Association Brain Food Weekly: 2.21.20

Free professional development resources and events for CAEs, association staff and others in the association community

The weekly list of free educational events and resources for the association community…

Free professional development resources and events for CAEs, association staff and others in the association community

You don’t hear much about technical debt in the association community. The first time I heard about the concept was from Matrix Group—they did a session at ASAE TEC followed by a webinar. This week, WBT Systems provides a primer on technical debt, its causes and implications, and ways you can prevent your association from falling into technical debt.

We all want to be fair and inclusive, but biases are natural and inevitable. Gwen Moran at Fast Company identifies four signs your organization might be more ageist than you think.

It’s not a matter of if, but when one of your chapters will need your help dealing with a natural disaster. In the last post of their series on chapters in crisis, Billhighway explains how to help chapters recover from and prepare for natural disasters.

Fionta tells you how to find motivation in an unlikely place: key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics. How’s that, you say? When you track KPIs and metrics, you can see proof of your progress toward achieving goals and fulfilling your mission.

The examples called out by Lou Downe in a Fast Company article on bad service design—from how banks handle identity fraud to how call centers handle student loans—should make you think twice about your processes. Are they costing your users/members/customers time? Time, for everyone, is money.

Quick hits before we get to the list of this week’s free education:

  • Employees spend nearly 2/3’s of their day on work about work, not actual work. I’m not surprised. Another reason I love my freelance life. (Asana)
  • When you spend time on actual work, you end up with 20 minutes to watch this year’s Oscar-winning Best Live Action Short Film, Marshall Curry’s The Neighbor’s Window.
  • Or, you have time to watch the gorilla cam from the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Good eats—skip down to the list of free webinars if you’re not into cooking:

  • Scientists say cooking and baking (or similar small creative tasks) helps people feel more relaxed and happier. Yes, they do. (Danny Lewis, Smithsonian Magazine)
  • I love a good cheesesteak, so I jumped on this recipe for cheesesteak meatballs with a garlic cheese (provolone) sauce. They were satisfying in a different way than a cheesesteak sandwich. We had ours over egg noodles. Next time, I’ll increase the amount of onions and mushrooms in the sauce and not dice them so fine.
  • A piece of fontina cheese fell out of the freezer without me knowing. I found it thawing out in its hiding place, so I looked for a way to use it. This wild mushroom and sweet potato gratin was a great discovery. I’m always looking for new sweet potato recipes and this one isn’t as creamy and heavy as most gratins.
  • We eat collards just about every week since they’re one of the best-looking vegetables at the farmers market during the cold season. When most people think of collards, they imagine them braising in pork-infused water (potlikker), but I rarely cook them that way. I slice them into inch-wide strips and cook them alongside sautéed bacon, red onion, carrot, poblano and/or red bell pepper, jalapeno and garlic, sprinkling them with a little water if they start sticking. The water evaporates by the time they’re done, usually 15 to 20 minutes depending on the heat level and whether I covered the pan or not. I do the same thing with other greens too.

Here are the educational events scheduled for next week. If you have any free webinars or events coming up, please send me the link. I’ll be happy to feature it as long as it’s not product-centric.

Mon 2/24 at 1 p.m.* – Introduction to Google Analytics for Nonprofits

Every nonprofit should have Google Analytics installed on their website. This free analytics service offers a deep look at what people are doing on your website and provides a treasure trove of data to help your nonprofit make the critical decisions needed to boost marketing performance. Learn about advanced settings that are an absolute must for marketers, reports that will tell you exactly how well your campaigns are performing, and how to easily spot trends even if you hate math. More info/register.

Host: Nonprofit Tech for Good

Presenter: Josh Kashorek, Director of Marketing at Journity 

*All times are Eastern Standard Time unless otherwise noted.

Mon 2/24 at 1 p.m. – Chatting with Agnes & Cecilia

This series of 15-minute videos cover hot topics and issues related to 501c organization management. A new episode is posted every Monday by 1 p.m. More info.


  • Cecilia Sepp, CAE, CNAP, principal and founder, Rogue Tulips LLC
  • Agnes Amos-Coleman, MBA, CMP, education, conference, event, certification consultant, Amos-Coleman

Tue 2/25 at 12 p.m. – Does My Association’s Website Need to Be ADA Accessible? (DC Idea Swap)

Most association execs understand how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to meetings, certification exams and online courses, but what about one of your key public spaces—your website? Although applicability of the ADA to websites is not clear, there have been court cases where some are alleging that nonprofit and association websites must be accessible, including to blind or visually impaired persons and others, especially if that organization is in receipt of federal grant dollars. Learn what your association must do right now to become compliant. 1 CAE credit. Location: Washington DC. More info/register.

Host: ASAE Greater Washington / National Capital Community


  • Jennifer Jackson, Partner, Whiteford Taylor Preston, LLC
  • Adam Hostetter, Partner, FUSE Search

Tue 2/25 at 1 p.m. – Does Your Organization Need a Better Technology Roadmap?

Your organization may have gaps in leadership, operations, business process, and data management capacity. Learn how to address these gaps and prevent technology system implementation failure.​ Find out how to build a technology roadmap that will guide your organization to a successful future. More info/register.

Host: Community IT

Presenter: Build Consulting expert Peter Mirus

Tue 2/25 at 2 p.m. – The Next Frontier in Learning: Continuing Education by Text (Association Chat aka #assnchat)

A series of conversations with students in Yemen left Michael Ioffe with an idea—that text messages could be used to bridge the digital learning access gap. That idea became Arist, the first text message university, which was just named a finalist in Fast Company’s 2019 World-Changing Ideas competition. More info/register.

Host: KiKi L’Italien, senior consultant, Tecker International, and founder, Amplified Growth

Guest: Michael Ioffe, co-founder of Arist

Tue 2/25 at 2 p.m. – Analytics for Associations 2020: The Year of the Breakthrough

Take part in an exhilarating web conversation detailing how modern data analytics helps you better understand your members (and non-members) by pulling together the 80% of your data that is NOT stored in your AMS and analyzing/delivering it in new and productive ways. More info/register.

Host: Nucleus

Tue 2/25 at 5:30 p.m. – 5 Tips to Successfully Launch a Diversity Initiative at Your Nonprofit

You’re probably familiar with the expression DEI: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. But how can you create your own DEI initiative within your nonprofit organization—and why should you? Learn about the current inequalities in the nonprofit sector, the importance of diversity to effective nonprofit work, TechSoup’s diversity initiatives, and how you can embark on one of your own. More info/register.

Host: TechSoup


  • LaCheka Phillips, Program Manager at TechSoup
  • Cléo Charpantier, Intern at NGOsource

Wed 2/26 at 12 p.m. – The Value of Volunteer SMEs at Association Events

A large pool of volunteer subject matter experts (SMEs) enables communities of practice to create sophisticated educational products on cutting edge topics at a lower cost. Nevertheless, education directors are often heard saying that working with member volunteers is like “herding cats” or worse. Examine the reasons for this frustration and ways to use volunteers to your advantage. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Hosts: Web Courseworks and Pathable


  • Jon Aleckson, PhD and CEO of Web Courseworks
  • Maggie Greene, Marketing Manager for Pathable, Inc.

Wed 2/26 at 12 p.m. – The Rise of the Event Technologist

A new breed of event professionals understands meetings and technology at the same level of depth: event technologists. Hear about recent research that explores the opportunities for both companies looking to be stronger at event tech and event professionals looking to evolve their career. Find out who event technologists are and what they do; how to hire one—what to look for and expect; and how to become one—professional opportunities to evolve your career. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: Event MB


  • Brooke Gracey, Senior Marketing Manager, Cvent
  • Taylor Bohn, Senior Event Technology Analyst, Cvent
  • Julius Solaris, Founder and Editor in Chief,

Wed 2/26 at 1 p.m. – In Balance: Wellness Options That Enrich Attendees and Create Engagement

Learn how to add wellness content and features to keynotes and sessions, partner with companies that will supply subject matter experts and practitioners for your events, and incorporate strategies into each wellness offering to create maximum engagement. 1 CMP credit. More info/register.

Host: Meetings Today

Presenter: Lee Papa, Mindfulness Trainer, Lee Papa LLC

Wed 2/26 at 2 p.m. – Discussion on the Future of ACE (Associations Catalyzing Entrepreneurship)

ACE is an informal group of like-minded association leaders and stakeholders who believe associations must think and operate like for-profit businesses to continue to be relevant and provide value in a competitive world. Join a discussion on how best ACE can help you deal with the challenges that keep you up at night, what you want to talk about, and how you can stay involved. RSVP.

Moderator: Arianna Rehak, EO and co-founder of Matchbox Virtual Media

Thu 2/27 at 9 a.m. – Facilit8me Community of Practice

A vital component to continuing to grow as a facilitator is to always be assessing your areas of strengths and opportunities for development. Join a community in practice to review the importance of self-assessment, identify the eight major domains of facilitation competency, and explore ways in which this information can be used to inform your own professional development in 2020 and beyond. More info/register.

Host: Event Garde

Thu 2/27 at 11 a.m. – 7 Strategies for Increasing Email Deliverability

One in five messages sent do not reach the recipient’s inbox. Learn how to improve your email deliverability and ensure your important member communications are received. Hear about hard bounces vs. soft bounces, back-end changes to make your IP trustworthy, list gathering and maintenance strategies to keep you out of the spam folder, the importance of clean email code, Simple Email Service from Amazon, and how reactivation campaigns can help the health of your email lists. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Matrix Group

Presenters: Joanna Pineda, CEO, Leah Monica, Director of Marketing, and Maki Kato, CTO, Matrix Group

Thu 2/27 at 12 p.m. – How to Know What Your Sponsors/Partners Are Thinking and What They Want (Washington DC)

It seems that association/corporate partner communications resemble “Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus.” Interviews with association staff and board members and interviews with corporate partners reveal a disconnect. This Idea Exchange brown bag lunch discussion and strategy session will uncover “How to Know what Your Sponsors/Partners are Thinking and What they Want.” Location: Washington DC. More info/register.

Organizer: Partnership Professionals Network

Thu 2/27 at 12 p.m. – How Marketing Automation Leads to Marketing Transformation

This is the first webinar in a four-part series exploring marketing automation, how to avoid common missteps, and how to optimize its use to gain marketing intelligence and grow association revenue. In this session, you’ll learn the difference between marketing automation and email automation, how to determine whether your association is ready for true marketing automation, and how to prepare your association for capacity building and growth. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: ASAE

Presenter: HighRoad Solution

Thu 2/27 at 1 p.m. – Discussion on the Future of ACE (Associations Catalyzing Entrepreneurship)

ACE is an informal group of like-minded association leaders and stakeholders who believe associations must think and operate like for-profit businesses to continue to be relevant and provide value in a competitive world. Join a discussion on how best ACE can help you deal with the challenges that keep you up at night, what you want to talk about, and how you can stay involved. RSVP.

Moderator: Arianna Rehak, EO and co-founder of Matchbox Virtual Media

Thu 2/27 at 1 p.m. – ASAE Member Learning: Research Foundation ForesightWorks Research

ASAE is offering a free monthly virtual membership information session designed to ensure you have the information you need to maximize your membership. During each session, ASAE staff will highlight one of the many benefits or resources you have access to as a member. This month’s topic is ASAE Research Foundation’s ForesightWorks Research Initiative. More info/register.

Host: ASAE

Thu 2/27 at 1 p.m. – Personalization 101: Turning Member Expectations into Reality

Learn about the importance of personalization for associations, current trends, and predictions for the future; how you can leverage the data you already have, and creative ways you can gather additional information; and ideas for getting started, from baby steps to larger initiatives. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Community Brands

Thu 2/27 at 2 p.m. – EQP and Team Collaboration

Interested in how your emotional intelligence affects your team? Learn about emotional intelligence and how it impacts our relationships in the workplace. More info/register.

Host: Yoko Consulting

Presenter: Alison Whitmire, President of Learning in Action

Thu 2/27 at 2 p.m. – Diversity & Inclusion: Diversity is More than Demographics

No organization can reach greatness without clearly understanding and embracing diversity and inclusion. The issue that most associations run into is they do not know where to begin or how to measure so they ultimately do nothing. Get some clarity and direction on this subject for your association. More info/register.

Host: Dynamic Benchmarking

Presenter: Kim Drumgo, Chief Diversity Officer for Anthem

Thu 2/27 at 2 p.m. – You’re a Publisher Now

Are you a small (but mighty) marketing team tasked with creating all the content for your nonprofit? How can you be more efficient in content creation and make content work much harder for you (without YOU having to work any harder)? Find out how to foster a culture of content within your organization, even if you’re strapped for time, money, and resources. Learn how to make a clear, compelling case for investing in more content creation, form your very own content squad, find and launch more content from across your association, and get the most of the content you create. More info/register.

Host: Mighty Citizen

Presenter: Andrew Buck, content strategist, Mighty Citizen

Thu 2/27 at 2 p.m. – Using Data to Prove Membership ROI

Show your members what they are getting for their association membership with an ROI dashboard. Learn how several associations combined data from AMS, eCommerce, Learning Management System, business intelligence and other platforms to provide members with a Return on Investment Dashboard, and enhance understanding data analytics. More info/register.

Host: Web Courseworks

Presenter: Dr. Jon Aleckson, CEO, Web Courseworks

Thu 2/27 at 3 p.m. – Discussion on the Future of ACE (Associations Catalyzing Entrepreneurship)

ACE is an informal group of like-minded association leaders and stakeholders who believe associations must think and operate like for-profit businesses to continue to be relevant and provide value in a competitive world. Join a discussion on how best ACE can help you deal with the challenges that keep you up at night, what you want to talk about, and how you can stay involved. RSVP.

Moderator: Arianna Rehak, EO and co-founder of Matchbox Virtual Media

Wed 3/4 at 12 p.m. – What Are Associations Looking For When Hiring Today? A Conversation with the “Lobbyist Hunter” (online and Washington DC)

Better understand what associations are looking for today when hiring senior leaders, learn the “5 Ps” that all association government relations advocacy professionals need to master, and get your questions about today’s job market answered by the go-to executive recruiter of association and government relations leaders. Locations: online and Washington DC. More info/register.

Organizer: ASAE Government Relations and Advocacy Professionals Advisory Council

Presenter: Ivan Adler, President, Ivan Adler Associates

Moderator: Tommy Goodwin, Head of Government Relations, Project Management Institute

Wed 3/18 at 9:30 a.m. – Rapid Fire Collaboration Brunch

Obtain expert knowledge on the impact advance sharing of insider association meeting knowledge has in relation to successful implementation, host contributions and ambassador engagement. Collect tangible examples on how your sharing of advance knowledge positively impacts the host destination delivery and contribution. Create a personal topic sharing document for use in conjunction with your future programs and events. 2 CAE credits. Location: Washington DC. RSVP deadline: March 1. More info/register.

Hosts: ASAE – The Center for Association Leadership and ICCA – The International Congress and Convention Association

Association Brain Food Weekly is published Friday mornings. If your organization offers free professional development for the association community, please send me the link via email or Twitter before Thursday afternoon.

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Creative Commons image by Catherine Zaidova via Unsplash

Author: deirdrereid

Deirdre is a freelance writer for companies serving the association market, who after more than 20 years in the association and restaurant industries, is enjoying the good life as a ghostblogger and content marketing writer. Away from her laptop, you can find her walking in the woods, doing yoga, going to shows, journaling, cooking, or relaxing in a comfy chair with a good book and a glass of something tasty in hand.

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