Office of Advancement
Office of Advancement

ALTogether Now

Vol. 39 – March 9, 2020

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

Scott Anderson Leading with Impact

By Scott Anderson, Executive Director, Communications, Marketing, Events & Donor Relations

As we heard in last week’s all-staff meeting, improving our overall communications success across Advancement is a key priority in our new five-year strategic plan, Forward, Together.

As a starting point we have put together a strategic framework to help us build our communications effectiveness and capacity over the next three years. I have been meeting with departments across Advancement to gather feedback on the framework and discuss tactics that could help us achieve our strategic communications goals. We have to get in front of a few more people before we post the revised framework to QUIRC. We hope to be finished our little road show this month.

The overarching mandate for communications as we move forward is to demonstrate our impact —as a university community that includes students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, and friends — on the world. We are calling the framework “Prepare for Impact,” and it is important to note that it is intended to be a plan for communications across Advancement, not just the Marketing and Communications unit.

I chose the word “prepare” for the title because demonstrating impact is harder than it might seem at first, and it is a difficult thing for post-secondary institutions to master. Don’t get me wrong, universities are good at talking about what we do here, whether it is research or teaching or building new facilities to enable better teaching and research. We struggle, however, when it comes to demonstrating the impact of those things. We can only demonstrate true impact when we show how the things we do here make a positive change in the world, in the economy, in everyday lives, or in the future.

Let me give a recent example of what I am talking about.

After David MacNeil’s dog, Scout, suddenly collapsed last year, veterinarians discovered a cancerous tumour on the seven-year-old golden retriever’s heart. The prognosis was not good – he had just a one per cent chance of survival. MacNeil took Scout to the University of Wisconsin, where a team of veterinarians and researchers used a combination of immunotherapy and chemotherapy to shrink the tumour and save Scout’s life.

MacNeill, who also happens to be the founder of WeatherTech, the car floor-mat maker, was so grateful to the folks that saved his dog that this year he bought a $6-million (U.S.) Super Bowl commercial to say thank you to — and raise money for — the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine. That commercial has prompted thousands of donations, including a single $250,000 donation, and has been viewed by more than 900,000 people on the U of W website. I am willing to bet that many of those donors had never contemplated giving to the university before.

You can watch the Lucky Dog ad.

In just 30 seconds, we learn quite a bit about Scout – he likes sticks, was in a previous Super Bowl ad, and he made his miraculous recovery from cancer thanks to a “cutting-edge program at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine,” whose research has the potential to save millions of other dogs.

What we didn’t learn about in that 30 seconds is very much about the University of Wisconsin. We don’t know who the researchers are, what equipment they use, or even what procedures they used to cure the dog. All we know is one dog was saved and millions more could be saved down the road.

That ad would be hard for a university to make. It would be hard for us to take the focus off our great work and put it on the result of that great work. It would be hard not to have a proud scientist in a white coat talking about what they did. Scout is the part of the story that resonates, not the research that saved him.

If you go to the university website that features Scout, there is also a video that talks to the researchers and highlights their work in more detail. It’s hard to imagine a lot of people visiting that site without Scout’s help.

Focusing on impact is going to take some of the focus off us, and that won’t always be easy to do unless we’re prepared for it.

icon of a bikeRide for a Good Cause

What is Big Bike?

In short, it’s a vehicle of hope.

Fueled by 30 riders (29 team members and one Heart & Stoke Foundation of Canada driver) with a desire to make a difference, the Big Bike is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. Imagine stopping traffic while cruising through campus (leaving from the Union and University scramble) a giant bike (where do you think they got the name?) to the applause and appreciation of onlookers all while fundraising for critical heart disease and stroke research.

When you ride the Big Bike, you help achieve a vision of healthier lives free of heart disease and stroke across Canada. And while doing so, you’ll also get to hang out with friends and coworkers, enjoy some fresh air and exercise. Team fundraising starts is set at $2,200 (per ride) for this unforgettable experience, that’s an average of $75 per rider.

Advancement has committed to two rides (11:30 am and 1 pm). If you’re interested in riding, register today as space is limited and begin your fundraising. Please send an email to Marnie Girard our Team Captain to indicate the time you’d prefer (first come first served). If you’d like to support the team, you can donate now.

We’re also vying for some team awards and individual fundraising awards – Team Spirit and top fundraising team and individual. Queen’s is the first university in Canada to host Big Bike, so let’s show Canada what we can do. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada is a supporter of research and researchers here at Queen’s, and the majority of the funds raised from Big Bike go directly to research and community outreach supporting heart health (note three per cent goes to admin fees with 97 per cent to research/community programming).

When is Big Bike Queen’s 2020? Friday, April 3, so we only have 30 days to bring this together. JOIN TODAY!

In the meantime, we need a fun team theme and name other than “Queen’s Office of Advancement.” For example, we could have a Disney theme and be called the “Mickey Milers” (thanks Jodi for the suggestion).

Email your thoughts on names and themes to Marnie.

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:

Development Co-ordinator, Faculty of Arts & Science Development, Faculty of Arts & Science March 9, 2020 7
Prospect Research Analyst Prospect Research, Advancement Services March 9, 2020 7

Fun Fact

group of students jumpingOrientation Week

Organized welcoming activities for new students began at Queen's in the late 19th century. Most early events, such as the candle-lighting ceremony for women, were formal and sedate. Early this century, however, as Victorian constraints began to disappear, more boisterous activities emerged.