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CAF Research: What Do the Public Think of Charities Using AI?

By

Alex Plumb

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2 minutes read

A recent study by Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) reveals the nuanced and cautiously optimistic perspectives about the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) by charitable organisations. The study involved over 6000 people across 10 countries (UK, USA, Indonesia, Brazil, Kenya, Poland, India, Japan, Australia, and Turkey).

The view from the public

Over a third of respondents (37%) believe the opportunities of charities using AI outweigh the risks. The top perceived opportunities of AI for charities are faster disaster response, helping more people, and improved efficiency in charities’ work. 

Donors, especially those who give more, are 30% more likely to support the use of AI by charities than non-donors. People in low and middle-income countries generally hold more positive outlooks on AI use (25%) than those in high-income countries (8%), and age is not a major factor in public perception. 

Despite this, concerns about AI use by charities are also prevalent. Almost a quarter of respondents (22%) believe that the risks outweigh the opportunities. While a third (34%) believe that the risks are equal to the opportunities. The top perceived concerns include potential reduction in workforces, and risks around data security. 

Regardless of perceived risks or opportunities, almost all respondents (83%) said they will be paying close attention to how charities use AI. Most respondents (70%) also believe that charities of all sizes and resources should have access to AI.  

The implications for using AI

The study suggests that while the public is open to the integration of AI by charities, they also expect clear communication and accountability from the sector. The concerns about the risks does not mean the public does not think charities should not use AI at all, but rather they feel more caution is necessary. 

To ensure that donors continue to feel connected, charities should be transparent about how they use AI to advance their missions and show the positive outcomes of their AI initiatives. People will be paying attention, so more open engagement can foster greater trust and confidence in charities and the use of AI in general.

Finally, tech companies that provide AI systems must consider access for charities. There are significant opportunities for the use of AI in the charity sector, and it’s important that charities of all sizes and levels of resources can harness its potential

“AI must not be the privilege of the few. We must work together with the technology industry to ensure it is accessible for large and small charities. Digital advances have great potential to support charities to further their missions and accelerate social progress. As a starting point, AI could help target disaster relief more effectively, decrease the time spent on administrative tasks and improve operations,” said Neil Heslop, OBE, Chief Executive of Charities Aid Foundation

“Charities need to also remain alert to the risks, stay close to the human essence of their cause and communicate clearly with donors to further social impact,” he continued.

References

A. Environmental Stewardship
To protect the environment, we organize programmes like mangrove nursery and Reforestation, Coastal and River Clean-Up, Community Based Environmental Solid Waste Management, Environmental IEC Campaign and Eco-Academy

B. Food Security and Sustainable Livelihood
To ensure a sustainable livelihood for the community, eco-tourism include Buhatan River Cruise Visitor Center Buhatan River Mangrove Boardwalk are run by the community. Others include Organic Vegetable and Root crops Farming, Vegetable and Root crops Chips and by-products Processing and establishing a Zero waste store.

C. Empowered Communities
To empower the community, we provide product and Agri-Enterprise Development Training, Immersion and Learnings Exchange Program, Earth Warrior Training and Community Based Social Entrepreneurship Training

Author

Alex Plumb

Head of Research at CAF

Alex Plumb has a strong background in research, starting as a Research Assistant at Harrow Council in 2006. Over the years, they held various positions such as Omnibus Coordinator at Ipsos MORI, Associate Director at So What Do You Think? and Icaro Consulting. Alex then progressed to Director roles at Revealing Reality (ESRO) and Portland before becoming a Partner and Head of Research at WA Communications. Currently, they serve as the Head of Research at Charities Aid Foundation.

Alex Plumb completed a BSc in Geography from the University of Leeds in 2005. Prior to that, Alex attended King Edwards School Bath, but specific details about the duration or degree obtained are not provided.

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