Office of Advancement
Office of Advancement

ALTogether Now

Vol. 42 – April 6, 2020

Advancement Leadership Team
Advancement Leadership Team: Steve Hornsby, Leigh Kalin, Scott Anderson, Karen Bertrand, Deanna Bennett, and Tom Hewitt

The Return of the Dictionary: Deciphering Unfamiliar Terms and New Vocabulary in the COVID-19 Era

By Tom Hewitt, Chief Development Officer

Lately, we’ve been introduced to terms that feel like visitors to our usual lexicon. And frankly I hope these terms are just vacationing with us for a short while. Here are a few:

• Flattening the curve
• Social or physical distancing
• Aggressive hand washing
• Essential versus non-essential services

Another is business continuity planning — a term that is especially relevant for all of us. Having a role that is not considered an essential service is a bit jarring. All the more reason to focus on the work we can do that provides value — now or when we come out the other end of this peregrination (look that up today!).

By definition, business continuity planning (or business continuity and resiliency planning) is the process of creating systems of prevention and recovery to deal with potential threats to a company. In addition to prevention, the goal is to enable ongoing operations before and during execution of disaster recovery.

An organization's resistance to failure is "the ability ... to withstand changes in its environment and still function.” Often called resilience, it is a capability that enables organizations to either endure environmental changes without having to permanently adapt, or the organization is forced to adapt a new way of working that better suits the new environmental conditions.

Focusing on business continuity in not an option. It is the most meaningful work we can do at this time to demonstrate our value to Advancement and Advancement’s value to Queen’s.

Look for the “silver lining”… ALWAYS!

As we discover how fleeting life can be, it’s even more important to look for the positive. The well-known expression “silver lining” is defined as a positive outcome or aspect of a bad situation; an unseen benefit or element of hopefulness that comes from something bad that happens to you. Businesses are using this crisis and the gift of time to really reflect to re-examine everything. Principal Deane has spoken about the transition to online learning that happened at light speed out of necessity. The reality is that this transition may have taken years and hours of agonizing debate in the world of just weeks ago. Silver lining indeed!

Use the time to find the silver lining, professionally and personally. It can only serve to lift our spirits.

Fiscal Year Fundraising Total

Just in case you don’t wake up and look at these numbers every day:

Goal: $60 million

Fiscal results: $37.4 million (62.5 per cent)


Just a reminder about the decision by Advancement to temporarily suspended the launch of new proactive solicitations. While Advancement recognizes the need for our community of supporters to turn their attention to personal safety and other immediate concerns, staff are encouraged to move forward with ongoing discussions regarding donations with anyone who is willing to engage at this time.

A Golden Era for Your Professional Development

What a perfect time to take advantage of webinars and online offerings to advance our knowledge and stay current. Just a reminder that our membership with EAB gives us access to lots of material to explore, and, no doubt you are receiving invitations to numerous free online sessions relating to operating our business amid the COVID-19 crisis.

EAB also has a COVID-19 response resource center, which is updated regularly with coronavirus-related insights for higher ed leaders.

icon of a smart phonePrincipal Deane Hard at Work with Our Donors

As you know the Principal plays an important role in the work of Advancement. Lately the Principal has maintained a pre-planned schedule of organized phone calls with a variety of donors to introduce himself and build important relationships. In addition to offering thanks for their support, the Principal is using these calls to discuss his ongoing conversation with the Queen’s community and inviting input on the future of our university. The COVID-19 crisis has provided an unprecedented opportunity to discuss how education will be changed and enabled the Principal to borrow from the experience of our donors, many of whom are reimagining the future of their businesses.

Defining Our Values

At our March 4 Advancement Staff Meeting, we confirmed that one objective for 2020-21 is to define the values of the Office of Advancement. At that time, a variety of in-person interactive activities to engage the full team in an exploration of our values were being considered. While our world has changed enormously since that meeting, the commitment to confirm our values is steadfast.

So let’s get started.

All our discussions over the past year and the research completed to inform our new strategic plan provide a good benchmark of our current culture. And of course we are all now familiar with the strategic objectives included in Forward, Together. The first step to define the values of the Office of Advancement is to consider the organizational culture/values we need to achieve this plan and, ultimately, to achieve our mission to foster relationships that advance Queen’s and contribute to a better world.

To stimulate your thinking, you may want to review examples of some corporate values.

Next, we invite you to submit up to five values you think are important for the Office of Advancement (in no particular order).

Don’t worry about what other people submit, just tell us what values you think are important for the Office of Advancement by the end of the day Friday, April 17. This exercise will generate a long list of potential values, but to begin this process we want the full inventory of values deemed important by the entire team.

Over the next few months we will complete a variety of activities to confirm our values, define what they mean, and consider how to build them into our regular work. These activities will be virtual, but we hope you will place the same level of importance on this effort and contribute to the discussion as much as you would have if we rolled out those in-person interactive activities.

icon of web browser with line graphAnnouncing Our New Online Engagement Tool

We are very pleased to announce that the Office of Advancement has partnered with iModules, the higher-ed fundraising and engagement leader, as we look to enhance our online engagement tools. The iModules integrated platform, Encompass, will empower the Office of Advancement with tools to improve the digital experience of alumni and donors, drive meaningful engagement, and gain operational efficiencies.

While the Encompass platform has a number of exciting modules, the replacement of our aging email and event systems will be the first step forward in our digital journey. Beginning on Monday, April 6, our project co-chairs Rachel Deir and Julia Bryan will begin planning meetings with iModules staff. We look forward to the continued insight of our Digital Communications Steering Committee and User Group to help guide our ongoing implementation efforts.

For a number of our staff in Advancement Services and Communications, Marketing, Events, and Donor Relations, this project will represent a considerable strategic focus for the better part of the next year and beyond. With this foundational step completed, work now begins in earnest. We look forward to providing more regular and detailed communications on our collective progress as we move forward.

icon of a happy face inside an envelopeAGNES from Home

If you need a mental break from the news or just need something to keep you entertained while practicing physical distancing, the Agnes Etherington Art Centre has a suite of material for you to explore and engage with #AGNESFromHome.

Staff there created a list of some of the great things that are available for you to discover, read, watch and enjoy. Over the weeks to come, staff will share rich content from Agnes’s collections, research, and educational resources to keep you occupied and to keep you company. Learn more.

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 résumé) 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:

Director, Strategic Content and Publications Communications, Marketing, Events and Donor Relations April 22,  2020 11

photo of building and football field at Queen's UniversityFun Fact

At the risk of repeating this fact, this is a time well suited to the use of the traditional Queen’s refrain of Cha Gheill, which is usually translated as "no surrender!"