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the Agenda

February 7-8, 2023

Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Join us for the 2023 Accordant Leadership Retreat!

Explore and discuss the current and emerging trends in health care philanthropy with some of the best minds from hospitals and health care systems around the country. Accordant’s team of thought leaders continue to stay abreast of the opportunities and challenges facing the health care industry and will facilitate discussions, workshops and design thinking sessions for you and other health philanthropy executives from around the country. The 2023 Retreat will be held at the beautiful Ponte Vedra Inn & Club on the beach in Ponte Vedra, Florida. Registration is now open.


Early bird rate of $750 for Accordant clients (through 11/30/22)
Early bird rate of $850 for non-clients (through 11/15/22)
Regular rate of $995 (11/1/22 through 2/7/23)

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Download the Retreat Agenda & Details

Retreat Agenda

Tuesday, February 7


8:30 a.m. 9:45 a.m. - OPENING SESSION

Confronting a Challenging and Changing Environment  - Betsy Chapin Taylor

Explore the current data and trends shaping both health care and philanthropy.  During this session, leaders will: 

  • confront the financial challenges of nonprofit hospitals created by historically poor health care net operating margins due to spiraling supply and agency costs, low volumes and more.

  • consider the challenges of advancing philanthropy in a time of declining generosity, poor investment returns and hyperinflation. 

  • identify practical and actionable solutions not only to navigate and to succeed when working at the juncture of two complex and changing industries but also to continue to add new forms of value.​

 The Golden Age of Giving SciencesSpeaker: Nathan Chappell, Senior Vice President, DonorSearch

Is giving an Art of Science?  With annual decreases in the percentage of Americans that give to traditional nonprofits, it's an easy conclusion that nonprofits must find ways to work smarter, not harder.  With significant advances in artificial intelligence capabilities, private sector companies have leveraged machine learning to predict market demands, track consumer behavior and personalize service offerings.   This same technology is now available to the nonprofit sector which holds the power to quantify connection in real time.  In recent years we've learned more about the motivations of generosity than ever before in history thanks to big data and advanced computing, both of which are essential ingredients that are ushering in an exciting new era of Giving Sciences.

9:50 a.m. - 5 Minute Well-Being Insight:

The Power of Embracing Well-Being as a Leader

Speaker: Linda Roszak Burton 

10:00 a.m. - BREAK

10:15 a.m. - SESSION TRACKS

Rethinking Gratitude: Discovering the Personal Health and Well-Being Benefits - Linda Roszak Burton 

Imagine being able to override the human brain’s built-in negativity bias by cultivating a greater awareness of what’s going well, of leading with personal strengths and the important role of positive emotions. This session will inspire and guide leaders in the understanding and adaptation of practicing gratitude while discovering how the latest research and evidence-based findings contribute to health and well-being. Reflective exercises, effective practice techniques and additional resources will help participants learn how to sustain these health and well-being benefits. Additionally, participants will begin to define a grateful leadership brand statement that supports their organization’s vision, patient expectations and clinician interactions. While diving deep into the psychology and neuroscience of gratitude, we will examine the links between gratitude, well-being, burnout, emotional exhaustion and more. Leaders will return home with the practical implications for harnessing the power of gratitude in their organizations after learning to:

  • translate the latest research and best practices in the science of gratitude and discover the associated health and well-being benefits. 

  • gain a greater understanding of the correlates of gratitude and neuroscience and the impact on improving relationships and team engagement.

  • identify specific tools and techniques to support the adaptation of gratitude practices into personal leadership style and organizational culture.


Amping Up Your Impact as a Health Care Executive - Lori Counts

Many leaders are faced with the daunting task of raising funds with challenges such as unrealistic goals, not enough qualified staff, not answering directly to the CEO or not being part of C-Suite interactions. How can health philanthropy executives overcome these types of challenges to be a successful health care leader? We will discuss new ideas and strategies to remove barriers that keep executives from achieving their leadership best. By bolstering executive presence through strengthening influencing skills, strategic voice and emotional intelligence, philanthropy leaders will be better positioned to:

  • increase credibility by working with the C-Suite.

  • cast the organization’s vision, demonstrating how philanthropy can provide solutions.

  • articulate worth not only as a philanthropy executive but also as a health care executive.

  • serve as a well-balanced, joyful, purpose-driven leader for the team.

12:00 p.m.  SOCIAL LUNCH



Strategic Grateful Engagement - Debbie Ferguson, Cindy Reynolds & Erin Stitzel

Part 1: Recalibrating Clinician Partnership - Erin Stitzel

It's time to move from a one-sided, self-interested approach to physician engagement to a mutually beneficial approach to physician partnership. With clinician burnout being one of the top issues plaguing health care today, health care philanthropy professionals must go beyond the traditional one-way, one-sided clinician engagement. No longer can you simply provide gratitude training to clinicians and allies, followed by holding out your hand to ask for grateful patient referrals. The first part of this session will cover techniques for philanthropy officers to help clinician partners explore and understand their own gratitude as a starting point. Participants will also learn strategies to help clinician partners and allies develop a shared purpose where both parties in the ally relationship benefit from the partnership. Data and case study examples will be shared to support the strategies and techniques recommended. We’ll look at the needs and desires of physicians today alongside the needs and opportunities for grateful giving to consider a bolder, better path forward together.

Part 2: Rethinking the Role of Data in Grateful Giving - Debbie Ferguson

Data is about far more than wealth screening. It is time to take a broader view of what data can tell us about donor engagement and inclination. It’s also imperative to take a systematic approach to how data is collected, analyzed, used and maintained. This session will connect all the dots around the next generation of data including AI, machine learning and more. Leaders will:

  • learn how to ensure data is moving smoothly through the analysis process.

  • explore the various questions to ask around data.

  • discover how to move from a flood of data to a targeted approach based on engagement instead of simply wealth.

  • learn strategies needed to right-size grateful engagement initiatives based on both data and team size.

Part 3: How Patient Philanthropy Can Drive Health Care Excellence - Speaker: Cindy Reynolds

Health care organizations can no longer afford to relegate philanthropy dollars to extras, nice-to-haves, or non-strategic expenditures. We’ll discuss how to partner with clinical leaders to improve quality metrics and patient experience metrics through strategic use of philanthropy and communications with grateful families. It has never been more critical to learn how to:

  • demonstrate that grateful families can partner with health care teams to elevate outcomes and experiences.

  • choose projects that will engage the executive team, physicians, nurses, patients and families in a joint quest for excellence.

  • partner with the CMO and CNO to champion the use of philanthropy funds to improve quality measures. 


The Leadership Pivot: Game Plans and Course Corrections - Lori Counts & Michelle Rovang

There is a critical role in developing a strong philanthropy team with dynamic leaders and vital internal and external partnerships. Whether following classic theorists such as MIT's Edgar H. Schein, Daniel Coyle or Malcolm Gladwell, there are blueprints for high-performing organizations and partners, as well as for those that fail. At the root of high-performing groups is a strong culture with clarity, a compelling mission and a shared goal. While the focus on mission is critical, the risk of rigid game plans has been at the root of failures for sports teams, NASA operations and even Fortune 500 corporations. What can we learn from them? Success includes the ability to develop clear metrics and change plans when the environment shifts. In this session, leaders will:

  • learn how to embed elements from the Baldrige Excellence Framework in the philanthropy organization.

  • uncover methods to help course correct midstream when priorities change.

  • explore how to pivot when a critical internal or external player leaves the team.

2:45 – 3:45 p.m. - COOL-DOWN CONVERSATIONS

Join us beachside for casual, inspiring conversations:

Advancing a More Thoughtful Approach to Gratitude with Linda Roszak Burton and Erin Stitzel

Let’s dig deeper into the topic of Rethinking Gratitude from the morning session (no worries if you didn’t get to attend). This conversation will prompt leaders to reflect on what’s about to emerge for them and their organizations, where building and broadening a culture of gratitude can become a greater asset. Learn the importance of and how to acknowledge, explore and celebrate the gratitude of physicians, clinicians and nurses. This often-missed step is key when focusing on patient stories of gratitude and can lead to deeper and more meaningful relationships with physician, clinician and nurse partners. We’ll explore, refresh and innovate by identifying:

  • the greatest asset of the organization.

  • the relationships needed to build on or strengthen in the next six months.

  • what new abundance is being experienced now that perhaps was seen as scarcity before. 

  • how gratitude plays a role in personal practice, as a member of the organization and within the overall culture.

  • how to discover the gratitude of physicians, clinicians and nurses within the organization.

Making the New Case for Health Philanthropy with Craig Sorensen and Mike Beall

Most health care foundations desire greater visibility within their community, wish prospects better understood that health care needs their investment and ultimately agonize over creating a compelling case for support. Time is often spent in the weeds on project details when we have yet to make a compelling case for the “why” of health care. We’ll use this time to examine ways to think more broadly about case for support that is compelling, clear and inspiring. Together, we will: 

  • explore organizational examples and best practices.

  • Discuss leaders’ specific challenges for group feedback.

  • learn how to create greater awareness and greater love for the foundation’s mission.

Surviving and Thriving as a Lone Wolf in a One-Person Shop with Cindy Reynolds

How can you do it all when you have to do it all by yourself? In these days of health care budget woes, it is all too common to experience a short-staffed philanthropy office. Leaders will explore:

  • simple strategies for success in a lone wolf shop.

  • how to recognize the need for a thought partner and where to find one. 

  • resources and hospital colleagues you may be overlooking.

  • connect and brainstorm with other attendees who are facing a similar working environment. 

Getting Started with Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Your Shop with Sarah TeDesco, , DonorSearch and Dan Lantz, Children's Minnesota

Discover how employing AI in your philanthropy efforts empowers your team and strategy.  Spend time with experts who have paved the road before and are seeing the benefits of greater connections to donors, clinicians and community.

6:30 p.m. - SOCIAL DRINKS

7:00 p.m. - SOCIAL DINNER

5 Minute Well-Being Affirmation: Power and Purpose Remain Central


Ponte Vedra, Florida

Setting the Standard of Excellence for Iconic Florida Beach Resorts Since 1928

A refuge for recreation and reflection. A family vacation favorite. A premier year-round destination for weddings, and social and corporate events. AAA Five-Diamond rated Ponte Vedra Inn & Club is the picture of quiet grandeur, grace, stateliness, and story. 

Located on a stretch of pristine beach in northeast Florida, discover a world of elevated oceanfront accommodations paired with gracious, attentive service and endless leisure pursuits. Since 1928 generations of vacation memories have been made here, and we’re welcoming you to make your own.

Retreat Room Rate:  $299+ Resort Fees

We have arranged for the rate to be valid 3 days before and after the retreat (subject to availability) Book your room at this link using the meeting code: Accordant23

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