Category: Viewpoints

Robot Nonprofits and Algorithmic Philanthropy

This post is part of a series of excerpts from Philanthropy and Digital Civil Society: Blueprint 2018, the ninth annual industry forecast from Lucy Bernholz. Read the entire Blueprint series and join the conversation on social media with #blueprint2018. Big data, open websites, and algorithms make certain kinds of research much easier. Scanning job postings as a […]

Read More

Digital civil society around the world

This post is part of a series of excerpts from Philanthropy and Digital Civil Society: Blueprint 2018, the ninth annual industry forecast from Lucy Bernholz. Read the entire Blueprint series and join the conversation on social media with #blueprint2018. Over the course of the year, I met with people in eight countries about the shape and meaning […]

Read More

You don’t need a data scientist, you need a data culture

This piece was originally published on Medium. The DataBasic.io project is supported by a 2016 Digital Impact Grant. Most of the larger non-profit organizations we work with are scrambling to figure out how to deploy complex technologies like machine learning and “AI” in service of the social good. These include inspiring examples that range from poverty alleviation, […]

Read More

Digital Impact: Reflections from New York City

The Digital Civil Society Lab welcomed 80 civil society leaders to the Digital Impact World Tour convening in New York City on October 23. Given the depth and breadth of the academic and civic tech communities in New York, the panel discussions were particularly illuminating. Throughout the previous eight global conversations we have convened this year around the “possibilities […]

Read More

Considering Bias

Human perceptions and decision-making are riddled with cognitive biases. Cognitive biases are tendencies to think in certain ways that sometimes lead to irrational judgments. For example, you might think you are more likely to die in a plane crash than die of a heart attack (that’s caused by the availability heuristic). While that can impact […]

Read More

Digital Impact: Reflections from Brisbane

On July 29 More than 100 Australian social sector leaders spent a beautiful Saturday in Brisbane discussing the possibilities and responsibilities of digital civil society. Several themes dominated the day: the importance of the “people” part of digital data, the ways digital technologies can highlight and even amplify existing social disparities, and a clear enthusiasm […]

Read More

The Dark Side of Data (Organizations)

Non-profits and philanthropy organizations need to embrace the digital age and start engaging more with digital and data in their activities. However, they must also be careful to avoid the ‘dark side’ of data and digitization, and ensure they uphold respect for the privacy and security of individuals’ data. These threats are not merely theoretical. […]

Read More

Digital Impact: Reflections from Brussels

The European leg of the Digital Impact event series kicked off in Brussels on 13 June. Not surprisingly to those who follow EU policy, the emerging European digital policy landscape permeated the day’s discussions. We were fortunate to have participants and speakers from digital rights groups and corporate policy offices to share insights on the […]

Read More

Digital Impact: Reflections from Beijing

With support from the Ai You Foundation, Digital Impact Beijing brought together 140 participants from Chinese nonprofits, foundations, corporate social responsibility programs, and universities. The opportunity to learn with and from networks of nonprofits in China – with its rapidly developing nonprofit sector and its singular digital culture – was exciting. The nonprofit and foundation […]

Read More

Digital literacy: A core capacity for 21st century nonprofits

Over the last twenty years nonprofit organizations have gotten steadily better at financial management, communications, and evaluation. For many organizations these are now core capacities. Such changes were driven by several factors, and in turn have informed and helped drive the impact investment movement, social media for good efforts, and collective evaluation and evidence-based decision […]

Read More