5 Nonprofit Artificial Intelligence Experts to Follow

5 Nonprofit Artificial Intelligence Experts to Follow

As more nonprofit professionals and consultants gain interest in and share information on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its impact on fundraising, it is important to find credible voices that you can rely on.  

To stay up to date on the latest AI advancements and use cases for nonprofits, you need seasoned experts who will tell you the truth about what your organization should and shouldn’t invest in. 

With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of five nonprofit AI experts for nonprofit professionals to follow:

  1. Beth Kanter
  2. Nathan Chappell 
  3. Fei-Fei Li
  4. Yoshua Bengio
  5. James Hodson

These five experts study and approach AI in slightly different ways but together, they can be a source of reliable information about the role AI plays in revolutionalizing the nonprofit sector.  

1. Beth Kanter

As a nonprofit blogger myself, I can’t leave Beth Kanter, THE nonprofit blogger, off this list. 

Since 2003, Beth’s blog has been an excellent source for anyone looking to learn more about nonprofit topics like emerging technologies, workplace resilience, and organizational culture. 

However, she’s not just a blogger! Beth is a sought-after keynote speaker and workshop leader and has been named one of the most influential women in technology by Fast Company and one of BusinessWeek’s Voices of Innovation for Social Media.

Beth Kanter

Title: Trainer, Virtual Facilitator, & Nonprofit Innovator

“In the nonprofit sector, working together or ‘augmentation’ is the clear theme. AI technologies will enable time-shifting to more human-centered tasks through using a combined machine/human approach.”

Interest Areas: Digital Transformation & Workplace Wellbeing

Where to find them: 

What’s more, Beth is an international nonprofit thought leader and author. Her first books, The Networked Nonprofit and Measuring the Networked Nonprofit, served as guides for achieving social impact in a connected world. Her third book, The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit: Strategies for Impact Without Burnout, focused on promoting personal and professional resilience for nonprofit professionals.

Recently, Beth has turned her focus to AI in the nonprofit sector with her most recent publication, #AI4Giving: Unlocking Generosity with Artificial Intelligence. Co-authored with Allison Fine and supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, this publication explores the benefits and challenges of implementing AI in nonprofits. 

Also, check out her other articles on AI in the nonprofit sector: 

If that’s not enough for you, then you’re in luck because Beth and Allison Fine have another book on the way called The Smart Nonprofit! Building on their previous work, this book will tackle a human-centered approach to managing AI for social good. 

Follow Beth on Linkedin and Twitter to stay up to date on the book’s release and her other work!

2. Nathan Chappell

Nathan Chappell believes that using AI to predict generosity is the key to breaking the 2% barrier of giving in the US, increasing the total dollars donated by more than $200 billion a year. Now, that’s an impact!

As a Certified Fund Raising Executive, thought leader, and public speaker, Nathan is an expert on the intersection of AI and philanthropy. Check out two of Nathan’s most popular talks:

When he isn’t inspiring others to unlock the potential of AI, he’s a Senior Vice President at DonorSearch Aristotle, leading the effort to develop the most comprehensive AI-driven prospect development software. 

Nathan Chappell MBA, MNA, CFRE

Title: Senior Vice President at DonorSearch Aristotle

“By using artificial intelligence technology in the philanthropic arena, we can match passion to purpose, making giving easier than ever before. Artificial intelligence can connect people with causes that promote generosity.”

Interest Areas: Digital Transformation & Workplace Wellbeing

Where to find them: 

Nathan hasn’t just talked about philanthropy in his career, he’s lived it! Nathan has led annual fundraising efforts to over $200M in revenue and organized successful campaigns that have brought in as much as $2B! 

He’s also studied philanthropy extensively, holding a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Administration from the University of Notre Dame in addition to his MBA from the University of Redlands. So yes, this guy knows his stuff! 

Follow Nathan on LinkedIn to stay updated on his work with DonorSearch Aristotle and his speaking engagements.Chappe;

3. Fei-Fei Li, PhD

If you’re looking for complex AI research and more academic-centric content, Dr. Fei-Fei Li has you covered! 

Dr. Li is the inaugural Sequoia Professor in the Computer Science Department at Stanford University. Her research interests include cognitively inspired AI, AI+healthcare, and computer vision.

Additionally, Dr. Li is a Co-Founder and Board Chairperson at AI4ALL, a nonprofit organization for inclusive AI education. Also, AI4ALL’s blog is an excellent resource for any nonprofit professional looking to read AI-related impact stories and news. 

What’s more, Dr. Li is the Co-Director of the Stanford University Human-Centered AI Institute (HAI), a program that’s mission is to advance AI research, education, policy, and practice to benefit humanity. Check out how to get involved with HAI as a researcher, event attendee, or supporter.

Fei-Fei Li, PhD

Position: Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University and Co-Director at Stanford Human-Centered AI Instituter

“No technology is more reflective of its creators than A.I. It has been said that there are no ‘machine’ values at all, in fact; machine values are human values. A human-centered approach to A.I. means these machines don’t have to be our competitors, but partners in securing our well-being.”

Interest Areas: Human-Centered AI, Computer Vision, and AI+healthcare

Where to find them: 

This would be the paragraph where I review her honors and awards, but there are too many to list, with 28 of them featured on her Stanford profile! Dr. Li has also published more than 200 scientific articles in top-tier journals! 

Most importantly for nonprofit professionals, Dr. Li takes time to present her research and talk about her passions. Watch a few of her talks online: 

Also, check out her 2018 op-ed in The New York Times, How to Make A.I. That’s Good for People.

4. Yoshua Bengio, PhD

As one of the world’s leading experts in artificial intelligence, Dr. Bengio is known for pioneering deep learning—a highly complex function of AI that approximates the workings of the human brain in processing data. This work earned him the 2018 A.M. Turing Award and the Nobel Prize for Computing.

Dr. Bengio is a full professor at the University of Montreal, founder and scientific director of Mila – Quebec AI Institute, and co-directs CIFAR’s Machine and Biological Learning program. In fact, because of the quality and quantity of his work, he is the second most cited computer scientist in the world!  

As someone concerned about the social impact of AI, Dr. Bengio takes time to share his research through speaking engagements. For example, in a recent talk with Dr. Kai-Fu Lee, former Google Exec, Dr. Bengio discussed how AI could help our future economy and society become more resilient, particularly as we begin to rebuild in the COVID-19 era. 

Yoshua Bengio, PhD

Position: Professor at the Université de Montréal

“We have tools that could be useful for solving big problems, but only by talking to people who are actually addressing social problems do we amplify the potential and impact of technology.”

Interest Areas: Deep Learning, Climate Change, AI in Society

Where to find them: 

Also, if you want to learn more about his other work, watch his TED Talk, The Rise of Artificial Intelligence through Deep Learning; it’s fascinating!

Dr. Bengio also covers various topics on his website, including peer-to-peer AI-tracing of COVID-19 and the social implications of climate change. 

5. James Hodson

James Hodson is a researcher and entrepreneur in the fields of AI and Finance. 

As Chief Science Officer at Cognism, James leads the data science and engineering divisions and is expanding the company’s AI and machine learning product portfolio. As CEO at AI for Good Foundation, James leads a team driving forward technological solutions that measure and advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

AI for Good’s website is a fantastic resource for any nonprofit professional looking to understand the impact of AI-powered technologies on social purpose programs. 

James Hodson

Position: CEO at AI for Good Foundation and Chief Science Officer at Cognism

“As technology and the growth of automation accelerate, we must take responsibility for what we want the future to look like. How do we build resilient and sustainable economies? How do we help individuals feel passionate, driven, and successful? How do we foster relationships that last, based on empathy, sympathy, and respect?”

Interest Areas: Finance, AI, Global Information Flows, Natural Language Processing, and Complex Interaction Modeling

Where to find them: 

Check out James’ conversation with Lindsey Asis about the impact of COVID-19 on the SDGs, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, and AI for Good. You can also watch this episode of KIT’s Nonprofit Tech Talks, where James discusses how nonprofits can use AI in their work. 

Nonprofit AI is a fascinating but complex subject. With a credible source of information, you can learn the ropes and understand how to apply AI to improve your nonprofit operations and fundraising campaigns.

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