If you are looking to make a significant financial donation to Queen’s down the road, there is a good chance you will speak with Carmen Vanderlinde at some point in the process. As a Senior Gift Planning Officer, one of her jobs is to work with donors who intend to make “future legacy gifts” to the university, as well as working with donors making more immediate (or “in life”) gifts.
Whether a philanthropist wants to name Queen’s as a beneficiary of their estate or wants to leave the university property in their will, Vanderlinde is ready to help.
“If you feel you need a new challenge, you don’t have to look very far. You can keep growing your career at Queen’s.”
“I help people plan their charitable gifts,” she says, explaining that a typical day can involve anything from meeting with potential donors, to working on a marketing and communications plan for her department. “Part of what we do is to provide people with the technical information they’re looking for as they do that, but it’s also important to be able to connect with their values and figure out how they might align with Queen’s.”
When Vanderlinde graduated with a degree in business, however, it isn’t where she had imagined ending up. Though she grew up just north of Toronto, Vanderlinde found herself in the Kingston area as a young adult when her parents bought an apple farm just north of the city. Needing a summer job, she began working at the Kingston offices of a major insurance firm. Before too long, she had a full-time job as a group underwriter.
Although she enjoyed her work, Vanderlinde wasn’t entirely satisfied with her working life. “I felt like I’d fallen into a career, but it wasn’t something I’d really gone after,” she recalls. Hearing that Queen’s was a great employer, she set her sights on a job, first landing one as a research analyst in 2007, and then progressing to her current position. Vanderlinde says she loves being able to work for an institution with as much history as Queen’s, and thrives on knowing that her work brings in the resources that support the important teaching and research taking place on campus.
“Queen’s is a great place to work because you can pretty much shake up anything you do and develop your strengths,” Vanderlinde says. “If you feel you need a new challenge, you don’t have to look very far. You can keep growing your career at Queen’s.”