The team in Advancement Services has spent the past couple of years preparing for the University’s most historic comprehensive Campaign.
"At the height of a Campaign, there is an incredible amount of activity and energy and it comes in a very compressed time period," says Steve Hornsby, Executive Director of Advancement Services. "On the eve of our public launch in the fall, it is imperative that our systems and processes can handle this heightened level of activity and that our colleagues, volunteers and donors are well supported."
This year, Advancement Services put a particular emphasis on field testing the new Advancement database known as Advance Web. Extensive development and customization of the web-based system took place the year before but went live at the beginning of the fiscal year.
"The implementation of Advance Web brings us in line with contemporary standards and has opened the door to a host of new capabilities and opportunities to leverage our data and streamline our processes," says Steve.
In addition to Advance Web, the Services team migrated the entire organization to Microsoft Exchange, assisted with the implementation of a project management system known as Smartsheet and worked with the Vice-Principal’s office in redesigning our organization’s Intranet to enhance internal communication.
A critically important task this year was the comprehensive revision of specific policies integral to the work of Advancement – the Gift Acceptance Policy and the Naming Policy. Both policies are fundamental to the many considerations that surround a gift transaction.
"Many people innocently miss the fact that Queen’s is a registered charity," said Steve. "We operate in an environment that is rigorously monitored." The revision of our Gift Acceptance Policy ensures modern and consistent practices and clarifies the roles, responsibilities and expectations of both the University and its donors.
All organizations rely on good data to develop both strategic and operational plans and execute programs, and Advancement is no exception. "Our constituent data is at the heart of all we do – building and maintaining strong relationships and programs of engagement," said Steve. Programs are tracked and analyzed to build on success or chart a new direction.
It has been important to build on analysis capabilities and ensure that any gaps in the organization’s suite of comprehensive reports have been plugged. "The work of Advancement Services is never static and always evolving. Without continued attention, you can quickly lose ground," said Steve.
With this in mind, the primary aim over the past year was to ensure a strong foundation of people, services, systems and processes that can support the needs of organization and adapt to the exciting opportunities that emerge throughout the Campaign.