Nonprofit Leadership in Healthcare Philanthropy (Adam Cook)

June 2020

What's it like to lead a healthcare foundation in the midst of a pandemic?  How do you stay organized when all of your events are pushed off the calendar and everyone you speak with has a new idea?  Adam Cook has great insight and perspective on these questions and many more in episode #39 of the Path.  He has served multiple health care foundations over the course of his nonprofit career, and we talk about many of the lessons he's learned during his leadership journey.  Adam explains his "ASK" method of fundraising - which is especially helpful right now - and how he goes about attracting the younger generation onto his boards of directors.  He also has some words of wisdom for those just starting in the nonprofit sector, including the key to finding a mentor who can help serve as your guide.  Finally, Adam has some good books to add to your bookshelf!

"We always try to keep a razor-sharp focus as to why we're here; just because it's a good idea doesn't mean it's the role of the foundation to lead that initiative."



As Chief Development Officer at Mercy Health Foundation, Adam oversees all fundraising initiatives for the 16 hospital foundations across the system one of the top five large health systems in the United States. Mercy includes more than 40 acute care, managed and specialty hospitals, 900 physician practices and outpatient facilities and 45,000 co-workers in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.  Prior to his arrival in St. Louis, Adam served in leadership positions at Cardinal Innovations Healthcare in Charlotte, NC, the New Hanover Regional Medical Center Foundation in Wilmington, NC, and the NorthEast Foundation in Concord, NC.  Known for establishing strong cultures of charitable giving across multiple organizations, he has significant experience in non-profit leadership and strategic planning, health and human services, research, and education. Adam is graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), and a frequent public speaker on leadership, communications, and non-profit management. 



•  Jerold Panas' book Asking: A 59 Min Guide

Michael Watkins' book The First 90 Days