Charity AI - The Impact Of AI for Charities

Charity AI - the impact of AI for charities and non profits - what AI is, jobs, AI in fundraising, problems, ethics and what the future holds for charities

Charity AI - The Impact of AI for Charities

In terms of the impact of AI for charities, some in the sector think charity AI it will take over our world, with huge job losses, blah. Other charities don't think AI will impact them at all. We think both are wrong.

The adoption of AI for charities will create fundamental change and, we think, the change AI will bring for charities will happen quickly and be a bumpy ride, and a major risk for some kinds of charities, if they ignore it.

But we also think charities using AI is a huge opportunity, and the major challenge for charities won't be the AI itself, but in making sure we enable access to it for everyone.  AI is an opportunity to level the playing field for small charities.  At the end are links to all our free charity AI services and AI for charities FAQs.


Put very, very simply, for charities using AI, it is the ability of a computer to learn and think, which enables it to perform tasks typically done by people. For example, our charity AI bunnies use 40 knowledge banks that collectively are (sort of) the World's biggest charity FAQs page.  That's just too much for a human to read to find the right answer and, whilst a computer can, it doesn't know what the correct answer is.  What AI does is teach it what the right answer is.

If you ask a question a Charity Excellence AI bunny can't answer, it comes and tells me, and I create one. Equally, they learn from feedback provided by users, training by me on the suggestions they make and other automated learning.  Providing a service that can answer any question anyone asks about running a UK charity is a huge ask, but (as at end Mar 23), the percentage of questions they were able to answer was up from 73% on launch in Jan 23 to 87% and that's despite a massive expansion in their knowledge bases across that period.  They can now answer 20,000 questions and they will continue to be able to both answer more questions and answer questions better.

AI for charities comes with often confusing new terminology, from Chat GPT to stochastic parrots. For a plain English explanation of any AI term, ask an AI bunny.

What Is Chat GPT - Generative AI?

Chat GPT is only one of various types of generative AI but is probably the most commonly used AI for charities and non profits.  Generative AI describes algorithms that charities can use to create new content, including audio, code, images, text, simulations, and videos.

It's different to existing AI (described above) - it's the AI that creates the content itself using often huge resources taken from the Internet. It is then trained by its controllers on what is and is not a good response. This makes it hugely powerful, but also brings with it not insignificant problems.

Chat GPT is a bit like auto complete on your phone, but in an incredibly powerful way.  Big Tech is  pouring £s billions into AI development.  Very soon, charity AI will be everywhere and AI for charities will be something we're all using, whether you wish to or not, or know you are, or not.

Whether we like it or not, AI for charities will fundamentally change our sector and in the near term.

AI For Charities - Problems

But AI is also bringing problems for charities. The new AI systems aren't sentient and can't discern in the way a human can. We can train them to appear very human, but they are not.

They are also 'black box' - we can see what goes in and comes out, but we're not sure what they actually do.  We know they can hallucinate, lie convincingly and make mistakes, and, although it will come, most AI systems are not real time. In using charity AI you must understand its limitations and its outputs must be checked for accuracy, bias and fairness.  For our own AI services for charities, we've designed this in and we've also published the Charity AI Governance Framework, Charity AI Risk Register and Charity AI Design Principles so others can too.  However, in the rush to make potentially huge amounts of money, how many won't?

There's also a huge job of work to be done in regulatory terms, because AI is now far ahead of both the legal and ethics issues it has created. Making legal changes can take a very long time and I'd argue that generative AI isn't inherently unethical, but it reflects our society and its problems. The emerging AI systems have guardrails, but you can still talk your way round these and changing how AI collects and uses data can't fully fix these issues, because it's at least partly a societal, not an AI problem. Fixing these issues will take years and we're likely to be in for a bumpy ride in the meantime.

Ultimately, some aspects may not be fixable. For example, AI struggles with differentiating black faces, because it was primarily trained using white faces and there are other racial biases within the AI data and how it's been created. It may be that we have to accept this for low risk facial recognition, such as unlocking your phone (because you also have a PIN) and accept that it shouldn't be used in policing. The use of AI in criminal justice alone, is likely to result in significant, very important, and probably acrimonious debate for society. We're taking a risk based approach.  If we can't fix something, or we can't be confident that we have and it's important, we won't use it.


The issues outlined above will impact on society as a whole, but what about specific AI issues for charities?

There may be questions about the use of AI in charities to create content, such as funding bids.  Our view is that assessing a bid should be about facts and information - the unmet need, the project, its planning and budgets etc, not how well it's written.  Currently, the smaller and marginalised groups lose out to professional fundraisers who are better able to write compelling bids.  The bid writer we've created enables those using it to think through what to include in a simple, structured way, but it only uses the information it has been provided with and its ability to draft these well, makes writing funding bids accessible to those who otherwise may not be able to.  Unpaid volunteers with very little time, those who don't know what should be included in a bid or how to structure it and, not least, those for whom English is a 2nd language, or people with learning disabilities or people who just don't have expertise in writing well crafted prose.  It helps to level a currently very unequal playing field and also supports grant makers by helping to ensure that the bids submitted are complete and contain the information they need and want.

Those deploying charity AI will also need to think about legal and Intellectual Property (IP) issues.  In our case, our Ask Me Anything service extensively accesses Crown Copyright material, but this is available to use free of charge under the Open Government Licence.  We also promote the work of 1000s of charities and other organisations that support the sector, often using text from their websites on a 'fair use' basis and actively welcome them submitting changes.  However, you will still have to check that anything you create does not breach copyright and much of what's on generative AI systems, may potentially do so.

The Charity AI Ethics & Governance Framework

Our Charity AI Governance and Ethics Framework has been created to promote responsible use of AI by charities and non profits, by providing a simple, practical and flexible framework within which to manage these ethical challenges.


There's been quite a bit of talk about AI taking charity jobs, but we don't think so.  The same was said of the Internet, personal computers and Windows.  There has been huge change, but whilst some jobs were lost, many more we thought would go, simply changed (often for the better), and new jobs were created.  We think generative AI will have a similar impact.

Here's our resource on the impact of AI on charity sector jobs and what charities need to think about and do in managing the changes AI will bring and integrating AI into roles and work procedures.

Here's How We're Doing It - Charity Excellence Free AI For Charities

We see AI for charities as a major risk, but one that can be flipped into a huge opportunity for a resource starved charity sector.  We are developing and designing AI services for charities not only to deliver better services to make that happen, but also using our growing AI expertise to publish advice and guidance to support everyone.

To access our free charity AI services, click the AI bunny icon in the bottom right of any screen and ask it short questions, including key words.  Our services work for any of the 0.5 million UK non-profits, the estimated 14 million charity people and members of the Public.  These are free, available 24/7 and can handle an almost unlimited number of tasks.

  • Enabling any non-profit to find funding, help, resources and data it needs (Dec 22).
  • Ask Me Anything – answering almost any question about running your charity (Feb 23).
  • Grant Application Bid Writer – it doesn't matter if you've no fundraising experience and/or struggle with written English (Apr 23).
  • Connecting individuals and families to welfare and financial support (Jan 23).
  • Charity & non-profit facts and popular questions, for the public and media (Apr 23).
  • Charity ChatGPT toolkit.


Our AI fundraising report assesses the impact of AI in charity fundraising, including looking at how jobs and the sector will change, providing ideas on how to exploit the innovation offered, who the winners and losers will be.


There have been calls to halt the development of generative AI, but there are eye watering amounts of money to be made, so we don't see that happening. The UK government AI white paper appears to see AI primarily as an economic opportunity, with a potentially 'light touch' to regulation.  The tech giants are pouring £s billions into development and embedding it into existing systems, including browsers and even Excel.

By end 2024, many of the tech issues will have been dealt with, it's likely to be much more powerful, and pretty much all of us will be using AI in one way or another, even if we don't know we are.  Longer term and taking a lesson from this history, we think the immediate changes are probably over-hyped and the long-term changes under-estimated, or at best, as yet unknown.

In March 2023, the ICO issued data protection guidance on AI, but it will take years for regulatory systems to catch up with the enormous legal and ethical issues.  It's going to be a bumpy ride for everyone.

It will massively change our world, but whether it's an opportunity or a threat depends largely on what you and your charity do about it.  Our aim is support charities in making sure that's an opportunity for everyone by creating a single charity sector AI concierge service.  It will be:

  • More accessible, simpler and faster to use than the existing 10 systems,
  • Much, much more powerful,
  • Doing what is currently considered impossible,
  • And owned by all of us.

Join us on the journey by registering now and become one of the tens of thousands of non-profits that make up the UK’s largest and fastest growing charity community.

Is Your Charity Ready, Or At Risk From AI?

AI for charities will bring huge opportunities but may create a threat of potentially some very good charity services becoming obsolescent.  Those most at risk will be those who ignore it and being really good at what you do may be the right answer to the wrong question.

This Charity AI Toolkit helps you find out if your charity may be at risk.  It explains why, provides examples of how AI is already changing what we do and gives you the questions to ask yourself to find out if AI is currently a threat, or the opportunity it should be.  In times of change, there are always winners and losers.  Our aim is to make sure that charities aren't the losers.

For a risk assessment of the AI risks facing all of us and charities in particular, try our Charity AI Risk Assessment.

Find the Funding, Help, Resources and Data You Need

Listed below is just some of our free support, but you also have our charity AI bunnies with you every step of the way.  Just click the icon in the bottom right of any screen and tell it what you need.

Use Funding Finder, to find a huge range of grants and Help Finder to find lots of free fundraising support and also companies that make product/financial donations. There's also a fundraising online health check, with 100+downloadable funder lists.

Quick, simple and everything is free.

To find the funding and free help you need - Register Now

Thank You

The AI software Charity Excellence uses is provided pro bono by Biomni and we also receive significant pro bono support from their AI developers, without which we would not be able to deliver our growing suite of AI services.  To exploit the potential of AI in your own charity, speak to them about having your own Charity Bot.

AI for Charities - FAQs

  • How is AI used in charities?  AI fundamentally helps charities in 2 ways.  Firstly, it removes a significant amount of routine admin (digital debt), saving you time and, secondly, it augments your existing capabilities, enabling you to achieve more. AI can be used for creating ideas, summarising, contrasting and comparing, and having fun and being creative.
  • Will AI make charity jobs redundant?  Some routine charity jobs will be replaced by AI, but most will be changed and new jobs will be created, so it will not negatively impact charity sector jobs.
  • What charity jobs can’t AI replace?  Some routine, repetitive jobs will go, and the vast majority will change significantly but AI can’t replace jobs that require passion, creativity, emotional intelligence, judgement and insight.
  • How many charities use AI?  In 2023, about 50% of people have used AI, around a quarter of charities are but only about 4 in 100 have built it into their systems and processes.
  • Can AI write grant applications?  AI can be used to write grant applications, but it knows nothing about your charity, its plans or your project, so you must include the significant amount of detail required for a grant application or it will not be very good and/or will include made up information (hallucinating).
  • Can AI replace grant writers?  AI can write very effective grant bids, but it will not replace grant writers because it does not have the insight, flair or creativity of a good grant writer and lacks understanding of context and can struggle with long form content.
  • What is a free AI tool for grant writing?  The Charity Excellence in-system AI bunny can write funding bids for you, but you must register and login to use it – everything is free.

Free Charity Excellence AI for Charities

In addition to the 6 systems within Charity Excellence, we provide a range of free Artificial Intelligence (AI) services.

  • Enabling you to find funding, help, resources and data.
  • Ask Me Anything – answering almost any question about running your charity.
  • Funding Bid Writer Service.
  • Welfare support and funding for individuals.
  • Charity & non-profit facts and popular questions, for the public and media.

Just click the AI tech bunny icon in the bottom right of any web page or in-system and tell it what you need.  Ask as many questions as you wish to, they're free, available 24/7 and will not collect any personal information.

Charity AI Insight Briefings: Impact on:

Charity AI Toolkits & Guides:

AI Systems



We have created 2 one-hour AI training webinars.

  • Introduction to AI.
  • Using ChatGPT.
  • Introduction to AI - for Grant Makers.
Register Now
We are very grateful to the organisations below for the funding and pro bono support they generously provide.

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