Nashville, TN
June 17 – 19, 2024


Registration is now open for the Summer Advancement Institute in Nashville, Tennessee on June 17-19, 2024. Back by popular demand…cohort modules! 


Register Here!

The CESA Summer Advancement Institute (SAI) is not like other conferences or seminars!  Through the lens of biblical generosity and with you in mind, our time together will be spent propelling your most challenging projects forward. Having received professional instruction and peer feedback, you will gain improved skills and build actionable plans to advance the mission of your institution. At the end of this Institute, you will have made significant progress on a strategic initiative and developed valuable peer relationships.

According to your unique experience level and needs, you will select ONE module (topic) to explore during your time at the Institute and be placed in a cohort of your peers.  In Nashville, you will begin learning with industry experts who will help ground you in theory and best practice.  Then, throughout the year, your cohort will provide accountability, perspective, encouragement, and guidance as you navigate the challenges and celebrate the milestones of your project. 

Crafting and Troubleshooting Your Development Plan

Armed with a carefully crafted development plan (or at least the outline of one), dig into some of the challenges of actually moving the needle. Work with experts on aligning with schools strategic goals, simplifying, prioritizing, and project management. You will also have the opportunity to see real example development plans of seasoned colleagues and learn how they are implementing in their respective schools. This module is for development directors who are working to create a workable development plan or have a plan that has stalled. Have no fear, your cohort will work together in the coming months to refine and encourage you as you implement your plan. 

Growing your Endowment and Planned Giving Program

With the rising cost of running a school and increasing financial aid needs, endowment building must be a priority to ensure financial sustainability in the future. In this module, recommended for seasoned development professionals, you will learn about endowment-building strategies and planned giving program elements, as well as create a plan to build your school’s endowment.  Throughout the year, you will test your plan with colleagues and donors while continuing to layer in more sophisticated and refined strategies.

Enrollment Planning in an Ever-Changing Landscape

Whether you have a carefully crafted enrollment plan or not, the ground is shifting! New challenges include individualizing the recruitment experience for younger families, managing wait pools, and identifying the best technology tools for managing the admission process. Intended for school leaders who manage recruitment and retention, this module will help you work through today’s challenges and create an actionable process that brings mission-fit families to your school. Throughout the year, participants will further develop their processes and troubleshoot together the challenges that arise. 

Utilizing Data and Predictive Modeling for Enrollment Forecasting 

Take a deep dive into demographics analysis, historical and future trends, and predictive models as helpful tools for enrollment forecasting. Nearly the entire school budget depends on our ability to consider all the influencing factors, and accurately predict enrollment for one, three, and five years into the future. It is part art and part science! In this module led by experts in the field, seasoned admissions professionals will hone their enrollment forecasting techniques.  Throughout the year, participants will work with their HoS and CFOs, as well as their cohort to refine their predictive model and make adjustments.

Marketing and Communications
Take your Strategic Marketing Plan Further

So your marketing plan isn’t complete, has stalled, or needs another layer of sophistication! In this module, participants will troubleshoot essential elements of their strategic marketing plan and examine marketing plans of (non-competitor) peer schools. Consider ROI within marketing and learn how to gather and layer in informed data such as cost of onboarding new students versus retaining current students. Learn how to best utilize staff for retention efforts. how to market to the elusive millennials and GenZ parents. Ongoing, your cohort will meet to ensure progress on building valuable collaborations within your school and utilizing data to drive strategic initiatives for marketing.

A Strong School Culture Markets Itself!

When marketing resources are limited, focusing on key elements of school culture can create a buzz within the local community and help a school capitalize on the number one (free) marketing strategy…word of mouth. A strong, compelling school culture builds trust and a public relations bedrock for the future. Raving fans then serve as your best marketing tool. Through telling authentic stories of demonstrated educational value and community collaborations and service, you can attract mission-fit families to your school and build a reputation in your community that will sustain you through the toughest crisis. Layer in transparency, media outreach, and change management strategies. Put your efforts into school culture and let it do the marketing for you. 


Monday, June 17th

12:00 pm - Lunch and Networking 
1:00 pm - Cohort Study 
3:00 pm - Hotel check-in and break
5:30 pm - Dinner Cruise w/ welcome remarks 

Tuesday, June 18th

8:00 am - Breakfast/Hosted “Hot Topics”
9:00 am - 12:00 pm Cohort Study
12:00 - 1:30 pm Lunch & Highly Functioning Advancement Team Panel Interview
1:30 - 4:00 pm Cohort Study 
4:00 - 5:30 pm Break
6:00 pm - Dinner and Ryman Theater Tour

Wednesday, June 19th

8:00 am - Breakfast/Hosted “Hot Topics”
9:00 am -12:00 pm Cohort Study
12:00 pm - Closing Worship and Prayer
1:00 pm - Grab and Go lunch and depart

Hotel Booking Instructions

We have set aside rooms in a group block for the CESA Summer Advancement Institute on June 17-19, 2023. Here are the instructions for phone or online bookings.

  • To reserve by phone, call 615-661-9477, dial extension 3 for reservations. Ask to make a reservation in the Summer Advancement Institute Block or reference your group code of G-SAIN. Always ask for an email confirmation, so you may verify that you received the correct group rate of $149 plus tax.
  • To reserve online, use this link, enter your arrival/departure dates and choose the best room type available for your stay. Then enter the dates, click the "Special Rates" dropdown and select "Corporate or Group Code" and enter "G-SAIN
*Please note the group rate will be available until May 17, 2023.


Register Here

Questions? Contact Katie Wiens
[email protected]