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How Technology Can Support AI Ethics And Governance For Mission-Driven Organizations

How Technology Can Support AI Ethics and Governance for Mission-Driven Organizations


The potential value offered by AI has enticed many mission-driven organizations to increasingly rely on it. Yet, like any fast-evolving technology, AI isn’t without its risks and challenges. AI ethics and governance have come into focus as nonprofits seek to implement AI responsibly.

Your board is ultimately responsible for effectively overseeing AI ethics and governance. The good news is that board management technology can support you as you go about putting your own policies in place.

Why Your Organization Needs an AI Ethics and Governance Framework

AI programs are a draw for nonprofit organizations because they streamline processes. According to Forbes, over a million users downloaded ChatGPT within a week of its launch, with both free and paid versions. The free version is easy to use, making it an attractive tool for nonprofits trying to keep up with technology while reducing the burden on their budgets.

AI is as complex as it is useful. An AI ethics and governance framework is important for the following three reasons:

  1. To make sure the organization is using AI responsibly
  2. To make sure they’re not getting biased outputs
  3. To make sure AI isn’t affecting communications in a way that would negatively impact donations or their reputation

As you build out your AI ethics and governance framework, your board management system can offer valuable tools to support your efforts.

How Board Management Software Supports AI Ethics and Governance

A board management solution creates efficiency by providing a central platform for the board’s work. Board members can securely access meeting materials and collaboration tools as they work on developing your AI ethics and governance framework.

Here are some of the ways board management software can support your board in developing your framework:

1. Ensuring your organization is using AI for the right use cases

AI may be implemented in various ways across multiple operations. An AI use case audit will inform the board on where AI is being used and how humans are overseeing it to avoid liability and reputational problems. Your board management solution provides online workspaces where board members can analyze and discuss the results and make decisions for moving forward. As Nonie Dalton, VP, Product Management, Diligent says, “It’s about understanding the use cases in your organization and how are you going to have that oversight.”

As AI evolves, board members can access the use case document from a central place and review and update it regularly as needed.

“It’s about understanding the use cases in your organization and how are you going to have that oversight.” – Nonie Dalton, VP, Product Management, Diligent

2. Facilitating training in AI, ethics and governance

Your board, executive leaders, and staff will need ongoing training to support their understanding of AI governance. Your board management solution can store training materials and track who has accessed them.  

It can also store training materials that can be used to onboard new board members and educate them on AI ethics and governance. Your platform can also be used to ensure existing board members receive training on the principles of AI and AI governance.

3. Collaborating securely

Since AI is still evolving and nonprofits are evaluating how best to use it, your board may decide to collaborate with others (such as experts on AI governance, people who use AI, IT, risk managers, etc.). Your board management system provides private, secure workspaces for doing risk modeling and assessing different scenarios. Board administrators can give each user the right level of access.

4. Gathering information and creating reports on AI ethics and governance

Your board management system provides the tools and space to ensure that you’re aligning AI governance principles with your mission. For example, staff and other stakeholders may be concerned about how AI will affect jobs. A board management system is useful for gathering and storing data to provide a clear picture of how AI impacts the workforce. Reports may also indicate areas where employees could be upskilled to supplement AI strategies that require a human touch. With BoardEffect, you can save your reports in your resource or workroom library for easy access.

5. Creating, reviewing, and updating AI ethics and governance policies

According to TechTarget, the success of AI ethics and governance depends in part on “developing comprehensive AI policies and regulations that protect the public while fostering innovation.”

Your board needs a secure platform for doing the work to establish policies that govern AI ethics. Policies should be robust and detail where the organization uses AI and how it’s being implemented. Your board management platform is a secure place to document how the board created and changed policies as regulations, technologies, and organizational needs changed.

6. Giving board administrators control over sensitive data

Boards commonly work on sensitive issues such as diversity, inclusion, and bias, which is important for aligning the organization’s principles with its mission. A board management system provides the workspace and tools that enable boards to work on issues like minimizing bias and maximizing the benefits of AI. Granular permission controls on BoardEffect ensure sensitive data is kept secure and only shared with those needed.

To further explore how to go about creating your AI ethics and governance framework within your mission-driven organization, download our free guide to Streamlining AI for Mission-Driven Organizations.


A Board Management Solution: Key Technology for AI Ethics and Governance

Without a doubt, the prospect of using AI to further your mission is exciting. While AI is innovative and can help drive value, it also presents new challenges for nonprofits, especially in the areas of ethics and governance.

Board members and leaders must be prepared to deal with these challenges as they emerge and put guardrails in place before they become problematic. They must also be concerned about data governance rules and privacy regulations concerning AI, which are also evolving.

BoardEffect can support your board as your mission-driven organization puts in place good governance over AI use. Our software provides easy access to documents with a keyword search tool. It also provides tools to assist in tracking tasks, making decisions, and signing documents all within the BoardEffect platform.

Jill Holtz

Jill is a Content Strategy Manager at Diligent. Her strategy background and content expertise working across a variety of sectors, including education, non-profit and with local government partners, allows her to provide unique insights for organizations looking to achieve modern governance.

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