How To Ask For That Next Level Gift & Find Your Power Partners with Mallory Erickson

Reading Time: 3 minutes


Have you ever found yourself nervous or vulnerable around making an ask to a major donor?

Today’s topic is all about fundraising – from creating high-converting email asks, to leveraging marketing in your post-gift strategy, and how to use “funder mapping” and “asset mapping” techniques. We also dig into activating empathy, connection, belonging and identity in relationship to our donors.

Mallory Erickson is a business bestie of mine and an incredible fundraising consultant who helps nonprofits raise more from the right funders. As Mallory says, “Great fundraising is not an ask – it’s an offer!” 

Sneak Peek:

In This Episode:

  • How to navigate awkward and sometimes anxiety-inducing fundraising conversations, and making it more about what you and this person can build together
  • Why talking about fundraising doesn’t need to feel “transactional” – it’s important to reframe that you’re asking for more money so you can create a bigger impact 
  • Building trust with your donors by being open and honest about the numbers – all too often, organizations are downgrading their donors
  • Putting a Donate button at the bottom of your email is not making an ask – use storytelling and segment your messaging to specific donor personalities and identities
  • Marketing and fundraising need to work together cohesively, especially after a donor’s first gift
  • Why we need to take care of our nervous system and fundraiser wellness while fundraising. We can’t raise money from an activated, stressed out, and overwhelmed state and actually see the results we want

Mallory’s Ask

Mallory wants us to pay attention to how we talk to the fundraisers in our lives:

“Pay attention to how you talk about money. Pay attention to how you respond to a nonprofit that you feel like has emailed you too many times. Be careful about how you respond to that canvasser who’s on the street just trying to get signaturesThis is what keeps me up at night – is how do we support fundraisers to be able to keep doing their important work? And I can’t do that alone. And we can’t do that alone. 

For everyone to have a deeper awareness around the stigma that fundraisers face and to take some ownership and support the sector by looking at some of your own money, beliefs, some of your own relationships with nonprofits, and showing up for the fundraisers in your life. that’s how you can help me.”

Notable Quotes from Mallory

“When we are too laser focused on the amount of money we can get from a specific person, we downgrade our donors all the time, because we are trying to be conservative – we want to make sure it’s in their ability level. And all those things are important. But when you’re talking about your programs, you want to be talking about what it’s going to actually take to do those things. Because also, if you’re solving big problems in this world, that’s not a $10,000 job, and your donor knows it.”

“Perfectionism is the #1 killer of conversion. When we’re in perfectionism, we’re not having open and honest communication. We’re not being transparent. We’re not sharing our journey with people. And it feels performative to everyone. And that doesn’t create connection, that doesn’t move money, that doesn’t give donors the opportunity to see themselves inside the organization or as a part of the organization. Check those perfectionist tendencies. Don’t bury the lead, and really make sure that you’re speaking directly and specifically to the audience that you are trying to speak to, and then make a specific, direct invitation to make a certain impact.”

Resources & Links

Connect with Mallory on her website, watch her free webinar, and learn more about her Power Partners Formula. Follow her on LinkedIn or on Instagram at _malloryerickson. Mallory also hosts a podcast, What the Fundraising.

Mallory recommends the book Purple Cow by Seth Godin, and is currently reading Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss and How We Heal by Alexandra Elle.

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Want to make Missions to Movements even better? Take a screenshot of this episode and share it on Instagram. Be sure to tag @positivequation so I can connect with you. 

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