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The Guide to Usefulness of Existing AI Solutions in Nonprofit Organizations: A starting point for nonprofit organizations that are embarking on their AI journey

May 17, 2023

The goal of this Guide to Usefulness of Existing AI Solutions in nonprofit organizations is to provide a starting point to those embarking on their AI journey. It focuses particularly on generative AI tools, with a range of available solutions and some cautionary advice. By no means is it a complete list - rather, we want to encourage nonprofits to try out the solutions on offer, to understand their functionality and limitations, and to assess what benefits their use may deliver, as well as hold risks in mind.

Technologist Retention at the Intersections

April 12, 2023

GET Cities' first-of-its kind research on the experiences of women, trans, nonbinary, and genderqueer technologists – particularly those who are also Black or Latina/e – aims to learn more about why technologists of multiple identities choose to stay in their jobs, move to better opportunities, or leave the industry all together.We encourage anyone working toward equity in tech to continue to ask these questions, demand better intersectional research, and to take the steps to get closer to parity of representation and positive and fruitful experiences for all people in tech.

AI Now Institute 2023 Landscape: Confronting Tech Power

April 11, 2023

This report highlights a set of approaches that, in concert, will collectively enable us to confront tech power. Some of these are bold policy reforms that underscore the need for bright-line rules and structural curbs. Others identify popular policy responses that, because they fail to meaningfully address power discrepancies, should be abandoned. Several aren't in the traditional domain of policy at all, but acknowledge the importance of nonregulatory interventions such as collective action, worker organizing, and the role public policy can play in bolstering these efforts. We intend this report to provide strategic guidance to inform the work ahead of us, taking a bird's eye view of the many levers we can use to shape the future trajectory of AI – and the tech industry behind it – to ensure that it is the public, not industry, that this technology serves.

State of Digital Inequity: Civil Society Perspectives on Barriers to Progress in our Digitizing World

February 7, 2023

Digital Equity is a state in which all individuals have the digital access, tools, and skillsthey need to operate in our digital society. Connect Humanity has developed a DigitalEquity Framework with five broad elements: Infrastructure, Affordability, Digital Skills,Policy, and Content.Each element is necessary to overcome the various digital divides that continue toprevent billions of people from being able to fully participate in our digital world. Onlywhen people have the infrastructure that enables high-speed, affordable access, thetools and skills to take advantage of it, policies that ensure they are safe online, andcontent that is relevant to their needs, can we fully realize the power of the internet.This report uses the Digital Equity Framework to structure the discussion, startingwith a general section on digital equity and inclusion. 

Lobby, Donate, Hire, Repeat: How Big Tech Is Using the Inside Game to Slow Down Antitrust Reform

December 16, 2022

Proposals to rein in the world's largest technology companies have gained steam in recent years. The American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA), introduced in the House and Senate in 2021, is a bipartisan bill that, if passed, would prohibit some of Big Tech's most anticompetitive practices, especially self-preferencing and gatekeeping of essential online marketplaces.AICOA would prohibit large platform owners (Google, Meta, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, TikTok) from using their dominant market power to unfairly advance their economic interests over other firms. For example, AICOA would stop companies from artificially elevating their own products to the top of search results. It would also stop companies from using non-public data to copy products from small retailers that sell on their platforms and would prohibit the removal of competitors from platforms for self-serving reasons.Along with millions in attack ads, Big Tech companies – led by Amazon, Apple, Google and Meta, known as the Big Four – deployed an overpowering inside game to stymie AICOA. This analysis focuses on three main categories of inside pressure: lobbying, contributions, and connections. Doing so revealed that those opposed to AICOA have been able to overwhelm supporters in every category, often by wide margins.

Financing Digital Public Infrastructure Approaches to Sustain Digital Transformation

December 8, 2022

Digital public infrastructure (DPI) can support better people-centered outcomes, but for the emerging field to live up to its promise, there must be a clear path to sustainable financing. Mounting evidence shows that DPI systems can transform the delivery of services across the public and private sectors by enabling identity verification, digital payments, data sharing, and other essential, society-wide functions. Global leaders across many sectors are assessing how to pursue DPI collaboratively, safely, and effectively, given the long-term implications for the health and vibrancy of societies. This report maps existing DPI funding models and examines the challenges underlying sustainable financing approaches. It concludes with recommendations for improved collaboration across the ecosystem to develop and scale open DPI. Most importantly, financing architecture that aligns the resources and incentives of key governmental, private-sector, philanthropic, and multilateral organizations can be a driving force for inclusive digital transformation.

Social Media Seen as Mostly Good for Democracy Across Many Nations, But U.S. is a Major Outlier

December 6, 2022

As people across the globe have increasingly turned to Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and other platforms to get their news and express their opinions, the sphere of social media has become a new public space for discussing – and often arguing bitterly – about political and social issues. And in the mind of many analysts, social media is one of the major reasons for the declining health of democracy in nations around the world.However, as a new Pew Research Center survey of 19 advanced economies shows, ordinary citizens see social media as both a constructive and destructive component of political life, and overall most believe it has actually had a positive impact on democracy. Across the countries polled, a median of 57% say social media has been more of a good thing for their democracy, with 35% saying it has been a bad thing.There are substantial cross-national differences on this question, however, and the United States is a clear outlier: Just 34% of U.S. adults think social media has been good for democracy, while 64% say it has had a bad impact. In fact, the U.S. is an outlier on a number of measures, with larger shares of Americans seeing social media as divisive.

2022 State of Philanthropy Tech: A Survey of Grantmaking Organizations

November 17, 2022

In the summer of 2022, the Technology Association of Grantmakers (TAG) conducted a survey to better understand the technology environment, practices, and perceptions of grantmaking organizations throughout North America and beyond. This year's approach builds on previous surveys in exploring technology practices, selection, and management. Additionally, the 2022 survey continues to explore cybersecurity trends, the role of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives, as well as the philanthropic sector's ongoing crisis response. New questions this year explored the prevalence of hybrid/remote workplace policies as well as staffing and retention challenges.In all, 277 foundations in North America and beyond responded to the survey. Their experiences have provided valuable insights into the current state of technology in philanthropy including:What workplace model most people are embracing, and how well we are investing in what it takes to sustain it.What technology budgeting looks like, and noteworthy trends in staffing and promotion.What the responsiveness and commitment to nonprofits looks like in continued crisis.What the ongoing challenges are when building a culture of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.What technology tools, practices, and management approaches are in use within philanthropy.What approaches foundations are taking toward growing security threats.

AI Solutions for Global Economic Empowerment: Identification & Scoping for US Challenges

November 11, 2022

Economic empowerment is the goal of improving quality of life through increasing access to economic opportunities, while providing the resources necessary to take advantage of those opportunities. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can provide new opportunities for data driven decision making, and a framework for solutions that support mobility from poverty to stability.

Virginia’s Connected Future: A guide for funders and philanthropists to address digital divides in the Commonwealth

November 1, 2022

In the last three years, Virginia has made significant strides to curtail the many facets of the digital divide that exist throughout the Commonwealth. Examples include a $700 million commitment to broadband funding, the expansion of electric cooperatives into retail broadband, community and county commitment through innovative programs, and the passage of legislation to encourage greater deployment.There has never been a more crucial time to get involved in broadband planning and deployment, both in Virginia and around the country. The 2021 Infrastructure Act's $65 billion commitment to broadband deployment, access, and equity is the largest public investment in telecommunications in the nation's history, and Virginia funders can help the Commonwealth prepare for an influx of capital funds and lay the groundwork for crucial connectivity work in the next five years.As part of the Virginia Funders Network's (VFN) efforts to support the Commonwealth's commitment to achieve universal connectivity by 2024, this memo serves three functions. First, it provides funders with a high-level, plain-language overview of broadband developments in the Commonwealth of Virginia with a focus on the pandemic years of 2020-2022. Second, it highlights the efforts of a few Virginia funders who have supported broadband deployment. Third, it serves as an invitation and welcome to funders – of all shapes and sizes - who are considering investments in broadband or who are just starting to think about the critical role broadband plays in areas such as education, health care, economic development, workforce, and more.

Closing the Latino Digital Divide: Lessons Learned from Community-Based Approaches to Latino Digital Skilling

November 1, 2022

With funding from, HF selected 24 partner sites in early 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic was forcing businesses, schools, and nonprofits to close or operate remotely. Despite numerous challenges the sites received their initial grants from HF and began providing training in July 2020, serving more than10,000 people in its first 18 months. HF provided many types of assistance including but not limited to technical assistance, physical and virtual site visits, and a national Latino Encuentro Digital Symposium highlighting the program's work. This White Paper summarizes the development and first implementation year of the Latino Digital Accelerator, including accomplishments, challenges, and lessons learned. It also explains the myriad reasons the Latino Digital Accelerator Program is so important. The early experience of the Latino Digital Accelerator Program, as presented below, highlights the extremely significant future role for Latino led and serving nonprofits in digital skills development.

Slower and More Expensive: Internet Pricing Disparities Report

October 14, 2022

Over the last two years, in California and across the country, billions of public dollars have been allocated to end the digital divide. The Digital Equity LA coalition, supported by the California Community Foundation (CCF) Digital Equity Initiative, has mobilized to ensure these investments are directed to the communities that need them most - those that have been historically marginalized and are disproportionately disconnected - and deployed in support of the most effective long-term solutions.Low-income households, people of color, and immigrants are significantly more likely to be stranded on the wrong side of the digital divide than people living in wealthy, white neighborhoods. The most common reason disconnected people report for not having a fast and reliable connection is affordability; the price is too high, or the service they can afford isn't fast or reliable enough to justify the expense.Digital Equity LA and the CCF Digital Equity Initiative set out in this report to document what people are being asked to pay for home internet in diverse neighborhoods across Los Angeles County. The findings of this report are sobering, raising significant red flags about the higher prices many poorer communities are being charged for the same or inferior service, and the implications of those pricing disparities on the effectiveness of current interventions to close the digital divide.This report is action-driven research intended to lift up the experience of those most affected by inequitable access to broadband. It represents a snapshot documenting the prices on offer to residents of diverse neighborhoods across LA County.