Philanthropy: A Priceless Lesson in Healthcare Leadership--The Sanford Health Story

Krabbenhoft, Kelby
June 2008
Frontiers of Health Services Management;Summer2008, Vol. 24 Issue 4, p3
At Sanford Health, philanthropic leadership has been transformational in nature. Denny Sanford's $400 million gift to Sanford Health (the largest known gift to an American healthcare organization) demonstrates how philanthropic leadership transforms an organization by enhancing the role it will play in its community, region, and beyond. This article describes how the gift came about, the accomplishments in fulfilling the donor's intentions, the leadership initiatives and challenges associated with the gift, and its overall impact on the organization. Philanthropy can teach us things. For example, philanthropy can teach healthcare institutions lessons about core values, a compelling vision, and a commitment to action. These qualities are the essence of philanthropy. As senior executives and board members apply these lessons to planning, trust building, and communications critical to obtaining philanthropic support, their organization has the opportunity to move from success to significance in fulfilling its mission.


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