« March 2022 | Main | May 2022 »

17 posts from April 2022

Review: 'The Smart Nonprofit: Staying Human-Centered in an Automated World'

April 03, 2022

Book_cover_the_smart_nonprofit_fine_kanterTechnology is collecting information from us all the time to guide us in our decision making—much more than ever conceived of 30 or 40 years ago. A Netflix algorithm makes recommendations on past viewing history; Amazon’s algorithm decides how products are ranked in search results; Facebook’s algorithm determines what you see in your feed, to good and not-so-good results. If we’re not careful, algorithms can be used to decide who gets hired, who gets a loan, and who can receive vital, life-saving services. That part of it is about making sure human beings are not part of a data point metric but considered unique individuals with various needs. In The Smart Nonprofit: Staying Human-Centered in an Automated World,  Beth Kanter and Alison Fine, two experts in the use of technology for social good, explore the many ways in which nonprofits have been adopting “smart tech,” which they define as “an umbrella term for advanced digital technologies that make decisions for people.” Smart tech includes artificial intelligence (AI) and related technologies such as machine learning, natural language processing, smart forms, chatbots, and robots.

Kanter and Fine discuss the many ways in which smart tech is quickly becoming a part of nonprofit operations and how it’s used to automate tasks and save time. One of the most significant points they make is the importance of saving time in the nonprofit world—this world filled with people who are working to do good but may not have copious resources, staff, money, or time. The authors refer to this as the “dividend of time,” which translates to freeing staff to focus on other activities instead of rote tasks. Enabling staff to focus on “the things that only people can do” could lead to the very things the nonprofit is working to accomplish internally and externally, like reducing staff burnout, connecting with clients on a deeper level, solving problems, building better relationships within the sector, creating solutions, and overall better outcomes—a win-win when you find yourself in the nonprofit trenches and wishing for the day to be a little longer to offer just a bit more to the communities you serve....

Read the full review by Lauren Brathwaite, content editor at Philanthropy News Digest.

Ukrainian civil society working to meet urgent needs: A commentary by Svitlana Bakhshaliieva

April 01, 2022

Independence monument and ukrainian flag in Kiev_GettyImages_DmyToHelping Ukrainian civil society meet urgent needs during and after the war

Ukrainian civil society received a significant boost in 2014, when the need for charitable assistance increased sharply during the Revolution of Dignity as well as after the occupation of Crimea and the start of the war in eastern Ukraine. NGOs and charitable foundations have since proven to be an effective driving force for coordinating aid and meeting civic needs, which has helped catalyze the institutionalization of the social sector in Ukraine. Today, there are more foundations that can work efficiently and systematically, and as we have seen since the start of the war in February, civil society is able to quickly adapt to new conditions to meet current challenges.

For example, a few days into the current war, the Alexey Stavnitser Foundation, together with relevant government ministries, the armed forces, and representatives of Ukrainian businesses, set up a warehouse in Poland to collect medicines and humanitarian aid from abroad. A few days later, the executive director of the Olena Pinchuk Foundation, who helps with the coordination of aid procurement, joined the initiative as a volunteer. And thanks to the cooperation of the Ernst Prost Foundation, the warehouse can now accept payments from all over the world and buy supplies abroad....

Read the full commentary by Svitlana Bakhshaliieva, international partnerships manager at Zagoriy Foundation in Kyiv. 

(Photo credit: Getty Images/DmyTo)

Find more articles in Philanthropy News Digest about  philanthropy’s response to the war in Ukraine.

Find more updates and resources on Candids special issue page on the philanthropic response to the war in Ukraine.

Quote of the Week

  • "[L]et me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance...."


    — Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States

Subscribe to PhilanTopic

Contributors

Guest Contributors

  • Laura Cronin
  • Derrick Feldmann
  • Thaler Pekar
  • Kathryn Pyle
  • Nick Scott
  • Allison Shirk

Tweets from @PNDBLOG

Follow us »

Filter posts

Select
Select
Select