Nonprofits: Navigating A.I.

Not a big fan of futurists? Neither am I. That is not to say they don’t have something to say or that they should be ignored. The Big Nine by Amy Webb should be read by anyone who wants to think about where our future is going and more specifically, where AI may be taking us.

It’s a scary book. If you worry about not only your eroding privacy but also the eroding control you have over facets of daily life, this book will make your hair stand on end. Mankind has risen to the top of the food chain based on our brains, and the advantage that intelligence has given us. What do you suppose would happen if an intelligence greater than ours where to view our little planet and its problems? What if we create that intelligence and then turn it loose to solve problems? Give it independence to do so? There is no reason to think it would not view mankind as THE major problem with devastating consequences. The most bone chilling revelation for me is the that that we have created AI systems that are truly capable of independent thought and creative solutions that its human creators have no idea on how or with what reasoning they were reached.

Some of the paths Ms. Webb goes down concerning China’s role and the state of AI in the United States are less esoteric and sometimes scarier because you can see them and read about them in real time. Check out any news feeds you chose. China is on the move and has plans to weaponize AI to enhance its position in the world, militarily and politically. And we should be scared. Its new social credit system shows a path to how a select few can control the many and with a digitally connected planet, the few are not just Chinese citizens. I know that I railed against futurists before, but have you read George Orwell’s 1984 recently? And what does the United States offer against this growing monster? How about a dysfunctional government and a profit hungry private sector? You should be not just scared, but very scared.

by T. A. Trzeciak



Expiration Date? On YOUR Data???

How long is data good for?

The research on this can be a bit alarming.  National CRM (Customer/Contact Relationship Management) systems show that at any moment in time 25% of any contact database (no matter what the format) is incorrect and even more concerning is that 50% of a database will change in the next 12 months.

What does this mean for you?

It means that constant dedication to maintaining and updating contact information is an imperative part of any successful donor base.  Be sure to hold you staff accountable to help insure success.

by Lisa C. Ruby



No Matter, What Remember: DON’T PANIC

Good advice but not always easy to remember.  Ever run into someone in public and you know you should know who they are, but you can’t remember a name?  Or, you know they are a donor but you have no idea if or how much they gave?  NO worries.  DON’T Panic.  Simply, greet the individual with a big smile and greeting such as “It’s so nice to see you.”  Then, ask a open question: “What did you think of the last newsletter?”  “What questions, can I answer for you about our programs?” or “What do you know about (something new or different in your program?”  The poin here is to engage them in conversation by asking questions that they have to expound on.  At the end of the conversation, if you still can’t place their name, offer to follow up with them on a point discussed such as “Hey, let me get back to you on that information, so I don’t forget, what’s the best number to reach you at?”   Then, you have had a successful donor interaction and you have a follow up with them.

by Lisa C. Ruby


Other organizations are receiving new sources of funding, why aren’t we?

That is a question that plagues small non-profits as they struggle to carry out their missions with staff stretched to their limits and fundraising programs that barely limp along. You know that there is money out there that will fund your mission but how to access it? Taking a breath and stepping back can be one of the best things you do for your organization this year.  If you fundraising program looks almost the same as last year and you fell short of your goals, then STOP.  The old say, the definition of Stupid is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.  Set a date and take time to assess your fundraising strategies.  What is working and what if falling short of expectations?  Once you decide what should be replaced then brainstorm about potential replacements.  Gather suggestions from others.  Research some of the newer online options. If  you decide on a new event evaluate the ROI.  Take you time gather information and costs only then should your launch something new.

by Lisa C. Ruby



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Ruby & Associates worked to raise millions of dollars for numerous organizations with missions such as education (elementary, high school, college, and post-graduate), animal welfare, public television and radio, social services, faith based, disease-related, and healthcare.  No matter what the organization the contributions type breakdown is always similar.

2016 Contributions
According to GIVING USA™ 2017, the Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2016