Blog & Podcast

A thought leader in the association space, Elisa is an unconventional and influential strategic specialist. Have you read her recent blog? Laugh or cry, she doesn’t pull any punches with her honest and insightful look at the association and nonprofit environments. Check out her musings below and ping her with a topic you’d like her to tackle.


More of a podcast person? Do you prefer to listen to your innovation and 501c news? Launched in July 2020, Association Transformation was conceived as a direct response to the membership sector’s need for information, dialogue, guidance, and support during an unprecedented period of disruption and uncertainty. Recognizing the inherently global nature of the membership sector, the podcast is intended to advance the impact and evolution of nonprofit organizations. Join co-hosts Elisa Pratt (CEO of Brewer Pratt Solutions) and Andrew Chamberlain (Chief Development Officer of Elevated) for different perspectives, innovative topics, and a little fun!

Need a fresh perspective? Blog or podcast, we've got it! Elisa's developed curriculum, delivered webinars, keynotes and session presentations for and,
the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE),, the Institute of Association Leadership (IAL), the Virtual Association Network (VAN), and many others.

Recent Blog Posts


Optimizing Volunteer-Staff Synergy: Lessons from Amy Biedenharn

Join Elisa Pratt (Brewer Pratt Solutions LLC) and Andrew Chamberlain (Elevated) as they explore expert strategies to optimize volunteer-staff synergy with insights from Amy Biedenharn, Director of Client Experience with Innovatis Group. Learn how to enhance collaboration, set effective boundaries, and lead with purpose for greater organizational success.

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The Digital Engagement Dance

Join Elisa Pratt of Brewer Pratt Solutions to uncover advanced strategies for member engagement in the digital era with Olena Lima on the Association Transformation podcast.

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The Art of Acknowledgment

Dive into our latest blog on ASAE’s approach to valuing chapters and volunteers in organizational culture. Uncover the essence of gratitude and diversity, strategic volunteer empowerment, and innovative recognition strategies. Learn how equitable recognition and the crucial role of headquarters foster mutual growth and support, enhancing collective success. Explore effective and cost-efficient ways to appreciate chapters, ensuring each member feels integral to your organization’s mission this Valentine’s season.

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What Will You Do In 2024 To Engage Younger Members?

Discover innovative strategies to engage younger members in your association with insights from our podcast interview with Jay Daughtry, the ‘Youth Whisperer.’ Explore tailored approaches, dynamic engagement tactics, and modern communication methods to connect with the next generation effectively. Dive into our latest blog for a comprehensive guide on attracting and retaining young professionals in the digital age.

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Association Transformation Podcast

Episode 96

The Lies Association Leaders Tell Themselves

Embrace the spirit of April Fool’s Day in this 96th episode of Association Transformation. Hosts Elisa Pratt and Andrew Chamberlain playfully explore the little white lies and falsehoods we tell ourselves as association professionals. From blaming governance structures to touting inflated retention rates, they dissect common self-deceptions that hinder progress. With humor and insight, they delve into the dangers of optimism bias, the illusion of member engagement, and the denial of staff burnout. Get ready for an honest, thought-provoking discussion that challenges you to confront the fibs holding your nonprofit organization back. Tune in for a dose of truth amid the pranks!

Episode 95

The Digital Engagement Dance

ever-evolving digital engagement dance. We debunked the myth of email’s demise, explore innovative ideas for global member engagement, highlight methods to tailor content for multigenerational audiences, and emphasize the importance of aligning marketing and membership teams to ensure a seamless member experience. Check out episode 95 for actionable insights to elevate your association’s digital engagement strategies.

Episode 94

The Potential & Pitfalls of the Volunteer-Staff Partnership

You know we love alliterations, but not as much as we love the intricacies of the volunteer-staff partnership within associations. Elisa and Andrew dive in with Amy Biedenharn, Director of Client Experience with Innovatis Group, to discuss the dynamics, challenges, and strategies involved in fostering a positive and productive collaboration. This sometimes complex relationship between member-leaders and paid staff can have a great impact and can also present poisonous pitfalls (sorry, we’ll stop). Drawing from diverse experiences, we explore the significance of setting clear expectations, establishing boundaries, and providing training for both volunteers and staff, and we emphasize the ongoing commitment required to navigate and nurture this essential aspect of association management.

Check out the Association Transformation library for more episodes!


Artificial Intelligence in Strategic Planning

The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in strategic planning is inevitable, and whilst associations and nonprofits should be encouraged to use all available tools and embrace and utilize technology, it is imperative that leadership teams understand the potential and the limitations of AI. In addition, we must ensure senior executives and volunteer leaders remain in control of decision-making and are recognized as the owners of strategy rather than simply as interested observers of the development process. In this White Paper, we explain how AI tools should be used effectively and ethically; and that until AI advances further and strategic foresight becomes automated, it should be used as a tactical tool, that complements the human skills of critical thinking, strategic analysis, reasoning, judgement, and problem solving.