In 2023, we organized two Impact Data Chat Series and brought together dozens of people across the philanthropic, nonprofit, investor, corporate and evaluation communities.
We did deep dives into:
- AI and Social Impact Tracking
- Feminist Philanthropy
In order to support resource sharing on monitoring, evaluation and learning in the social impact sector, we compiled this list of resources from the two events. Check out the methods, tools, and theoretical frameworks that can support us to identify, track and measure more impactful and actionable insights when it comes to the social and climate issues we all care about.
Methodological Toolkits/Guides for Feminist Fundraising
Needs from the Community to Achieve Feminist Philanthropy
- Clarity on best practices with feminist approach
- Equitable AI for rural communities that may not have access to tech, language barriers, Global North/South dynamics
- Inclusion of people from different genders in the conversation, not only women
- Racial, gender and postcolonial perspectives to philanthropic funding
- Data security and safety of information for donors, and grantees against attacks or online/offline violence
Software tools for mapping and impact analysis
- Blackbaud automated translation in their grants management software
- b.World uses a range of different AI tools in their software to expedite reporting processes, including draft content for a project, logic model or story for AI using Open AI and visualising data and log frame trends.
- Candid leverages AI in its news feed and also focuses on reporting on misinformation
- Digital Science, has a range of AI summary tools, including Dimensions for scientific publications including tracking the trustworthiness of the research.
- Google Crisis Response is a platform that provides critical and timely information and resources during times of disasters, natural calamities, and other crisis or emergency situations. The platform can provide interactive crisis maps, notifications/alerts and latest news about the emergency situation, missing person finder, and information on where to donate or provide relief assistance.
- ImpactMapper is developing equitable AI tools to automate aspects of social impact tracking, specifically coding text data, such as grantee reports and evaluations.. A user can upload their custom impact metrics, theory of change, or SDGs and the tool suggests pieces of text that align with those outcomes, allowing for quicker analysis and visualization of trends.
- Impala is an AI driven tool to explore and map relationships and networks in the nonprofits and philanthropic sector
- OSDG.AI is an open-source AI tool that helps users assign SDG labels to the content of uploaded reports or other text-based inputs to the platform.
- Salesforce embeds AI in its CRM and reporting features.
- SBC Impact Designer is an open-source digital platform that integrates AI. The platform supports social and behavior change (SBC) interventions by providing guidance in the design, plan, management, and evaluation of an organization’s SBC program. This is developed by Amplio and the platform will be beta tested by the second half of 2023.
- Signpost Initiative. IRC´s humanitarian application provides accurate and timely information for people in crisis, using AI.
- Smart Simple uses AI to support drafting grant applications, translating applications and reports.
- Uli uses machine learning technology to hide abusive content, gender-based, and racial and ethnic slurs on Twitter.
Software tools for Generative AI
- Futurepedia.io is a directory of different AI tools and a repository of AI news and trends. This is a good source of information on the latest about AI and users can get inspiration from the site on how to apply AI to their work
- ChatGPT is an AI chatbot that can answer questions, provide explanations, and engage in conversations across a wide range of issues.
- Bard is a conversational AI chatbot. It is Google’s experimental conversational AI. It has similar functions as ChatGPT.
- DeepL is an AI-powered real-time language translator. The technology can translate across 29 languages (and counting).
- Otter.ai is an AI-powered transcription tool.
- Upshot.ai is a customer experience and gamification platform that uses AI aimed at increasing user engagement, retention, and monetization.
Tips from the Community on AI
- AI tools can help users be more efficient in many tasks, and that is why they have exploded in popularity. However, we have not spoken enough about the ethical and security issues in our sector. Some people in the data chat used AI chatbots for marketing purposes, interview transcription, summarizing documents, some in our discussion shared they even created indicators from ChatGPT. We discussed the risks in users taking AI-generated responses at face value and simply copy-pasting the information they have gathered or creating reports from it. AI tools are known to hallucinate and share false information, have biased training datasets, and not understand contexts that are central to social impact and sustainability work. Users should use extreme caution if they choose to do this. We recommend they do additional research, reflect on an organization’s strategic priorities, verify and meaningfully adapt any AI-generated responses when creating indicators. Personally, at ImpactMapper we do not condone using ChatGPT or other open AI tools for indicator or grantee analysis purposes, see the following point on privacy and security.
- Many of the popular AI tools, like Chat GPT and Bard, work in a way that continually learns from the data or information entered to it by the users (generative AI). The problem right now is that many people are unknowingly sharing private and confidential data. The ImpactMapper Founder has been speaking at many conferences speaking on this issue lately. She has heard examples of evaluators entering interview and focus data for summarization, foundation staff entering grantee reports for summarization and analysis, etc. This information contains sensitive and confidential information that should not be shared to an AI platform, like Chat GPT or Bard. This is a security breach and information entered could show up in another search later on given how these free and open platforms work. As such, it is important to continually discuss responsible AI and security and privacy issues in your organization and develop policies for your staff and contractors. If you are sending your data to Chat GPT or an OpenAI platform, you need to ensure that all personal and confidential information is stripped out of data that is sent to openAI platforms.
- In using AI tools, it is important to check the inclusiveness of the database. It is essential to ask how and what data was sourced, whose voices were included or not to train the algorithm that the tool uses. Then it is important to understand, how the data will be shared, who has access, if it could be shared back out to the public and in what form, if there are opt out features to not share your data for training purposes, etc. For an article underscoring the potential of inclusive and equtiable AI for the sector, read Leveraging data science and AI to promote social justice, sustainability and equity.