AI and a Vision for an Equitable Future

By Brandolon Barnett
July 6, 2023

The discovery of fire was a turning point in human history. It provided warmth, light, and the means to cook food. Now, imagine a world where fire was accessible only to private sector companies, dictators, and those driven solely by profit motives. In such a scenario, those dedicated to making the world a better place would struggle to survive, let alone thrive, in the cold and dark. AI, like fire, is a transformative force and it's my view that we're best served if that force is in the hands of the many, rather than the few. And even better in the hands of nonprofits and organizations and individuals that care about making the world a better place. In this blog post I'll explore the necessity of ensuring that nonprofits and social impact organizations have equal access to this powerful tool, allowing them to better serve their communities and create a more equitable world.

In a world where AI is as readily available to nonprofits as it is to private sector companies, social impact organizations can harness the power of this transformative technology to amplify their impact. By equipping these organizations with AI, we can create a future where diverse voices contribute to the pursuit of social good, and where people from all walks of life can participate in building a better world.

In my work at the Council on Foundations, I observed firsthand the challenges faced by nonprofits when trying to implement innovative solutions. It was clear that many organizations struggled to keep pace with the rapidly changing technological landscape. But with AI, the playing field can be leveled, enabling nonprofits to not only catch up but also to lead the charge for change.

Sparking the Flame: Ensuring AI Accessibility for Nonprofits

To make this vision a reality, we must work together to ensure that AI is accessible to nonprofits and social impact organizations. This requires collaboration between AI developers, technology companies, and philanthropic organizations to create AI tools specifically designed for nonprofits, as well as providing financial and technical support to help these organizations adopt and integrate AI into their operations.

By democratizing access to AI, we can empower nonprofits to achieve greater impact, develop innovative solutions to complex problems, and create a more equitable and just world.


As a passionate advocate for social impact and technology, I am excited about the potential of AI to transform the nonprofit sector and create a more equitable future. By ensuring that nonprofits have access to this powerful tool, we can ignite the flame of AI, allowing these organizations to better serve their communities and address the world's most pressing challenges.

In the words of the great Jean Luc Picard, we must boldly go where no one has gone before, using AI to create a world where everyone has the opportunity to contribute to the greater good. The power of AI must be harnessed not only by those with profit-driven motives but also by those dedicated to creating a better, more equitable world for all. Together, we can light the way forward, using AI as the torch that illuminates the path to a brighter future.

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