I was being teased at our Advancement Leadership Team (ALT) meeting the other day about my love of planning. I confess it’s true, and I am only mildly embarrassed by it. I have learned the hard way that Benjamin Franklin was right when he said “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Planning ahead is just wise, even if people make fun of you – It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark. 

ALT’s friendly teasing got me thinking about my favourite planning tool: Forward Planning, our biweekly meeting to identify opportunities to work together to get our key messages out and amplified. This was a concept I adapted from the Prime Minister’s Office and imported to Algonquin College and then, finally, to Queen’s. The reason is simple — it works. The catch? It only works when the right people participate to bring ideas to the table.

Caitlin Adair has been doing a great job chairing this meeting, which was paused over the summer, but is now back in full swing. I’d encourage you to think about whether it’s a meeting that you should attend, not only because it’s a great opportunity to find out what your colleagues are up to, but also to let your colleagues know what your team is working on.

Sadly, the meeting has suffered from spotty attendance as we all try to prioritize our many commitments.

But I’d like to make the case that this meeting should be a priority. Just last week, Caitlin tried to encourage engagement in the meeting with a quick survey to discover why people may or may not attend, how they use the meeting, and what they want to get out of it. 

Advancement is a big machine with lots of moving parts. But at the heart of it all are our key messages — who we are, what we stand for, and our values. In addition to the survey results that Caitlin will use to shape the future of this meeting, Forward Planning is intended to be for and about one thing only, and that’s the messages and methods we’re using to further those key messages. Not just at one event or one piece of content or one conversation with a donor, but everywhere, throughout Advancement.

If that’s not a priority, then I’m not sure what is.

If you’re involved in planning opportunities to push out key messages in your unit, I encourage you to make time in your calendars for Forward Planning. It’s only an hour every other week, and it is an opportunity for all of us to collaborate, share workloads, and brainstorm about how we can best tell the story of Advancement, our alumni, and the impact of both. Because, as Yogi Berra said: “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else.”

Homecoming insights

As we continue to analyze this year’s virtual Homecoming, interesting facts are emerging. Here are a few compiled by Senior Prospect Management Analyst Doverin Konda-Foley:

The top five countries for registration are:   

  • Canada
  • USA
  • England
  • Hong Kong
  • China

And the top five countries for attendance are: 

  • Canada
  • USA
  • England
  • Australia
  • Hong Kong

Additional insights include: 

  • Hong Kong and China are the fourth and fifth countries for registrants, respectively, but are the fifth and seventh for attendance, indicating they have a higher drop-off than other countries. The demonstration of international interest in Homecoming programming is promising; for example, the information above indicates alumni interest and an opportunity for university follow up/active engagement in the Asian markets. 
  • Younger people are more likely to register and not attend, and older people are more likely to attend if they registered. 
  • Women and men are equally likely to register, but women are more likely to attend. 

Queen's is on the CASE

Queen’s will be well represented at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District II Conference to be held in New York City in February. The Speakers Engagement Committee has asked for two presentations from Advancement.  Sara Franca and Pat Galloway will present A New –  and Nuanced – Approach to Alumni Engagement Metrics, and Deborah Melman-Clement will talk about the training program she developed in a presentation called Turning Development Officers into Development Writers.

Employee 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.

We would like to welcome two new members to Advancement:

Stephanie Brown in the position of Relationship Manager, Smith School of Business. Learn more about Stephanie and what family secret she keeps vaulted.

Liv Routliffe in the position of Communications and Events Officer, Marketing, Communications and Donor Relations.  Learn more about Olivia and the one thing she can’t live without.

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

Apply for available positions







Web Programmer Analyst J0621-1494 Information Technology November 21, 2021 7 Continuing


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