Association Brain Food Weekly: 2.26.21

Capital Reef National Park, my favorite park – inspiration for free educational events and resources for the association management community |

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

Capital Reef National Park, my favorite park – inspiration for free educational events and resources for the association management community |

Growth-mindset associations. Years ago, I read Mindset by Carol Dweck fully expecting to get validation of my growth mindset. Wrong. Despite my penchant for learning, I was shocked to discover I had a fixed mindset. Sigh, another self-improvement project—almost complete. If you’re curious, WBT Systems explains the difference between a fixed and growth mindset. They describe how to cultivate an organizational growth mindset so you can prepare your team and association to innovate and thrive.

Update: On Saturday 2/27, the Kindle version of Mindset went on sale for $1.99.

“Good enough” technology. MemberSuite says member expectations are different now in 2021, the bar is set higher. It’s time to assess your technology stack and partners because you can’t afford to continue settling for “good enough” technology, not if you want to take advantage of emerging opportunities and meet the changing needs of your members and market.

Strategic reset. If your association fits any of the five scenarios described by Lowell Aplebaum, FASAE, CAE, in his recent post, it’s time to review your strategic plan. Your organization’s strategy must offer “an inspirational, robust, and innovative pathway to a better future.”

Shrinking network. Professional and personal networks have shrunk by close to 16% during the pandemic, according to Marissa King and Balázs Kovács at the Harvard Business Review. “Over the long term, turtling up [staying inside the close family/friends shell] and a dearth of opportunities to interact with strangers are leading to network shrinkage.”

Professionally, I’m an exception; life is good. Personally, that’s another story. I enjoy seeing friends and meeting new acquaintances in the association community via Zoom coffee chats, happy hours, book club meetings, and educational events. But I work alone, so I’m more likely to take advantage of these opportunities. What do you think your members are experiencing? How can you help them maintain ties and expand their network?

Crappy governance. With such potential within grasp, why do associations settle for the current, ancient model of governance? Vu Le at NonprofitAF says we’ve been in denial about the archaic, toxic, default nonprofit board model. He advises unlearning conventional and destructive beliefs about boards and trying new governance models.

Volunteer shortage. At McKinley Advisors, David Gammel, FASAE, CAE, and Kristi Donovan, CAE, address the shrinking volunteer pool faced by many associations by saying “it’s not them, it’s you.” They explain why you’re having a tough time recruiting volunteers and how you can enhance the value of the volunteering experience.

Quick hits

  • 4 ways to raise the bar on virtual events in 2021. (Dave Lutz, Velvet Chainsaw Consulting via PCMA)
  • Fodder for conversation… This CEO just brilliantly explained how remote work will change the world by 2030, and it’s next-level. (Justin Bariso, Inc.)

Good eats

Skip down to the list of free webinars if you prefer takeout. If you’re a home cook, check out the weekly In The Kitchen posts on my Grabbing the Gusto blog.

  • As winter heads out, we enjoyed a stellar boeuf bourguignon on Sunday night. I adapted Anthony Bourdain’s recipe from his Les Halles Cookbook (sigh, I miss my old pretend boyfriend) by adding mushrooms and herbes de Provence, increasing the wine, subbing beef broth for water, and baking it at 250 instead of cooking it on the stovetop. Dare I say it, Julia, step aside. I served it with mashed potatoes, of course, and roasted broccoli.
  • All that luscious sauce cries out for dippage, so I baked sourdough focaccia. I made a half-recipe and only let it rise about five hours in the frig, instead of overnight, and it was plenty flavorful.
  • Earlier in the week, we enjoyed baked flounder topped with a mix of Parmesan, bread crumbs, parsley, lemon zest, garlic powder, and melted butter. On the side, carrots roasted with garlic powder, ancho chile powder, thyme, cinnamon, and salt.
  • The next night, we had huli huli bigeye tuna. I made half the glaze recipe, subbed a little honey for all the sugar, added sambal oelek, and basted the tuna before and during baking. I made tuna salad with the leftover tuna and glaze, adding mayo, celery, and sweet onion. On the side, Brussels sprouts roasted with ham, orange bell pepper, red onion, garlic, thyme, and salt.

Here are the educational events scheduled for next week. If you have a free webinar or event coming up, please send me the link before Wednesday evening the week before it’s scheduled. I’ll be happy to feature it as long as it’s not too product centric.

Fri 2/26 at 10 a.m.* – The Nonprofit Communications Engine (NYSAE Engagement Lounge)

The Nonprofit Communications Engine is a framework designed to help nonprofit leaders and associations build, refine, and optimize their organization’s ability to communicate effectively. Based on Sarah Durham’s book, The Nonprofit Communications Engine: A Leader’s Guide to Managing Mission-Driven Marketing and Communications, you’ll learn a scalable theory that you can apply to your association immediately. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: New York Society of Association Executives

Presenter: Sarah Durham, founder, Big Duck

*All times are Eastern Standard Time unless otherwise noted.

Fri 2/26 at 10 a.m. – Member ROI Simplified: Safeguarding Your Organization’s Future

The most important method for safeguarding your organization’s future is to research, embrace, and maximize your Member ROI. Learn how to measure your current ROI in actual dollar numbers, use the numbers for influencing the membership decision, grow your ROI, and prove beyond a doubt that membership in your organization is a good business decision. More info/register.

Host: Ed Rigsbee, CAE, president at Rigsbee Research

Fri 2/26 at 12 p.m. – Meetings Outlook & Virtual Networking Event

Hear a forecast for events in the coming year, including budget, attendance, and business conditions. Deep dive into trends that matter and discuss the next steps with your peers. After the outlook, we will use twine to network and continue the conversation on the future business of meetings. 1 CMP credit. More info/register (fee for MPI non-members).

Host: MPI

Presenter: Jessie States, CMP, CMM, MPI Academy Director, MPI

Fri 2/26 at 1 p.m. – The State of Association Marketing

Hear about unique data and insights into 2020 association marketing and how pivots, learnings, and trends will inform 2021 association marketing strategy. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Blue Sky eLearn

Presenter: Aidan Augusti, co-founder and President of Feathr

Fri 2/26 at 3:45 p.m. – Succeed with Buoyancy in Challenging Times

The pandemic interrupted our lives in unprecedented ways. Having to succeed via virtual platforms, finding ourselves in need of strong personal leadership, questioning the meaning of our lives, trying to maintain our energy, and accomplishing all this without stress and fear are some key demands in 2021 if not the 21st century. Learn about the concept of “buoyancy” in Quantum Negotiation™, identify opportunities for personal growth, and reflect on personal habits to counter chaos and change with flexibility – being able to avoid directions and experiences that may take you to breakdowns. More info/register. (must join Fridays@4 first, it’s free).

Host: Fridays@4

Presenter: Şirin Köprücü, Founder, StrategicStraits, Inc.

Mon 3/1 at 11 a.m. – The ROI Member Recruitment Brochure: How to Crea8e Brochures That Positively Influence Membership Decisions

Learn to determine who should be membership targets, which features of membership should be highlighted, how to develop an effective brochure layout, decision motives for joining, and how to train your members to use the brochure. More info/register.

Host: Ed Rigsbee, CAE, president at Rigsbee Research

Mon 3/1 at 1 p.m. – Chatting with Agnes & Cecilia

This series of 15- to 20-minute videos cover hot topics and issues related to 501c organization management. New episodes are posted by 1 p.m. every Monday.  Check out Cecilia’s Nonprofit Executive Spotlight series too.


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

Tue 3/2 at 12 p.m. – Top Skills for Analysts (2021 Data Analytics Network)

This opportunity is for association professionals to engage in peer-led discussions on topics related to data and analytics. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: Association Analytics

Tue 3/2 at 2 p.m. – Putting the People at the Heart of Your Mission Front and Center: How to Facilitate Stronger, More Valuable Member Communities

Dive deep into the importance of co-creating stronger, more loyal member communities and how to keep it simple. Learn how the pandemic reshaped how communities form, grow, and expand; the power of open communities to drive new member acquisition and retain current members; how co-creating content with your audience helps you engage members all year long; and emerging technologies and tools that make facilitating authentic human connection simple and affordable. More info/register.

Host: Gather Voices


  • Ben Muscolino, President and CEO of Breezio
  • Michael Hoffman, CEO of Gather Voices

Wed 3/3 at 11 a.m. – The ROI of Words: How to Write Website Copy That Will Drive Member Renewal and Recruitment

You can no longer depend on interns or web designers to write your member value copy for influencing renewals and retention. They do pretty, you must do effective. Learn how to write the kind of benefit (or what’s in it for me) copy that will influence the decision to join or renew. More info/register.

Host: Ed Rigsbee, CAE, president at Rigsbee Research

Wed 3/3 at 11 a.m. – Quiet Leadership: Discovering the New Strategic Advantage and the Hidden Talent in Your Organization

Hear about the leadership contributions of Asian Americans in organizational settings and how empowering such invisible leaders can create meaningful and positive change in organizations. More info/register.

Host: Coalition for Diversity & Inclusion in Scholarly Communications

Presenter: Dr. Tojo Thatchenkery, professor and director of the Organization Development and Knowledge Management program at George Mason University

Wed 3/3 at 12 p.m. – The Turbulence Ahead: How Associations Must Navigate 2021 and Beyond

The association community felt the full force of the future in 2020, and we weren’t ready for it. It’s a new year but the turbulence is far from over. This session will provide participants with challenging perspectives on how their associations can navigate 2021 and the rest of this decade. More info/register.

Host: Association Insights In Old Town aka Monthly Events In Cyberspace

Presenter: Jeff De Cagna FRSA FASAE, executive advisor for Foresight First LLC

Wed 3/3 at 1 p.m. – Exhibition Value in a Post-Covid World (#ExpoChat on Twitter)

ExpoChat is a Twitter-based conversation on topics related to the trade show industry. More info.

Wed 3/3 at 4 p.m. – Remote Workforce Open Mic “Share Night” 

There have been many conversations in ASAE Collaborate about what’s working, what’s not, and what’s next for remote work. This is the perfect opportunity to share best practices so we all can learn how associations are adapting and creating a remote-friendly environment. More info/register.

Host: ASAE Technology Council

Thu 3/4 at 11:30 a.m. – Gathering a Top-notch Team for Your Hybrid Conference

If you’re planning a hybrid conference for the first time, it can be easy to underestimate how big your team should be. Managing the overlap between the online and physical conference experience requires a lot of hands (and a new set of skills). Learn about the important roles you’ll need to fill on your hybrid conference crew. More info/register.

Host: Ex Ordo

Thu 3/4 at 2 p.m. – Workplace Mindfulness, Wellness, and Productivity: Yes, There’s an App for That!

As our reliance on technology increases, so do our levels of stress and burnout. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Get an overview of the latest apps for workplace mindfulness, wellness, and productivity. Practice mindfulness-based strategies for stress reduction. Learn strategies for using apps to improve wellness and productivity for yourself and your team. More info/register.

Host: Sidecar

Presenter: Meico Marquette Whitlock, Founder and CEO of Mindful Techie

Thu 3/4 at 2 p.m. – Event Talk Live

Hear the results of a recent survey on the New Event Landscape, aggregating data and insights from hundreds of event professionals at the start of 2021. More info/register.

Host: Accelevents


  • Allen Yesilevich, Accelevents
  • Stephanie Baiocchi, IMPACT
  • Ashanti Bentil-Dhue, EventMind

Thu 3/4 at 2:30 p.m. – Industry Insight: What To Know About Hybrid Events | A Case Study

Hear insights from Addie’s extensive hybrid event planning experience. Tune into this conversation covering her experience with the planning, production, and execution of hybrid events. More info/register.

Host: Pathable

Presenter: Addie Graham-Kramer, seasoned planner and Founder + CEO of the Event Company

Thu 3/4 at 3 p.m. – How to Create Compelling Evidence-Based Research to Promote Your Advocacy Mission

Presenting objective research that effectively communicates facts and attitudes can help you gain the support of both the public and the government. Learn basic methodological considerations for matching research methods with goals, strategies for aggregating data from members, and how to conduct primary market research when data does not yet exist in published form, deliver a fact-based impressionable message, and get your voice heard when others’ world view isn’t the same. 1.5 CAE credits. More info/register.

Host: U.S. Transactions Corp.


  • Laura Clark, PRC, Research Director, Vault Consulting
  • Jeffrey Adler, IPC, Senior Methodologist, Vault Consulting

Thu 3/4 at 3:30 p.m. – Agile Governance Workshop (Roadmap to Reinvention: Innovation to Drive Success—and Revenue Virtual Workshop Series)

Learn how to create an agile board by investigating the domains Operational Agility and Foresight Governance, diagnose problems and challenges, understand the barriers, and develop pathways to action. This four-part virtual workshop series builds on ASAE Research Foundation’s Advancing Business-Venture Innovation. More info/register.

Host: ASAE

Fri 3/5 at 3:45 p.m. – Ten Career Mistakes to Avoid (Part 1)

Learn about the top ten career mistakes to avoid. This fun, interactive session will help you dodge future career mistakes and be more proactive in managing your career. More info/register. (must join Fridays@4 first, it’s free).

Host: Fridays@4

Presenter: Caroline Francis, Ed.S, CPRC, CCC, BCCC, CCSP, Director of UK Alumni Career Services

Tue 3/9 at 3 p.m. – Website Redesign and Management: Straight Talk and Things to Know Before Starting Your Next Project

Get straight talk, best practices and things to know or avoid before taking on your next website redesign project (or if you’re in the middle of one). Hear an overview of the redesign process and insight into key areas to make sure you get the advice you need to develop a project timeline, manage expectations for your new site, work effectively with your vendor, manage your website redesign project, launch your site on time and on budget, and plan for ongoing management and optimization. 1.5 CAE credits. More info/register.

Host: U.S. Transactions Corp.


  • Ray van Hilst, Director of Client Results, Yoko Consulting
  • Jessica Konrath, MA, CAE, Executive Director, Academic Pediatric Association, American Academy of Clinical Toxicology at Degnon Associates

Wed 3/10 at 12 p.m. – Covid-19 One-Year Association Check-In: Executive Management Dialogue

It has certainly been quite a year. What we thought would last a couple of months has continued for over a year and it will be a while before we will feel that the events of the last year will be in our rearview mirrors. Join this conversation to hear from colleagues the impact the past year has had on their organizations and their plans for moving forward. 1 CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: ASAE


  • Gregory J. Fine, FASAE, CAE, EVP/CEO of the CCIM Institute
  • Sheri Sesay-Tuffour, CAE, CEO, Pediatric Nursing Certification Board
  • Heidi Biggs Brock
  • Heather L. Rhoderick, CAE
  • Robert Mercure

Wed 3/10 at 1:30 p.m. – Solutions In Action

Meet the experts who can solve your technology challenges. Get answers to your virtual event, data analytics, video, e-learning, or AMS questions and challenges. Watch interactive demos of cutting-edge products. CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: .orgCommunity

Thu 3/11 at 1 p.m. – The Surge of the Third Sector: Implications for Your Learning Business

Learning now contributes more to GDP and productivity than technology. That shift is driving dramatic growth in the third sector of education—the sector serving the millions of adults who continue to learn in the decades following their secondary and post-secondary education. Explore five key developments that have contributed—and continue to contribute—to the growth of the third sector. Examine the implications of that growth and unpack what a fuller awareness of the sector might mean for your learning business’s strategy. More info/register.

Host: Leading Learning


  • Jeff Cobb and Celisa Steele, co-founders of Tagoras and Leading Learning
  • Liam O’Malley, vice president of association solutions at Blue Sky eLearn

Thu 3/11 at 1 p.m. – Ultimate Member Engagement: The Power of Data-Driven Decision Making

Learn how to leverage visualizations and analytics to better understand the data, mine the right data to improve your member’s experience, and determine a successful ROI on your collection and analysis of member data. More info/register.

Host: Impexium

Thu 3/11 at 1:30 p.m. – Solutions In Action

Meet the experts who can solve your technology challenges. Get answers to your virtual event, data analytics, video, e-learning, or AMS questions and challenges. Watch interactive demos of cutting-edge products. CAE credit. More info/register.

Host: .orgCommunity

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 Wednesday evening.

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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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