Office of Advancement
Office of Advancement

ALTogether Now

Vol. 53 – June 22, 2020

exterior photo of Summerhill building


Karen Bertrand

Advancing Our Mission through Innovation

By Karen Bertrand, Vice-Principal (Advancement)

COVID-19 has had many effects, but one positive outcome of the pandemic is the innovations it has sparked across Queen’s Advancement.

On April 15 we hosted our first virtual alumni event with more than 400 people registered for the Alumni Town Hall. Dr. David Walker and Principal Patrick Deane spoke directly to alumni during the event about COVID-19 and Queen’s response to the pandemic.

The Annual Giving Calling Initiative has engaged numerous Advancement staff to complete an unprecedented level of outreach to ~5,000 annual donors over a six-week period (April 20–June 30). The purpose of these calls is to lend a compassionate ear during a time of uncertainty and express gratitude for their support of Queen’s.

The Queen’s Community Connections Project (QCCP) is a calling program designed to decrease the risks associated with COVID-19-related isolation among our senior alumni population. We developed this initiative in consultation with experts in senior well-being, and have already matched 81 student and alumni volunteers with senior alumni to connect regularly by phone.  

Alumni outreach to students was facilitated through new partnerships with academic partners to support university enrollment objectives this spring/summer. This included videos from alumni to first-year students to demonstrate what it means to become part of the Queen’s community, and calls to returning students to provide encouragement to students facing the unanticipated changes to the fall 2020 semester.

And we have had numerous operational innovations such as the evolution of e-signatures and remote working capabilities.

It was because of innovative programming like this that Queen’s Advancement won another award recently — a Bronze CASE Circle of Excellence Award for our Indigenous Chapter Call Campaign. Congratulations to Ben Seewald and all our partners on this program — Kandice and her team at Four Directions, as well as Kanonhsyonne in the Office of Indigenous Initiatives and Carol Ann Budd, Sc'89, the chapter’s alumni representative.

The pandemic pushed us to do things we never expected — or never thought possible. These innovations may earn us more awards in 2020, but that was not our objective. I have no doubt that some of the innovations coming out of this period will outlast the quarantine because they are simply good programs that help further our mission to foster relationships that advance Queen’s and contribute to a better world. Thank you for all your hard work.

icon of five bars with a trophy on topFinal Values Selected

Without further ado, I am thrilled to confirm our final values for the Office of Advancement.

Based on the results of our fourth exercise, the final values for the Office of Advancement are:

- Accountability
- Integrity
- Collaboration
- Customer service focus/orientation
- Inclusion

As previously shared, without bias created by knowledge of other submissions, Advancement staff placed customer service focus/orientation and collaboration as one of the top five values for the Office of Advancement in our two initial surveys. Both values were included in the list of six values that received 51 to 57 per cent support to be one of our top five values during our third exercise at the May 29 staff meeting — separated by only three per cent — and were rated as the second- and third-most highly rated values for the Office of Advancement in our most recent poll.

Based on the frequency that each value was mentioned by Advancement staff, inclusion was included in the top ten values for the Office of Advancement in our first two surveys. This value rose in rankings through the third exercise May 29, and finished as the value that was most highly rated as an important value for the Office of Advancement in our fourth and final exercise.

Our next steps will be to officially define these values and determine how they are applied in our day-to-day work. In the meantime, we would like to thank everyone for your involvement in this important initiative and for all your thoughtful contributions. Given the engagement in and results of these four exercises, we hope you will all agree that accountability, collaboration, customer service focus/orientation, inclusion, and integrity are values we can all get behind.

Focus on Leadership Development

The ALT met last week to review and discuss our DiSC 363 for Leaders reports.

Let me begin by confirming that we all agreed that we got a lot out of the DiSC 363 review. This is a helpful tool for professional development and we appreciated the feedback — regardless of how difficult or surprising some of it may have been.

Deanna advised that while it can be tough to receive the feedback, it was important to spend some time reflecting on the report to put her strengths and development areas into perspective.

Scott noted that areas of strength and areas of development are often very close — and easy to shift over time — so it is important to focus on the whole picture.

Leigh confirmed that she appreciated the objectivity and the clarity of the report, noting it is hard to argue with development areas identified.

Steve was pleased to see alignment between his self-assessment and that of his raters, and confirmed that this review will provide an excellent foundation for exploring strategies that he can use to become a more effective leader.

The ALT will now share their reports with their direct reports, and engage their broader teams in a discussion about their leadership. While 360 reviews are often considered personal, we want to work together to celebrate strengths and build leadership capacity, and that requires a deeper level of sharing. The tactics of how this will unfold will be different in each unit, but members of the ALT all look forward to working with their teams on this next step.

As you may be aware, we plan to repeat DiSC 363 for Leaders reviews for ALT members in 2021, and expand this to include managers across the Office of Advancement. As a supervisor, I reflected on the fact that your assessment of direct reports is immediately obvious to employees, so numerical ratings remove any opportunities to hide behind positive reinforcement. This resulted in some honest discussions, and, candidly, some risk for all parties when we agreed to share our reports with one another.

All this to say that this has been a valuable exercise through which we learned a lot about ourselves and the perceptions of our leadership skills. Our attention will now turn to our discussions with our teams, and we look forward to broadening this exercise further in 2021 as we continue our focus on leadership development.

icon of magnifying glas with data nodesImpact of COVID-19 on Advancement Metrics

Advancement teams around the country are doing things differently because of the pandemic, and we now have some idea of what those changes are relative to advancement metrics.

The Office of Advancement recently contributed to an Offord Group, a Marts & Lundy Firm survey: Impact of COVID-19 on Advancement Metrics. The results of the survey for Post-Secondary Institutions are now available. Also available for your review is a Post-Secondary Participant Supplement to the report that includes more detail on the responses to the survey as well as comments provided by our peers. 

Results of Alumni Relations Review Now Available

The results of the alumni programming review are now available.

As you may recall, an assessment of our alumni relations program was a strategic objective included in Forward, Together (3.9). The report prepared from this assessment is now available on QUIRC (please login to the VPN to access), and the recommendations included therein will now be used to help define where we should innovate and how we can advance our third strategic direction to Grow Key Programs: Alumni Programming & Annual Giving.

icon of hand outstretched with sun above itSeeking Volunteers

The Office of Advancement is looking for volunteers to lead the 2020 United Way campaign in each unit. (For greater clarity, each ALT member leads a “unit.”)

Thank you to Begona Pereira for taking on this role for more than a year on behalf of the entire Office of Advancement. The Queen’s United Way Committee would like to make some changes this year by expanding our team of volunteers in 2020 to include a volunteer leading the campaign in every unit/department across campus. So we are now looking for more volunteers!

If you are willing to volunteer to lead the 2020 United Way in your unit, please connect with your manager and ALT member. Advancement managers will also be asked for nominations; and the ALT will submit the list of volunteers in each of our units to the Queen’s United Way Committee by the end of June.

Last Week of Advancement Enhancement Month

As we head into the last week of Advancement Enhancement Month, don't forget to check out the activities for the week on the calendar. Thank you to everyone who has been participating in the activities. We hope you have enjoyed them!

Join us at 1 pm on Friday, June 26 to close out a month of enhancement with comedian Elaine Gold.

Thank you again to everyone who has donated to our charity of choice, Lionhearts Inc. Advancement is so close to our goal of providing 300 meals. Please consider donating if you haven't already! 

Jobs with Advancement

We need your recruitment help. Know great talent that would be a good addition to our team? If so, please promote the vacancy below with your networks and let’s find some amazing new team members.

Applications (including a cover letter and resume) must be submitted through CareerQ. For additional information on this posting, please reach out to either Katelyn, Carla, or the hiring manager for the position you are interested in.

Available Position:

Email Marketing Manager Communications, Marketing, Events & Donor Relations July 2, 2020 9

Fun Fact


Gaels is the name of the Queen's inter-university sports teams.

The teams were formerly known as the "Golden Gaels," a nickname coined in 1947 by Kingston Whig-Standard sports reporter Cliff Bowering after the football team traded its traditional uniform of red, gold, and blue bands for gold jerseys, gold helmets, and red pants.

Bowering first used the term after a game in London, Ont., when he reported that the "Golden Gaels of Queen's University" were thumped 52-3 by Western. The name caught on and became the familiar term for Queen's teams by the 1950s and until 2008.

"Gaels" is a reference to Queen's Scottish heritage.

Before 1947, Queen's teams were commonly known as the Tricolour.