Office of Advancement
Office of Advancement

ALTogether Now

Vol. 89 – March 8, 2021

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


Steve Hornsby

By: Steve Hornsby, Executive Director, Advancement Services

The Road Ahead 

Talk about a changing landscape!  At no point in our recent memory has the dial been moved so dramatically on the consideration and adoption of new technology.  The way we conduct business has changed forever.  One year ago, we needed to react and adapt under intense pressure as we strove for business continuity.  Perhaps now, with one year under our belt, we seek to preserve what has worked well, but also consider the application of new technologies as we contemplate our changing business model and the way we will work post-pandemic. 

While reviewing some literature for an upcoming project, I will introduce shortly, I happened across this survey by McKinsey & Co.  The survey findings indicated “that responses to COVID-19 have speeded the adoption of digital technologies by several years – and that many of these changes could be here for the long haul."   While not specific to our sector, it is an interesting read as business leaders weigh in on how COVID has changed their business. 

It is clear that the Office of Advancement as well as our peers in the sector will need to embrace the opportunities (and uncertainties) that lie ahead.  For this reason, the Office of Advancement will be seeking a consultant to assist us in developing a multi-year business-aligned technology roadmap.  How will we fully leverage and integrate new applications such as Encompass and Tableau?  How do we support emerging digital programming enhancements?  How might we leverage a new CRM in our current environment?  How do we increase integration, automation, workflow, and data-driven decision-making?  These are but a few of the important questions we will seek to answer.

Shortly, we hope to confirm a partner who will help us develop a roadmap that aligns with ongoing and emerging business objectives and allows for flexibility and growth. With the converging considerations at our feet, the need for contemporary tools and a more proactive approach to technology adoption has never been more important.

Introducing our Data Challenge Judges

We hope you will join us this Thursday, Mar. 11, 2021, at 10:30 am, as five teams compete for the title of Advancement Data Challenge champion. We are happy to announce our panel of esteemed judges for the big day:

  • Karen Bertrand – Vice-Principal Advancement (a.k.a. Fearless Leader)

As a proud Queen’s alum with over 25 years of experience in philanthropy, Karen leads the Office of Advancement team who is focused on fostering relationships that advance Queen’s and contribute to a better world. She is a key champion of the Insights Advancement program and using data to drive business decisions.

  • Jodi Magee - Executive Director, Institutional Research & Planning

No stranger to data, Jodi has been leading the Institutional Research and Planning team here at Queen’s since 2018. Over the last 25 years, she has held various analytical and management positions in Higher Education, Statistics Canada, and the NWT Bureau of Statistics

  • Josh Gillmore - Principal Solutions Engineer, Tableau

ITM has been working with Josh and the Tableau team for just over a year, strategizing ways to elevate data-driven decision-making across Advancement. He has worked in the public sector and national security community for over a decade, applying his expertise in data analysis, social media, network analysis, and financial data.

Thanks in advance to our judges and good luck to our participants.  We look forward to seeing everyone Thursday!

2021-22 Advancement Priorities

At our Mar. 4 staff meeting, Karen and ALT presented Advancement’s 2021-22 high-level priorities and objectives based on Forward, Together.  Here is the Staff meeting presentation and Forward, Together five-year Strategic Plan 2020-2025 – Operational Tracking.

Advancement Board Report and Dashboard

Queen’s University Board of Trustees met Mar. 5 and 6.  A copy of Advancement Quarterly Report and Dashboard are now available for all Queen’s advancement staff

Advancing Your Voice

In the Sept. 7 ALTogether Now newsletter, ALT introduced  Advancing Your Voice, an anonymous reporting tool  to provide you with additional ways to be heard. The virtual suggestion box was originally intended to be piloted for six months.  Mar.7 marked the six-month mark, and in that time we have received six submissions:

  • One submission was in recognition and thanks for the HR team! 
  • Two reports centered on concerns that there is a lack of staff recognition in Advancement.  These concerns have been taken seriously, and ALT has talked about the need to determine a strategy for an entire employee recognition program. The development of this strategy will begin in 2021-22.
  • Two reports related to process documentation and training. Concerns were raised about the loss of institutional knowledge and ensuring shared understanding of processes, as well as a space to list all of the recorded trainings and important meetings slides searchable by date and subject to so they are easy to access and to help with re-boarding.  Both of these concerns have been taken into account and projects are or will get underway in 2021-22 to address them.
  • One submission questioned some aspects of the Notebook initiative, in particular the fairness of the Golden Ticket idea and if consultations with faculties, other colleagues, or even young alumni occurred.  While we could not follow up directly with the submitter, we can say that while the initiative came together quickly based on feedback we had received from the Class of 2020, it was done in full consultation with the faculties and in collaboration with colleagues across Advancement. Alumni and the QUAA were very much involved — the QUAA played a key role in identifying the charities that would be voted upon for the charitable donation part of the Notebook campaign. Young alumni are still very much involved in the evolution of this initiative as we look forward to providing a similar gift to the Class of 2021.

The Golden Ticket part of the Notebook was meant to provide an exclusive opportunity for a limited number of our Class of 2020 alumni. Recipients were selected through a triple-random process that attempted to be as inclusive as possible and take into consideration faculty and geography. This process was outlined to our faculty partners in a Dec. 18 email, and a list of the Golden Ticket recipients was provided. This is an ongoing project, and we look forward to adapting it to the needs of our alumni over the next year — ideas and for the Notebook project are always welcome and any questions can be directed to Scott Anderson or Leigh Kalin.

We will continue to offer Advancing Your Voice as an option to make your voice heard.  Recently the Gazette had a great story that talked about the importance of sharing your voice, the value it adds to an organization, and some critical features to increase the quality of your message. Here is a link to the full article.  Why employees hesitate to speak up at work – and how to encourage them.

icons of person with light above themEmployee Spotlight

The Employee Spotlight celebrates the arrival of our new staff by profiling responses they share through a fun and informal survey that will help us get to know them better. Be sure to review these profiles and use these fun facts and tidbits to find commonalities, embrace differences and spark a conversation!

This week we welcome Benjamin Lawrence to Advancement, in the position of Administrative Assistant, Marketing, Communications and Donor Relations. Click here to learn more about Benjamin and why he wanted to join the Advancement team!


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 or the hiring manager for the position you are interested in.


Available Position:

Executive Director, University-Wide Development Development March 21, 2021 12
Associate Director, Regional Strategy Alumni Relations & Annual Giving March 21, 2021 10
Associate Director, Toronto Strategy Alumni Relations & Annual Giving March 11, 2021 10
Marketing Officer Advancement Marketing, Communications & Donor Relations March 14, 2021 8