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3 Generative AI Skills Nonprofit Teams Can Learn for Free with LinkedIn Learning

Many jobs look different today than they did even a few years ago. LinkedIn members have seen the core skills of their jobs evolve by 25% since 2015, and LinkedIn anticipates that artificial intelligence (AI) will accelerate that evolution — resulting in up to a 65% total change by 2030.  

For nonprofits, this means that upskilling employees is both a great way to help their team stay ahead with relevant skills and embrace the efficiencies that generative AI (GAI) can unlock for mission-driven organizations.

To help you start learning AI skills today – and earn a Career Essentials Certificate in Generative AI – get started with a new, free course from Microsoft and LinkedIn. Here’s a taste of what you’ll learn: 

What is generative AI and how can nonprofits use AI tools 

As the name suggests, generative AI is a type of AI that can identify and classify content, and also generate new content.  

“Generative AI can help nonprofits improve their efficiency by automating tasks so that workers can spend more time focused on the mission,” explains Naria Santa Lucia, General Manager, Digital Inclusion at Microsoft, in the Moving Forward newsletter from LinkedIn for Nonprofits. 

“For example, AI can help assess and flag external issues such as weather, financials, and geography that may impact delivery of supplies or staff to a crisis area. And then automatically draft an email or alert to notify impacted staff and volunteers on the ground.” 

With the Career Essentials in Generative AI learning path, nonprofit employees and volunteers can learn the basics of GAI at no cost. The course teaches core GAI skills that your team can begin to apply to their work right away using both free and paid AI tools.

3 generative AI skills for nonprofits  

1. Streamlining work

One way that your team can begin incorporating GAI in their day-to-day work is by leveraging AI natural language models, such as Bing Chat. This free tool can be accessed via the Microsoft Edge browser and allows you to do things like quickly summarize a report and compose the first draft of an email about it.  

“Nonprofits can also encourage staff to use AI to get a creative jumpstart on content or to generate new ideas,” says Naria.  

The Career Essentials in Generative AI learning path covers how these tools work and how to get started with them. Your team will also learn how to write effective prompts when using these tools to generate the best results.  

2. Using AI to process data and find patterns

AI’s ability to find patterns in large data sets makes it an ideal companion to nonprofits looking to better understand their donors, supporters, and constituents. As Naria points out, “AI enables nonprofits to analyze donors' data and create a personalized approach. Using GAI, they can easily segment donors most likely to give and then generate high-quality content and marketing material that can lead to a higher response rate and increased giving.”  

With the course “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence,” included in the free learning path, your team will learn the basics of using AI to process data and identify patterns. Equipped with this knowledge, your team can start exploring ways to use GAI to solve problems, improve program effectiveness, and connect with your audience on a deeper level.  

3. Developing ethical AI policies and practices

While AI has enormous potential to transform the nonprofit sector in positive ways, it also comes with risks, especially when sensitive information like constituent data is involved. “It's vital that it is used responsibly and that it serves society broadly, not narrowly,” says Naria.  

After taking the course “Ethics in the Age of Generative AI,” part of the learning path, your team will know how to evaluate and address ethical risks at your organization. The course outlines a framework of responsible data, well-defined boundaries, and robust transparency that can serve as a foundation for your nonprofit's AI strategy.  

The Career Essentials in Generative AI by Microsoft and LinkedIn learning path will remain unlocked through 2025, so your employees, volunteers, and even leaders have plenty of time to explore this invaluable free resource.