President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri has issued this message to the York community:
York University’s fundraising efforts, led by the York University Foundation, have served the institution tremendously well over the years. The foundation was established at a critical juncture at York to effectively kick-start and build fundraising momentum. And its fundraising results, including the achievement of $207 million in the recent campaign, speak for themselves.
With the conclusion of the York to the Power of 50 campaign, consideration was given to how best to serve York University’s future and growing fundraising needs, and move the institution to the next phase with regard to its advancement activities. A team of staff and volunteer leadership from both the foundation and the University was created to review the current structure related to fund development and make recommendations for the future. The team appointed the consulting firm KCI (Ketchum Canada) to review our structure and advise on best practices. Through their work, it was determined that greater involvement and engagement of York’s alumni community, as well as the creation of a synergy between all the functions of advancement – fundraising, alumni relations and advancement services – would better serve the University. The need for closer alignment with the academic priorities of the University was also identified as a priority for increasing our fundraising potential to a higher level.
Accordingly, it was concluded that the integration of alumni relations, advancement services and fundraising activities in a new Division of Advancement within the University was the most appropriate structure moving forward. The new division will be led by a vice-president advancement and I have asked Paul Marcus to assume its leadership.
The creation of a new division within the University seeks to achieve a number of objectives:
- To enhance alignment with York University’s academic priorities and objectives, and create a strong integrated model for Advancement.
- To better engage the university community in Advancement activities.
- To better engage with York’s vast community of alumni.
- To maximize the role of volunteers in fundraising.
- To strengthen the culture of philanthropy in the York University community.
- To create a more effective administrative structure to lead the integrated advancement function.
The foundation will remain as a legal entity and the foundation Board of Directors will remain intact. The foundation board members have been strong assets to York University and they will continue to play a vital role in providing us with advice and helping us in our fundraising and friend raising activities.
The plan to create this new division and transition foundation operations into the University is currently being developed. As this plan is created and the transition unfolds, I commit to keeping you informed and updated.
The establishment of the Division of Advancement represents a new chapter in the evolution of fundraising and advancement at York, and I am energized by the possibilities that it will create for us.