The future of AI advancements for the third sector

The future of AI advancements for the third sector

Written by Ruth Hislop-Gill, Community Development Project Manager – Evolve

In mid July, the Evolve Project hosted a panel and networking event on the topic; AI – Conversations for the Third Sector. While the themes of the event centred around how the panellists in their respective companies utilised AI on a daily basis, and how third sector organisations might start to use AI tools to automate and streamline their processes, I came away from the day with a sense of wondering around some of the larger questions our sector faces in the inevitableness of AI usage:

How do we mitigate against the risk of bias?
How do we create a level playing field when using AI as a charity?
How do we create the time to build the infrastructure and expertise to use AI safely?

Perhaps the question I feel most curious about is ‘where does using AI fit culturally within the third sector?’ My experience of working across a number of different charities, is that often what sits at the very heart of these organisations is the importance of, and time given to the development of trust and relationships. Whether this be between beneficiaries and staff or directors and funders – time and resource is always spent developing trust, building relationships and creating proper investment in the work that is being done. This is because we know how important relationships and trust are for creating the right conditions for good/ safe work. 

I think there is enormous scope for AI to support the third sector. However, like with many other advancements in technology the resources available to organisations will be limited by the funding structures and capacity of teams to learn and develop its use. 

ELBA wants to provide a space for businesses and community organisations to continue to come together and have business volunteers share their experience and learnings of AI with charitable organisations. 

Our aims of this ongoing exercise will be to share knowledge, build better infrastructure for organisations and unpack how the developments in AI will sit alongside the culture of trust that so often sits at the heart of charities.

If you are interested in joining our next event, get in touch via

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