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Maybe it is a grant problem

I attended a fascinating webinar a couple of weeks ago hosted by the Council on Foundations in partnership with Technology Association of Grantmakers and Project Evident. Chantal Forster and Sarah Di Troia led an engaging presentation.

Sarah posed a fascinating conundrum as AI starts to permeate the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors:

“In a world in which we have AI on one side to help write the grant, and on the other side to help read and process the grant -- I think the question is: should we change the grant?”

As I spend the majority of my time writing grants for small grassroots organizations, this resonated with me deeply. We should not penalize nonprofits for using AI to save time and create efficiencies, nor should we penalize program officers for doing the same.

Begging the question – in a future where AI is ubiquitous, at what point will we be ready to rethink the entire philanthropic process?

I know it is hard to imagine a world where grants are not the mechanism used to facilitate relationships between funders and nonprofits but I think we should better start.


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