May 24, 2023

Diving into Change's ChatGPT Plugin: The First ChatGPT Plugin for Social Good

Dive in-depth with Drew Taylor, software engineer that developed Change's latest ChatGPT plugin.

In today's digital era, conversational AI has gained significant popularity and is set to transform practically every industry. Information is even more accessible than it previously was, leading to exciting new discoveries and applications.

This past month, Change released the first-ever ChatGPT plugin for nonprofit discovery and the giving sector. By using ChatGPT's conversational language model, it's now very simple to find new nonprofits and causes to support. We sat down with Drew Taylor, the lead engineer on this project, to talk about this new plugin and how AI is positioned to influence the giving landscape.

Why did you develop this plugin?

We've noticed that more often than not, people have an interest in helping their immediate community and supporting nonprofits that do great work locally. Most people will head to Google to find this information; however, search results can often be overwhelming and figuring out which are legitimate organizations can be difficult. Finding information fast is also a key component of nonprofit discovery – we understand people are busy and expect quality results quickly.

Naturally, that led us to ChatGPT, which has rapidly become a substitute for Google and other information forums because of its retrieval speed and custom, catered information. Its only real weaknesses are lack of up-to-date information and the tendency to be imaginative in some scenarios.

The Change plugin solves for these obstacles – all nonprofits that we suggest are vetted by a rigorous system, and we deliver personalized recommendations based on the prompt you enter. In the response, you see a link to the nonprofit's website as well as other pertinent information kept up to date by the nonprofits. And most importantly, we nudge users to donate to the nonprofits with a simple donation checkout process.

What can people accomplish with this plugin?

Our hope with this plugin is that companies and individuals can more easily find reputable nonprofits that align with their interests. I also think there's an element of trusting that AI can be used for good. This is a new frontier of technology and I hope this plugin inspires confidence - or at least sparks conversations - around the ethical uses of AI and harnessing its power for social good.

What was one of the challenges when building this plugin?

Funnily enough, ChatGPT itself was one of the biggest hurdles while developing. ChatGPT can be as unpredictable and fickle as the weather - you program it to say it’s 70º and sunny out but in reality, it’s a little windy, so the temperature feels more like 68º. Because ChatGPT has so many different variables at play, you can’t always predict what it will spit out – you have to provide it with the correct information to relay and hope it delivers it without too much turbulence. With that being said, I would like to give kudos to the OpenAI team for making the plugin creation process very straightforward.

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How do you see AI transforming the giving sector?

I'm excited about the transformative potential of AI in the giving space. AI has the potential to revolutionize how nonprofits engage with donors and make more data-driven decisions, in addition to assisting companies and individuals to make informed charitable donations. And the most exciting part is that it's already begun!

I believe AI will have bring about meaningful changes to the way nonprofits operate, namely donor engagement and operations. With the help of AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants, nonprofits can provide personalized and real-time interactions with donors, fostering deeper connections and increasing donor satisfaction. These intelligent systems can answer complex questions, give tailored donation suggestions, and deliver personalized updates on the impact of contributions. AI can also automate and streamline manual processes, inform fundraising strategies, predict donor behavior, and target outreach efforts. All of this helps to free up valuable time and resources for staff to focus on high-value activities.

As I mentioned previously, the speed in which information is collected and disseminated is another aspect that AI is completely revolutionizing. Tools like ChatGPT are so fast, decisions can be made much more quickly. In a world with a 24-hour news cycle, where new social movements and causes are sounding the alarm, looking for support, the need for up-to-date information and recommendations for reputable nonprofits will continue to grow.

At Change, we're dedicated to harnessing the potential of AI to revolutionize the giving sector and enable organizations to make a lasting difference. Try out the new Change for ChatGPT plugin today, or see a preview of its capabilities in the video above.

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