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


Nyle Malik & Alfredo Ramirez: Prompt Engineering For Beginners

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





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

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




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