Office of Advancement
Office of Advancement

ALTogether Now

Vol. 47 – May 11, 2020

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

Karen Bertrand

United by a Shared Purpose

By Karen Bertrand, Vice-Principal (Advancement)

While working remotely and physical distancing, there is a lot that divides us every day. However, there is also a lot that unites us.

As a global community, we joined together to recognize and celebrate individuals on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. As Canadians, we collectively recoiled against the horror and the tragedy that befell our Nova Scotian neighbours. And Kingston is now known as the community that has worked together to plank the curve.

There is a lot that unites us in the Office of Advancement as well. The team videos, grocery shopping, and small gestures to help and support colleagues that have characterized our conduct since March 17 have been heartwarming. Several individuals recently worked together to prepare and present a successful proposal to Dr. Isabel Bader – a proposal I believe was one of the best we have produced in recent years. The collective effort to secure – and now steward – Canadian benefactors supporting the Dr. Art McDonald Ventilator Research Fund was nothing short of remarkable. The inaugural COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall was trial by fire, but we did it successfully. And then there is the support so many provide for our alumni volunteers.

An unsolicited compliment about Emily Mackwood was recently sent to me. Emily has no idea I am sharing this, but the message captures the spirit of what is possible when we are united for a common purpose. I did not set this up, but when I saw this message in my inbox I knew it needed to be shared. This compliment will be the final word, but let me just say, on behalf of the Office of Advancement, thank you, Emily, for demonstrating what can be achieved when we work together.

"Emily has been a joy to work with. From the start she took ownership over this project and worked diligently to ensure that our (very short!) timelines were met - with partners all across the country. Unfailingly warm and professional, Emily has steered this project from concept to launch in two weeks time - something frankly which should have taken months. She is a true asset to your team and to Queen’s. Thank you for the opportunity to work together with Emily."

Laura Tamblyn Watts, Artsci‘94

Staff Share Most Important Advancement Values

photo of words grouped together as a word cloud

Thank you for participating in the two recent surveys about the values of the Office of Advancement! Almost 75 per cent of Queen’s advancement staff participated in these exercises, which generated some early consensus about our team values.

Integrity is clearly an important value for the Office of Advancement. Without bias created by knowledge of other submissions, more advancement staff mentioned integrity as an important value for the Office of Advancement than any other value in the first survey. In fact, staff mentioned integrity almost 60 per cent more than the value with the next highest number of mentions in that survey. Integrity was also voted as the most important value for the Office of Advancement in the second survey by the greatest number of advancement staff.

Our consensus goes deeper than that.

The top five values coming out of both surveys were identical. And with the exception of reversing the order for two of these values, based on the frequency that each value was mentioned by advancement staff, these five values are listed in the exact same order between the two surveys!

Together with Integrity, the top five values for the Office of Advancement that have been identified through these first two exercises are Customer Service Focus/Orientation, Respect, Innovation, and Collaboration.

Based on the frequency that each value was mentioned by advancement staff, Accountability and Inclusivity were included in the top ten values for the Office of Advancement in both surveys.

Communication, Passionate, and Supportive each made the list of the top 10 values in one of the surveys, so they round out the current list of the top 10 values for the Office of Advancement.

You may also be interested to learn that the three additional values included in the top 10 in one of the surveys were Donor-Centered, Togetherness and Focus on Impact. The similarity of some of these to values captured in the current list of the top 10 values further demonstrates our early consensus.

A word cloud has been created to depict all the values submitted in the first survey.

What happens next?

Now it is time to have a discussion with one another about our values. We will hold an all-staff meeting for this purpose in the coming weeks. Randomized groups of advancement staff will define what each value means, and then each team will present their definition of the value they worked on and defend why it is a critical value for the Office of Advancement.

We hope to narrow the list of values for the Office of Advancement to five following this staff meeting. Based on the consensus that has developed through the first two exercises, this may be the final list of values for the Office of Advancement, but that will be determined by the outcome of this third exercise.

Let’s keep building on our early consensus. Think about how you define these 10 values and participate in the all-staff meeting to help define the values that unite us.

Achieving Results Together

The beginning of a new year is a time of optimism and renewal, as well as a time to reflect on the previous year. In advancement, the new year is therefore the time that results are available from the prior fiscal year.

Our Advancement Dashboard (unaudited) and a Fiscal Year-end Supplement to the Dashboard were presented to the External Relations and Development Committee of the Board (ERD) and the Board of Trustees on May 7 and 8 respectively. Our accountability to the Board is focused on philanthropy as per Board Terms of Reference. I encourage everyone to review these two reports for a comprehensive description of the preliminary results of our philanthropic business in 2019-20. Because whatever your role – whatever department you work in – we achieved these results together. Thank you!

Find these documents on the i: drive: I:\ADV Common\2021-2025 Strategic Plan\Board Fiscal Year End

icon of a head with lightbulb, arrow and pencil in itMeeting-Free Mondays

Many advancement staff have expressed concern that meeting overload has become an even greater issue since we began working remotely. Whatever the reason for this change, we all agree that meeting overload can have a negative impact on our productivity and personal well-being.

There are many strategies that could be deployed to address this challenge. Tools in Office 365 can automatically identify daily blocks of “focus time” in your schedule. Some advancement staff only book meetings during certain times of the day. And others attempt to have one meeting-free day each week. Given our interdependence on one another to advance our work, it is likely true that a common strategy has the greatest likelihood of making a difference.

The ALT has therefore committed to piloting a strategy across the Office of Advancement to combat meeting overload.

We propose Meeting-Free Mondays for the Office of Advancement. While we may not always be able to influence the timing of meetings with our external stakeholders and campus partners, we can commit to ensuring that internal advancement meetings are held another day of the week. Mondays will be reserved for work that requires focus and high-level thinking – such as writing, strategic thinking/planning, analysis, coding, or complex projects. You may still interact with colleagues on Monday if you choose – through emails or quick phone calls for instance – but we will make an internal commitment to being meeting free that one day each week.

This pilot could begin immediately — acknowledging that some meeting commitments may already be in your schedule for Mondays in the immediate future that may be difficult to alter — and should last at least until the end of August.

Please speak to your ALT member immediately if you have any concerns about this proposal. Based on this feedback, the ALT will decide this week if we are united in support of this pilot, or if we should consider an alternative strategy to address meeting overload.

icon of trophyJoin the 2020 CCAE Prix d’Excellence Awards Celebrations

Advancement has submitted a number of nominations for this year’s CCAE 2020 Prix d’Excellence Awards. This year the awards will be held online from May 19–22 daily from 1 pm to 1:30 pm EDT. Join others in Advancement to find out who the 2020 recipients are and to share in recognition of your colleagues.

New for 2020, the recipients and their associated medallion levels (Gold, Silver and Bronze) will be announced live each day, instead of prior notifications as in past years.

Seven categories per day will be announced, so review the celebration agenda for details on what categories are to be announced for each day.

Advancement Enhancement Day Less Than a Month Away

Your Advancement Enhancement Day Committee is hard at work and planning some great activities for everyone to partake in virtually, whether it be alone, together, or with your housemates/family.

Later today you will receive an invitation to the kick-off meeting, with a guest speaker, for June 4. We hope you are getting excited!

If you have any questions about Advancement Enhancement Day 2020, please reach out to one of us.

With thanks from your planning committee: Kate Bearse, Deanna Bennett, Gage Benyon, Jess Boland, Pavel Civin, Kym Cook, Callum Linden, Erica McIlquham, Michelle Pruefer, Emily Rees, Carla Ferreira Rodrigues, Ben Seewald, Peggy Shanks, Katelyn Siu, and Michelle White

icon of homeFun Fact

Have you noticed Karen’s new home office is a little, well, closet-like? Karen says a benefit of working from her new closet office – located in her home she shares with her husband and two children – is the privacy it affords. Nonetheless, it is so intimate that even if Karen wanted to, she would not be able to fit the VP’s desk from Summerhill into her new space.