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Saving time: How ChatGPT's AI can help your nonprofit's content creation

Small and mighty teams in the social sector can benefit from the use of ChatGPT’s AI to save time and resources by streamlining important content creation work.

January 17th, 2023
By Seth Giammanco

Updated February 5th, 2024

The two biggest challenges for small and mighty teams in the social sector is time and money. Opportunities to streamline important work can make such a difference. Have you heard something about AI writing tools and/or ChatGPT? Schools are banning it. Search engine optimization folks are debating whether Google is trying to detect writing by it and ding it in search. It's been making a bit of a buzz in its early days.

ChatGPT is an AI chat tool that showcases the good and bad of disruptive technologies. For teams working to create content consistently, this tool and thoughtful use of it can do a lot of timesaving good.

Okay, what is ChatGPT?

The two biggest challenges for small and mighty teams in the social sector is time and money. Opportunities to streamline important work can make such a difference. ChatGPT is an AI chat tool that showcases the good and bad of disruptive technologies. For teams working to create content consistently, this tool and thoughtful use of it can do a lot of timesaving good.

Okay, what is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is a product of the company OpenAI. It was released to the public in 2023 in what they called a “Free Research Preview”. Since then it has continued to evolve and evolve rapidly. You can check it out at There is a free version and paid subcription. The subscription unlocks a more powerful AI model as well as other features. The free version is great to start exploring what this tool can do. ChatGPT is also being used in a host of third-party apps and tools.

It defines itself as a “language model … that uses machine learning to generate human-like text”. Yeah, it said it "defines itself", which is kinda interesting, creepy interesting. It presents like a chat, and when I asked "What is ChatGPT and an AI writing tool all about?” here is the response I received.

ChatGPT is a language model developed by OpenAI that uses machine learning to generate human-like text. It is trained on a large dataset of written text, and can be used for a variety of natural language processing tasks such as language translation, question answering, and text completion. As an AI writing tool, it can be used to automatically generate written content for a variety of applications, such as chatbots, content creation, and more. It can also be fine-tuned to suit specific writing style and task, so it can generate text specific to a particular domain or industry, such as finance or healthcare.”

Using ChatGPT at starts with you posing a question, prompt, or task using natural language. It then processes your request and does its best to respond.

Asking ChatGPT what it is

Example of chatting with ChatGPT about itself.

In chat-like fashion, you can have a conversation around a topic. This includes asking follow up questions or making related requests that build on previous “dialogue”. In this way, the experience is very intuitive. Learning to post the "right" prompts and to know what's possible are key to productivity. Let's explore how ChatGPT can help.

What are some writing tasks ChatGPT can help with?

There are a host of practical examples for how ChatGPT and AI writing tools can save you time.

  • Generate a list of topics to write about
  • List different title ideas for an article or subject line for an email
  • Create an outline for a new article
  • Draft a new article
  • Draft an email
  • Suggest social posts for a topic or specific content that you provide
  • Draft a translation of content you provide

For many of these, you ask for what you want. For others, you might have to provide content for it to respond to. We'll explore both in more detail below. Before that, what about the content's quality?

Asking Chat GPT to create a brief outline for an article

Asking ChatGPT to create a brief outline for an article.

Is the content generated any good?

The content that I’ve had ChatGPT generate so far is surprisingly decent. I tried having it draft a few full articles to test it out. What it did produce was completely reasonable content. This said, the drafts missed details and style that I like to have in our writing. Sentences were a bit heavy, paragraphs a bit short, and overall it felt a bit like an encyclopedia.

The writing generated, in most contexts, is going to miss the human factor. It won't include the experience and perspective of an informed author. It will miss out on the use of emotion to make connections with readers. These are qualities of your writing you may need for your organization’s writing as well.

So how good ChatGPT’s content will be for you is something you'll need to assess. The amount of editing and rewriting you need to do will vary. Keep in mind that there is potential for plagiarism. It is possible that it will generate text similar to text derived from its training/source material.

Even if you opt to use very little of the content generated, it will likely still save time by helping you prepare, plan, and think about your writing. I find this latter bit quite true and compelling.

How to use ChatGPT to help with writing tasks

Getting ready to write a new blog can take many forms. I find it really helpful to create a thoughtful prompt and ask ChatGPT to write me a draft. Let’s dive into a specific example.

Let’s start our article with a prompt

Let’s imagine we are nonprofit that engages volunteers to help youth learn about how to design technology solutions. We want to create an article that inspires technology professionals to consider volunteering. Here is the prompt to give to ChatGPT.

We are a nonprofit focused on helping underserved middle and high school student learn how to think about building web and mobile applications to create solutions to challenges in their community. Often, we use volunteers with related skills to come and share knowledge with students. Write a persuasive blog post on the importance of volunteering for this and its benefits for individuals and impacted youth.

Your audience are professionals working in technology. The post should be between 500 and 1000 words. Reading level target is 6th grade. Tone should be fun and confident.

Title: Join the Future: How Your Tech Skills Can Change Lives

Hey Tech Pros! Ever thought about how your skills could be a game changer for young minds? Well, here’s something to consider: volunteering with us, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering middle and high school students in underserved communities. We focus on teaching them to build web and mobile applications, addressing real-world challenges in their neighborhoods. And guess what? You could be the key to unlocking their potential!

Why Volunteering Matters

First, let’s talk impact. Your expertise in technology isn’t just about coding or designing; it's a tool for transformation. By volunteering, you help students see the endless possibilities in the tech world. Imagine a student who thinks coding is a far-off dream suddenly creating their first app – because of you. That’s powerful!

Plus, these students often lack access to quality tech education. Your involvement bridges this gap, opening doors to new opportunities and careers they might never have considered.

Portion of the draft created by ChatGPT

This is a chat, so let’s revise a bit

What makes ChatGPT a chat-like experience is that it has memory. It can recall what was already said and/or done and build on that through further conversation. For our article we want to revise it a bit. We realized that it would be helpful to include criteria about the qualities of a person who would make a good volunteer. So next, I can enter the following into the chat.

Can you revise this to include a section that outlines the type of person we are looking to be a volunteer?

Who Are We Looking For?

Before diving into the why and how, let’s talk about who makes the ideal volunteer for our mission:

Passionate about Technology: You love everything tech and are excited about sharing that passion.
Patient and Understanding: Remember, you’ll be working with beginners. Patience is key!
Good Communicator: Can you break down complex tech jargon into simple, fun language? Perfect!
Eager to Inspire: You’re not just teaching skills; you’re inspiring the next generation of tech innovators.
Reliable and Committed: Consistency is important for our students. We value volunteers who can commit time regularly.

Does this sound like you? Great! Read on.

Here is the revised section of the draft article

What else can you do once you have a solid draft?

Your time savings can go beyond having a good draft to start from. As your article comes together, there is a lot more you can do to help you polish and share your article. Here are some example ideas and prompts that go with.

  • Create Social posts - Create 3 posts for Twitter for the this article. Your audience are tech professionals to inspire them to learn more about volunteering for our organization.
  • Draft a webinar outline - Create an outline for a webinar inspired by this article to introduce our organization and make the case to volunteer. Attendees will be technology professionals that have expressed interest in learning more about volunteering. Keep in mind our organization mission and what we are looking for from volunteers as detailed in the information below. Webinar will only have 20 minutes of presentation.
  • General different title ideas - Create 10 different titles for the this article. Target audience is technology professionals creating web and mobile applications. Include the word “volunteer” and “underserved youth” in the titles. Try different tones from fun to serious.

This is where a little creative thinking about what you need can lead to some great results with ChatGPT.

Prompting is your superpower

The information you share and/or ask of ChatGPT makes all the difference. The key to getting helpful results from ChatGPT vs feeling grossly underwhelmed lies in the quality of your prompt. A great prompt provides context, defines audience, and details the requirements of your desired output. Our Developing your prompting superpowers with ChatGPT article is a great place to learn more about the basics of prompt engineering.

Using ChatGPT to make content creation a little easier

AI is a class of disruptive technology that will change the nature of work. ChatGPT presents opportunities to save time when writing content. Time saved helps focus content creators on humanizing the writing. AI can’t offer context of relationships, experience, and creating connection through empathy. AI can’t be relied on for being a content area expert. There is a still a critical role for authors to deliver quality and valuable content. For small and mighty teams in the social sector, tools like ChatGPT have immense potential. The more we can focus energy on building connection and save time on other tasks the better.

We hope you found this article helpful. If you have given ChatGPT a try we’d welcome to learn more about your experience. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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