With the fiscal year completed, I want to highlight some results in the Office of Advancement on behalf of the University. Advancement's success and the overall success of Queen's are inextricably linked as philanthropy is fuelling innovation and excellence in many areas across our campus. These results are only possible because of the professional staff, partnerships and participation of Deans, department heads, senior leadership and many volunteers who help to champion Queen's, here and around the world.
Our focus this past year centred on preparing for Campaign, the biggest in the University's history. We focused activities in our four units: Development, Marketing & Communications, Advancement Services and Alumni Relations. We strengthened our team, tightened up our systems and developed new initiatives. The new strategic plan for Advancement received approval of the Principal and Board in December 2011 with Campaign success driving our vision for the next four years.
Financially, the past year has been tough for everyone - and we are no exception. Benefactors to Queen's donated $41 million. Our fundraising endeavours ranged from pursuing "transformative" gifts to encouraging annual giving. We have been working hard to re-establish connections with some of our most generous donors, all while fostering new relationships.
From an operating budget perspective, we made some difficult financial decisions, including the elimination and review of some Advancement programs. We also mounted plans to increase our revenue streams from merchandise and affinity partnerships.
We have had big challenges with staffing. Solutions, we are learning, must be creative, including hiring people to work for us in other cities such as Toronto and Vancouver.
An important strategic direction is engaging our powerful alumni network. We try to facilitate alumni connecting to each other and the University through programs that promote networking, learning and travel.
Raising Queen's profile through media relations efforts and engaging key audiences through social media strategies were two focus areas in Advancement this past year. We also streamlined our strategy to tell the Queen's story through brand development work and enhancing internal communications.
New analytical tools developed in Advancement Services, including a Relationship Mapping application, provide unique ways for Advancement staff to use existing data to better understand relationships with alumni and to tailor our appeals so they are best suited to the potential benefactors. We also updated several University policies to reflect contemporary practices, including the Naming Policy and Gift Acceptance Policy, and received Board of Trustees approval.
Fiscal 2011-12 was a year we got Advancement's house in order, preparing for the public launch of the Campaign in September of this year. Our plan is aligned with the University's academic plan, strategic research plan and the Principal's vision as expressed in The Third Juncture. Thanks to everyone associated with Advancement working in support of Queen's. 2012-13 promises to be an exciting year.