Artificial Intelligence – what does it mean for our sector?

Our recent talk "AI - what does it mean for our sector" is a hot topic for not-for-profit board directors!

Why is everyone talking about AI? Will AI take jobs from our sector? What’s data sovereignty? Is our sector already using it? These are just some of the questions I receive about our role as not-for-profit directors when dealing with the topic of AI – it’s application, use, and ability in governing and operating our not-for-profits.

Check out the talk recording here if you missed it.

Our recent Board Talk brought together leading Microsoft experts Dan Te Whenua Walker and Hilary Walton, alongside industry expert Anthony McMahon to help us discuss the nuances of what the future may look like with the rise and use of AI technology.

So, what’s happening in our sector?

We are seeing our organisations using AI to help with writing grant applications, develop web content, and writing job descriptions for hiring our executive teams – not really a problem is it? Well, often I’ll hear from those who assess applications for board positions and those who assess our funding applications that it’s a hard no, if they spot someone “using” AI in these applications.

Shouldn’t the question be, is the quality of the application ideal, not the use of the tech to get you there.

So what does the future look like for us?

One that will improve how we govern and operate and will give us back much needed time to do the work we are here to do – look after people, place and our environment (not get bogged down by policies and procedures). AI is a range of tools and advanced technology to help us work smarter not harder. If we take away some of the hype, we’re left with how to do we use these tools and how do we protect our organisations. Let’s think of AI improving our productivity and efficiency – that’s the goal!

Our panel of experts at our recent Board Talk recommended some great tools such as Copilot for Microsoft 365 – a handy pilot to help you draft communications, social media posts, job descriptions, blogs, the list goes on. Copilot is especially useful for first draft and ideation (coming up with starter ideas).

But, with useful tools we do need to consider how we protect our data and communicate across various platforms eg: ChatGPT, Slack or Whatsapp – these tools are useful, but not always protected and we do need to remember on “open” platforms we are at risk or sensitive information being used incorrrectly – think AI risk management, this is what should be on our board agendas.

An article I mentioned in the Board Talk is a case based in Canada, where a thumbs up to a message was considered a yes for agreeing to a contract terms – yikes!

Want to learn more? Come join us and Microsoft expert Matt Bostwick at our August Live Event where we’ll learn more about Artificial Intelligence use and how we can use it to advance our kaupapa.

Disclaimer: I didn’t use AI to write this blog 

For event tickets: Ticketing for 13 August Event and ticketing for November 12 Event.

For AI resources: Resource sheet – a compilation of reading and resources from our Board Talk: ‘AI – what is the future for our sector?’ [pdf]

Rose Hiha-Agnew
Chief Executive, Community Governance Aotearoa

We're here to support the growth of grassroots community organisations in Aotearoa.
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