Quarter of charities use AI in day-to-day operations, says report

12 Jul 2023 News

By sdecoret / Adobe

More than a quarter of charities are regularly using artificial intelligence (AI), according to new research, while an increasing number are too busy “firefighting” to focus on their digital processes.

Some 27 of 100 charities polled on AI for the Charity Digital Skills Report 2023 said they were currently using it in their day-to-day operations, while a further 26 said they were planning to do so.

Meanwhile, 49% of a wider sample of 504 charities said that one of the biggest digital challenges they faced was getting funding for IT devices, software and infrastructure, up from 40% the year before.

Double the proportion of respondents (40% compared with 20% the year before) said they were “busy firefighting and don’t prioritise digital”.

Training staff in digital skills was a major challenge for 40% of respondents.

‘AI will change how donors and supporters interact’

Some 35 of the 100 charities polled on AI said they were already using it for certain tasks but 52 said they were constrained by lack of time, resources and skills.

Report author Zoe Amar said: “The adoption curve of AI will change how donors and supporters interact with charities, and what they expect from its products and services.

“Charities will miss out on opportunities to meet these needs if they do not have the right people and the right skills to manage the challenges and embrace the opportunities.

“Charities need leaders who can really think holistically and not view AI as a commoditised product that you drop into your organisation.

“You will need to look at risk management; your data policy and processes and governance, as well as making sure teams receive the training and skills to keep pace.

“Many charities were caught on the back foot when the pandemic hit, so to ensure this doesn’t happen again, they need to keep pace with emerging technology.”

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