Mallory Erickson and the secret to fundraising

If you have ever had to raise money for an organisation, then this episode is for you.

If you get hot sweats just thinking about having to ask people for yet more money, then this is also for you.

Or, if you are a corporate, and wondering how your relationships with your NGO partners could improve, then I’d also love for you to have a listen.

Today I speak with Mallory Erickson.

She is THE non-profit coach, teaching fundraisers how to bring in more donations without chasing them.

Through her signature framework, the Power Partners Formula™️, Mallory provides unique tools to help raise more from foundations, corporate partners, and individuals. She has coached over 1,000 fundraisers using her simple, but unique strategy - and it really works.

Mallory’s key takeaway is that great fundraising is not an ask, it’s an offer.

She talks about finding common ground. The win-win. And what is possible when people are really coming to a conversation from the perspective of strategic partnerships.

There is so much rich content here. And we’ll bring this all to life.

So sit back. Relax. And grab that favorite beverage. Or throw on those running shoes. And enjoy this episode.

Please don’t forget to let us know what you think of this episode, leave a review, rating, and subscribe.

00:00:02:04 – 00:00:27:03
Philippa White
Welcome to the show, where we unearth new ways of looking at ever evolving light around the world. Seen from a number of different industries, cultures and backgrounds. But there’s one thing that unites everyone I speak to. They all want to do their part to make the world better in their own unique ways. It’s a uniting passion. Whether they’re from the commercial world, third sector or public sector from the Global North or the global south.

00:00:27:15 – 00:00:53:18
Philippa White
My name is PHILIPPa White and welcome to TIE Unearthed. If you’ve ever had to raise money for an organization, then this episode is for you. If you get hot sweats just thinking about having to ask people for yet more money, then this is also for you. Or if you’re a corporate and wondering how to improve the relationships that you have with your NGO partners, then I’d also love for you to keep listening.

00:00:54:01 – 00:01:23:06
Philippa White
Hello and welcome to episode 29 of TIE Unearthed. And today I’m speaking with Mallory Erickson. She is the nonprofit coach teaching fundraisers how to bring in more donations without chasing them through her signature framework, the Power Partners Formula. Mallory provides unique tools to help raise more from foundations, corporate partners and individuals. She’s coached over 1000 fundraisers using her simple but unique strategy.

00:01:23:14 – 00:01:32:06
Philippa White
Mallory’s key takeaway is that great fundraising is not an ask. It’s an offer. And today we are going to bring this to life.

00:01:35:17 – 00:01:41:07
Philippa White
Hi, Mallory. It is so wonderful to see you here and to have you with us today. How are you?

00:01:41:15 – 00:01:43:23
Mallory Erickson
I’m great. Thank you so much for having me.

00:01:44:02 – 00:02:01:06
Philippa White
Oh, I’m so excited to talk to you. There’s I was so happy when I came across you on LinkedIn. And when I saw what you were doing, I got really, really excited. There’s a lot of overlap and I just think our listeners are just going to love your story and hear what you’re up to. And I know that you’re super busy.

00:02:01:06 – 00:02:19:23
Philippa White
You’ve got so much going on right now. So I’m looking forward to sort of telling our listeners because this is sort of a really exciting moment for you. There’s a real, real energy, obviously, for your life today. And I’ve been watching webinars and there’s so much great content that you’ve got going out there. So to kick things off, I just love you.

00:02:19:23 – 00:02:25:22
Philippa White
Please, just to tell us a little bit about your background and what brought you to where you are now.

00:02:26:07 – 00:02:47:13
Mallory Erickson
Yeah. Well, yeah. Thank you so much for for all of that. And I’m so excited to be talking today, too. So I have spent my career in the nonprofit sector. I you know, I don’t I didn’t anticipate that necessarily, but but I fell in love with it in in sort of my first role with an organization where I thought maybe I would just be in the sector.

00:02:47:13 – 00:03:07:15
Mallory Erickson
I started in public public education here in the U.S. and but through a nonprofit and thought, you know, okay, I’ll spend a few years on the ground in the public schools, then I’m going to go on to law school or public policy school, you know, had dreams of going to Washington, but really fell in love with the nonprofit sector.

00:03:07:15 – 00:03:29:16
Mallory Erickson
And and my belief and it’s role to really solve these critical issues that we all want to see solved. And I obviously saw a tremendous amount of challenges along the way as well. And things that weren’t working and that were broken. But underneath it all have this fundamental belief, like deep in my belly, that it has the potential to be the solution that we want it to be.

00:03:30:12 – 00:03:51:18
Mallory Erickson
And I, you know, started to sort of work myself up in the ranks in the nonprofit sector, found myself first in a managing director, Rob And then and then the executive director for folks that had big fundraising responsibilities. And I hated it. I mean, I had like you would ask me my least favorite part of being an executive director.

00:03:51:18 – 00:04:09:11
Mallory Erickson
I would have said fundraising over and over again. I felt really uncomfortable. I felt really inauthentic. I didn’t know how to, like, be me in that part of my job. I felt like I could go out there and I could talk about our programs and I could talk about our organization with so much passion, with so much inspiration.

00:04:09:16 – 00:04:30:23
Mallory Erickson
But then the moment that money came up, I would sort of freeze and clam up and go in and and so I honestly was thinking about leaving the nonprofit sector. I was like, I must be bad at this. I can’t figure out how to make this work for me. And then I had this kind of, I don’t know, variety of life experiences that weren’t directly connected to my fundraising come together.

00:04:30:23 – 00:05:03:17
Mallory Erickson
At the same moment, I went through executive coach certification. I started studying behavior change and habit building, design thinking and the way that those experiences impacted my life while I had these fundraising expectations really changed, changed my life. So I, I was able to take a step back and say, okay, what are what are the sort of traps I’ve been stuck in inside this sector, inside the typical ways we’re trained to do fundraising and and why and do I have to do it that way?

00:05:03:17 – 00:05:20:19
Mallory Erickson
And so I created basically a new framework for myself at the time, which had huge fundraising, a huge impact on my fundraising financially, but more importantly, really changed the way I felt daily as a nonprofit leader and a fundraiser. And I started to love fundraising.

00:05:20:19 – 00:05:45:05
Philippa White
And so just just really quickly. So if because the our listeners range from, you know, people in the private sector, but also, as you know, we work very much with the the social sector, NGOs, social initiative world where fundraising is a big part of it. Just to get an idea a little bit more about your background and sort of what what kinds of organizations did you work and where are we talking about?

00:05:45:05 – 00:05:55:14
Philippa White
Just really big organizations that do really big fundraising. Is that sort of the only experience you’ve had or has it sort of been to with a range of difference just a sort of paint the picture a little bit more?

00:05:55:18 – 00:06:23:10
Mallory Erickson
Yeah. So I mean, the first organization I worked for was called Citizen Schools, multi-million dollar organization. I was there when they got their first million dollar grant, I believe I wasn’t a part of of getting that gift, but I sort of watched that happen in the organization and the impact of it. I the organization that I first became a managing director of and then executive director, I started with them when it was a $300,000 organization, built it to around 2 million.

00:06:23:15 – 00:06:48:15
Mallory Erickson
The next one I came into as the leader was they had just hit $1,000,000 and when I left they were at 3.6. So I, I really love the like 300000 to $10 million range. That tends to be like my sweet spot with organizations. Although I do have some $100 million organizations that I work with as well. And so but I hope that gets more.

00:06:48:16 – 00:06:52:17
Philippa White
Yeah, that’s really yeah. But yeah, it’s really, really interesting. So anyway, I cut you off. Go on. Yeah.

00:06:52:17 – 00:07:12:20
Mallory Erickson
I mean, it was a range of sort of like strategy components and also a lot of self coaching, a lot of like deep analysis around what were the things that were driving my behavior. You know, I had a fundraising coach at the time and I haven’t actually shared this anywhere else. But he used to say he used to say like, make the ask over sip.

00:07:12:20 – 00:07:27:01
Mallory Erickson
And so it was this idea that, you know, you don’t want to go into a fundraising meeting and the whole time have in the back of your head, okay, I have to figure out like, how am I going to slide this in here? When’s the right time and what am I, you know, but, and so he would coach me around that.

00:07:27:12 – 00:07:49:24
Mallory Erickson
But what we didn’t do together and he’s like, I love that this is what you’re doing now is that I am starting to ask the question, Why don’t we make that ask over soup? Like, why don’t we? What are the things that hold us back from doing that? And I feel like that unraveling that, understanding that for ourselves, getting the tools we need to feel comfortable doing that.

00:07:50:05 – 00:08:00:04
Mallory Erickson
I really, I feel like that’s where the key lies to people unlocking their fundraising potential. And so that that’s what I do now.

00:08:00:09 – 00:08:31:21
Philippa White
That’s really great. And actually just to capture that, because I think that actually I think honestly, I think that’s a life lesson for a lot of things. If I think of what we do and unlocking insights, developing relationships with, you know, people physically are going to another part of the world to be able to help an organization. And, you know, there’s the the, the, there’s a house stay and they live with the people that they’re either working with or somebody locally.

00:08:31:21 – 00:08:50:13
Philippa White
And to be able to have those insights or to be able to develop those really amazing relationships that you need to be able to truly help an organization or a group of people in a really short amount of time. It’s the breakfast conversations. It’s the it’s the drinking orange juice and or, you know, eating something, whatever it is.

00:08:50:13 – 00:09:13:12
Philippa White
And then it’s that informal relationship that you develop with somebody, that you then start to develop trust and you start to develop a commonality, and you sort of find that, oh, there are sort of some common understanding. And then it’s easier to have those kind of conversations because you’re not using the it’s like literally, oh, there’s a, there’s a win win here for us anyway.

00:09:13:18 – 00:09:32:16
Philippa White
So I think that’s a really great learning. I think for so many things it’s it doesn’t have to be this. It’s if you find a common ground, then so many things are so much easier and it’s, it’s finding those opportunities for that. So I love that. I think that’s great. So tell me what what are you doing now?

00:09:32:17 – 00:09:48:09
Philippa White
So we’ve got the same build up. Oh, it’s all possible. So tell me, what are you doing now? I, how did it come about and what is your main goal with what you do? So it just bring this to life because this is exciting.

00:09:48:09 – 00:09:49:23
Mallory Erickson
Yeah. And revolutionary.

00:09:50:01 – 00:09:51:20
Philippa White
And I think a lot of people need to know about it.

00:09:52:17 – 00:10:25:17
Mallory Erickson
Thank you. And yeah, so, you know, I started so basically as I started to discover and sort of watch these frameworks and these tools transform my fundraising, I started to talk to other fundraisers about it and I was like, Have you ever worked with someone who does this or has anyone ever taught you how to do this? And, you know, I’ve been really realizing that when I understand why I’m uncomfortable in a situation when I really track the thoughts and beliefs that are leading to that discomfort, it gives me so much more capacity to sort of change the way I’m thinking, to change where I’m showing up.

00:10:25:20 – 00:10:46:14
Mallory Erickson
All these different themes that sort of inter inter weave into what I do now. And what I was hearing over and over again from fundraisers was like, No, where is this conversation? Where is this conversation? And I really felt like for most of my career for 13 years, that I could not even say I’m uncomfortable fundraising without ever.

00:10:46:14 – 00:11:08:19
Mallory Erickson
I’d be like, Oh, she’s just a bad fundraiser or she’s a bad nonprofit leader, right? That that I was the only one. I was sure that, like, the good ones couldn’t possibly feel the way that I feel. And so the way it really started was, you know, I mean, I’ve been talking about this for a few years and I’ve really gained momentum recently because I think in during COVID, during the pandemic, people came face to face with their fundraising fears.

00:11:09:01 – 00:11:30:15
Mallory Erickson
And right when when COVID hit, you know, people were offering a number of like free resources. And I wanted to do that, too. I really wanted to figure out how I could step up, how I could support that community. And so I posted something about doing a fearless fundraising bootcamp. And I basically I wrote this little paragraph. I put it like on my Facebook page or maybe a one, one Facebook group or something.

00:11:30:24 – 00:11:45:03
Mallory Erickson
I it wasn’t even linked to my website. I was just like, I want to talk about like, what’s holding you back from taking action around your fundraising right now? It’s like just watching this, like, paralysis across the sector. And I went to bed and I woke up and 180 people had signed up.

00:11:45:11 – 00:11:46:16
Philippa White
No way.

00:11:47:05 – 00:12:07:05
Mallory Erickson
And I was I hadn’t even I hadn’t even made the the webinar. I thought I was going to do like a ten person group coaching, like very casual thing and then I was like, Whoa, okay. There’s clear already people are ready to talk about this. They are ready to change the way they feel as fundraisers. They are ready to fundraise differently.

00:12:07:15 – 00:12:16:22
Mallory Erickson
And so here we go. And of course, I posted this on like a Friday afternoon and like I offered it on Monday at noon or something absurd like that. So I spend like all.

00:12:16:22 – 00:12:18:02
Philippa White
Weekend like building.

00:12:18:02 – 00:12:47:16
Mallory Erickson
This webinar anyways. I did. I know it was I was a maniac, my poor husband and daughter, but I but then I ended up doing this webinar for over 1000 people throughout 2020 and oh, that’s amazing. Yeah, it was amazing and it was really fun and really awesome to watch the way they just start to shift and how they were showing up and and moving into action when they were feeling that paralysis and so then my business sort of exploded from there.

00:12:47:22 – 00:13:05:16
Mallory Erickson
My one on one sold up really quickly. And so I started to really, you know, see the need for this in a bigger way that then I could provide in sort of my one on one service. And so in October of 2020, I stopped my one on ones and I basically put my head down and I built a self-guided course.

00:13:05:16 – 00:13:28:19
Mallory Erickson
I have my master’s in education, my background is in education. And so I spent three months building the power partners formula, which is basically everything I’ve been doing with my one on one clients, but through a self-guided course with some group coaching and a private Facebook group and all that stuff, and it walks you through some of that framework of fundraising that I use really through an executive coaching lens.

00:13:28:19 – 00:13:51:07
Mallory Erickson
So we do something called asset mapping where they’re really looking at all the different things of value inside their organization, way beyond their programs. And then I help them see, I call them thunder lenses. Like how do different funders look at their organization? What are they thinking about? And you said the word win win before, and that’s really at the root of everything.

00:13:51:07 – 00:14:10:02
Mallory Erickson
You know, people here, power partners, formula, they think I’m talking about the funder is the power partner talking about both people, you, the nonprofit leader, you are a power partner to your funders need you. They want to work with you. And it’s a total limiting belief that the only thing of value at that table is the person with money.

00:14:10:07 – 00:14:32:01
Mallory Erickson
There’s a lot of value at that table and you have a ton of it. And it’s about figuring out how to talk about it, how to leverage it, how to find that win win so that you can have these sustainable, mutually beneficial partnerships that actually move the needle on solving these issues. So that’s a lot of where my focus says is inside power partners are almost 100 organizations.

00:14:32:01 – 00:14:55:23
Mallory Erickson
We did kind of a soft launch in January and folks can join at any time. And the other almost 100 organizations inside there and then some do some one on one work with me as well. But it’s been so fun. And just so I’m just so proud of the organizations inside and watching them shift the way they do things and feel, feel really differently as as fundraisers.

00:14:56:04 – 00:15:17:13
Philippa White
Yeah. I mean, that’s really exciting. And you should feel so proud because I hear obviously I hear a lot of these types of challenges that organizations obviously are facing all over the world. And like you say, the the need is there. We need so many of these organizations to be able to make the difference. And it’s just changing that.

00:15:17:24 – 00:15:42:18
Philippa White
It’s the way that they see themselves. And we as I mentioned when we spoke a little while ago, we we were working with Eric Camby in January, which is a rainforest organization, and we had a group of leaders come together to help them reposition how they position themselves to be able to get money from corporate donors. And that was a big part of the conversation actually.

00:15:42:18 – 00:16:02:20
Philippa White
It was, you know, your your presenting yourself is sort of like an apologetic ask of please, you know, we really need to be able to keep doing what we’re doing to save the planet, for everybody. That’s like, hold on a second. No, you know, corporations need you guys and you need to change that. And that’s just amazing that you’re able to do that on scale.

00:16:02:20 – 00:16:17:13
Philippa White
That’s absolutely fantastic and more people need to know about. So obviously we will be including the the link in the in the bio and of course at the end. Well, actually, why don’t you just even now what’s the what is your how can people find it just now.

00:16:17:14 – 00:16:31:24
Mallory Erickson
Even if they go to Mallory Erickson dot com and they can see, you’ll see under my services the power partners formula. You can read more about it there and watch the webinar or just go to Mallory Erickson dot com slash free and and then watch a webinar about it.

00:16:32:10 – 00:16:57:06
Philippa White
That’s great. So tell me, what would you say? I mean, as I say, as a as I said when we started, there’s just so many overlaps with what you’re doing, what we’re doing. What would you say some of the major challenges are facing NGOs when it comes to fundraising? We talked about the sort of the way that they position themselves, but the people who are listening just you obviously must hear some.

00:16:57:06 – 00:17:26:05
Philippa White
There must be trends. You must be hearing some of the same things if there’s a number of different levels of organizations. So big corporate NGOs and we have really, really, really grassroots organizations where there’s sort of a really stressed out, burnt out individual that is the only person who’s basically doing so much more than just fundraising. And the only way that they can keep the lights on is the organization is if this person manages to finally close this one thing and then having to rewrite things all the time.

00:17:26:05 – 00:17:31:08
Philippa White
And it’s exhausting and it’s. So what what can you tell what are some of the challenges that you see in.

00:17:32:10 – 00:17:59:09
Mallory Erickson
Oh, my gosh, so much of what you just said, I think is hitting on is hitting on them. You know, one of the ones I’ll just say quickly, because I don’t actually think enough attention is given to it, but you were just referencing it is this idea of context switching, which is that nonprofit leaders, particular really at grassroots nonprofits, they are trying to fundraise, doing way too many things at once and they are losing momentum on all of them and they’re not doing any of them well.

00:17:59:09 – 00:18:15:16
Mallory Erickson
So they’re trying to do this campaign over here and they’re trying to do this event over here, and they’re trying to raise this money for this thing from this person. Right. And then and they’re trying to build corporate sponsorship around this whole other thing. And I talk a lot about inside my program, the idea of building one bridge at a time, right.

00:18:15:16 – 00:18:44:22
Mallory Erickson
That you need to focus on. So make the number one question I get asked is what’s the lowest hanging fruit for our organization? What’s the lowest hanging fruit for our organization? And I always say to people, I’m like, I cannot tell you that in 2 seconds. It is different for every organization. And so what I’ve tried to do inside my course is help people go walk, step, walk them step by step to the process that my brain goes through when I’m analyzing their data, when I’m analyzing their assets, when I’m analyzing their prospect was to try to answer that question.

00:18:45:00 – 00:19:05:19
Mallory Erickson
And then I want them to focus on one thing at a time. I want you to build a corporate sponsorship program around one of your program areas at a time. I want you to spend 3 hours. You know, I have people come to me say, well, I did. I spent 3 hours fundraising doing fundraising stuff yesterday. I’m like, Yeah, you wrote an email to a major donor about your seventh grade math program.

00:19:05:22 – 00:19:34:13
Mallory Erickson
Then you create a sponsorship benefit for your sixth grade science fair. Then you did right. And every time we’re switching between those different things, we’re losing so much energy in the process and we’re feeling so scattered and we’re in that hustle hamster wheel. So big thing, I mean, and I just do not think this is talked about enough around the way the habits of fundraisers hold them back and and that just some of these things that have kind of been ingrained as in the sector as just the way we do.

00:19:34:13 – 00:19:35:00
Philippa White
Things.

00:19:35:06 – 00:20:01:03
Mallory Erickson
And the way that I’m suggesting people focus their time has nothing to do with diversified revenue. You know, people are always like, Oh, but we need diversified revenue. And I’m like, Totally. So how about on Tuesdays you just focus on one type of funder and one program area? Can you do that like just on Tuesdays, right? And then like Wednesdays, focus on a different type of funder and a different program area, but like don’t if you’re jumping so far back and forth constantly, it’s a huge waste.

00:20:01:03 – 00:20:22:13
Mallory Erickson
So okay, I’ll get off my soapbox about that one. But I think I think this I think this goes to like this underlying piece here, which is that a lot of the problems that people face in fundraising are things that have been embedded in this sector as the way things go. You know, I hear so much about restricted funding here is this big problem.

00:20:22:13 – 00:20:45:06
Mallory Erickson
Restricted funding, I will tell you, I watch when people come to me and are working with me one on one, I watch them dig their own hole around restricted funding. You know, I had someone come to me and say, well, this person really wanted to buy a van to distribute food. And so now we have two vans, but we didn’t really need two vans, but they just bought you a $10,000 van.

00:20:45:15 – 00:20:48:08
Mallory Erickson
And I’m like, they bought you a $10,000 van because.

00:20:48:08 – 00:20:48:18
Philippa White
They.

00:20:48:18 – 00:21:10:12
Mallory Erickson
Believe the van is what provides the food to the people in need. But you are in charge of telling them what it actually takes to provide the food to the people in need. And if it’s not the van, it’s your responsibility to explain that to them, to tell them that story, to show them that impact. And so I think there are just these.

00:21:10:12 – 00:21:14:10
Philippa White
At the meeting really fascinating. There are these limiting beliefs.

00:21:14:10 – 00:21:22:20
Mallory Erickson
Right, that are so deeply embedded in this sector. And I actually think if we can take a step back and look at those and examine those.

00:21:22:24 – 00:21:23:05
Philippa White
Then.

00:21:23:08 – 00:21:34:19
Mallory Erickson
Those are actually the truest that the some of the biggest problems that we’re facing. And the best news about it, though, is that the biggest problems we’re facing and the ones we can do the most about.

00:21:35:04 – 00:21:58:20
Philippa White
Yeah, God I just listening to you talk because oh we, we have so many similar you come at it in a very, very different from a different point of view. But it’s, it’s, it’s interesting how the conversations are not dissimilar, but just listening to you talking about case studies and bringing to life what it is that you do so people can understand.

00:21:59:02 – 00:22:18:18
Philippa White
And I just I just called so many years ago when we started doing what we did back in 2009, I think it was. And we were talking to a street kids organization here in Brazil. And there was this thing about that we were talking about what are you know, what are some of your biggest challenges? Funding, obviously every time.

00:22:19:09 – 00:22:36:12
Philippa White
And then it was actually this van that they have that keeps breaking down and they need they need money for the van. And so I was like, okay, let’s take a step back and then say, okay, but let’s look at some of the bigger, you know, the bigger picture. What are what is it that you’re working on? What what do you need?

00:22:36:12 – 00:23:00:12
Philippa White
And then it’s sort of through further questions and further understanding. It was, well, you know, our work is really important with these young people on the street. More people need to understand about it. You know, people don’t understand the the importance of having these workers that actually work with the street, remember what they call them, but that educators, educators on the street working with these young people, we said, okay, so you need a case studies.

00:23:00:18 – 00:23:16:14
Philippa White
You need beautiful stories of what it is that you’re doing to bring to life the work that you do so that people can actually understand the impact. It’s not about the van. It’s just really funny that you talk about the van because this guy kept breaking up and I said, okay, so us asking for money for a van I don’t think makes that much sense.

00:23:16:20 – 00:23:36:21
Philippa White
But we can help from a communications point of view to bring to life the incredible work that you’re doing and the impact on Tommi, who now is actually a dad and working at the gas station nearby. And it’s because of your educators that are working with that, worked with him and got him off the streets and off the drugs like he is a beautiful story you need to bring together, like bring to life it all.

00:23:36:21 – 00:23:58:08
Philippa White
Yeah, that’s a really good idea. So then we had somebody go bring these beautiful case studies to life, and then it just improves the chances of getting fundraising. So it’s just interesting because the, the, yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s helping, I guess. Yeah. People understand different ways anyway. Fascinating, fascinating. Talk to us about your thoughts on cross-sector partnerships.

00:23:59:19 – 00:24:32:07
Mallory Erickson
Yeah, well, I love cross-sector partnerships, which is why I love so much what you all do and why do you think there’s just so much alignment? And I’ll just say really quickly that I think I think that there’s so much and this actually relates to your question about cross-sector partnerships, but also you and I having conversations like this, which is that I think everything is better when we bring people together who have different lenses of a situation to talk through our perspectives and be open to hearing the other person’s perspectives.

00:24:32:07 – 00:24:56:04
Mallory Erickson
And that, you know, I talk a lot about lenses inside my program and in my work right around. What does it take for us to put on the lens of someone else’s experience or perceptions or beliefs? Because you and I could watch we could hear a nonprofit story. We’re going to take away totally different things, right? You and I are going to come up with totally different things about what they should do first or what they right.

00:24:56:04 – 00:25:22:24
Mallory Erickson
And those are wrong. It doesn’t mean that they’re wrong. It’s actually probably means that they’re both really important and that they’re both good, but that there’s it’s different perspectives. And I and so I just and so I just think that there’s so much richness there. And I think that really carries over to cross-sector partnerships. I will say, like as someone who I grew up inside the nonprofit sector, this is going to be like maybe a little controversial for me to say, but I’m going to say it anyway.

00:25:23:21 – 00:25:45:09
Mallory Erickson
I think we get taught a little bit this like self-righteousness inside the sector that like we’re world changers and there’s like a level of like, I think martyrdom that comes with it and a lot of other components that I think are really important for us to look at if we’re going to become the empowered leaders that we want to be.

00:25:45:24 – 00:26:05:04
Mallory Erickson
And I think part of what comes with that, too, is like, one, a level of skepticism around the for profit industry, the for profit sector. And I think it also comes with a level of I don’t even know how to describe this, but like you should just give us money because we’re a nonprofit, okay? You have lots of money.

00:26:05:04 – 00:26:33:21
Mallory Erickson
I don’t have lots of money. So you should just give me that money and and and it’s not that I don’t actually believe in the redistribution of wealth. I do. I think it’s really important. It’s a core value of mine as a person. But from a strategic standpoint, as a fundraiser, it’s not an effective strategy. Right. So like I constantly grapple with the desire to kind of like blow it all up, right?

00:26:33:21 – 00:26:58:16
Mallory Erickson
And like be upset about the district that, you know, the inequity in our world or to figure out strategic ways to move money to change the things that we want to see change. That is a constant daily battle a little bit that I deal with. But I have chosen to to try to help or to help organizations move more money by being strategic in the way that they support companies.

00:26:58:20 – 00:27:12:22
Mallory Erickson
And this doesn’t mean I think sometimes some people here are strategic. And I can even imagine some of the some of the beliefs that are coming up, like, you know, okay. Like how exactly to say the right thing to a company so that they want to partner with you. Actually, that’s not what I teach.

00:27:13:03 – 00:27:30:21
Philippa White
Oh, so. Exactly. I just had a conversation just three days ago and I hope actually I need to add it to my newsletter list so that she can get this podcast. I actually get a send of the focus because it was it was really interesting because one of the first questions was, I know that you work a lot with corporates.

00:27:30:21 – 00:27:50:24
Philippa White
You know, I just want 50. I just think, you know, to help me with my project, it would be like $50 a month. Like they’ve got so much money, it’s only $50. Like, it’s really simple. Like, what would you say that I need to say? And I mean, I’m not a fundraiser, so and I said, I’m not really a fundraiser, but I know that it’s not quite as simple as that because you could have the richest company in the entire world for them to take $50 out of that and give it to you.

00:27:50:24 – 00:28:01:00
Philippa White
Like there needs to be a there needs to be a A when it needs to be a strategic conversation like it has to be. So, I mean, honestly, I’m so excited for people to have this information. Yeah.

00:28:01:23 – 00:28:08:03
Mallory Erickson
Yeah. I mean, not only does it have to be a strategic conversation, but nonprofits need to understand that these companies are getting.

00:28:08:08 – 00:28:08:19
Philippa White
In, in.

00:28:08:20 – 00:28:10:24
Mallory Erickson
Dated with messages like that.

00:28:10:24 – 00:28:12:02
Philippa White
They’re getting inundated.

00:28:12:02 – 00:28:33:02
Mallory Erickson
With messages like only $50 a month. So let’s like pull out for a second. Right? Let’s think about how many things we get in the mail asking us for $0.25 or $1, right? Every time we check out at a pharmacy or a supermarket or. Right. And so what? That’s the same mentality, right? That you definitely have a dollar more.

00:28:33:02 – 00:28:49:01
Mallory Erickson
You definitely have $0.25 more. So why not just give it to us, right? Just give it to us. You definitely have a dollar to spend. Right? But we know as individuals, we don’t just do it. We don’t just do it right. If it’s not aligned with the change we want to see in the world that they haven’t captured our attention.

00:28:49:05 – 00:29:09:21
Mallory Erickson
If it isn’t, you know, related to what we have determined to be a top priority for us, then we don’t just give a dollar even though. Yeah, it would be pretty easy to just give a dollar, right? So that’s so, so nonprofit leaders need to like, remember that like that, that’s that they’re trying to apply that same thinking to these companies.

00:29:09:21 – 00:29:28:15
Mallory Erickson
And that, again, really only centers money as the thing of value. And the thing with power and the thing that matters. And I think that that’s actually a really big mistake that nonprofits Nick too. And so I think where where cross-sector partnerships are really important.

00:29:28:21 – 00:29:29:10
Philippa White
Both.

00:29:29:13 – 00:29:41:13
Mallory Erickson
For money and for solving the problems we want to see solved, is when partners can come together and start magically. Look at what’s keeping you up at night, what’s keeping you up at night?

00:29:41:13 – 00:29:42:04
Philippa White
What do you.

00:29:42:04 – 00:30:03:01
Mallory Erickson
Need? What’s hard over there? What’s the heart like? That’s that’s my favorite question to ask the company is when I’m in a conversation is, you know, what’s what’s been keeping you up at night recently. But I also have some things like what was the hardest lesson you guys learned last year or what some what something you thought you were going to be able to move the needle on last year that you put in and what did you learn from it?

00:30:03:16 – 00:30:40:24
Mallory Erickson
And then I asked them questions like, how can okay. So let me tell you a little bit about the nonprofit that I’m working with that I wrote about. You know, how can like is there a way that we could support our, you know, your goal around X, Y and Z through our blank, blank, blank. Right. And I will tell you that one, the power of what comes up in conversations like that, of what’s possible when people are really coming to a conversation from the perspective of strategic partnership as opposed to like some event sponsor is wild.

00:30:41:09 – 00:31:08:04
Mallory Erickson
I mean, it changes everything. And then the other thing that’s really powerful to watch is the way it changes the partner, the corporate partner. I mean, the amount of times I’ve heard from clients or people on my program, oh my gosh. Mallory I did what you said, and I just watched their shoulders relax and I just watched them lean in and I just watched them connect and I heard them say, Wow, I’ve never been asked that question before.

00:31:08:19 – 00:31:34:11
Mallory Erickson
And I even had on a I did a session around corporate sponsorship for a nonprofit, a group of nonprofit leaders once through like a center support for nonprofit leadership. And I didn’t know this, but the sponsor of the training was there for the whole training. I did not know this, but he came on at the end of the training and he said, Thank you so much for training.

00:31:34:11 – 00:32:08:16
Mallory Erickson
Fundraisers like this. He was like, Because people come to me constantly with requests and even if I deeply believe in what they’re asking for, I need to justify that marketing spend to 47 other people. And so if you come to me just with that, you should sponsor my gala because I’ve got nothing to work with. But if people came talking like this to me, it would give me exactly what I need to justify the partnership, to justify the engagement, to justify the investment.

00:32:08:20 – 00:32:27:10
Mallory Erickson
And there probably are people hearing this be like, Well, why would you have to justify it? It’s a good cause. But there are, you know, just in the U.S. alone, 1.5 million nonprofits. So just imagine how many good causes companies are getting approached with. And that is really around like that’s where my term like power partner comes from.

00:32:27:10 – 00:32:36:10
Mallory Erickson
It’s like, got to find the right fit. And when you do that sustainable, reliable revenue, that’s a partnership that feels good, is authentic.

00:32:36:18 – 00:32:38:04
Philippa White
For both sides.

00:32:38:08 – 00:33:04:08
Mallory Erickson
Yes. Yeah. And I and I think companies are evolving and business is evolving in ways that are really important. And and I think business is also in a different place than I think it was when I was graduating college. You know, I thought if I really wanted to make it and I know you and I talked about this before, like if I want to make a big impact in the world, I was either going to go into the public sector or, you know, the nonprofit sector.

00:33:04:08 – 00:33:22:04
Mallory Erickson
And I don’t think that’s true anymore. I think there’s so many businesses out there actually really doing good and or or at the very least, trying to figure out how to do good or to do better. And I think they would. And they’re looking for the nonprofits who are willing to see them and hear them.

00:33:22:04 – 00:33:23:02
Philippa White
So, yeah.

00:33:23:03 – 00:33:23:10
Mallory Erickson
Them.

00:33:23:19 – 00:33:51:06
Philippa White
And it’s so interesting because this just listening to you talk, this is actually where our worlds come together because what. Yes, everything that you’ve said, the private sector has evolved. It has to evolve because of the individuals that are in it, are we’re not thinking of, oh, my God, is it an either or or? No, I truly believe it’s an end and I truly believe it’s an end.

00:33:51:06 – 00:34:13:16
Philippa White
And I can work here in finance or communications or whatever. And I know that I can make this company stand for more. So there’s the need from the individuals and also the need from the the just customers buying stuff from companies that have to stand for more. And then there’s just simply where the world is going with a lot of about ESG.

00:34:13:16 – 00:34:30:20
Philippa White
So environmental, social and governance goals that all these companies are needing to really, truly understand. And where do they what does that mean? Where do we take our companies? So you’ve got the leaders within these companies that need to sort of understand, okay, so we now understand what the strategy of our company is. We know what we stand for.

00:34:31:01 – 00:34:55:03
Philippa White
I know that everyone who works here needs to feel purpose and needs to feel that they’re working. So your world is that that’s it’s like the soul and it’s the purpose. It’s the humanity that was kind of lacking in this world. And this is where the strategic found, that’s where this needs to come together. So I’m developing leaders and that’s what we do with TIE and we’re coming together with the NGO world.

00:34:55:03 – 00:35:05:17
Philippa White
But the NGO world needs to understand more about this world, to be able to say, Oh my gosh, so this is the puzzle piece. This is how we fit together, and that’s what you’re doing and that’s what’s so exciting.

00:35:06:12 – 00:35:31:11
Mallory Erickson
And yeah, I’m so glad you said that because I think that is a piece that I didn’t really hit on, which is that company is and, you know, great thankful to people like you. I think more of them are waking up to opportunities like this. And you’re right, they are starting to ask these questions. But I still think they are actually under valuing or under appreciating the way that nonprofits can be partnered with.

00:35:31:11 – 00:36:01:06
Mallory Erickson
And I think there’s a level of fear that they have around. If they engage with a nonprofit, it’s going to become this uncomfortable dynamic of the nonprofit, just asking and asking and asking and not seeing them. And so it does need to change on both sides. But I actually just found this out like a few minutes before jumping on this, that I wrote this article last week about how businesses really need to be thinking about building partnerships with nonprofits in a new way and all the ways that their business can be strengthened as a result.

00:36:01:10 – 00:36:19:08
Mallory Erickson
And I just found out that it actually picked it up and quoted it in an article that they just came out with around marketing trends for, for companies. And so I really hope this catches on too, cause I watch these companies putting all this money behind these like Instagram influencers, and I’m like.

00:36:19:08 – 00:36:20:10
Philippa White
You know, who.

00:36:20:14 – 00:36:46:20
Mallory Erickson
Has the closest relationship to their audience? Nonprofits. Nonprofits, they have such close to their audiences. And so if you can find your power partner from the company perspective, you’re going to be you’re going to be able to invest in something that really matters, that is so good. And and you’re going to be able to achieve your business goals as a result as well.

00:36:47:00 – 00:36:52:08
Philippa White
Yeah, beautiful. Tell me, what gets you excited every day? Oh.

00:36:52:20 – 00:37:31:11
Mallory Erickson
This. I mean, I, I God, I just, you know, it is this. I mean, I am excited by the potential for a new way and a new path. And I’m excited watching my clients and the people inside power partners watch it, work for them and celebrate their success. And I kind of live every day to open that Facebook group and see someone’s post about something.

00:37:31:11 – 00:38:03:07
Mallory Erickson
And and and, you know, that that really excites me. And I just feel like we are in this moment in time where we are starting to question things that we haven’t questioned enough for a long time, if ever. And so I really feel like the time is now to rewrite the rules in different ways. And I feel the momentum and and I’m just I am excited by it.

00:38:03:18 – 00:38:20:16
Philippa White
That’s so exciting. I relate a lot. What could you just a take away for an NGO that’s listening? I mean, just one take away.

00:38:20:16 – 00:38:59:16
Mallory Erickson
You have so much to offer in partnership that goes beyond the the services is that your organization provides. But until you value that your people, your assets, your board, if you don’t see the value there, no partner will either. So it really starts with you looking inside and recognize by saying all you have to offer, valuing it as much as you value money is not way more, including your time, by the way, which is the number one asset.

00:38:59:16 – 00:39:09:09
Mallory Erickson
And until you do, it’s going to be really hard to build strategic partnerships that feel more sustainable.

00:39:09:09 – 00:39:20:13
Philippa White
That’s great. And actually that I it reminds me when I watched your webinar, I think the main thing that I got out of that is great fundraising is not an ask, it’s an offer.

00:39:21:18 – 00:39:54:11
Mallory Erickson
Yeah, that is my underlying mantra and, and really like the base of power partners, which is that why do we have this belief that it is an ask instead of giving people the opportunity to, to build partnership, to do something meaningful, to connect ten, to make a change in the world that they want to think we take for granted inside the nonprofit sector that we live these impactful, meaningful, heart centered lives.

00:39:54:11 – 00:40:00:04
Mallory Erickson
And we owe it to the people around us to give them the opportunity to as well.

00:40:00:11 – 00:40:08:14
Philippa White
Yeah. Oh, good. Well, as we wrap up, is there anything that I haven’t asked you that you’d like to tell our listeners?

00:40:08:14 – 00:40:29:24
Mallory Erickson
Oh, my gosh, I don’t know. But I but I’m just I’m so grateful for this conversation. And really, you know, I’m so inspired by the work that you all do and really inspired by the mixed audience here on this podcast. I think it’s just one other example of the richness of learning that’s important for people to come together around.

00:40:29:24 – 00:40:53:18
Mallory Erickson
And I think even hearing for the companies who are still listening like I hope this opened up your eyes a little bit to some of what the nonprofits might be going through that you’re partnering with. And for the nonprofits who are listening, I hope it open your eyes to what the companies might be going through that you’re partnering with, and that we all just put on each other’s lenses once in a while to to be able to, to to do this thing.

00:40:54:06 – 00:41:16:01
Philippa White
Yeah. Amazing. Thank you so much for your time for those listening just Mallory Ericson dot com forward slash free or just dot com and you can check out more of what she’s up to thank you for your time it’s a huge pleasure super inspiring and a massive congratulations for what you’ve done because it’s needed and it’s world changing.

00:41:16:01 – 00:41:21:21
Mallory Erickson
Thank you. Thank you for having me and I’m so excited to have you on my podcast soon as well.

00:41:22:05 – 00:41:24:03
Philippa White
Yeah, watch out for guys when it happens.

00:41:24:12 – 00:41:32:15
Mallory Erickson
Yeah, yeah. Launching next week and what the fun fundraising and we will yes. I’m so excited for that conversation to thank you.

00:41:32:16 – 00:41:54:08
Philippa White
Amazing. Thank you so much. Take care.

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