Ep 87 | Empathy and your Donors with Ali Cammelletti

And one of the nonprofit's that really speaks to me right now is Kids Center. And it just always has, and what is happening in homes and how it's even more, it's happening more intensely as everything is with all of our different giving options. And so I got a handwritten note, I would say a month ago, and it's from the board members, like they probably divvy up a certain number of people and do handwritten notes. And that empathy of I can't even imagine what you're experiencing this year. That statement right there. So they said that in the letter? Yeah. Yeah. I can't even imagine what you're experiencing this year. Mm hmm. And that just was like, Ah, thank you for acknowledging, before asking.

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This time of year means that we are more and more in need of empathy. How we treat people can be a huge factor in getting those ever important donations. Ali gives some great ideas and insight into how empathy can work for you personally, in your business and with your donors.

In this episode you'll learn:

→ why practicing empathy can be so impactful.
→ how listening can make all the difference.
→ statements you can use with people.
→ what to think about on social media.
→ ways to use empathy with your loved ones and your team..
→ integrating your company values into empathy.

Want to skip ahead?  Here are some key takeaways:

[4:26] Truly listening is a great first step. Hearing without judgement and allowing them to be where they are without any comparison to where you're at. Instead of listening to respond, or fix, listen to listen and validate where they're at in this moment. Get uncomfortable, don't try to make it better and bring up the sliver lining.
[7:36] Comparison within your team can create great toxicity and disconnection in the workplace. There is major impact with just being there and listening to your team and staff and supporting them where they are so they feel heard and understood.
[9:00] There are several statements you can use to share empathy. Each one can be helpful in different scenarios but each one has you repeating back empathy statements instead of trying to fix or compare.
[38:48] Integrate you company values into your empathy. Be leaders that embrace them and encourage the rest of your organization to do the same. Lead by that example.


 Brene Brown and Empathy


Ali Cammelletti

Ali Cammelletti

Founder, Cammelletti Consulting

Ali Cammelletti lives a life of hospitality, personally and professionally. Starting at a young age she was drawn to helping others. After years of doing so, she now helps others in the most powerful ways. Through her professional relationships she is able to help people think differently about their views of other people as well as themselves, to assist in their professional relationships in sales and leadership.

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Full Transcript

[INTRO] Hey there, welcome to another episode of the Digital Marketing Therapy podcast. And today I'm joined by Ali Cammelletti, we are talking all about empathy. And at this time of year with the holidays with COVID, with everything that's been going on this year, really reaching out to your donors with empathy, or your staff, or anybody, just random people that you meet on the street, or your friends, family and loved one, like it's such a good reminder, and we have a great conversation about all of these things, how empathy can impact your donations for your year end appeals, how it can impact impact the way that you work with your team, how could impact working from home with your families. So there's a little bit of everything in this episode, I think you'll really enjoy it.

Ali Cammelletti lives a life of hospitality personally and professionally. Starting at a young age, she was drawn to helping others after years of doing so she now helps others in the most powerful ways. Through her professional relationships, she is able to help people think differently about their views of other people, as well as themselves, to assist in their professional relationships in sales and leadership. And this is a great way to sum up what we talked about in this episode.

So take a listen, I think you know, it will resonate with you, especially this time of year. And, and just remember to be kind and have grace for yourself and take care of yourself. And even though the hustle and bustle of everything is happening as well on top of that, okay.

So before we get into it, this episode is brought to you by our digital marketing therapy session. So head on over to https://www.thefirstclick.net/officehours, book some time with me, I'd be happy to talk through kind of what your strategies are for 2021, where you're headed, what you need to be getting done through the end of the year with your website with your email marketing campaigns, that your content strategy, whatever. We'll record it, and we'll get it over to you'll have it as your reference. So I hope that you'll take me up on that. But it is again, https://www.thefirstclick.net/officehours. But for now, let's get into the episode.

[CANNED INTRODUCTION] You're listening to the Digital Marketing Therapy Podcast. I'm your host, Sami Bedell-Mulhern. And each week, I bring you tips from myself and other experts, as well as hot seats with small business owners and entrepreneurs to demystify digital marketing and get you on your way to generating more leads and growing your business.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Everybody, please join me in welcoming Ali Cammelletti to the podcast. Thank you so much for joining me today.

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] Thank you, Sami, I appreciate it.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, I'm so excited to talk about empathy just in the time of year that we're in and kind of the season that you know, our nation is in right now. I think there's no better time than to be talking about empathy. But I wanted to hear from you. Why is this such an important conversation and topic? Like why are you so passionate about teaching empathy?

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] You know, I was introduced to empathy, probably five years ago. And what sparked my curiosity more than anything for empathy was that I was going through an adoption wait. And it was probably two years into the four years that we waited for our newborn little Cella that we had. And I was just uncomfortable with some of the conversations I was having with people. And I didn't understand why. It's like something doesn't feel connecting about these conversations. And I found myself kind of pushing people away when I needed them the most. Yeah. And so I started looking into empathy. And what I found was that I wasn't getting that level of empathy that I needed.

So Bene Brown is who I gravitated towards, when I learned about empathy. She has this awesome video that you can look up and it's just “Brene Brown on Empathy. Have you seen it?

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] I've watched parts of it. Yeah. And we can link that up in the show notes so everybody can find it.

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] And yeah, it's just one of my favorites. Yeah, I share it in a lot of presentations that I do when I'm talking about empathy, because it puts it so simply, it talks about the four elements of see their world. And that's what I wasn't getting. As a somebody's going through my adoption wait, is they didn't know my world. I didn't have a lot of friends that had experienced adoption, and then appreciate them as human beings without judgment. This one's huge. I think in general, just being a human, we need to practice that more. And it's something I always am trying to practice.

Understanding, truly understanding which means really listening.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, I think listening is the key thing there. It's something we are all bad at. I think we're good, not bad if we could do better at for sure.

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] As humans, we listen to respond, often more than listen to really understand. Yeah. And that's what wasn't happening for me. And then really how we communicate that. And so with empathy, another thing that comes in from Brene's video, that I love so much is the silver lining. And I had no idea I as a human was doing the silver lining. And the silver lining is, you know, Oh, I'm so sorry that you haven't gotten your baby yet, Ali. But, you know, that's awesome that you're two years in, that means it's close.

That's the silver lining. And that's what was really eating at me.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Mm hmm. Because it's not validating your pain in the process. It's not validating where like, you know, it's basically saying, well, suck it up. Right?

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] Yeah, yeah. And Brene uses some examples that kind of make you go, oh, but they're good examples, because they hit home of what people experience. And like right now, and what we're experience, experiencing with this pandemic, is that everybody's having different levels of trauma they're experiencing. Yeah. And we cannot go in and judge, or we shouldn't go in and judge everybody's different levels of trauma.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] It's that judgment in the comparison of your trauma to my trauma, when your trauma is just as valid to you as my trauma is to me.

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] Absolutely. And so when I think of like, I call it the one upping, you know, one up as connection, right. And I often like I got to keep my mouth shut, because I've experienced some stuff in life. And I want to come from a place of being there and listening, and just really holding that space for who I'm talking to that's going through what they're going through. And not saying, you know, what I've experienced, it's even worse. And I think a great example right now is what we're experiencing with COVID. And talking with friends and what they're experiencing. And I have a close friend that's in ICU on a ventilator. Yeah. And so I try not to share that story. And just be there for people.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Mm-hmm. Yeah, um, and I think you see this a lot. Also, in, in the workplace, where people are like, well, I put in this much time, or I did this or I, you know, every, you know, that can cause a lot of toxicity within the workplace as well, instead of just allowing, you know, well, I have three kids at home, you only have one, so how you know how you should be fine. Things like that, right can really create toxicity in the workplace.

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] Oh, it just creates disconnection. Mm hmm. In everything, even in friendships, like I did, I had somebody one day was like, I'm a little tired. It's, you know, have a three and a half year old. I'm kind of old. And she's like, Oh, shut up. I have two teenagers. And just shut me down. Yeah, yep. Right. Literally immediately. Yeah, I was like, Okay. So you know who you can go to for those conversations, right? Yeah, who should you not?

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Well, and empathy is kind of one of those words, I feel like I've been hearing more often. And maybe it's just because I'm also kind of in this exploration place, but I feel like people are throwing out the word empathy, more and more now. But it can mean several different things to several different people. So I guess I'm just curious, is there a true definition of practicing empathy? Or what does that look like?

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] Yeah, yeah. So what I kind of touched on were the four elements of empathy. And that's what Brene goes over. But one thing that came up for me and I shifted my presentations is, I sat down with local Ali Waibel, who works for the Compassion Institute. And she was talking a lot about compassion. I'm like, I want to understand the difference between empathy and compassion. Oh. And she felt very strongly that compassion fills you up where empathy can suck you down. Okay. And so, empathy is important to have with a level of boundaries of how much you take it in.

And that's key here, because we do have people that we know, that can be over empathetic. And it can take them down and they take on people's emotions.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Like being an empath, right? That's what that refers to.

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] Exactly, exactly. And so those can get confusing, too. When we talk about empathy. People are, you know, some people with Oh, you're over empathetic, right? And who will know you're just taking on emotions. And so having that healthy boundary with that, so I do something where I have seven, basically statements and their empathy statements when people are first learning empathy, because I, I coach a lot in hospitality. And you think, oh, everybody's empathetic, they're no Not really.

They need to learn it too. And so when we use empathy statements, we're saying things like, I can understand how frustrating it is when. Right? I can understand how frustrating it is when you haven't seen anyone for a whole for a month, because you are quarantining, and you're wanting to keep your family safe.

I realize how complicated it can be to go online and fill out that form. And sometimes you want to just do your straight donation, whatever it is.

I cannot imagine how upsetting it is to have somebody that's sick in your family, and then go out in our community and watch people not honoring masks.

I know how confusing it must be when, right. So you're really holding space for people.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] You're not going straight to fixing it or doing the silver lining. Yeah, it's just revalidating that you've listened and heard what they've shared with you.

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] Yeah, another great one is, we want to get to the bottom of this as much as you do. Because mistakes happen, I don't care what organization you're in. It's rampid. And it happens when people are stressed out too. Mm hmm. And it happens when people are feeling trauma, mistakes are happening. And so then somebody gets the other end of that mistake, and they're like, lashing out. And you're getting that piece. So instead of reacting going to that piece of empathy, and how they're feeling and not judging, 

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] And it doesn't necessarily mean just to that example, it doesn't necessarily mean that you then just give them whatever they want. Right?


[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] It just means that you at least make them feel validated and heard so that you can come not make them feel but you do validate and hear them so that you can then come to a solution where everybody feels like they got something out of it. I'm not saying that correctly. But yeah.

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] If you go straight to the fix it, which is super common right now, when you're feeling overworked and stressed, and everybody's having levels of trauma, you just want to fix it and move on to the next. If you go straight there, people will still be upset and they might even get more upset. Oh, it triggers them.

And so I had somebody recently reached out and she said, Ali, I'm having to go in and deliver bad news. What do you think are some good steps before I can you know, when I contact these people more to start? And I said, Ask them how they're doing. First, just the first thing. Exactly. Because if you happen to call on a day, that is just the worst day of whatever they're going through. And then you deliver bad news. Right? It's hitting the fan. Yeah. Yeah. And you don't know why.

Yeah. And they're lashing out at you. Because you're the next person to come into contact, after they maybe have just received really bad news. Hmm. And that can be anything right now.

It can be you know, the people that are home working from home as so many people are doing right now. And juggling, trying to help their kids that are working remote.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN]  Yeah, it could be I was just going to say that it could be something as simple as I might have a client call me on a day when my kids are refusing to do online school. And we've had tears all day. And I my patience is just you know, and if they were to call me with some crazy, you know, spur of the moment, I need this now, like, it's not gonna go well.

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] Right? And so checking in and asking and letting that person say, and if you know, you get a feeling and they're not really sharing me, it's okay to go an extra step and say, How are you handling this time? Yeah. Because everybody's experiencing it. So I don't feel everybody's asking that question.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Mm hmm. Yeah, it's that's a unique thing about the trauma that everybody's experiencing right now is that everybody literally is having some sort of experience at the same time regarding the exact same pandemic. And I don't think there's ever been a situation like that, globally, that you can say that regionally.

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] Yes. You know, but not in our lifetime.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] No, right. Correct.

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] Yeah. Right. And so, another good statement is is if I were in your position, I would feel just as you do validate, Mm hmm. Validate how they're feeling. Yeah.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] So that's good. I wanted to take because since we're talking about like validating, and listening, I mean, as a nonprofit organizations right now are reaching out to some of their donors to talk about year-end gifts, or maybe even just an email. How, like, how could people take this?

Maybe they're not calling their donors, maybe they're doing it an email, maybe they are calling them like, what are some ways that they can do this to really make their donors feel like we care about you, not just the yea-end money that we're trying to get with, you know, before to finish out 2020?

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] Absolutely. So I do tend to be a little old school. And I'm a big fan of a handwritten note as well. That's Yeah.

And we just had Giving Tuesday, right. And so there was a big initiative on that. And I have multiple nonprofits that I have donated to in our community, because I usually give to a different one each year. But now I've started to have some favorites that I go back to. And one of the nonprofit's that really speaks to me right now is Kids Center. And it just always has, and what is happening in homes and how it's even more, it's happening more intensely as everything is with all of our different giving options. And so I got a handwritten note, I would say a month ago, and it's from the board members, like they probably divvy up a certain number of people and do handwritten notes. And that empathy of I can't even imagine what you're experiencing this year. That statement right there.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] So they said that in the letter?

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] Yeah. Yeah. I can't even imagine what you're experiencing this year. Mm hmm. And that just was like, Ah, thank you for acknowledging, before asking. Yeah. Because I'll tell you what, when I was going through the adoption process, and I would get those emails and letters about donating back to the adoption company I was working with, I was bitter. Yeah. Oh, I'd look at that. And I like, I want to burn this. Mm hmm.

I've been in this for years. And I keep on giving more money and nothing's happening.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Right. It's all about knowing where your audiences right. And really segmenting, like, maybe that's appropriate for people that have been through the adoption process, or are just a super passionate about it, but not people that are in the middle of it.

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] And maybe the letter isn't a blank letter that gets sent to everybody. Right? Maybe it's a letter for the families that are still waiting? Mm hmm. Saying I can't even imagine how hard this has been for you. Yeah, and we look so you know, there is a little bit of like, hope that needs to be given. Right? Mm hmm. of we're looking forward to the day that we get to call you. Yeah. And as you're waiting during this time, if you feel inspired to, we'd love to have your donation.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Well, and the beauty of that, what you just laid out is it doesn't actually take any more time. In your process. You don't have to change your process. You don't have to all of a sudden create a whole new appeal. You're just rewriting a letter and making sure that their statements there that are acknowledging where people are right now. And that can be something that can completely set you apart from all of the other appeal letters that are going out to everybody right now.


[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, that's so good. So I also want to talk then about social media, and things that we're putting out. I know, this is a question that has come up a lot as when we went through black lives matter when we've gone through all of the COVID changes when we've talked about just all of these things that have been happening and how can we present ourselves and still support our mission while being empathetic to everybody's situation? So do you have any tools or ideas for how people can like reread their social media posts, like what maybe they should be thinking about? When they're when they're posting things publicly that you can't take back?

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] Soft! Yeah. I was putting together a full page ad for one of these publishings I write for in the hospitality industry. And I wanted to inspire change and growth for the leadership coaching I do. And I didn't think about it and I practice empathy, I talk about empathy right. And I put in there are you growing or dying? And my marketing gal, she came back and she's like, yeah, I think we might want to take out dying right now. And I'm like, Oh my gosh, you're right. How did I say that? What was I thinking? Like, I had to kind of backwards, you know, don't shame myself. Totally. But I was like, Uh huh. Yes. We do not say that word right now. Mm hmm. And so it's really thinking about what you're putting out there. I will always take everything back to company values. Yeah.

What are your values? Are you honoring your values? What is that social media look like?

Can you give me a nonprofit example that I can use?

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Well, I'm just thinking, like, if we think about, I don't know why I'm not, I always think about the Humane Society to Humane Society of pets in the pet adoption, because I feel like it's such a multifaceted, like you're going after donors, you're also going after homes and families. And you're also, you know, still trying to service and provide quality care for your pets, right. So I just feel like it's, it's super complex to try to pull all that together that.

And then the other one is, you know, private schools in different educational services that are dealing with kids, and still trying to get support. I just think you know, that also, you have to be very careful in general with the types of things that you share, and how you talk about the way that you provide services and support families.

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] Great examples, I'll start with the Humane Society, that one, social media, I would be focusing on how those animals are connection, and love inducers. Because I am seeing more people adopt animals than ever right now. Because they're home. And if they are potentially single at home, or, you know, just feel really isolated. They need some type of connection that we're not getting as human beings right now with what we're going through. And so everything should be on connection. And love. loves me, though, and I gravitate towards that.

Anyways, I love that you did bring up the school, because I would almost relate that to adoption. Like, I think of a friend that both parents work from home, younger kid navigating how the kid is learning online and not seeing it so well. And it feels crazy making. And if she got a letter about donating to the school, she'd be like, Are you kidding me? I'm doing your job right now. Right? Right. Like, let's just be realistic. That's how she would feel. And so, really going in with I can't even admit, imagine how hard this must be.

Knowing that you're working from home, most likely. Mm hmm. And this isn't what your career is, right? You're not necessarily a teacher. Right? No. And right. And so your skillset is in something else. And all of a sudden, you're now juggling, the demands of your work with your work might be just blowing up busy. And they've scaled back on employees to be lean during this time and not knowing. And it's just crazy. So the demand is huge there. And then the demand of wanting to make sure that your child's getting a good education, right.

So yes, empathy, empathy, empathy, and then posting resources. What can you give these parents to help make it easier? Yeah, absolutely. Like, there are, you know, picking up food and stuff, I think, yeah, that is definitely helpful for those that don't have those resources. But also, that takes away maybe an hour of prepping food. Mm hmm. That they don't have anymore.

I was listening to this podcast that Brene did. And she was talking about her and her husband and how they operate. And it was really cool. I loved it. And she said, Every day we check in and kind of say, What percent do you have? And sometimes we come together and we only have 50% to give.

And so they might say, you know what, it's going to be a tough like two weeks. I have a major deadline going on for me right now. And I'm feeling really stressed. And so she said they take all the healthy food, put it in the freezer, order out, or in.

And then they bring Well, it's COVID but bring in somebody to help clean the house, you know, so maybe you let go of some of those other responsibilities and put them to the side. And for her at the time, it wasn't during the pandemic, they cancel any obligations that aren't necessary. Yeah. So it lightens up that load. So they don't have to continue to operate like this.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN]  Yeah, but the important thing that you're saying here is really paying attention to the seasons in your business and your life that are, you know, understanding.

So I was going to be the same with my husband works in a financial field. So end of the month is always really, really busy. And we're both working from home. So I just know, during that time, I'm picking up more of the school load, I'm picking up more of, you know, certain things. And when we, in my business, when I'm going getting ready to launch, he knows, you know, like, we have a big event coming up in February that Ali is a part of that we haven't told any of you about yet, but it's coming. But he knows, you know, that week or two of that, like, it's going to be flipped and reversed. So I think that's super important in having those. And you can have those conversations internally with your team, right? Like certain departments are going to have to pick up the slack at certain times.
And, you know, some of us are going to have to jump in and do things we wouldn't typically do, you know, at other times, so it's all just about that, but the communication has to happen.

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] Yes, yeah. I in my business. So I've been working primarily in vacation rental management companies, and these companies, they are having business happen, but it's still scary, because they don't know when they could potentially be shut down. And so they're running really lean leadership teams are doing frontline service. Oh, and they're busy. So it's kind of a really challenging scenario. And I have just been doing these touch emails every other week of just checking in. And I offer them resources, like this is a great podcasts on self care that I just did. Yeah, this is a really good article on how to help your team members when they're working remote.

We have a conference coming up, that is offering a round table on different ways to get creative with employees. And so each time it's how can I help them?

Yeah, and easier on them. And I would, that's the mindset should be for everyone, but definitely nonprofits too. One, I need to understand and meet them where they are during this time and be sensitive, super sensitive.

And then two really focusing on how I can make it easier on them. Yeah, and I did end up donating to Kid Center yesterday. And I was super impressed that after my donation because I did it online. And they made it really easy. After my donation, I got a response that thanked me. Mm hmm. Ali, thank you so much. We so appreciate your support. And I was like, Yeah, thank you.

Like, thank you, because I get excited about people doing the extra touch. Right. And so that's what I talk about.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah. And it's not hard to do. So I think it's but it makes a big impact.

I want to make sure we touch on like how, because you said you've mentioned a couple times that this is always a practice for you. You're always continuing to work on it, even though you teach it it's still something you have to be conscious conscious of as you're living your day to day life.

So I was curious if there's some if you have some ideas for how people could practice even just listening more to donors and finding like maybe they as they're trying to craft these letters, maybe they're calling some of their donors and practicing it on them that they know really well and have a relationship with or listening to some of their messages asking some specific questions so that they can get a better pulse on where their donor base is and and how they can support them and reach out to them in thoughtful ways.

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] It's definitely asking and honoring that. And if they are going through a really bad day, and you are for some reason, delivering or asking, it's okay to say, you know, sounds like you've a lot going on, is it possible for us to schedule a call a different day? Mm hmm. And they might just be yes. Thank you.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN]  Yeah. Because so often we all get those calls from the national organizations that just beat you down. Hey, you know, and they were like sales calls and it just feels very impersonal, impersonal. Personal. That's not the word. I'm getting personal. Yeah. Okay. I don't know why. But yeah, so eventually, if one of those people said, you know, what, is now a good time. Should I talk to you later, like, I might be more inclined to take that call. Even from, you know, a national organization like that. Yeah.

[ALI CAMMELLETTI]  Because you're following through on your commitment to if you've said yes, actually, can you give me a call back tomorrow? Like, I just took my daughter's temperature, and I'm kind of dealing with some stuff right now. Right? Because that is a trigger right now for every one of like, that just really ramps us. Whereas before, it might be like, Oh, just lay down and relax, right? Now you're like, so the other big part is listen, really listen. Mm hmm. Write down details. That'll help you listen.

If you don't really listen, and then you kind of lead with something else, or what did you just not hear me? Like? Seriously, right, because that's the worst part that will really break down relationship building and connection. And the other thing, and I think this one can be really challenging, especially right now. And it's something that I am always working on is not judging. Mm hmm. Not judging.

And I use the example of one day I was on my bike with my daughter in her trailer. And this guy almost hit us. And I wanted to be like, seriously. And then I'm like, all right Ali, back it up. I am so glad that he had good reflexes. Right? Spin that positive on everything, catch yourself, because it's a very easy time to be judgmental. And when you know, your donors and what their income levels are at, and you call them, and they're saying something, and you're going to that place of like, Are you seriously that right? upset over this, it's going to sabotage you, it's going to come out in your tone, and how you communicate to them. But also, it's just unhealthy for you. And it really does hurt your heart, whether you know it or not.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN]  Yeah, there's two things that you said in there that I want to highlight. Number one, writing things down. I mean, most organizations are all going to have a CRM. So even just having that open while you're taking those calls, because guess for the moment, it helps you listen, but then also, you start to track all that, that knowledge, when you call the next time, you're not going to remember some of those elements that's going to just spark Oh, yeah. Now I can call and ask first about how is your daughter doing? or How are your grandparents, you know, like, you can just have that continual building, which I know is one on one, but I just want to really highlight that anyway. And the second piece, and when you're talking about crap, I just lost it.

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] Well, I would like to just touch on that, like, when you were able to make a comment, like you reference there, you know, of like, Oh, I understand that you just had your grandmother pass. And I am so sorry. Like, people are scared to say that kind of stuff. Right? No, no, say it, honor it. Bring up the elephant. And that's I think that can be really hard. If you haven't done that personal work to understand, because maybe you haven't had major trauma. And so you don't know how good that feels for somebody to honor you in that way. Mm hmm. It's essential. Yeah, if it's uncomfortable, figure it out, figure it out.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Um, I think that also goes back to the silver lining piece, right? Like we do the silver lining, because we feel uncomfortable with just saying, like, you know, your grandmother just passed, how are you doing and bringing it up?

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] Exactly. And they are going to be like these, this organization cares about me, not just my money. Mm hmm.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah. Well, and I've had this conversation with several different people. But you know, we really feel like I feel strongly that nonprofits should treat their business their organizations like a business, and not like a nonprofit. So if you're a donor, or if you're going to a retail store to buy, you walk into your favorite retail store to buy a pair of shoes, and they, they know your name, and they remember what you purchased last time and they greet you with a smile, you're much more likely to keep coming right back to that store, right? And the same is true with your donors, like if you can just reach out to them.

And be kind to them at times when you don't need money or don't want I mean, you always are looking for funds. But when you're not making an ask, and you have that information about who they are. That's how you secure them for life. Just like you said earlier, you usually give to a bunch of different organizations, but now you have a couple favorites.

[ALI CAMMELLETTI]  Yeah, it's true. And I will tell you, it's I am a sucker for a handwritten letter.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Mm hmm. So I remember the second piece that when I lost my train of thought, but the second is that you mentioned was also just remembering like we are, this time of year for you is probably like a volume driven time of year, right? You're trying to get out all the appeals, you're trying to get all the money for the year end. And so that also adds on to that frustration when you're talking to people that judgment piece. So I just wanted to highlight that today.

Now is probably the hardest time of the year when you're trying to get those final pieces. So figuring out ways to kind of practice empathy and let some of that stress go before like, maybe even asking yourself like, Is today a good day for me to make these calls? Am I in the right space?

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] I love that you brought that up, Sami. And that's so important. Because everybody's going through trauma. And what we also know, is the prolonged little trauma, then becomes a major trauma. And so the importance of evaluating yourself, Is this a good day for me to do this? Am I going to be snap? Am I going to be judgmental? Or am I going to be in a good place where I can listen? And I can hold space for people?

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, and then challenging the leaders of the teams to create an environment where people have the space to be able to say like, you know, I know I'm supposed to get these calls done. But I think maybe I just need to take a you know, to our brain, day, mental mental moment, and then I can come back more refreshed, because I think you'll see that translate into dollars like that will help you have more genuine connection with people and fulfill your mission in a more genuine, genuine way.

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] Absolutely. Yeah, people will hear it, especially if you're making calls. Tone is 93%. Oh, yeah. Right. And so they're gonna hear it in your tone.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN]  Yeah. And one bad experience can push somebody away forever.

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] Yes, yes. Yes. I will say I had an I had multiple bad experiences. And yes, we did get a wonderful, beautiful child. But I am not running to donate to that nonprofit organization. Right? Yeah, because of the way that they treat people. It's everything.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] And that we're seeing that shift. I mean, that shift has been happening over the last few years of people buying from businesses that they end donating from businesses and organizations that they feel a personal connection to, even if it's more money, even if it's more expensive for a product like product, they want to believe in the mission, the vision, and they want to be treated as somebody important to that organization, and then they'll stick around. And I think empathy has a big piece of that. And maybe they don't even realize that's what they're doing.

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] Yes, and I would say, for leaders, the best thing they can be doing to help their employees too, is obviously, you know, giving them a lot of self care options for them and flexibility during this time right now. But it's also living those values and talking about those values. Mm hmm. Because I know that those nonprofits have those values. Yeah. And so it's not something you just throw on your website and walk away from. You talk about it, and you talk about it together and define them together.

I had this company I was working for where the gentleman's like, I really want our leadership team to embrace our values, because I know it'll flow into other areas of our business. And so every time we met, we would review the values. And I would ask them to like rank themselves. Where are you at with this value right now? Yeah, so that they could always keep it top of mind.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, it's so important. And I think it's something we take for granted. That everybody that's working for the organization believes in strongly in the in the vision and the mission.

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] And that they understand it, or even knows that yeah, exactly what you're saying. And what we found is one of their, their pieces was excellence. Mm hmm. And they were all saying that they were not living on excellence because they felt it was too hard to achieve.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN]  Oh, interesting.

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] Another thing we found in hospitality, surprise, surprise, a lot of perfectionists. And so we took out the word Perfect, out of any type of verbiage because they were self-criticizing, because they weren't living up to perfect, which, when you're dealing with mass numbers, you're never going to live up to perfect and that's just not any way to live your life because you built constantly like you're not achieving, right? Right.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Um, is there anything else I mean? 
You've given so many good tips and ideas and things for people to think about. And, you know, I'm new to talking about empathy as well. So is there anything that I wouldn't know or think to ask about practicing and, you know, struggles or, or ways that we can kind of be more mindful in this area?

[ALI CAMMELLETTI]  I think the big underlining one that we just touched on slightly was, it's good, it's going to make you feel uncomfortable, and that's okay. Mm hmm. I also live by that mindset, if we're not uncomfortable, we're not growing. Yeah. And so leaning into it, and as a leadership organization, talking about that uncomfortableness. And why it's so important to ask, because I promise you, you are going to have employees that are be like, I am not asking because I did not want to know, because this year is crazy, right? And they're gonna say something that I don't know how to respond to. And it's okay to just say, I'm so sorry, you're experiencing that right now. All you have to say, and tone.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Right, let go of the fixing a piece of it. No fixing.

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] No fixing. I know that you have to fix certain things when people are upset. But there's a way to soften it.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, I think that's the biggest thing. But it's also self care. Just you've got to take care of yourself right now to if you're going to be able to give this in this way. Yeah, well, I think that's both of these go hand in hand. And self care in growing organizations is always a tricky thing to prioritize, but it needs to be done. Yeah, yeah.

Well, Ali, thank you so much for joining me, this was an amazing conversation. And if people want to know more about you or find out more about you, how can they do that?

I know you're in the middle of a shift.

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] Yes, I'm going to be doing some brand changing, but I'm going to throw out Cammelletti Consulting, it's kind of like Mississippi, C-A-M-E-L-L-E-T-T-I consulting.com. And you can find me on LinkedIn, Ali Cammeletti as well as on Facebook.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN]  Well, we will link up everything in the show notes to make it easy for people to find and including that Brene Brown YouTube video that you referenced earlier. But thank you so much. This was wonderful.

[ALI CAMMELLETTI] Thank you, Sami, I really appreciate your time. And I'm grateful for it.

[CLOSING] A huge thank you to Allie again for joining me. We could have probably talked for hours. It was such a wonderful, lovely conversation that we had. And I hope that it inspires you as you think about what your day to day life looks like and how you're processing all of this and how you're processing, how you move through the day and move through work and move through family. Because it's a lot it's a lot going on in a work here for you. However, we can hit us up DM US on Facebook and Instagram @thefirstclickmarketing. We are here to support you.

All of the resources and things that we talked about in this episode can be found in our show notes at https://www.thefirstclick.net/podcast. So I hope you'll check them out and make sure you subscribe wherever you listen so that you don't miss out on a single episode. We would hate for you to do that. But for now we'll see you in the next one.


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