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30 Jun, 2020
Bouncing back: AI to the rescue
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We are living in unprecedented times. A global pandemic has pulled the rug from under businesses and entire governments, thus exposing chinks in their armors. It seems that no one is immune to the current financial crunch. Even startups that propped up with billion-dollar fundings from VCs are now asking for assistance from governments. Today, nonprofits find themselves in a very precarious position. Uncertainty about when normalcy will be restored means that donors are now thinking twice before making a donation. In these trying times, mobile solutions can come to the aid of non-profit organizations. In 2010, when Haiti was demolished by an earthquake that killed and displaced 3 million people, donations poured in from an unexpected source – mobile phones. The Red Cross and the US State Department launched a donate-by-text program wherein anyone could send $10 at a time by texting ‘HAITI’ to a shortcode. The individual donations, which were then charged to the respective phone bills, together amounted to millions of dollars. Nonprofits often operate on a tight budget and are thus, hesitant to adopt the latest technology solutions which are often beyond their budget. According to a 2018 survey by NetChange on ‘technology use by nonprofits’, only 11% of all nonprofits viewed their organization's digitalization approach as 'highly effective'. In an article for the Stanford Social Innovation Review, the authors noted that “most nonprofits are struggling mightily with how to structure their digital programs. ”Out of 80 advocacy-oriented nonprofits surveyed for the study, 43% of them reported having no staff to drive engagements while 64% reported that their budget was insufficient to meet their engagement goals.