Office of Advancement
Office of Advancement

ALTogether Now

Vol. 99 – May 10, 2021

Scott Anderson, Deanna Bennett, Karen Bertrand, Michelle Fuko, Stephen Hornsby, Leigh Kalin

Deanna Bennett

By: Karen Bertrand, Vice-Principal (Advancement)

Teamwork makes the dream work

One of the values of the Office of Advancement is collaboration. We have collectively agreed to demonstrate this value through the following actions:

  • I treat my colleagues with respect and compassion by responding when appropriate in a timely and professional manner.
  • I show a genuine interest in and appreciation of others’ perspectives, knowledge, skills, and abilities.
  • I find ways to collaborate outside of my immediate team or unit, to further our mutual goals and to honour our roles as stewards of alumni engagement and our donors’ giving journey.
  • I am open to new ideas, wherever they may come from.
  • I express recognition and gratitude for the efforts and contributions of others.

Collaboration is tough. It takes time; it requires that we pro-actively seek out perspectives and experiences other than our own or even that of our closest colleagues; and it is a commitment to recognize the contributions of others – in the way others wish to be acknowledged and even if that does not come naturally to us.

We work in a very complex, fast-paced environment with considerable change underway throughout our business. These conditions could detract from efforts to be collaborative, so the actions we take are critical to truly demonstrating that we value collaboration.

To our team: How do you involve all stakeholders that you need to help advance your work at the beginning of a new project? Do you build enough time into your plans to be collaborative? How can you hold yourself and others around you accountable for embodying this value?

Values GraphicDefining our vision

The Office of Advancement at Queen’s has a defined mission and values. We have action statements to demonstrate how we exhibit our values, and of course we have the strategic priorities outlined in Forward, Together. Interspersed throughout our work to define all these things has been a vision of what we aspire to do and be – so it is time to formally define this vision.

With the benefit of all your input into the mission, values, and strategic priorities for Queen’s advancement, ALT has prepared a draft vision statement for consideration.  

“Our vision is to inspire unparalleled support from alumni, donors, and volunteers through industry-leading advancement practices.”

Now we want your input on this vision - the final piece of our strategic framework. Please complete this brief survey to provide your feedback by Monday, May 17.

Fundraising results

The beginning of a new year is a time of optimism and renewal, as well as a time to reflect on the previous year. It was therefore my sincere privilege to report the fundraising results of the 2020-21 fiscal year to the Board of Trustees (Board) – through the External Relations and Development (ERD) committee of the Board – on behalf of the university this past weekend.

Our Advancement Dashboard (unaudited) and a Fiscal Year-end Supplement to the Dashboard were presented to ERD and the Board on May 6 and 7 respectively. A second supplement including confidential information was presented in a closed session of the Board May 8.

There were lots of congratulations and expressions of appreciation for the fundraising results we achieved this year throughout the meetings. Of particular note however is that our Board Chair, Mary Wilson Trider, drew attention to the professional accomplishments of the Queen’s advancement team. Mary listed the external awards and accolades won by advancement staff in 2020-21 as one of four highlights of the past fiscal year that she commented on at the beginning of Board meetings Friday. Through this, Mary sent a clear message that she values this team of skilled professionals as much as I do.

Our accountability to the Board is focused on philanthropy as per Board Terms of Reference. I encourage everyone to review these three reports for a comprehensive description of the preliminary results of our philanthropic business in 2020-21 because whatever your role – whatever department you work in – we achieved these results together. Thank you!

The Dashboard and two Supplements are available on the I:drive at: I:\ADV Common\2020-2025 Advancement\Board Reports

Values GraphicWhat's on your mind? - ALT Q&A

ALT will be hosting the next ALT Q&A session Thursday, May 27 at 11 am.

For those of you that are new to Queen’s Advancement, the rules for these open Q&A sessions are as follows: attendance is optional; anyone is able to ask any member of ALT any question on any topic; and there will be no pre-set agendas so the Q&A session will last as long as attendees have questions. (The optional Zoom meeting already in your calendar is booked for up to 50 minutes.)

As always, members of the ALT look forward to the discussion, and we will do our best to answer your questions later this month.

Take time off work

Many have heard me say previously that taking vacation time is important. There is a lot of literature to back up this position, but perhaps I can also add some personal reflections on my own recent experience.

Like many others, the isolation and restrictions related to the pandemic were beginning to weigh on me early in the new year. The strain from the pace of change and work responsibilities since the pandemic began were taxing, and for the first time in my professional life, I found it difficult to separate work responsibilities from my personal life. While I knew I needed some time away from work, I simply could not figure out when to schedule it, given work priorities. The question of what I would do with time off was also very real. My husband and I agreed we would take two weeks off together – which seemed like an eternity after both working remotely from home together for the past year. I mean, how much more “together” time did we really need?

Regardless, I booked two weeks away from my desk at the end of March. I knew I needed to commit to this time so I shared my plans with many people. (Because let’s face it, while we are personally often very comfortable rescheduling time off to accommodate changing work needs, colleagues can help you stick to your vacation plans if they know your intentions.) I appointed an Acting VP to support the team and keep business moving while I was off, and I made sure all donors I was actively communicating with at the time also knew my plans and who would support them while I was away from my desk. In addition to the autoreply on my email, as the last line of defense – against myself – I turned all notifications on my phone off.

Then I walked away from my desk.

Without boring you with the details of the meals I enjoyed with my husband, the walks we took, or the books we read during that time, I can confirm that, despite the limitations on our activity due to the pandemic, those two weeks in March were probably the most restful vacation weeks I have ever experienced. I returned eager to get back to work,and feeling more refreshed and resilient than I had in a long time. After returning to work I lay awake one night unable to sleep because new ideas kept popping into my mind! I have been an advocate for people taking vacation for a long time, and those two weeks reaffirmed my personal commitment to this priority.

Vacation plans have been unrecognizably altered since March 2020. Many staff in the Office of Advancement have vacation banks that are larger than normal as a result of these plan changes and/or the demands on our time since the pandemic began. And there is hope on the horizon, thanks to the vaccine roll-out. Prior to the pandemic, I typically took time during the university holiday closure to plan my vacation for the rest of the year. That didn’t seem appropriate this past holiday season, but I am now excited again about making plans for time off during the rest of 2021.

If you have not done so yet, I strongly encourage everyone to make a plan for how you will use your vacation time before the end of this year and discuss it with your manager. 2021 is almost half over already. We all have a lot going on, but that is exactly why we also all need a break.

Values GraphicCanadian volunteerism

Statistics Canada marked National Volunteer Week by releasing a new article on Canadian volunteerism on Apr. 23. Using data from the 2018 General Social Survey: Giving, Volunteering, and Participating, this article sheds light on the nature and extent of formal and informal volunteering, with particular attention paid to generational differences.

As baseline data, collected prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, this new information will help the volunteer sector to understand better the impact of the pandemic moving forward. And, given the engagement of alumni volunteers that is unique in the Canadian post-secondary sector, this information has particular relevance for advancement professionals at Queen’s.

RIM Awareness Month draw

By Cheyenne Litt, Data Stewardship Specialist

It is time to announce the winner of the Records and Information Management (RIM) Awareness Month Contest. For those of you who may not have heard, Data Governance and Data Quality organized four weekly RIM activities for Advancement staff throughout the month of April for a chance to win a $50 gift card to the Wharf and Feather. After all of the participant’s hard work, I am pleased to announce the winner. The winner has been chosen using by adding the participants’ names to the wheel once for each entry they earned.

And the winner is…

Deanna Bennett!

Congratulations! Please email Cheyenne Litt to coordinate delivery of the prize.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this event and took the time to reflect on the records and information management practices here at the Office of Advancement.

New book and discussion

The ALT would like to thank everyone who participated in and submitted feedback on the facilitated discussion on the book, White Fragility. To continue to follow the example set by the Board of Trustees, we will now launch our next book discussion on the 2020-21 Queen’s Reads selection - Other Side of the Game by Amanda Parris.

Please consider joining the ALT to read Other Side of the Game,  and participate in a facilitated discussion with Celina Caesar-Chavannes June 23 at 10 - 11:30am.  Register now and receive more information about joining the discussion.


Key to Success graphicJobs with Advancement

We need your recruitment help. Know great talent that would be a good addition to our team? If so, please promote the vacancies 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 Carla, Kacey, or the hiring manager for the position you are interested in.

Available Position:

Senior Prospect Management Analyst Advancement Services, Prospect Research May 24, 2021 9
Senior Analyst Advancement Services, Information Technology Management May 24, 2021 8

Princess TowersFun fact

Queen’s and Princess Towers

Newcomers to Kingston know this building at the corner of Princess and Division Streets only as a mammoth apartment block. The structure was originally built in 1972 as Elrond College, an experimental cooperative student residence owned by the university.

The idea for Elrond College came from students who, in the late 1960s, were fed up with traditional residences, restrictive landlords, and the perennial shortage of housing in Kingston. The co-op, named after a character in the Lord of the Rings whose house was "a cure for weariness, fear, and sadness," was to be a coeducational residence "where the 'they' is 'you' and the rules are your own," as early promotional material promised. It was later privately sold in 1981.