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Mallory Erickson thinks about Fundraising.AI and the future of fundraising


In this series of Group Thinkers podcast episodes, our focus is on leadership. Throughout each episode, we’ll chat with leaders in the nonprofit and commercial space to learn more about their careers and the unique journeys that led them to where they are today.   

On this episode, we sit down with Mallory Erickson, founder of Mallory Erickson Coaching and host of the Fundraising.AI Virtual Global Summit, to discuss:   

  • Her career path and journey before Fundraising.AI
  • The coloring book for fundraisers (11:30) 
  • Getting involved with Fundraising.AI while pregnant (14:38) 
  • Her anticipation for the FAI Summit (26:03) 
  • A few of the speakers you should expect (29:29) 

Meet our guest  

Headshot 2021Mallory Erickson 

Founder of Mallory Erickson Coaching and host of the Fundraising.AI Virtual Global Summit 

“I'm so excited to get feedback from everybody after the conference . . . like, this is gonna be a big peak moment, obviously, for Fundraising.AI, but it's not an end point, it's the beginning. And so, I think I'm really walking into the summit with that feeling of, like, how much we're going to learn, not just in the summit itself, but from how people feel about the summit, the questions that they still have, what they need after, what their next steps are.” 

Podcast Transcript: 

Justin: Hey y'all, welcome to Group Thinkers. I'm your host, Justin McCord, and Ronnie is not with me. And it's okay, it's okay that Ronnie's not with me. I'm just so used to saying, “And I'm here with Ronnie.” But Ronnie's not here today. And that's because this is a very special episode, and Ronnie's actually on the road right now. But this is a super special episode because this episode is dedicated entirely to the Fundraising.AI Virtual Global Summit. So here, in just a moment, you're gonna hear me get into a conversation that I had with Mallory Erickson.

Now, Mallory has exploded onto the nonprofit marketing and fundraising scene in a big way over the last 3 years since she launched Mallory Erickson coaching. And I say this in my conversation with her, but if you're not familiar with Mallory, you do a quick Google search, you find her on LinkedIn, you start to listen to her interviews and her appearances―she really is like the Brene Brown of our space. So thoughtful around our habits and our behaviors alongside our strategy. And so, a breath of fresh air in so many ways. Mallory is also one of the steering committee members behind the Fundraising.AI Virtual Global Summit, which is coming up October 23 and 24. It's free, it's online, and it is everything that you need to know as a practitioner or as a platform around the intersection of fundraising and AI.

AI has made its name known in a super big way, especially over the last year. And so, it's created a lot of uncertainty; there's this adoption curve, and then there's this reality of how much we're adopting, and we're all at kind of a different place on our journey with AI. And so, Mallory has stepped up to help organize and be a part of the leadership team for the Virtual Global Summit. And so, on this episode, we're gonna talk about the summit. We're gonna talk about her path and the moment in which she decided she wanted to step up, lean in and help take the summit to a new height. And that's what's happening.

So here, without any further delay, is my conversation with Mallory Erickson from Mallory Erickson Coaching and Fundraising.AI on Group Thinkers. 

Justin: Okay, so Mallory, I told you we're just gonna get right into it.  

Mallory: Let’s do it. 

Justin: Is this what you thought this was gonna be when you signed up to do this thing?  

Mallory: Ha ha ha. The summit? Or everything?  

Justin: Yeah, yeah. Well, partially everything, but more specifically the Fundraising.AI Virtual Global Summit happening October 23 and 24. Is this what you thought it was going to be when you, when you got roped in? 

Mallory: You know, the answer is definitely no, but it's not, it's not in conflict, necessarily, with anything I thought it would be. Like, I think I just didn't really know. And I, I've said this a few times lately where, like, you know that saying, ‘My eyes were bigger than my stomach’? I think, like, my desire for things is often, or my motivation around things can be, bigger than my, like, human capacity. And so I think I wanted to help, and I didn't know how much help might be needed, or what it could possibly look like to help, or what it meant to, like, kind of, bring something like this to existence. So it's definitely a lot more complicated and interesting and exciting and scary and like all the things, it's like more of all the things. But I don't think there was anything that could have prepared me for this when I was just starting to be, like, hey, how can I help? Ha ha ha. 

Justin: Yeah, that's amazing. That's so cool. And I think that, like, honestly, some of your careers, anyone's careers, most rich blessings start out that way, that you don't know what you're getting into. 

Mallory: Yeah, yeah, I mean, I think, you know, people, some people have asked me, like, if you knew what you were getting into, would you have still, like, offered? And I actually think, like, the answer is ‘yes.’ Like, even though it has totally taken over my life and it's a wild thing to be doing, you know, 36, 37 weeks pregnant and all these things, but the reality is, I would have gone in with . . . maybe I would have done some things differently or my eyes would have been more open to things in advance. Like, there's certainly, I'm learning a tremendous amount, but I do think this is what got me to do this in the first place and what continues to get me to do it is how critically important it feels for our sector. And that has not changed. And if anything, it's been reinforced. 

 Justin: Yeah. So, you and I have gotten to know each other well through this process. And Mallory, I think that you're someone that tends to act off of belief in critical importance. Like, that's my very succinct way of summarizing you, that there is a big belief factor that drives so much of what you do. But for our listening and viewing audience, I would love for you to back up and give a little bit of your journey to get to this place, and then we'll talk more about the summit. But just your path and career to getting to this point, tell us a little bit about that. 

Mallory: Yeah, and you're totally right. People always ask me what my business plan is, and I'm always, like, I don’t know, like, how am I going to know what’s important in two years, you know? Like, I let the sector tell me. So, that definitely is . . . I've never been fully called out for it before, but you're spot on there. Yeah.  

Justin: Here to help; you hear me say that, I'm here to help, even in that. 

Mallory: And you know what, that is actually what people will hear in the story to this moment too, which is, like, I, you know, I started in the nonprofit sector. Like, out of undergrad, I did a teaching fellowship program where I was in schools teaching, working for nonprofits. I didn't think I would stay in the nonprofit sector. My intention had been to go to Washington, work in the department of Ed, maybe become a lawyer. I was really interested in education policy and reform. I ended up falling in love with the sector, staying here. Like so many people, once you start to get promoted up through nonprofits, you find yourself as an accidental fundraiser. And I, like, I'm not even gonna mince words, like, I hated the fundraising part of my job. I felt wildly uncomfortable. I felt like everybody understood something about fundraising that I didn't, and I must be doing it wrong and just all the things. I felt so uncomfortable. I got to a moment in my career where I was totally burnt out, had developed chronic pain. I was like, I cannot do this anymore. I either need to figure out a different way of fundraising and showing up as a non-profit leader, or I think I need to leave the sector. And I had this really amazing combination of life experiences. I became certified as an executive coach. I got trained with Dr. BJ Fogg in habit and behavior design, and I got trained with IDEO in design thinking. And those frameworks, I happened to be frontline fundraising while I was learning those frameworks. They weren't initially connected to my fundraising, but they radically changed the way that I fundraised. And then after I had that experience, I sort of wanted to tell every fundraiser I knew, like, “Hey, have you ever thought about using tools?” because they actually really change. Not only did they change how much I was raising―like, I moved an organization from a million to 3.8 pretty quickly―but more importantly, I started to love fundraising, which for me was like, that felt impossible before. And so, then I had no desire to leave frontline fundraising. I was having a ball. I was raising as much as used to take me 40 hours a week in 25 hours a week. So, I went down to 25 hours a week at my job. I was like, this is sweet. Like, I've got this. And then COVID hit. And I watched this mass paralysis happening in our sector and this narrative of, like, it's inappropriate to fundraise right now. And I could just feel the discomfort that organizations were experiencing. And I was like, I wanna help, you know? And at the beginning, so very similar, how can I help? And at the beginning of COVID, you know, there were so many people offering free concerts, free trainings, free . . . they were just sort of giving their skills away. And I was like, oh, I could offer to group coach people who are dealing with fundraising resistance and fear. And so, I posted something with a Google form on a free Facebook fundraising group. Like, I was just like, Monday at noon, like, whoever wants to come, I'll group coach you around these things. I went to bed, and I woke up, and 180 people had signed up. And I was at home with still having my job, 10-month-old and no childcare. And I remember walking out of my room to my husband and saying, I think I need to get a Zoom account or something. Ha ha ha. And I was like, and I think I might also have to figure out how to do one of these, like, webinar things because I can't group coach 180 people. So, I think I have to make a webinar. And like . . .  

Justin: Again, like, this thread, this is seriously, this is, there's a motif here that's beautiful, by the way. It is, but it's the, how did I get myself into this motif?  

Mallory: Yeah, I was just like, oh. 

Justin: In all the right ways. 

Mallory: I was like, okay, like, wow, people are ready to talk about this. And I'll be honest, like, a few years ago, like a year before when I was just trying to tell all my fundraising friends, people were a lot more dismissive of these things. They were like, oh no, I'm fine. I'm a confident fundraiser. Everything's fine. You know? And so, really from that webinar, I ended up doing it a few times in 2020, maybe for, like, a thousand people at the end of the year. And then requests started to just come in to work with me one on one. I tried to balance it with my frontline fundraiser. I couldn't do it. Finally, I got them all set up with a new development person, gave them 18 months run, like, fundraised 18 months of runway for them, and then started doing this work full-time in February of 2021. And that's when I launched my signature program, the Power Partners Formula. And so, everything I do is really about the intersection of increasing fundraiser enablement and decreasing fundraiser overwhelm. And there are a lot of different components to that, but that's also kind of the link back to this AI piece is, like, when I saw the rise of this conversation around AI, not only did I see the opportunity potential in how the technology could support fundraisers, but I saw the overwhelm on their faces, in their bodies, in the conversation. And I was just, like, we've got to, we have to help them through this.  

Justin: So where did this thing then come from? I stole it back. I pried it away. Just quick backstory: Mallory gifted me with this amazing piece of therapy and space for fundraisers. This is a coloring book for fundraisers from Mallory. Gifted it to me recently, and then I brought it home. And as . . . what normally happens when I get home from any conference or any event? My daughter, Ziggy, goes through stuff and just, like, finds what she wants, and so she stole it. I took it from her room. So, where did this thing come from? How did this come into the picture? 


Mallory: Yeah, so this was a totally random thing. So, as I've gone deeper and deeper into, like, what happens to fundraisers when they're fundraising, like, what's happening in their brains and their bodies, what's holding them back from taking action, how do we remove resistance, right? And now I've spent, like, the last few years, like, really, really focused on that, which has sent me down a lot of research and inquiry around our nervous system, and what happens when our nervous system is activated, and how that actually holds us back from being able to then do the number one thing that fundraisers are supposed to do, just connect, right, and build relationships and all these things that, when we're in a chronic stress state, we cannot physically do. So, I've started to think a lot over the years about different strategies and design different strategies and habits for fundraisers that downregulate their nervous system, that help them get over the action line. And so, I was literally sitting there designing habits, and I was coloring in my own adult coloring book, gifted to me by Kashana Palmer, which had nothing to do with fundraising, but I was, like, coloring. I was, like, that is, like, there has been a lot of science and research around the role that coloring plays in reducing stress and anxiety, giving our brain clarity, rest, right? All these things. And I was like, I wanna make a coloring book for fundraisers. And I, like, went on Fiverr and hired a designer and, like, did it in Canva and self-published it. It was like, I think my assistant wanted to kill me. Definitely. It was like, I was like, we're gonna make a coloring book, and we're gonna figure out how to, like, sell it and ship it in 10 days. And she was like, what?! But it was fun. 

Justin: It's amazing. God, it's amazing. I mean, I don't use these words lightly, but for our listening audience, y'all need to understand that Mallory is, for all intents and purposes, the Brene Brown of the nonprofit space. Like, just the thoughtfulness and the way that you tend to fall into these happy accidents at the same time. You're an absolute delight. You really are. So then, back to Fundraising.AI. So, walk me through: You've got this growing practice, the Power Partners formula is taking off and then you decide to get involved with something else. 

Mallory: Yeah, so it's actually, like, a fun, very funny and sort of lucky combination of things because, well, unlucky and lucky in all the ways. So, during the beginning part of the year, I found out I was pregnant, and I got extremely sick. So for, like, 24 weeks, I was, like, throwing up six times a day, like, very, very sick. So I was barely, barely keeping my business afloat. Like, I was keeping all my current contracts, but I was truly making no commitments for the second half of the year because I couldn't even have meetings with anyone to talk about the next half of the year, I was so sick. So, I finally am starting to come out of this. I go to AFP icon. It's the first time I'm traveling, and I go to this fundraising AI meeting put on by Nathan Chappell and Tim Sarrantonio. And I certainly, you know, out of that meeting, there were these, kind of, two priorities identified: This focus on creating a responsible framework for AI when it came to fundraising, and then this idea of gathering people for some type of virtual global summit. And, you know, in the room were primarily, like, technologists, but also thought leaders, you know, a lot of different folks in the sector. But I did feel like there was a little bit of a disconnect between the way AI was being talked about in that room and what I knew was happening in small-to-mid-size nonprofits, in particular. And I have . . . 

Justin: How so? 

Mallory:  Well, like, for example, there was this, I think, belief that AI was all of a sudden being rapidly adopted because ChatGPT had just exploded. And so, it was like, the conversation felt like it was meeting fundraisers and nonprofit leaders at a point where they were already in, like, the adoption cycle or like, kind of, like the readiness cycle. And, and . . . not necessarily, but there was like, but, you know, like, I was hearing some people say, like, everybody's using, you know, ChatGPT now for all these things. And I had recently sent out a survey to my list because I was just sort of curious. And I was like, where do you go for answers to fundraising? I gave them five options. It was like, you know, ask somebody at my organization/Google it/ask in, like, an association or a group I’m a part of/spiral in my head alone about it. And then, you know, ChatGPT. And truly, ChatGPT came in fifth, like, after spiral in my head alone about it. Okay, and this is like, after I felt like there was this conversation about, like, AI has exploded, now we're all using it. And I was kind of like, y'all, like, I don't think they're opening it yet. Like, and I think they're scared of it. A lot of them, not all of them, definitely. But also, I think they are using AI in ways they don't even realize, like with Canva and Grammarly. And so, I feel so fiercely protective of the small-to-mid-size nonprofits. And I think I also started to worry, even though I work with all these technology companies, I love these companies, but I do worry that a lot of times nonprofit professionals are playing tech defense. They're buying tech and adopting tech because they've been told so many times they should be doing something or they should have something. And the marketing of the tech becomes the reason they buy the tech instead of being, like, on tech offense. And it really felt like, with AI, like I was like, I want nonprofits to be on tech offense. Like, I want them to be going into decisions and inquiry and all those things from a place of, like, having problem awareness around the challenges they're actually facing and then finding the tools that are gonna address those challenges, not just being like, oh, we should have AI. You know, it's like . . . so I think because of that; that's what sort of inspired me to say, like, hey, I wanna make sure that this voice is really included. I also think because I'm particularly sensitive to fundraiser overwhelm and I, like, see the way that technology in particular, like, threads this really difficult line between being a tool that can enable so much and a tool that can overwhelm so much. It really, like, it's this very sensitive place for nonprofits, and I was 100% the executive director who was terrified of my CRM system. So, I also like empathize and understand, like, where they're at because that was me. 

Justin: That's, it's the, it's helping keep, especially amongst the leadership team that's helping plan the summit, it's, there's an anchor to feet on the ground, right? So, to your point, there are so many times that―I'll say from the agency side or maybe from the technology side―like, you are moving at such a rapid pace and using so many words that you use whether or not you know them, you're using them, right? And sometimes there are those who can get easily left behind, or they're just trying to keep up with, you know, the words that are being used and not necessarily the implementation, adoption or effective use of them. So from AFP Icon and this breakfast, things started to move rapidly, right? 

Mallory: Yeah, yeah, so then I guess, to wrap that piece up, it’s just like, I also had availability in my calendar at the time, which . . . so because of how sick I had been at the beginning of the year and because I hadn't really planned my Q3, Q4, other than having a baby at the end of Q4, I was like, I have space, like, I have time, you know, and I just didn't really realize the scope necessarily. But that, like, paired with this, you know, normally I don't think I would have had the opportunity to say, like, hey, I can step into a leadership role here. I have this space in my schedule. But it was sort of this interesting moment where I was like, I actually do right now, and I can do this. So yeah, I offered to, you know, support with the summit. And then I think I didn't necessarily realize that, like, oh, before the summit, like, we have to stand up a brand, and a website, and get the framework finished and have this, like, really, like, you know, more instant―Nathan has been doing so much behind the scenes for so long, but helping him, sort of, create more of, like, a concrete entity that he felt supported by and the community felt supported by. So, that was like, sort of, what we started doing right away. I was like, before we even get to the summit, like, we need a logo. 

Justin: Yeah, right? Yeah. And to your point, logo, a website, a LinkedIn presence, you know, I mean . . . 

Mallory: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, exactly. So yeah, it's been, you know . . . and there have been a lot of different people, like Tim Sarrantonio, really helpful with brand; Barlele, like, Taylor Shanklin and her team, like, helped stand up the website, and the brand and the logo. Like, we've had . . . Mina Doss has been instrumental in helping me think about and ensure that, like, equity and inclusion is at the center of a lot of the different pieces we're looking at. I mean, Nathan has, obviously, you know, worked with 93-plus people to bring that framework to a place that it could get published on the website. I mean, there's been, you guys have been, you know, RKD, led by you, has done so much around, like, the marketing and messaging of the summit, like, this has been a massive ecosystem of support, let alone the fact that we've had 32 sponsors step up for the summit in just, like, incredible quick waves. And you know, I think, like, every fundraiser's dream, having people come to you and saying, like, hey, how do we sponsor this? And I think the testament to that is not about the money, it's about the value. Like, to me, that is, like, so many people coming to us and saying, how do we sponsor this? How do we get involved? It’s like, we're creating so much value that, like, sponsors are coming to us, and that feels really good.  

Justin: Having been a part of many events over the years, I can honestly say I've never seen something that has been―even a first-year thing―that has been so bootstrapped. And I don't mean that to sound like it's a lesser than thing, but it is the ultimate coming together of a community to put on something for the community that is so needed by the community. And it's a thrill. I mean, it's a lot. Don't get me wrong, it's a lot, but it's also a thrill to just see that, like, to see Salesforce coming in, and to see GivingTuesday coming in, and to see so many different organizations step up and individuals step up and want to be involved and help make October 23 and 24 a moment. 

Mallory: Yeah, I have to say that I'm glad that you mentioned GivingTuesday, like, Woodrow Rosenbaum, and GivingTuesday and the data commons, the work they're doing over there. You know, I don't think he takes enough credit for, like, what they have, like, allowed us to be able to do―being the fiscal sponsor, jumping in, trusting me to just, like, do this thing, you know, and pull in the right people and it has just been such a tremendous gift of giving us essentially an entity to help stand this up. I've had to hire an entire back-end team. There's a lot behind this, you know? And it's funny, people are like, why is it so expensive to put this on? And I'm like, y'all, normally these events are happening under a company, like, under, like, you know, where there are all these staff people and all these people who tap in for 10 or 20 hours a week, or it's someone's full-time job, or I was like, we've created a whole new entity to do all of this.  

Justin: Just to put on this one virtual thing, right? Yeah, yeah. 

Mallory: Right, right. And to help shepherd the framework forward and, you know, really, like continue that work. But yes, I mean, it has been . . . so I think that was the piece I didn't necessarily, like, anticipate was like, oh, like, I have a second business that I'm running now. 

Justin: Yeah, yeah, it is, it is. But it's brought all the right blessings, like we said, as a part of it. And now we're within days of it coming to life. And so, what are your thoughts? Like, when you . . . now I know right now there's a lot of scramble mode, and there's a lot of boxes, so I don't want to worry about those things, but like, honestly, is this what you thought it was going to be? Is it more; is it less? Not from the work side, but from the filling-your-cup side. 

Mallory: Yeah, I mean, I think I'm, you know, I call myself a recovering perfectionist. And I think one of the things that I'm walking into this with is just, like, how much we're all gonna learn. Not just from the speakers, like, there's definitely that. I think today we might cross the 4,000 registrant mark, which for a brand new event feels, like, pretty unbelievable. I had very high stretch goals because this is why I teach fundraisers. I tell them to set a, like, hairy, scary reach for the star goal, that it doesn't matter if you hit it or not, but it helps you think creatively about everything you could possibly do. And I, jokingly, I sent Nathan a screenshot yesterday. I saw someone post another consultant promoted the summit, and I saw someone comment under there, like, okay, I can't ignore this any longer. I'm signing up. And I was like, Nathan . . . 

Justin: Submission! 

Mallory: . . . my marketing strategy is apparently wearing them down. 

Justin: Yes, yes, yes. 

Mallory: But I mean, you know, I think, like―look, it's end of year, it's Q4, there's so much going on. Like, the fact that 4,000 people have signed, almost 4,000 people have signed up for this, is incredible. I think the sharing of the event by consultants, and sponsors, and partners and just, like, the momentum and the interest around it, I think, like, means the world to me. I'm so excited to get feedback from everybody after the conference, you know? This, yes, like, this is gonna be a big peak moment, obviously, for Fundraising.AI, but it's not an end point, it's the beginning. And so, I think I'm really walking into the summit with that feeling of, like, how much we're going to learn, not just in the summit itself, but from how people feel about the summit, the questions that they still have, what they need after, what their next steps are. So, I'm feeling really excited. I mean, sure, like, the end, you know, event planning and all the things, a million little details, but I actually feel like we're in really good shape. I am like, you know, I don't like last minute things. So everyone keeps being like, Mallory, this is why we have wiggle room. And I'm like, but I want the loop closed. So it's like . . . but you know, I think we're in great shape. And I think everybody who's a part of it feels really proud to be a part of it. And is proud of the agenda, and proud of the diversity of speakers and the tremendous expertise of the speakers. And I think hearing that from the community, I’m like, okay, like, we . . . we've done something right here. 

Justin: Yeah, yeah, I, well, I, I am proud to help offset your recovering perfectionist and, and actually thrive up against the deadline and be like, yeah, let's go. We’ve got a lot to do. Let's do it. Like, this is the fun part is, you know, that, that last quarter mile. So, so outside of the things that we're gonna learn, just, can you tell us a little bit about some of the speakers? You mentioned the diverse speakers who are some of the, you know, from the 30, you know, and all the different room hosts and everyone else. I know you don't wanna single anyone out, but just some of the names that pop for you as you talk to folks about this event. 


Mallory: Yeah, I mean, I, you know, I'm really excited that we have as one of our keynote speakers, Yeshi Milner, who's the CEO of Data for Black Lives. I'm particularly excited about that because she can really speak to . . . I think a lot of times, like, with fundraising, we think about data and technology as, like, a means to the end, right? Where, like, we need data and technology, they’re how we achieve our mission around ‘blank,’ right? The raising the money is how we achieve the mission around ‘blank.’ And when I talk about fundraising, I'm like, no, like, good fundraising is also the work. Like, it's the movement building. It's the community building. Like, when you're doing it right, it is the work. It's not this, like, you know, necessary evil. And I think that's how Yeshi talks about data, especially when it comes to, like, social justice, and movement building and the way that data and AI and these tools can actually be a part of the work when they are used right. And so, I'm super excited personally for her talk. We obviously have highlighted some of the most incredible speakers in our space around these topics between Nathan Chappell, Woodrow Rosenbaum, Mina Doss. And so, I'm also really excited that we have Michelle Shireen Muri there, who is from Community, one of the co-founders of Community-Centric Fundraising. I'm super excited for her and Mina Doss's session around how we use things like this in a community-centric framework. I think that's going to be really interesting. We've had our sponsors put incredible, mind-boggling leaders together on panels. And so, I'm very, very excited about all the panels and seeing so many companies and sometimes, quote unquote, competing companies sitting next to each other I think when you look at it, you feel like . . . wow, this is the ecosystem. And I wanted nonprofits to feel that way. Like when, you know, if you look at the session guides, Kishshana Palmer, Rhea Wong, Dana Snyder, Julia Campbell, Clay Buck, Sabrina Walker Hernandez, like, I wanted, yeah, I'm lucky to call all those people my friends, but I also wanted the people that I feel like build trust with nonprofit leaders to help them. I said this to Julia yesterday, like, really help them feel, like, this isn't some, like, one-and-done, you know, thing. This is the beginning of a journey that our sector needs to go on together, and we've got you. And so, I wanted to signal to them that like, yeah, even if you don't know any of those tech names, which is totally fine, you're going to know the folks walking side by side with you. And what I love about what I've heard from so many of those session guides in particular is, like, I don't know a lot about AI. Is that okay? And I'm like, yes. Because guess what? I don't know a lot about AI either. And so, I wanna create an environment of curiosity and learning and collaboration. That was my goal. And when I look at the agenda, I feel like I really see that. 

Justin: Yeah, the whole thing's super exciting. I mean, it really is. It's gonna be something that even though it falls in Q4, and yes, it doesn't matter. Every time is a busy time of year at this point, right? So, but this is a special moment. It's something that folks don't wanna miss. So, there's still time to register, yes? 

Mallory: Yes, absolutely. Yeah, you can go to Fundraising.Ai/summit. It's totally free, thanks to the incredibly generous sponsors. Register, bring a friend. Like, it's going to be . . . And come for what matters to you. I think there can be a lot of pressure when you sign up for things to be like, oh my gosh, I don't have two days to think about AI. No problem. Pick one session, two sessions. Like, we really wanted the agenda to meet you where you're at and for you to not feel pressure to, like, come to everything but to think about it like a menu, and come to the things that matter to you, that make the most sense to you at this moment in time. 


Justin: Mallory, you're the absolute best for stepping up and helping galvanize so many people around a cause, and around this event and help drive it forward. And so, thank you for all the work that you're putting into it. And I know that we're also moving quickly towards Baby Erickson number two arriving, and whether or not that happens before or after the summit, I hope that you have a moment to sit back, and take a deep breath and smile a huge smile at all the effort that this work is paying off into.  

Mallory: Well, thank you. And truly, like, a silver lining, another silver lining of all this has been getting to know and getting to work with folks like you, Justin. I'm so grateful for RKD stepping in and everything that you guys have been doing and guiding and in all the questions of mine that you've been answering when I'm like, how does this work? You know, and so I just, Jen and I were talking the other day, like, what would we have done without them? Like, I have no idea what we would have done without you. 

Justin: You're kind. 

Mallory: I’m so grateful for you doing the same thing of being like, how can I help? I want to help. This is important. How do I jump in? What does that look like, to actually be helpful here? And it was just such a blessing to get that question from you and to be able to then get to work with you in this way. And that has really, it's, yeah, I feel so lucky to work in this sector and to get to be surrounded by so many amazing people all the time. It's such a blessing. 

Justin: Yeah, this ecosystem, right? It's the ecosystem, so right on. All right, we can't wait to see what happens. Mallory, we'll have to have you back, and we'll talk more about your work outside of Fundraising.AI when we get on the other side of baby number two.  

Mallory: Yes, yes, absolutely. Thank you. 

Justin: Awesome. 

Group Thinkers is a production of RKD Group. For more information, including how you can partner with RKD to accelerate growth for your fundraising and nonprofit marketing needs, visit 

RKD Group

RKD Group is North America's leading fundraising and marketing services provider to hundreds of nonprofit organizations, including hospitals, social service, disease research, animal welfare, rescue missions, and faith-based charities. RKD Group’s omnichannel approach leverages technology, advanced data science and award-winning strategic and creative leadership to accelerate net revenue growth, build long-term donor relationships and drive online and offline engagements and donations. With a growing team of professionals, RKD Group creates breakthroughs never thought possible.

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