XYZ, they’re not able to reference your website as part of their disinformation campaign because your website really does list, here’s the link to the census where this came from, right. They’re not able to modify what you’re saying. You’ve made clear where you got your information. Otherwise that website, you know that article where you don’t link to any sources, you don’t list how that data was collected is really ripe for interpretation. And that’s really what disinformation campaigns look for. Something that’s coming from a legitimate website. You are a legitimate organization, you have a legitimate website and if it’s not clear they can use that however they want, right? They can reposition it. Yeah. Yeah, cite your sources and, and you might be the source. Of course, it may be maybe your own data, maybe your own research might be your own annual report. But citation, citation. Yeah. Very smart. Right. So you can’t be, you can’t be linked back to as the source because you’re giving the source of the correct information. Excellent. Yes. Is there, is there more? Well, I think that, yeah, there is definitely more. I just wanted to stop but yeah, no, there is more. And I think um you know, just as we are suggesting you cite your sources for that 37% maybe written on your website. A place where organizations often don’t think about adding their logo or their website or anything else is other pieces of content they’re sharing. Um But creating almost like a watermark, you know, your logo in the corner or um maybe if you made a little infographic to share online and it says in the corner, this is from, you know, n tens, 2020 report on X, right? Because creating content that’s meant to be shared off of your website is even even more likely to be uh picked up, right? And used conveniently in disinformation when it doesn’t, when it’s, when it has no anchor, right? When it doesn’t have the watermark, it just looks like a fancy stat that somebody else posted. So making sure you think about anything that, that you’re sharing externally where it isn’t on your website and you’re controlling it. Can you add this watermark? Can you make sure that a source or a reference is written inside the graphic? Not just in, you know, maybe the caption that you put with it right? Inside that graphic? All right. Awesome. What else? What else should we be doing? Well, I think the other piece of this is so that’s proactive, right? Let’s make sure staff have the resources to say the right things and also the content we’re putting out on our website and our email out into social, it is cited has the right information that’s all proactive from our side. But what do we do for everything we can’t control? Right. So the other side of this is monitoring and often an organization only finds out that they, their content, their data, their imagery is part of some disinformation campaign because they got tagged or recognized by a community member who, who saw that content somewhere else, right? And they were like, wait a second, you know, I recognize that photo or, or whatever. Um So we’ve said this probably on the first episode I was on, which was too many years ago, you know, when we were talking about any other type of social or, or online listening, but it’s still the case setting up alerts to track your organization’s names and mentions online folks think, oh, this is great because, you know, we’ll know when we’re in the news, you’ll also know if somebody is, you know, trying to, to misuse your content. Um So, so not overlooking that, especially within certain systems. So, you know, maybe you work with a certain community that uses Instagram a lot, for example, or tiktok and you don’t really use your full written out, you know, maybe of a five word name, you know, making sure you’re setting up notifications or following hashtags on those tools that use the kind of name or abbreviation or acronym or even, you know, maybe tag that would be most likely used if you were getting pulled into something. Um because it’s really gonna be through that type of listening that you find your content being used. And then of course, what do you do if you see that? Uh I think some folks feel like like any other type of potential trust breakdown, you know, OK, we should come out really strong. We’re gonna make some big statement like we do not support or like, don’t worry, your data has not been stolen, that doesn’t necessarily convey that you understood what was happening there, right? Um So I think instead if you see your contents getting picked up and misused, maybe, you know, and this isn’t like at the level of of an international scene, this could be locally, maybe some of your um event photos and and talking points are being misused by a local representative, right? Um This doesn’t need to be huge scale, it should still be meaningful, right? And not to be on the scale of the uh the Israel Hamas War, but it’s just, but it’s important to you, but it’s important to you. It’s still your name, it’s still your reputation and it’s a perversion of your content. Exactly. It’s time for a break. Are you looking to maximize your fundraising efforts and impact this giving season donor boxes. Online donation platform is designed to help you reach your fundraising goals from customizable donation forms to far-reaching, easy share, crowdfunding and peer to peer options. Plus seamless in-person giving with donor box live kiosk. Donor box makes giving simple and fast for your donors and moves the needle on your mission. Visit donor box.org and let donor box help you help others. Now, back to misinformation and disinformation. The one tactic that folks have used when that is the case when OK, your stuff is getting, you know, twisted a little bit. One option. There’s a couple here, one is to flood the system. So instead of trying to add more attention to that person and try to say no, that isn’t what we said or that isn’t what that graphic is for, right? Ignore them and flood the system. So make sure that you have a correct fully sources cited blog post on your website. So that if people Google what that person just said, they’re finding your correct blog post, that you have a recent social post that points to that, that clarifies this information again, you need to tag them, you don’t need to say anything about them, but make sure that if people are reading what’s out there and are like, what is this? And they do a search for you, they are seeing what you want them to see and not that right. So there’s one flood the system, make sure it’s all all correct. And so far as you can do it. And then the second is really not gonna be seen by a lot of people and that’s contacting the, the folks who are posting this often in disinformation, the folks doing the posting are not the ones who created the content for them to post. Um And so they are also in a little bit of a more precarious position than whoever gave them the content, especially on a local level where it’s harder to hide like, you know, each other locally. So contacting them and saying, hey, this is not good, right? Whatever the case may be and engaging with them. Um Especially saying, could we have a public engagement around this, this conversation? Um Folks, organizations have turned that around and been able to great, we had a town hall because our, you know, recent report was of interest but wasn’t understood. And now you’re getting positive attention because you were able to engage that person and turn it around. Um Of course, if they say no, you’re wrong, we’re right. Our content is good. Well, you know, where you stand and you can move to a uh uh maybe option two B which is then to, you know, go into the process of reporting those accounts, reporting that content. Um The challenge there just so folks are already thinking about it is when we’re reporting content on, on the, on the greater internet across social media, et cetera. Folks are gonna see if that content has already been used by other users, if it’s been shared or posted. And so if what they’re posting and you’re now reporting is very similar even to your own con content or to content that others have posted, it likely will not get taken down because, you know, the the content review process will say, oh no, this is like what widely used widely known, right? Versus thinking that it’s this one accounts content. Um and it’s kind of a catch 22 when it comes to managing and reporting disinformation. So the, so the more widely it’s been used, the less likely it is that you’ll, that, that the originator that you’re talking to would, would remove it. Well, they wouldn’t be the ones removing it. You’re, if you’re reporting it, you’re asking, you know, meta to take it down or something. Um And in that point they are, you’re essentially reporting that user. Um And that user and their content is all part of whatever meta would be looking at to say, oh, is this a nefarious thing? Is this bad? You know, and a lot of folks don’t have success getting it taken down because there’s the, the content is similar to content that’s already up. Maybe they weren’t the ones that created it anyway. So that I just want folks to know. It’s not just a one click. Oh, great. It’s removed. That’s why it’s not step one because it is very difficult for a lot of folks to get disinformation accounts stopped. OK. OK. I know you did a little reading and thinking about disinformation too. What are your thoughts? I did. Well, II, I was, I was on a different level. Um, I was thinking about folks trying to validate something that they might, that they need. Let’s talk about that. Um All right. Well, you’re, you’re being very gracious look. So, but, but I don’t want to deviate from our best practices that you’re enumerating. Like you got, you’re, you’re down to level two B already. So. All right. Well, all right. I know you wanna, you, you probably feel like you’ve been talking a while but everything you’re saying is valuable and you got more insight into it than I do. That’s why you’re our technology contributor. So don’t, you don’t, you don’t need to be humble, but all right. So we, we, I wanna know if there’s a step three after two B but we’ll come back to it. Um Yeah. No, just sources like, you know, if, if something seems a little unusual to you or, I mean, you, you can’t, we, we cannot fact check everything we read. There’s just, there’s just too much but so if something seems, uh as David Letterman used to say a little hinky uh because I was just in Indiana with my wife. So hinky, pinky is on my mind because that’s where Letterman was from. Uh You know, there’s a place like uh Politifact, Politifact, they have their Truth 0 m. It’s green, red or yellow and it usually they’re green or red. There’s, there’s not a lot of yellow. So politifact, I mean that, you know, you want to go to a bona fide source. Politifact Snopes has been around for a long time and they are legitimate fact checkers. Um If you’re, if this may come up, if you’re, if you’re creating content, that’s not, uh that, that’s not based solely on your own data, but you’re relying on other people’s data. There’s, there’s something called the crap test. It’s craap. Um and it is, it’s, it’s quite bona fide now. I I was not aware of it but uh it got links from it. It’s linked to by Texas A and M University. Uh even Central Michigan University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Oregon State University for you, Amy uh Southern Utah University, University of Chicago. So there are respected universities and uh some of them seem to be library systems of those universities though that recommend the crap test for their students. So you can just Google crap craap. It’s an acronym for currency. You know, how, what’s the timeliness of the information relevance authority? What’s the source, the accuracy of the, of that source overall and the purpose for which the the data, uh the data was posted or the purpose for which the source exists, you know, is there some nefarious agenda? So currency relevance authority accuracy purpose uh the crap test to, to take a look at and there are a lot of factors within each one of those but determining whether data that you’re relying on is valid, right? I really like that. A couple um reactions coming up for me, especially thinking about nonprofit staff who are trying to do this or, or muddle through this one is when you’re creating content or, you know, trying to put up a blog post or a page, whatever letter you’re writing. Um And you’re looking for sources, if you aren’t comfortable writing right there in the letter or right there on your website, you know, where that fact came from, then it’s not a fact you can use. Um, I know we’ve definitely talked with organizations where, you know, they’re like, oh, it’s the perfect stat and like the perfect, just what we want. But it’s kind of like a sketchy organization or like, it’s not an organization that’s mission aligned and, you know, so let’s just use the stat and like, we don’t need to, if you’re not, you know, if you can’t cite the source, then it’s not a stat, you can use it in that’s intellectual dishonesty, right? It’s just, it’s like a gut check, right? Um So there’s that the other kind of reaction that’s coming up for me is I know, you know, nothing is simple. It is complex to say, OK, well, this needs to come from quote unquote, authoritative source, but there is no authoritative source in this kind of white dominant. Are they a university or are they a paper or whatever? Maybe on the topic you work on. That’s OK. You know. Um but for example, in Oregon, we found I was um on the board of an organization that did gender equity uh work, especially policy work to support gender equity organizations. And found that in there was not a, a report or a survey or a government census on certain data related to all kinds of factors, gender, domestic violence, et cetera on, on, on certain topics for over 20 years. So, yeah, maybe there was a stat you could find from 1989 we’re not using that stat, you know. Um And so instead of saying, OK, well, there’s like nothing good. So we don’t, don’t have anything to sort uh to, to site or what we have is so old, we’ll just reference it. No, that’s how they framed a lot of their content. These stats are so old, we can’t even use them, right? And that became a talking point that made them an authority, right? So we are going to do research because it isn’t out there. Um And it created an opportunity for their website to become the author authoritative source. Other organization could link to, hey, here is their report. Maybe it’s not the same as a census, but at least it’s something the state didn’t even care to report on this, right? So, um an opportunity to think about not just OK, there’s a real lack of data and your organization is at a disadvantage. Maybe naming that really clearly on a web page will mean that when folks go to fact check, oh, this local representative said that it’s 37%. They find your website where you say don’t trust anyone who tells you. There’s a number, there hasn’t been a survey in 40 years, right? Like, wow, now you’re educating people, you know, that that’s a very savvy turnaround. Yeah. And having, you know, quick facts on our, on your, on your missions topic, you know, on, on Portland Land, Conservancy, whatever it is that you do, having that quick reference page means you will come up when people do an internet search and maybe you’ll get to frame how they think about any stat or talking point they come across from somebody else. It’s time for Tony’s take two. Thank you, Kate December. I know it’s a critical month right at the end of Thanksgiving and giving Tuesday comes that important month where I know you can be looking for 2530. I’ve seen like 40% of your annual fundraising from this single month sometimes. So if that’s your situation, you have my good wishes. I’m thinking about you. I’m rooting for you. I hope you’re giving Tuesday. If you were in giving Tuesday, not that you needed to be necessarily, you could sit it out. But if you were in, I hope you did well, if you didn’t do well or as well as you would have liked brush that off. Don’t let your giving Tuesday impact what you’re thinking about. You know, don’t, don’t second guess yourself for your, your December strategy. Giving Tuesday stands alone. I hope you were very successful. If not, don’t let it impact the coming month. You’ve got my good wishes. I’m like I said, I’m rooting for you. If you do everything you can, then you have nothing to be ashamed of. That is Tony Stick Two Kate. Good wishes to everyone from Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio. Well, we’ve got buu but loads more time. So let’s go back to misinformation and disinformation with Amy Sample Ward. I, I’m, I’m gonna take us back to your best practices. Conversation. What, what else you, you put a lot of thought into this, what else should, should we be doing if we discover that our content is misused? Yeah. One thing that’s specific to, you know, social media profiles or accounts that you’d have that aren’t on your website that I’ve seen some organizations do. And I really like, um is they have put in their bio and of course, that’s limited, you know, some accounts, you have five characters in an emoji or something, but like where you can have this information, um I organizations have referenced really concise, you know, we don’t post stats or we only post infographics from our own research or something that kind of gets out ahead of if their, if their organization’s account is then getting tagged in some tiktok, you know, videos, comment thread where people think they’re referencing their stats. Anybody that then clicks through to that organization’s bio will see. Oh, they, they couldn’t have posted that because they only post X, you know, uh whatever it might be. So that’s another place to think about how you frame what your content might be is, you know, here your profile on whatever tiktok, I, I guess the Portland Land Conservancy maybe would have a tiktok. I don’t know. Um but you know, putting in your bio, like we are sharing tips and strategies if you want research data, contact this email or you know what, however you might frame that but making it so that even in the course of the kind of fast action of social media where people are tagging or commenting or whatever your organization gets thrown in the mix, anybody that sees that and clicks through will know whether to think you were really part of that content or not even just by what they land on your account with, you know. Yeah, your account B OK. Um And is that something it sounds like that belongs on your website as well? Maybe maybe on the footer of every page where you have your whatever your tax ID number and your address, maybe a disclaimer because because this the the trouble is so ubiquitous II, I think it deserves, you know, it sounds like it deserves to be on every page. Well, and it’s interesting that you say the ubiquitous comment because, you know, I think it’s pretty similar to conversations we have with organizations, especially smaller or medium sized organizations who, uh, about security where they’re like, no one cares about us. No random hacker, you know, thinks we’re important, like we’re not on anybody’s radar, nobody’s coming for us. And so they don’t plan and they don’t think about any of that until all of a sudden, do we have cyber insurance? Like, what do we do when there’s been a breach? Like, they, they think that it doesn’t apply to them because they think, like, they’re not an important fancy spinning this organization, but that’s not why a security breach would happen. Right. Um, just from a kind of accidental breach of staff doing something or from, uh, ransomware. It’s because you care about your content. Not because the person hacking you does, you know, they just know that you’d pay to get it back. Similar, similar mindset with disinformation is, yeah. Who no one, no one knows about us. No one would try to do whatever, you know. Oh, that disinformation is just for the war or just for some government, whatever. Yeah, it’s for everything. There’s a reason that people have, you know, malicious intent to shift, you know, pers perception locally or, or nationally on all kinds of issues and whether you work in homelessness or food security or animal rights. Like every topic has its issues and it’s folks who wanna take down, you know, organizations or wanna shift whether money goes to that sector or not. So, I’m not trying to be like a fear monger, but it is, it is worth spending some time making sure that you do have these practices in place and that you do know what you would do if something happened. You know, I think it’s naive, Unfortunately, it’s regrettably, uh, in, in the culture over the past probably 10 years or so. It’s become naive to think that your organization is too small or your work is too benign. Your work could be incendiary to anybody. Right. And look at the, the pizza, the pizza shop in Washington DC. It’s a, it’s a pizzeria. Well, you know, who’s gonna attack a pizzeria. But, yeah, yeah, including the guy who went there or went to, I don’t know if he got to the store but the guy who went to DC armed and he was, I think he was stopped before he got to the, whatever the pizza gate place was called, I forget. But, uh, yeah, so there, there is nothing so benign. I mean, you know, uh, animal welfare, like a no kill shelter. There may, there could just be people who think that not, that only not, they may not be so incendiary as to think that animals ought to be killed. But why is that? Why are they getting money. But my, but my um you know, my I just got laid off but the, but the No Kill Shelter just expanded building just they just had a campaign and raised a half a million dollars and expanded their building. But I just got laid off, right. Any, any cause is fodder for, for any kind of, you know, irrational criticism. But that criticism could run pretty deep and, and be dangerous. And I know that you have had some smart and insightful recent conversations about A I with A Fua and Beth and George and all these different people. And I want to make one bridge over to those conversations as we’re talking about disinformation. But some of it is also created by A I A I is great generative A I specifically is great at coming up with content. That’s why it was created to make it, it also is making up fake sources. It is is making up fake information. And so the more that people start getting used to A I tools being out in the in the wild here and are using them themselves, the more people are going to be hopefully looking for sources and they might see something and click on it and see that it’s fake because you know, this generative IA I tool made it all up and then they come to your website and they click on a source and they see it’s real. So they are going to trust that more, you know. Um And it just really, I think underscores the need to make sure the content on our websites um or out in our emails, et cetera is really what we mean it to be. It is fact checked. It’s correct. It cites its sources because we’re now putting that website up in a, in a sea of content where a lot of it is gonna be created by a robot and not and not correct. You know, you’re talking about the uh show from June 5th 2023. Uh It’s called Artificial Intelligence for nonprofits. Uh We had uh Beth Cantor Afua Bruce, your co-author George Weiner and Alison. Fine. That’s the, that’s the show. Yeah, that was a full explanation. Uh conversation about the risks, the opportunities, uh bad practices, uh potentially good practices. Um My, my bias comes out when I say, yeah, I say bad practices, potentially good. I qualified the good but the bad I left, I left. That’s just bad and maybe good. Uh My, my bias comes out. Uh My bias comes out in that conversation too. So June 5th, uh the show is called Artificial Intelligence for nonprofits. I am very concerned. I’m very concerned. Um Anyway, we don’t need to rehash that conversation. Um We were just uh so, all right. All right. This is uh this is valuable, this is valuable stuff. Nobody is um nobody is immune. No cause as good as you think your cause is imagine somebody who thinks it’s as evil as you think it is good because, because that person could very well exist probably does. It’s just a matter of how incendiary that person is, right? And I think that there’s two pieces related to this, that of course, a lot of what we’ve just talked about are actions, nonprofit staff can be taking to post content in a certain way or, you know, create resources internally, et cetera. But I also think there’s two opportunities here to build better, closer relationships with other organizations. So that um even if you’re not all working on the same issue, maybe you all work in the same community or maybe you all have a similar funder or, you know, whatever the relationship might be. But using this as saying, hey, I know that we all want there to be accurate information out there. We did a survey and we have this, you know, here’s the data I I I’m happy to share it with you so that you can trust it. Can we all agree to say it’s 37% so that we are, you know, getting out the word in a more consistent way to proactively fight any disinformation that comes out later, right? People will see three different organizations are all citing the same source, all agreeing that this is the content, right? Similarly using uh potential, the using the potential for disinformation as an entry point for conversations with a funder to say, we know this is a topic that not everybody supports, you support us. We’re so, we’re so glad that you do and how could you support us making sure that there is accurate reporting or more, more research than the limited amount we’ve been able to do, you know, so that more information is out there for the public and, and again, we’re proactively cutting off the influence of disinformation on this topic. Um So I think that’s an important entry point for those conversations. Even if nothing comes of it, the funder doesn’t give you more funds. I wish they would truly, um, maybe they don’t, but it’s part of, it’s something that you’ve planted with them that, hey, this is a role you need to be playing if we need accurate information out here, if we want these missions to be successful. Right. So, um 22 places where this conversation we’ve just had about disinformation maybe helps you start new or different conversations with partners or funders. Yeah. Yeah. And that comes, that brings to mind the, uh the information gaps that you were talking about earlier, you know, the turn, turn that around into something positive and try to get funding for the research that hasn’t been done since 1989. Right. Exactly. Exactly. What about the tech companies? Let’s shift a little bit. Uh, I’m interested in your opinion of their responsibility. They are, uh, they are absolved from the responsibility that media companies that news organizations have under. Um, uh, the Communications Act that was, uh, I think it’s article 230 or something, something like that. But, uh, of, of the, of a, of a communications, a federal, a federal statute, they’re exempt from, from that because they, they claim that they are, they’re merely like a bulletin board. They’re not, they’re not a content creator, they’re a content disseminator poster distributor. So they’re not responsible that this is where this is where I think their argument breaks down. Therefore, they’re not responsible for what gets posted on their billboard. Well, when I was in seventh grade, there was a billboard monitor we took down if it was from last week’s, it was advertising last week’s seventh grade dance, we took it down because you don’t need that anymore. It’s, it’s, uh, that’s, that’s old versus disinformation. But, uh, obviously, um, I believe they ought to be, well, he’ll do a much higher standard. I, I, I’m not, I’m not opposed to the journalistic standard or something. Very, very close to that. Right. Yeah, I mean, I think this is, uh, but I’m also interested in your opinion. Yeah, this is, this is unfortunately not a, a new point of frustration, of course. Right. Um, folks feeling like whether it’s Facebook or Twitter or whoever else, you know? Sure you, the company didn’t create that content but you are allowing it to be disseminated and it is wrong. Um You know, we get disinformation is is kind of a Venn diagram in this context with hate speech, there’s there’s this kind of out of proportion understanding or reference to freedom of expression that is that is being used often to cloud whether or not there’s accountability to be taken. Um And I think of course, I think that the platforms need to have a level of responsibility to either prevent or then address harm when it happens because they have allowed this content to, to exist and be disseminated. I think similarly, organizations should really think about, are you prepared to be responsible for harm that comes from content that you may post? And that’s not to say that, you know, every time you’ve been posting on Facebook, it was malicious and you were doing something. But um you know, are, are you maybe going to start using certain tools that are generative A I or something else? And are you ready for what content maybe comes out of there or do you wanna say, hey, we are only our humans are writing our content about our advocacy because we know it is very important that it is 100% accurate, you know, and, and uh we need our experts to do that or um you know, we are only going to post parts of our research when it can be posted in full and these parts of our research are able to be posted as an individual infographic. There are definitely reports that easily are misinformation can be disinformation if they’re posted without the full context of that report, right? And so maybe you wanna say we can’t just have this random thing going on Facebook because it will easily turn into something that we we aren’t necessarily ready to be responsible for. So let’s post ourselves. It’s not to say someone else couldn’t take a screenshot and post it. But you as the organization didn’t start that, right? You are saying we are posting this in full context as a full report document. Um So just some places to think about guidelines or at least guard rails for staff and how they post and, and where, where they post that content. Yeah. All right. Guard Rails for making sure that you’re not, you’re not becoming the bad actor. Right. Right. And right. And you may not even, you’re not doing it intentionally but, you know, context is, is, is, is critical. Yeah. So, yeah, so, yeah, you got to scrutinize uh uh policies, right? What, what’s the role of a generative A I in your organization? If it has a role? Uh what are the, what are the allowable purposes uses where not, you know, you don’t and you just don’t want to be embarrassed as well. Uh Putting aside disinformation, you know, you don’t want to be that was that college? Um There were, there was a, there was a college where the, the, um, one of the officers posted something that was supposed to be thoughtful about a shooting at a local, in a local community. It was a university officer and, and it was just, it was posted by Generative A I, and it, it, it was, it was off color and it was, it was worse than just neutral and not, it was worse than not saying, not persuasive. It was poor and, and it, you know, and it created a whole, uh, you know, it, it created a big problem for the, a big pr problem for the university. Um, you know, so you don’t, you don’t want, you don’t want, you know, it’s your reputation, you just, you need to be judicious about. Right. Who, who posts in your name? Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. And again, it’s not because that means you can lock it down and control random other internet users. You can’t. But anyone that goes then to fact check what that random internet user posted about you will see thoughtful, carefully posted content and no, oh, that you didn’t create that. Right. Because that is clearly out of step with everything else they can see from you or is factually not matching what you have on your quick fax page or, or, you know, whatever else. I know this has been like an hour of tips and people are like, oh, my God, stop to giving me more tips. You know, I, I can only do so many things, but even if people do two of the things we just talked about, that’s a, that’s a good direction for getting into a better position. Yeah. Well, I think people are, uh, often overwhelmed when, when you’re a guest because you have, because you have too much value. You bring too much value. Stop, turn it off. No, no, no, it’s a buffet. You take what works for you and, and if, if, if you don’t agree that this could be a potential problem for you, then, uh at least you’re making that decision informed. Right? And I hope that it doesn’t, I hope that it isn’t an issue. Yeah. Yeah, of course. We wish no ill will on anyone, right? Uh Naturally or anything that we haven’t talked about that any approaches, we haven’t explored angles. We haven’t, you know, the only thing that I will say is that I think this is perfect time to be talking about this. Um, you know, it’s November 30th when we’re recording this. Not that it’s live in this moment, but, uh, a year from now, not even a year from now, six months from now, uh, in the US as politics kicks up its its cycle again, every topic is potentially a topic that a person in a debate references, right? Or a candidate on TV, references or that somebody wants to put into a commercial. And that means, you know, over the next six months you really wanna make sure your content is in order that you only have, you know, stats you stand behind on your website in case you know somebody’s in a debate, they reference the food insecurity rate in your area and you’re like, I know that’s wrong. Can you prove it wrong? Is it on your website? The correct number? Right. So um I just wanna make sure that not again, there’s no fear in this, no anxiety, but just the timeliness is a year from now when it’s election time, we wanna be ready before that. So let’s make sure that you have the content on your website that you want folks to be able to reference and source and well, before the campaign start kicking everything up again, context, you’re right. 2024 is an election year. Be conscious. All right there, Amy Sample Ward, the CEO at N 10 and our technology and social media contributor, Amy. Thanks so much. What a pleasure. Thank you. Yeah, this was a good one. They’re all good. Next week, Gene Takagi returns with a discussion of Sam Altman chat G BT and why they’re relevant to nonprofits. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at Tony martignetti.com were sponsored by donor box, outdated donation forms blocking your supporters, generosity. This giving season donor box, the fast flexible and friendly fundraising platform for nonprofits donor box.org. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. I’m your associate producer, Kate Martignetti. The show’s 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 September 5, 2023: A Post-Fellowship Conversation With Amy Sample Ward


Amy Sample WardA Post-Fellowship Conversation With Amy Sample Ward

Amy Sample Ward, NTEN CEO

What did they do over their Bosch Foundation Fellowship, who did they meet and what did they talk about for three months abroad? For a tease: How tech could save an island nation, and the future of the internet. Trivial topics like that. Amy is our technology contributor and the CEO of NTEN.


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[00:00:36.69] spk_0:
And welcome to tony-martignetti Nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host and the pod father of your favorite Heb Domin podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with us. I’d be thrown into toxicosis if you poisoned me with the idea that you missed this week’s show, Kate. Give us the highlights, please.

[00:01:10.66] spk_1:
Ok, tony, we have a post fellowship conversation with Amy Sample Ward. What did they do over their Bosch Foundation fellowship? Who did they meet? And what did they talk about for three months abroad for a tease, how tech could save an island nation and the future of the internet. Trivial topics like that. Amy is our technology contributor and the CEO of N 10 on Tony’s take two

[00:01:12.85] spk_0:
fair share. That’s fair.

[00:01:48.04] spk_1:
We sponsored by donor box, outdated donation forms blocking your supporters, generosity. Donor box fast, flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor Boxx dot org. And Bikila grow revenue, engage donors and increase efficiency with Kila. The fundraiser CRM visit Kila dot co to join the thousands of fundraisers using Kila to exceed their goals. Here is a post fellowship conversation with Amy Sample Ward.

[00:02:20.21] spk_0:
It is a pleasure to welcome back Amy Sample Ward to nonprofit radio. They are the CEO of N 10 and our technology and social media contributor, their most recent co-authored book. And frankly, I think another one is due shortly uh is the tech that comes next about equity and inclusiveness in technology development. They’re at Amy Sample Ward dot org and at Amy Rs Ward. Welcome back, Amy.

[00:02:27.59] spk_2:
Thanks for having me. I’m excited to chat about so many things today. Yeah,

[00:02:56.76] spk_0:
it’s a genuine pleasure because it’s been several months because you were on this uh highfalutin fellowship, Bosch, the Bosch Fellowship, the Dishwasher Company Fellowship, which is so much more than uh dishwashers, of course, and vacuum cleaners. So you were in the Bosch Foundation Fellowship abroad based in Berlin, catch us up from there. What is sure. So look like for a summer.

[00:06:43.60] spk_2:
Totally, the Bosch Foundation is the shareholders of the Bosch Company. So I think fewer foundations and companies have this model in the US, but be more common in, in Europe where there is a commercial company and instead of having lots of shareholders and publicly traded stocks, the foundation is the owner and the foundation is a grantmaking organization. They provide grants for all kinds of, you know, nonprofits, um all around the world actually. And one of their programs is called the Bosch Academy where they have uh for nine years now, um a fellowship program that brings folks from truly all different industries and sectors to Berlin for a period of time. I was only there for three months but other folks are there for 69 plus months. Uh to really, I mean, I couldn’t believe it even up until the last day I was waiting for them to say, and here’s what you have to deliver, there was nothing you’re really there to pursue opportunities that you wouldn’t otherwise have kind of the mental space to do in your day to day, you know, work. Um So I was there for three months and all the fellows are on their own timeline. So, uh it was a little bit confusing because I think maybe at least in the US when I think of a fellowship, I think it’s like a cohort of people. We’re all doing like a program together that it, it’s much more of what we would call a residency. So people are on their own timelines. There’s no overarching programming. Uh Everyone is and I think it would be hard to do that because people really are from very diverse um backgrounds. So, while I was there as a fellow, some of my other, other fellow fellows, um you know, there was a GP from England who works in the NHS and had been leading their um digital health work. There was a former president um of Costa Rica. There was um someone from the State Department that now works at Brookings. Um researching industrialization that, you know, so there were people from all, all different backgrounds and interest areas and specialties and I would say the main kind of anchor that, that we did have together was twice a week. We all have lunch together, which feels like, ok, you just have, you know, lunch together, but really opportunities to sit at a, you know, a table that’s small enough, you really could have a conversation with everyone, you know, 10 or fewer people over lunch to talk about things with people who are working all different industries. It’s just not something we normally have the privilege and opportunity to do. Nor do I think we actively create those opportunities very much for ourselves. You know, and the, the kind of twice a week getting to sit together, share a meal talk about what is interesting to us. Um they often brought in speakers. So, um, you know, maybe it’s a journalist from one of the newspapers who’s coming in and sharing, you know, trends they’re seeing um in certain whatever they, you know, in the political section or, or whatever topic, maybe it’s um folks from Eu or German policy, uh houses sharing visa policies. We’re recommending, you know, all different opportunities just to learn and like sit together in conversation. So it was really powerful,

[00:06:51.00] spk_0:
former president of Costa Rica WW. What is he or she looking into?

[00:08:04.78] spk_2:
So, the fellow um that was there with me, that’s the former uh President of Costa Rica Carlos Alvarado was um pursuing now um is a teacher at the Fletcher School. And his fellowship was focused on uh designing a new framework for diplomacy that would support folks entering into this world of, of policy and politics with a mindset on collective wins and kind of personal integrity and that each of our stories do matter and influence how we can build relationship to make more inclusive and hopefully better for our planet and our people policies. Um So really thinking about, you know, how do we teach people to, to be in this, in, in politics in ways that don’t just recycle and repurpose the same kind of oppressive systems that, that got us to today. Very lofty.

[00:08:06.25] spk_0:
Of course, we’re gonna talk about what Amy sample ward was thinking about investigating, talking to people. This all sounds, it, it all sounds very

[00:08:48.22] spk_2:
freeing. It was incredibly freeing and honestly, because it was in Berlin and I normally live out in Portland, Oregon ha, having nine hours difference. Uh also was freeing in my calendar. I went from having, you know, my days are 8 to 4 scheduled meetings to there’s a lunch and then, you know, maybe I’ve got an early morning pacific time check in with a staff person and that was it for what was scheduled, you know, really being able to have the, the freedom in your scheduled day to, to think and do work and do work and think in the ways that you want to was a huge gift.

[00:09:00.67] spk_0:
Uh And you, you took time off from work, right? You, you reduced to 15.

[00:09:06.21] spk_2:
Yeah, I reduced my hours but I didn’t fully step out so that there wasn’t also like an administrative burden to change all of our processes or, you know, I could still run payroll like, you know, those types of things.

[00:09:19.97] spk_0:
And uh is this fellowship a paying gig? Do they?

[00:09:50.26] spk_2:
No, they don’t. Um They don’t give you the place. I mean, they give you the stipend so that you can cover the cost of having somewhere and they can help you find a place. But um you know, there were folks there who are single and don’t have Children and then we were there as a whole family with a child, you know, so everybody has such different needs with their housing that they, they just support you finding what works for you? Ok.

[00:09:54.44] spk_0:
Ok. Uh And you and your husband Max, uh daughter Oren, did you? You traveled? I’m sure you’re in Europe

[00:10:00.92] spk_2:
must have traveled. Yeah, we actually, we, well, I

[00:10:06.61] spk_0:
know you were in, I know you were in Warsaw, Poland. Yeah, because we got you for the 650th show from Warsaw.

[00:11:35.21] spk_2:
Yes, we did spend some time in Warsaw um doing some project collaboration work there. Um And then they got to experience Warsaw where I’d been before but they hadn’t. And then, uh the other trip that we took was to take Oren back to England where we used to live and show her around London. Um go, you know, she got to see some proper castles. That’s really what she wanted. Um And all the fellows, uh and Max non went on a trip down to Stuttgart, which is the, the home of Bosch uh as a company and uh history. And that’s also where the Bosch affiliated hospital is. And, um got to see so many other parts. It’s certainly the first factory floor that I’ve walked, uh and got to see, you know, this mix of, of kind of classic industry, you know, building these things in a, in a building altogether, mixed in with more of the recent tech innovations of, you know, a little robot that delivered you the parts that you needed to inspect. Um And if you got in the way the robot would stop, but then get very frustrated that you were never getting out of the robot’s way for it to go deliver its parts, you know, um things like that. So it was a really cool experience in getting to see really so many other sides to the world that, you know, II I get stuck in my nonprofit space and, and think about our work. Um So it was really cool. That’s

[00:11:53.75] spk_0:
the free, the free, uh a luxury for three months, you said? Yeah, you there three months, right? So uh what, what were you uh investigating thinking about? I’m sure you had meetings, you were talking to people.

[00:13:15.62] spk_2:
Yes. So many meetings, so many conversations. But my focus really. And though, you know, of course, I’m just interested in general meeting with folks who are trying to make the world better and, you know, I had lots of conversations or questions with folks to say, you know, what are you trying and what’s working? What did you try that didn’t work? Like, how do we, how do we get traction? How do we succeed in making the world better? Of course. But the start of all of my conversations and my meetings with folks was this kind of one I know you’re gonna say lofty. But one big question, which was what does an internet that is actually built on safety and freedom and sovereignty look like? And can we build that? And there were a lot of people who, you know, didn’t think it is possible. Um That, that, that, that those, you know, true freedom and true safety and true sovereignty couldn’t all be achieved like they, they couldn’t all three be at the same time or that a better internet wasn’t possible. Um But there also were people who were like, yes, it is possible and we can build it and please can we start yesterday? You know. Um

[00:13:49.21] spk_0:
So I, I got my first interruption. So the uh the, the folks who say No, it, it, it can’t be done. Do they feel that we missed the, the opportunity to have built the internet that you described or is it more that it was never achievable? Not that we not that we went about it or allowed it to develop on its own in i in the wrong way or unobstructed? I

[00:16:49.31] spk_2:
think that honestly, the folks who had the most pushback um in my conversations were folks who were honestly pushing back on my view of the internet now, you know, saying, 00, it already is safe. It already is free, right? Um And so it was less that internet isn’t possible and more like discrediting the place from which the conversate the question is being asked, you know, um and that we can, we can make a few policies and like, we’re, we’re good, you know, the internet’s good as it is. Um And there were also a lot of folks who felt that my focus on those three aspects was maybe the issue for them that, that safety, everybody agreed. Yes, the internet should be safe. Um Not as many people agreed. It should be free. And no, I don’t mean free by cost to access it, but like, what does freedom for each of us look like online? And I think that’s where folks had a little bit of like, but what does that mean? And, and can it be safe if it’s free? Right. Which are important conversations, but I, I think yes, it can be. Um But a lot of folks felt like sovereignty and these conversations about how do we acknowledge and establish sovereignty as communities was me saying it’s all anarchy, nothing matters. You know, there, there are no rules which is really honestly the opposite of sovereignty. Sovereignty is saying I want you to acknowledge that I have rules because my community has said this is what keeps us free and safe, right? Or, or whatever. Um And that the view is, that’s the role of government. But I think honestly, and I’m not trying to like, take this down a, a deep rabbit hole, but I really don’t think that a structure for something like a global system of the internet where we are all interacting all over the world, you know, regardless of which country’s government we we may live under isn’t enough to say that the internet could be free and safe and supportive and, you know, successful in all these ways because all these governments have issues with each other. And like the, you know, there’s communities within a country that are different from each other. Um And they’re there, I think should be passed to be able to say this is what this is, what’s right for our community. Um And again, I’m not trying to like devolve everything down into, into chaos, but I also don’t think I could accept the notion that what we have today. Is working. Um So I’m, I’m mostly saying it has to be something else and not that I have all the answers. Oh my gosh. If I had all the answers, what am I doing? Sitting over here holding on to them, you know, like, but, but we need to have the open space to find those answers or create those answers together and say, what could it be like versus saying this is good enough. Let’s put a policy that says, you know, don’t, don’t take it or something and, and that’s it.

[00:17:47.60] spk_1:
It’s time for a break. Donor box, quote donor box text to give led one of our more successful fundraising events, a concert sharing the keyword short code and scannable QR code made giving easy for our supporters and they did give that’s from Josh Young, Executive director of Hydrating Humanity Donor Boxx, helping you help others. Donor Boxx dot org. Now back to a post fellowship conversation with Amy Sample Ward

[00:17:54.86] spk_0:
who were some of the folks that you were talking to?

[00:18:47.33] spk_2:
Yeah, good question. Um It was really a why I felt really interested in making sure I was talking to a lot of different folks because as you know, even the N 10 community has, you know, all different kinds of nonprofits missions, of course, people of all different departments in an organization, but also consultants and tech companies and foundations and you know, all these different folks. So I was meeting with of course, nonprofits um themselves, folks who see themselves in kind of a nonprofit technology vein, but also folks who are focused on um supporting refugees and connecting them with jobs and they kind of see that technology has to be part of that, right? Um But then I was also meeting with think tanks and foundations and folks who are, you know, kind of advocating or, or resourcing the movement around the internet and on other sides, you know, whether that’s giving money or, or talking to policymakers and government. Um So really talk to folks all across that spectrum and folks in Berlin, folks in Germany and folks more broadly in the EU,

[00:19:18.65] spk_0:
all right. Um I, I think before we, we talk about some of the folks who said, you know, let’s achieve this ideal internet and, you know, you said, let’s start yesterday, what you, you, I, I think it’s valuable for you to summarize where you’re coming from. What’s, what’s your sense of uh of our internet, our technology space and, and you know, it’s uh it’s utility for, for nonprofits.

[00:20:08.89] spk_2:
Yeah, I think that I believe all technology, including the internet should be something that every person, regardless of where they live or whether or not they have a job or how much money they have or, you know, what their interests are, can find AAA way um to be included there, whether they want to help create part of the internet or watch cat videos, you know, whatever they want that this is really a, uh this is really something that is for everyone. And I think a big challenge with that today is um, lack the lack of certain policies that make it accessible and affordable and available, you know, you know,

[00:20:28.82] spk_0:
let’s just start with accessibility. Right. There are pockets of the world and certainly of the United States where the internet is not taken for granted,

[00:23:08.24] spk_2:
right? I mean, there’s more than 45 million people in the US who couldn’t even have sufficient broadband internet to like be on a zoom call with us right now. You know, so the idea that, um, and I’m not saying this is your idea, but I, I do see out in the media, this perception that it’s like other far away places that don’t have the internet, we don’t have the internet all over the US too, you know. Um, and even the pandemic has not accelerated real work to address that, you know. Um, but there’s also the piece of commercialization around the internet. I think that has, of course, come from a lack of policies that, that made it so that, that couldn’t be the case. And the fact that of course commercial companies are the largest lobbyists and so they are able to make sure that the policies continue to work for them. But, you know, the number of folks who think the internet is Facebook and don’t leave Facebook and that because that’s all that they know that means again, they don’t really see how they are part of shaping or making or engaging in, in this global resource we have but also are a victim of, of what that commercialization means. The bubble that Facebook has created all of the, you know, algorithmic bias and hate that comes from that. Um So finding ways where both from the actual access point like communities could own their own networks and have the, the jobs and the profits from managing that all the way up to lots more people creating those apps or those tools, you know, I, I don’t think we need to build an internet where every single person in the world would ever use the same app because not every single person in the world needs the same app. Not everyone has the same phone, not everyone has the same computer, you know, like we don’t need to say that success in technology is when every single person is using it. It’s just when every person that it’s right for is using it, you know, and um building tools or online resources or websites or whatever else that, that aren’t viewed as like scale to the X forever and just, oh great. We succeeded. Everyone that needs this tool is using it, you know, and, and that’s good. Um But that’s really not again because of the commercialization of so much of the web. That’s not how it’s how it works right now. That’s not the incentive. Yeah.

[00:23:41.94] spk_0:
The commercialization, the access issues, the, the cost issues. Yes. Uh, there, I, I think probably, uh, a lot of, or all of nonprofit radios listeners, you know, we, we, we probably take the internet for granted. You wake up in the morning, you click in and it’s there. Um, and your technology is at your, at your bedside when you wake up. Although Beth Cantor would tell you that it should not be. You should

[00:23:44.03] spk_2:
not have to not be, not

[00:24:24.50] spk_0:
be, but the reality is, it’s, it’s, if it’s not at your bedside, it’s uh it’s in the, just the next room over, it’s very close and, you know, so, and it, it works 99.999% of the time. Uh I had someone in uh my, my plan giving Accelerator course he is uh is in based in Malawi. He didn’t even have stable electricity every night. For him. Our meetings were at night time. Um Three o’clock Eastern was nine or 10 o’clock. I think it was nine o’clock, nine pm for him in Africa. Standard time. He didn’t even have reliable electricity each night, let alone reliable internet though, right?

[00:25:24.65] spk_2:
And I think sometimes there’s this misperception again, not saying that this is your misperception, but um more broadly that folks that aren’t online don’t, don’t know things right. There’s so much that um we assume about folks who are not online and it isn’t that they don’t still know the news or that they still don’t, you know, or that, or that they don’t want to be online. It’s just that there are so many other barriers in the way, um, that are structural, not, you know, they’ve never heard of the internet and they don’t know what it is. Um, and so access isn’t just saying like, oh, yeah. Well, there was a, you know, we saw this in the pandemic um in the first, you know, year especially like, oh, well, we know all these kids aren’t in school and all these people need the internet. So we put up a, a wifi signal in this field. You can just drive over. Oh, and we’re just gonna sit in our car for four hours and work and try to do school. Like, what are you, what, how is this a solution? You know? Um So there’s, there’s so much that goes into that and always remembering that folks who aren’t online aren’t unaware, they’re just experiencing a bunch of barriers that they didn’t create

[00:26:16.81] spk_0:
it. It creates frustration. Yeah. Frustration and anxiety because they’re left behind. They know they’re left behind. They can’t access what uh what they know is available to lots of other people. All right, let’s, let’s bring it back to uh uh Germany Berlin. So you met with lots of folks who said, you know, yes, we can achieve this, this uh more equitable, more accessible, um, safer uh uh internet. Um What, what do they, uh, I don’t know, what, what do they want to do? Are you gonna, are you coming back with a bunch of partners that you’re gonna start lobbying and, and policy

[00:29:07.54] spk_2:
paper? Yeah, I think, I think we definitely were able to, um, build stronger relationships with organizations. We maybe new or even tangentially new. Um, because antenna is an, a global organization, there are folks from all over the world that are already in the community, but just the value of actually showing up at their office and sitting down for an hour, you know, really goes a long way and in building trust and relationship. Um But I think the other piece was having the energy that comes from conversations where people are not disagreeing with the premise of which we’re even trying to talk about but saying like, yeah, we are. No, we already agree like, let’s get to this part and really validating for folks. No, you’re not the only one like I’m from this community that you’re welcome to be part of or maybe you are, you know, know about, but there’s this whole n 10 community of people who also think an internet like this is possible and also want to build it, you know, you are not alone trying to like work in your tinyt corner and, and find a way, right? And whatever corner you’re in is needed. We don’t all have to do the same thing. We shouldn’t all do the same thing, right? Like you, if, if policy is your thing, go, go work on that. If, you know, supporting refugees, transitioning into jobs is your thing, go do that, you know, like wherever you are in the work is the right place to be. Um And so those were really, I think validating and generative conversations, especially for folks who felt like they were being told there was only one way to do this work. Um And you know, the only policy recommendations we want are policies that, you know, address A I, for example, lots of A I conversation in the summer in the US and, and everywhere else in the world, you know, and I kept saying, but there might be applications of technology that are specific to what they think A I is today. But wouldn’t it be better to write policy about any way that data was being used from, you know, a, a person or uh where, what, what accountability looks like for when there is harm. I don’t care if they used it in an A I garbage machine or they used it in my health records. I I should get to have the control, right? So helping folks reframe that it doesn’t have to only be a single issue or a single topic like that, that it’s all connected, it is all related, all of this technology work. Is connected and whatever piece you can work on, please go do it as well as you can. You know,

[00:30:07.82] spk_1:
it’s time for a break, increase donations and foster collaborative team work with Kila. The fundraisers. CRM maximize your team’s productivity and spend more time building strong connections with donors through features that were built specifically for fundraisers. A fundraiser. CRM goes beyond a data management platform. It’s designed with the unique needs of fundraisers in mind and aims to unify fundraising, communications and donor management tools into one single source of truth. Visit, Kila dot co to sign up for a coming group demo and explore how to exceed your fundraising goals. Like never before. It’s time for Tony’s take two.

[00:31:40.87] spk_0:
Thank you, Kate. Share share. That’s fair. Who can you share nonprofit radio with? I’d be grateful if you would give it some thought. Maybe it’s someone you work with somebody, a, a colleague, a peer, somebody, you work for your vice president, your CEO perhaps your board, I have gotten, I’ve gotten uh emails through the years that we stimulated a board conversation or I shared this show with my board and we were gonna talk about it at the next meeting, you know, friends and nonprofits people you used to work with assuming you don’t hate them still, you know, if, if they, if they fired you, you’re probably not gonna share this fabulous show with them. So, all right. So that’s out if they fired you let that go. Uh, maybe the job before that, the, the job you didn’t get fired from. I hope that you haven’t been fired. You know, you haven’t been fired that much. Um, nonprofit radios, exemplary listeners. So, never fired. Right. But if in the off chance, all right. So you’re not gonna share it with those folks who let you go. But everybody else you used to work with folks you used to work with. Perhaps I’d be grateful if we could expand the audience a bit. If you could share this show, I believe it’s helping you otherwise you wouldn’t be listening. Who else can it help? Who else ought to be listening to nonprofit radio? Please share with them. And that’s Tony’s take too,

[00:31:49.06] spk_1:
Kate. We’ve got, but loads more time. Let’s go back to a post fellowship conversation with Amy Sample Ward.

[00:32:12.84] spk_0:
This is all very interesting because you can correct me if my perception is wrong. Please do my perception is that Europe is much further ahead of North America. Forget the continent, the United States in terms of data security. Uh There’s the, there’s the GDPR in terms of holding uh holding the large tech companies accountable, you know, suing I see more lawsuits and, and, and successful either settlements or legal out other legal outcomes against uh uh meta Google. I see more of those. I see.

[00:33:15.13] spk_2:
Yeah, I think that I think that there are, I think there are far more um pieces in place in Europe, in the eu than there are in the U SI. Don’t think that they are adequate or, you know, fully functional to the needs of communities. Um And people, and there’s still a lot of them that are in flux, you know, the EU A I policies are, are still being shaped even though they’ve been discussed as if like here’s what they’ll do and it’s great that they’re actually not done, you know. So yes, GDPR is in place. But um there’s, there’s still a lot to be shaped, there’s even more to be shaped in the US. Um But yes,

[00:34:31.76] spk_0:
all right. That, that, that’s why I mean, I’m, I’m not hearing from you that there’s an attitude of complacency, you know, we’ve, we, we’ve achieved and I not, not that I, not that I expected you to say that, but just recognizing that they are further along, they’re, they’re, they hold companies, especially that I’m particularly interested in the company accountability uh around data usage algorithms uh forced, you know, uh forced uh usage like the way threads you have to be on Instagram to use threads. You, if you drop one, you lose the other. You know, I don’t, that, that rubs me that, that to me is it’s just unfair but they uh not, not to that particular degree that, that the eu has figured that out, but generally they seem to be more demanding accountability of, of the of the big tech companies, right? But, but not, but there’s a lot more work to do. I understand. OK. OK. Uh Is there a, is there a story you can tell about some NGO or other, other organization or person that feels like?

[00:34:36.94] spk_2:
I mean, I think we

[00:34:39.70] spk_0:
got something really good. Let me tell you about it. Yeah,

[00:34:48.26] spk_2:
that there’s no resolution that I have to offer. But I think, you know, this, I want to acknowledge that this is, these are the questions I sit with all the time. This is what my work is around and I’m not expecting every listener to be like, oh yeah, of course, like nodding along with me, like if this is your first time thinking about this because you spend your day on a different topic, that’s totally fine, you know. Um Welcome, welcome,

[00:35:11.63] spk_0:
welcome to a new conversation. Yeah, welcome to join or just take

[00:35:58.77] spk_2:
away them. Yeah. So I was, I wanted to offer this because I think it’s a, a way to root these ideas around sovereignty and freedom and safety in a real example. So we’re not just thinking of like some future world and trying to root it there, but, but a way to think about it now. And um we had the opportunity because another fellow um while I was who ended just maybe two weeks after I arrived. Um Kamal, he had created this um big event and, and number of meetings and brought a delegation of folks from Tuba uh Island Nation in the Pacific. Um And it was incredible to hear from them and to meet them. Um But, but really what’s happening there and why they came is um you know, island nations are, of course on the front lines of climate change and the impacts of climate change. Um As you are, we’re recording this as you’re hunkering down for, for a tropical storm, you know,

[00:36:19.11] spk_0:
medal on my beach. Yes,

[00:40:25.63] spk_2:
yes. And what uh what came out while we were, while, while the delegation from Tuvalu was actually in Berlin was they were um climate scientists have previously said their home, their land will be on uh uh unsustainable for living um for their community in this century. And that has been updated because of the impacts of climate change and the acceleration of, you know, the world. Um And they’re now saying within potentially 20 years and what does that mean for these people? Right? These are, these are real people, these are people who are having babies and having jobs and having lives, right? Um To not just have your world change because of climate change, but literally have your homeland underwater, completely, go away, the entire island could be underwater. Um So, uh part of the conversations um with them have been freedom, safety, sovereignty in the internet for a community that cannot say here is our geographic home um in the in this where that we can live at least in that geographic home. Um And so how do we create a digital nation state? How do we digitize place based culture and artifacts and customs and dances and you know, everything else that comes from who you are as, as, as a community. Um How do we digitize it when we can now? And what does navigating social services? What does you know, traveling the world and getting a passport look like digitally through digital governance uh delivery when you don’t have, you know, an address in that country anymore. Um And it’s kind of heartbreaking to, of course, think Tuvalu is not the only uh island nation that will be facing this, this um circumstance. But, but if you think of this happening in a, in a matter of years, it is everyone’s lifetime, it’s not, you know, a century from now. And you kind of like, oh let it go. It won’t be me, right? This, this is us, we 20 years. Well, we are the ones that have to find the path for this, right? And so, um I think those conversations were really um illuminating and I found it challenging to here and witness uh you know, folks responding to say, to kind of think of all of the many pieces of this and say, well, where do you wanna go live? But that’s not the que we’re not, that’s not the, that’s not the top of my question. List, right? Um It is, how are you the the community members in Tuvalu? What things would you need? How would you support the digitization of your own culture, of your own community? What what can we do to build the internet that you need then? How do we build it now so that we can, you know, like you wanna, you wanna build your new database before you migrate your data in, right? You don’t just get rid of the old one and then figure out what to do with the database. It’s this saying we need to build that safe and free and sovereign internet now so that we can support the citizens of Tuvalu existing in that internet before the before they, you know, don’t have the the land of their home. Um And yeah, I just want to offer that as a example, maybe a reminder that climate change is having immediate and real impacts on folks all around the world, but mostly as an illustration of what it means to think about the future of the internet and the need for, for the internet to work differently on a faster scale than like maybe would Microsoft and Google want it to be different, you know,

[00:41:42.29] spk_0:
and, and so many of the nations, people’s communities that are suffering most from climate change are contributing nothing to contributing dely to, to climate change. They’re not, they’re not responsible at all. The the industrial nations are, which are more hardened and more capable and have greater infrastructure and what are we doing to these other folks and how can we help them to help themselves? I mean, yeah, you make me think of just like how they get a driver’s license. How do I, how do I vote in the next election when I don’t, there’s no polling place because there’s no physical location anymore. Jeez. Yeah. All right. Well, I, that’s a, that’s a provocative, that, that’s a provocative case. Thank you. Thank you. Um What else, what else do you want us to know about?

[00:43:13.50] spk_2:
Well, one thing I thought would be interesting to you and, and interested in maybe your take or observations, like I’ll offer a little reflection and interested in your, in your hot take. But I, you know, met with foundations while I was there and, and asked about, you know, what’s a big priority in philanthropy here? What are the conversations and folks named a challenge that I think we all have some feelings about in the US as well, which is um minimum spend out by foundations in Germany. There’s, there is no minimum spend out. Um So there’s many foundations that didn’t spend any money that did not give any grants in a, in a certain year. And that organizations really feel the challenge of that because they don’t, what, what do we even do? Like, are we even, you know, working with you? Are we trying to get money from you. Um So that was a big issue and the other big conversation that felt and people named, you know, I think the US is more ahead of us on this. But um found some foundations starting to have conversations of, of general operating support instead of project specific, you know, funding. Um and what that requires of them, you know, there was a lot of folks saying like, but then what do we put in the grant agreement? What do, what do we expect for the reporting? And I was like, you know, me, I was like, why do they have to report, you know, um but they weren’t asking the questions of, you know, why don’t we trust our grantees or um why have we never done this until now? You know, they were asking very procedural questions like, well, what, what’s the form say? You know?

[00:45:47.23] spk_0:
Uh Yeah, the minimum spend. Um iii I like it uh here in the US. Uh Unfortunately, a lot of foundations consider the, the floor to be the ceiling. So they’ll spend their, they’ll spend their 5% and they met, they met the burden, the regulation and, and so they consider themselves completed and, you know, I don’t know, you know, I see a lot of them, I see a lot of conversations on linkedin about how things ought to be different and, and uh you know, occasionally I’ll, I’ll attend webinars where uh some, you know, foundation CEO panel, you know, they’re talking about what they’re doing anecdotally to, to overcome um the, the, the minimum spend being a ceiling and funding, funding tech as just I, it just, it belongs in everything. I mean, if, if the people are using Word and Excel, they’re using technology in their work. And II, I hope, I hope, I hope there aren’t many nonprofits that are still using uh index cards and, you know, dog eared, uh you know, written pencil spreadsheets like II, I used to do social research on Carnegie Mellon in the, in the late 19 eighties or early, early 19 eighties, 1984. I graduated. So, uh you know, so, but, you know, that’s all anecdotal. I mean, somebody writes a lofty linkedin post, you know, I don’t know, I don’t know whether it really hits home with the, the majority of big, you know, the, the, the biggest foundations that we could all name off the top of our heads that, that control, you know, access to probably 80% of the, the, the foundation capital or something. You know, there’s probably 20% of the cap, 20% of the nonprofit, the foundations are holding 80% if you follow that 28 80 20 rule, uh you know, is, is that, are those linkedin posts and those webinars, you know, are they trickling to the, to those kinds of folks? And are they actually, you know, are these real conversa uh are these heartfelt sentiments a lot of times or, you know, is this um placating, you know, platitudes, lofty, lofty uh academic type conversations that, that don’t result in real change. So you, you can sense my cynicism. Uh Well,

[00:46:36.50] spk_2:
and I, I wanna name also the piece that you said in there about technology. You know, I did ask funders, how are you funding technology? Do you have a, you know, tech capacity building portfolio? Is that something that you fund directly? Do you give every grant, you know, a line item for technology? You know, what, what are you doing? And I didn’t, there weren’t many foundations that had a technology, you know, portfolio or focus or, or, or um grantmaking space. A lot of what I heard was, oh well, you know, it’s 2023 technology is in everything. So we just know that it’s in all of our grants said. Oh, ok. So it must be, you have like a technology budget and every grant to support the tech and they’re like, well, no, because it’s just, you know, part of doing their work, we know they’re using technology. But right, and I said, right, so if technology is part of everything, then it’s nowhere. If it’s everywhere, it’s nowhere to you, you know, and we, you actually need to be providing the support for these organizations to give you this massive report on all of their data. You know, like

[00:47:04.00] spk_0:
you’re saying, you, you you’re saying, you know, that they use it, it’s, it’s ubiquitous. That doesn’t mean it’s free.

[00:47:20.60] spk_2:
Right. Right. And the train just have to use it. Well, is certainly not free, you know. Yeah. Yeah. So, I felt just as, you know, head against the wall as I, as I normally do.

[00:48:38.43] spk_0:
Yeah. You didn’t have to go to, you have to go to the Bosch Fellowship for that degree of frustration. It saved the boss a lot of money there. Um No. All right. You know. So, yeah, I don’t have an answer. I just have, I have cynicism. I, I have a lot of questions, you know, is real change happening. Uh Is it better now in 2023 than it was in 2000? Yeah, I, I think we’ve progressed but, but not far enough and, and new issues are emerging, you know, now there’s on the, we’re, we’re in the midst of just scratching the surface of artificial intelligence. And, um you know, your, your coauthor of a was on a panel with George Weiner and Beth Beth Canter and Alison. Fine. And, you know, we talked for 60 or 70 minutes about the implications, the risks, the opportunities too, you know, but the inequities, uh you know, so that, that, that’s emerging now. So how are foundations reacting to that? What are, are they reacting? You know, it’s, it’s a lot of times it, it feels like the, the, the, the parallel or the analogy is that, you know, how slow government is to react to changes in, in the culture, in society. You know, equivalently foundations feel to me slow to react to what’s on the ground among their grantees.

[00:51:19.43] spk_2:
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I, you know, maybe as a closing thought, want a name that I don’t think that even in an equitable world, it’s a, it’s a world where nobody gets upset where harm doesn’t exist, but it’s a world where there’s a path for accountability for that harm, right? It’s not that that perfect isn’t real perfect doesn’t exist. We’re not gonna go to some future equitable world where, where nothing bad happens, you still fall or you still, you know, get in a car accident maybe or, you know, whatever it might be. But, but there’s places to get care and reconciliation and support and restitution and all of these other pieces, right? There’s, there’s ways for us to be in relationship and work through things together. And I think there’s, it came up in some of my conversations, you know, folks thinking like I’m just so rosy eyed, I’m gonna get, oh we’re just gonna have some perfect world, you know, and I think the way that, you know, you are free is when you have not been free, right? The way you know, you are safe is because you have been unsafe. The way that you know, that you are sovereign is because you had to say hey, there’s some accountability that needs to happen because you were not honoring the sovereignty, right? So, conflict is always gonna exist as soon as there are two humans, you know, there will always be conflict. It’s just finding a world where we, we have the infrastructure and the mechanisms for us to manage that and, and be safe and free and sovereign to together in the world. So as we think about, how do we, how do we fund for that world? How do we build an internet for that world? How do we pursue our nonprofit missions for that world? I think it’s the same. It’s both saying there will always be some needs and how many of them can we eliminate so that we are able to really be happy and fulfilled and, and uh supported. Um So I think, yeah, I just wanted to name that. I, I don’t, I’m not looking for some perfect utopia that doesn’t exist but, but a place where, I mean, how many communities today feel like something horrible happened because of content on Facebook and they have a way to do anything about that. I don’t think a lot of communities feel like they have anything they can do about that, you know, um or, or, you know, they experience threats or hate speech online. Do they feel like they have any way to, to do something because they experience that? I don’t, I don’t know many communities who feel like they have a way to do that. You know,

[00:53:00.86] spk_0:
there’s a lot, there’s a lot wrapped up in that. There’s obviously, um, you know, a, a lot of that comes from the, just the inequities of, of capital, you know, uh, if we bring it back to foundations and fund and grantees, as long as the foundations, 20% of the foundations control, 80% of the, of the capital that’s available through private foundation funding to, to nonprofits. The nonprofits are always gonna be at the, at the beck and call of the, of the, of the gran tours. And if the grant tours are slow to change, then, then the redress is slow. It’s slow in coming. It’s, it’s inherent in the inequities of the, the, the financial, the capitalization. Um, you know, in, in terms of communities, you know, there’s always, I mean, there’s a legal redress but a lot of these things that you just talked about, you know, the bullying and, and um just a, a AAA oppression from technology companies. I mean, there’s no, there’s no real legal redress to that. There’s, there’s only, there’s redress to specific wrongs, you know, they breach their contract. Uh, this person committed, uh uh uh I don’t know the, the a digital assault. I’m, I’m calling that that’s not the legal term but committed a digital assault. So, all right. So I have a cause of action, either criminal or civil but, but those causes of action are, are narrow and we’re, we’re talking about bigger issues that there aren’t mechanisms for redress. Right.

[00:53:12.87] spk_2:
All right. Thanks for having that conversation. So, unlike our usual ones, I appreciate this space to get to cover lots of things.

[00:53:50.37] spk_0:
Absolutely. I mean, it’s not always, you know, tactical about what to, you know, how to use. Uh, uh GP four plus in, in, in your, in your next fundraising campaign. Uh, it’s, it’s, it’s not all about that. So I, I think it’s uh it’s refreshing. Yeah, actually, just talk about some things that are resolvable, but for which resolution is slow in coming, uh difficult to achieve. But nonetheless, nevertheless, a lofty pursuit, a needed pursuit, we never give up never. And

[00:53:56.41] spk_2:
maybe some questions or ideas that, you know, folks listening could go apply to their own work. That is about a different topic too. I would love to hear if folks do that. You know,

[00:55:04.41] spk_0:
the little feedback I get from listeners, uh which I’m not complaining about, I understand podcast listening is, is, is an animal that isn’t given much to feedback. At least at the level I’m on Joe Rogan may get a lot of feedback. But, uh you know, and, and uh the daily he made, but in any case, uh is that, you know, IIII I took this and uh brought it to my CEO or I brought it to my board, you know, we opened a conversation. Uh I asked people to listen. I sent the link to the board so that, yeah, those conversations happen. Yeah. Yeah. Good. All right. Yes. Uh, a lot of space for a, a different, uh, a different kind of conversation. Amy Sample Ward. They’re the CEO of N 10. They’re our technology and social media contributor. If you want to be in touch with them, they’re at Amy sample ward dot org. Uh, and Amy at Amy RS Ward. And uh maybe we should add the Bosch fellowship to your, to your bio officially for

[00:55:08.34] spk_2:
next year. Exactly. Thank you so much for having me, tony. My pleasure.

[00:55:12.44] spk_0:
Good to talk to you, Amy. Thank you. Thank you. Bye.

[00:55:23.06] spk_1:
Next week. Donor retention with Boomerang, Ceo Dennis Foa. If you missed any part of this week’s show,

[00:55:26.04] spk_0:
I beseech you find it at Tomm martignetti dot com

[00:55:44.34] spk_1:
were sponsored by donor box, outdated donation forms blocking your supporters, generosity. Donor box fast, flexible and friendly fundraising forms can say I can’t say I can’t do it. You

[00:55:47.42] spk_0:
can fundraising forms. See it’s a fabulous alliteration, but it’s uh it’s a little tough to say. I know. All right,

[00:56:12.81] spk_1:
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[00:56:18.15] spk_0:
Yes, fundraisers, not fundraisers. Ok. Sorry.

[00:56:23.98] spk_1:
Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. I’m your associate producer, Kate martignetti. The show Social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by Scott Stein.

[00:56:51.30] spk_0:
Thank you for that affirmation. Scottie be with us next week for nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. Please go out and be great.