Enhancing McGill's Community Partnerships

Lead(s)

  • Marc Weinstein, Vice-Principal (University Advancement)
  • Martha Crago, Vice-Principal (Research and Innovation)
  • Louis Arseneault, Vice-Principal (Communications and External Relations)

Description

This priority area focuses on establishing McGill as a leading University partner for many members of our community (including alumni, students, parents and friends; industry, non-for-profit and public organizations; traditional, social and specialized media; and the community at large), and a successful collaborator with these groups in achieving our collective goals.


Long-term goals

  • Nurturing lifelong and mutually beneficial relationships between McGill and its global community of alumni, parents, friends and supporters
  • Fostering an atmosphere of innovation, creativity and discovery that encourages and benefits from industry, community and university partnerships
  • Increasing McGill’s visibility as a welcoming, open place in order to reach and engage external partners locally, nationally and globally

Projects

  • Deepening our connection with alumni, parents, donors and friends by:
    • Promoting the McGill Commitment and enhanced educational opportunities through events, outreach and communications.
    • Developing new programs and initiatives to engage students and young alumni with McGill and with philanthropy.
    • Enhancing how we communicate the impact of giving to our donors.
    • Creating more targeted communications and programs that reflect our community’s interests and needs.
  • Nurturing discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship by:
    • Increasing funding for innovation and entrepreneurship.
    • Expanding for-credit entrepreneurship training options.
    • Enhancing opportunities for hands-on entrepreneurial experiences facilitated by the Quartier de l’Innovation (QI
    • Creating an institutional strategy for connecting talented students, researchers and faculty with coaching and support.
  • Building McGill’s public profile as a desirable and preferred partner through:
    • The McGill dans la Ville monthly e-newsletter, to raise awareness of the university’s impact on Quebec and Quebecers.
    • A new participative Web platform, created in partnership with the Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire en études montréalaises, which will host innovative projects that meaningfully contribute to the future of our city.
    • Increasing media coverage
    • Redesigning www.mcgill.ca to ensure mobile accessibility and greatly improved usability.

Key Milestones (updated January 2018)

Note: New updates and milestones appear in bold. Status updates will be posted twice a year.

Engaging alumni as full partners in McGill’s success
DATE MILESTONE STATUS
Fall 2014

Public launch of McGill’s first crowdfunding website.

Completed.

Fall 2014

Launch a new giving website, highlighting the McGill Commitment and other key priorities.

Completed.

Fall 2014

Begin implementation of a new stewardship program.

See Winter 2015.

Winter 2015

Create a robust communications and engagement plan targeting students and young alumni.

Completed.

Winter 2015

Plan and begin to implement enhanced social media strategy.

Completed. Strategy features enhanced multimedia content, greater sharing across platforms and the creation of a dashboard to measure engagement.

Winter 2015

Complete implementation of enhanced stewardship program.

Completed. Reports highlighting the impact of philanthropy across 12 Faculties and themes are posted www.mcgill.ca/giving.

Spring-Summer 2015

Finish evaluation of new stewardship programs, and plan updated program for FY16

Underway. Program evaluation and FY16 planning to be completed this fall.

Spring 2016

Plan McGill’s inaugural Giving Day: a 24-hour day of philanthropy with activities, contests and social media challenges designed to engage new supporters around the world.

McGill24, which was held on March 16, 2016, raised nearly $800,000 from ca. 1,600 donors. The digital campaign was seen by more than 250,000 people worldwide, and #McGill24 was the top trending Twitter hashtag in Montreal, and #2 in Canada. Nearly 700 graduates celebrated at events in three time zones.

Fall 2015

Combine Homecoming Celebration Weekend and Open House for the first time, creating new opportunities for alumni, current students, and prospective students to interact and engage with one another on campus.

The combined event was tested in 2015 and 2016. In both editions of Open House, nearly 30 young alumni were recruited from a variety of Faculties to meet with prospective students and their parents. The joint event showed positive outcomes for Open House, and young alumni recruitment will be pursued in future editions. However, it has proven challenging to draw alumni to campus at the end of October, so, going forward, the events will be held separately, but with continued collaboration. 

Fall 2015 - ongoing

Roll-out engagement plans for McGill’s key markets of Montreal, Toronto and New York.

Ongoing.

Summer 2016

Launch new alumni web platforms

Completed:

McGill’s new alumni site and career networking site (#McGillConnect) launched in May, and a new online chat-based events tool came online in July to coincide with Student Send-Offs. 

In October, the McGill Alumni Insight Community platform, powered by Vision Critical, was launched.

Numerous surveys have gone out, with an ongoing schedule of short, targeted questionnaires.

Fall 2016

Introduce and roll out “The Road to 200” in the run-up to McGill’s Bicentennial.

A new web site was launched in September.

Numerous events featuring McGill researchers have taken place around the world, e.g., Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, UK, and Hong Kong. 

Fall 2016 Streamline Annual Giving programs under "The McGill Fund" banner.

Completed.

Fall 2016

Form leadership advisories around the world to provide strategic and fundraising advice in the lead-up to the bicentennial campaign. 

Completed. Regional Advisory Groups exist in Montreal, Toronto, New York/Tristate, London/Europe and Asia. Meetings are planned twice yearly, with the first held in Fall 2016 and the second, in Spring 2017. Engagement of individual group members between meetings is ongoing.  

Fall 2016-Winter 2017

Plan the 2017 edition of #McGill24

Held on March 15, 2017, the second edition of this digital day-of-giving raised nearly $1.4M from 3,475 donors, including nearly 900 student and young alumni donors, and achieved a social media reach of over one million individuals. 

Summer-Fall 2017

Undertake a campaign feasibility study. 

Nearing completion. Hundreds of alumni and donors around the world have provided their feedback on McGill’s plans and aspirations for the future, weighing our readiness for a major fundraising campaign for McGill’s 200th anniversary.

2017-2018

Examine the options for deepening ties with local and international alumni for internship opportunities.

In progress. This collaboration between UA, the McGill Alumni Association and the Deputy Provost, Student Life and Learning is aimed at piloting a campaign that targets alumni capable of providing paid summer employment to students to amplify experiential learning opportunities. Alumni are being approached for shadowing opportunities during Reading Week as a precursor to a wider summer employment strategy in 2018.

Spring 2018

Hold a Leaders Alliance with UA’s worldwide cadre of volunteers.

In progress. The program is finalized and invitations have been extended to more than 600 volunteers from the University’s local, regional and international advisory boards to attend a special summit being held May 4-5, 2018, designed to prepare McGill’s most influential advocates for the bicentennial campaign.

2017-2020

Begin to raise awareness of McGill’s bicentennial anniversary.

Ongoing. In the lead-up to the launch of anniversary celebrations at Homecoming 2020, and building on our existing Road to 200 strategy, we are starting to incorporate bicentennial messages into a wider range of alumni events and communications. At the same time, we are beginning to develop the framework for an alumni-specific global anniversary event.

 

Winter-Spring 2018

Complete the campaign feasibility study and analyze results.

Based on surveys, meetings, interviews and other data, the campaign consultants will deliver results of the feasibility study in early 2018. This will inform our plans and targets as we look ahead to the campaign launch in 2019.

Spring 2018

Recognize McGill donors through the creation of new tools and publications.

Design and launch an online donor wall by fiscal year-end to recognize annual and lifetime donors to McGill, and publish McGill’s first annual report on philanthropy that focuses on the transformative impact of giving.

Fall 2018

Form a Campaign Cabinet and global volunteer structure in support of the campaign.

Identify and onboard alumni, donors and friends by Fall 2018, who will act as ambassadors and influencers in the achievement of McGill’s bicentennial campaign goals.

2018-2019

Facilitate giving to McGill through the overhaul of UA giving websites.

Overhaul the existing giving platforms into one donor-centric website that provides interested individuals the opportunity to give to their area of choice through a variety of giving channels; overlay bicentennial campaign goals and branding onto this site in time for the public launch of the campaign.

Nurturing discovery, innovation and industry partnerships
DATE MILESTONE STATUS
Fall 2014

Launch a series of consultative meetings to develop recommendations for establishing a funding pool to support innovation and entrepreneurship in the campus community.

Completed. 
Fall 2014

Finish consultations with Deans, faculty, students and the broader community about options for enhancing McGill’s for-credit entrepreneurship training offerings.

Completed.  
Fall 2014

Work with University Advancement and the Dobson Centre to complete a plan for matching students, researchers and faculty with mentors from McGill’s external networks.

Completed. 
Fall 2014

Announce partnership with the Centre d’entreprises et d’innovation de Montréal (CEIM) to develop and implement a platform to strengthen industrial collaborations and the creation of spin-off companies.

Completed. 
Winter 2015

Confirm plans for innovation funding pool and enhanced curricular entrepreneurship training.

Completed.

Winter 2015

Complete a plan to expand experiential entrepreneurship learning opportunities at the Quartier de l’Innovation and elsewhere and promote these within the community.

Ongoing. 

Winter 2015

Establish a plan for engaging external alumni and friends in coaching and mentorship activities for McGill project teams.

Completed. 

Spring-Summer 2015

Begin implementation of plans for funding pool and launch the academic approval process for enhanced entrepreneurship training options. 

Completed.
Spring-Summer 2015

Finish reviewing progress and establish action plans for the next academic year.

Completed.
Spring-Summer 2015

Launch of the Innovation Constellation website.

Completed.

Spring-Summer 2015

Complete revisions to McGill’s Intellectual Property Policy.

Completed. The new Policy on Inventions and Software and the Policy on Copyright are available online.

Spring-Summer 2015

Launch pilot mentorship platform

Completed. 

Fall 2015

Present a comprehensive update on McGill’s innovation agenda to senior administration and Faculty Councils. 

Completed.

Fall 2015

Develop position, recruit, and hire an Associate Vice-Principal, Innovation and Partnerships.

Completed.

Winter 2016

Finalize a plan for operationalizing McGill’s internal innovation and entrepreneurship network.

Ongoing.  

Summer 2016

Complete a comprehensive dialogue with key stakeholders in McGill’s internal and external innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. 

Completed. 

Fall 2016

Continue to organize the annual McGill Innovation Week.

Completed. 

Winter 2017

Together with internal and external partners, develop and launch an implementation roadmap outlining plans for baseline and transformative initiatives.

Completed. 

Winter 2017

Launch new programs in support of innovation, with a focus on experiential learning, for students and young graduates.  

Ongoing. The Innovation Fellowship Program, funded through the Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives initiative, is underway.  

Pilot programs related to incubator space, international innovation events, and legal support for start-ups have been completed. Results are being analyzed and next steps will be proposed by fall 2018.

Summer 2017

Establish strong external innovation pathways.

Ongoing. The Office of Innovation and Partnerships (OIP) collaborates with external companies and consultants to help evaluate McGill technologies.

The OIP team has become more integrated with the Canadian university tech transfer ecosystem, and now has representatives on several committees of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM). 

Summer 2017

Enhance diversity in Artificial Intelligence.

Inaugural AI Summer Lab Program was held in June 2017, with 20 participants.

Fall 2017

Operationalize the new IP policies as well as promote the new Guidelines on the Application of the Policy on Inventions and Software.

Completed. New online system for invention reporting has been launched. 

Fall 2017

Establish the innovation agenda as a core strategic focus of the University.

Ongoing.

Fall 2017

Achieve wide distribution of sustained and accessible innovation programming across McGill.

Completed. The Dobson Centre is leading these activities.

Fall 2017

Create opportunities for hands-on innovation for graduate students.

Completed. OIP will launch an internship program for graduate students in the Technology Transfer team in January 2018. 

Fall 2017

Provide support for venture formation in the neurosciences.

Completed.

Fall 2017

Create novel ways for McGill technologies to have impact.

Ongoing. OIP is using different strategies to bring technology to market, including deals with start-ups and alumni. 

Fall 2017

Engage regional, national and international partners in McGill innovation initiatives.

Agreements with CEIM (Centre d’entreprises et d’innovation de Montréal) and WeWork are in place for qualifying members of the McGill community to access space and start-up support services.  

Winter 2018

Support the Canada-wide advocacy campaign to ensure the full implementation of the Canada’s Fundamental Science Review in the 2018 federal budget.

Throughout fall 2017, McGill hosted visits, highlighting the importance of fundamental research, by several Members of Parliament. Likewise, McGill’s senior leadership has met on a regular basis with government officials to make the case for reinvestment. More visits by MPs are scheduled for early 2018.

Funding for Fundamental Research, a website highlighting the advocacy campaign and resources available to the community, has been launched. 

Winter 2018

Conduct internal and external consultations on the optimal structure and staffing for the OIP.

Meetings with internal and external stakeholders are underway and scheduled to continue through early 2018. Plans will be finalized by May 2018. 

Winter 2018

Revise information about OIP services and integrate content into the Research and Innovation website.

Underway, with new branding and web content expected to be launched in summer 2018. 

Summer – Fall 2018

Fully fund and staff the OIP.

Discussions are underway with the Office of the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) to establish a sustainable source of funding for the OIP. An agreement is expected by May 2018, with hiring beginning shortly thereafter. 

Summer – Fall 2018

Develop and launch comprehensive communications strategy on innovation at McGill for internal and external audiences. 

In collaboration with Communications and External Relations, key messages, online assets, branding, and story development are all underway. Strategy is expected to launch in September 2018. 

Building McGill’s public profile as a desirable and preferred partner
DATE MILESTONE STATUS
Fall 2014

Launch McGill dans la Ville e-newsletter.

Completed. The newsletter was first published in November 2014 and has been sent monthly to approximately 700 people initially, with regular additions to the list. A survey was sent to recipients in June 2015, and future content will be reviewed in consequence.

Winter 2015

Complete evaluation of the success of McGill dans la Ville e-newsletter.

The newsletter had an average open rate over 40 per cent and a rate of unique click-thrus of 25 per cent in June 2015 (an increase of 43.6 per cent since its launch). Research shows that the average newsletter has an open rate of 20-25 per cent and a rate of unique click-thrus of 2-3 per cent.

A survey was sent to recipients in June 2015, and we will review future content in consequence.

Winter 2015

Obtain funding for, and begin to build, CIRM Platform.

Funding efforts are ongoing with University Advancement, but this project is delayed.

Winter 2015

Increase media visibility for research activities.

Certain media outlets have been successfully targeted and international coverage of McGill research has shown consistent growth.

Revamped online media guide to McGill experts has launched: www.mcgill.ca/newsroom/people

Evaluating the format and distribution of the Headway research magazine, in order to maximize impact.

Winter 2015

Double the French content on social media.

French content on both Facebook and Twitter has at least doubled.

Spring-Summer 2015

Complete marketing and communications plans for Web platform.

Delayed, as per above. 

 

Spring-Summer 2015

Complete planning, scoping, gathering requirements for mcgill.ca redesign.

Postponed due to resource limitations. We are looking with IT at restructuring how Web development is undertaken.

We have identified priority sites for revamping, including Home pages.

A new undergraduate admissions site was launched in August 2015.

Investment in new structure for Web development has begun in 2017.

Creation of the new Web hub being undertaken by the new Director of Digital Communications hired in 2017-18.

 

Fall 2015

Finalize communications plan for Gault Nature Reserve in Mont St. Hilaire. The goal is to enhance visibility of the reserve and awareness of McGill’s role.

 

Completed

 

Fall 2015

Implement Phase I of the Gault Nature Reserve communications plan: design and install new signage at the reserve.

Completed in 2016

 

Winter/Spring 2016

Implement Phase II of the Gault Nature Reserve communications plan: launch new Website and deepen association with City of Mont St. Hilaire.

The following activities are complete:

  • Science talks for the public, in French, Spring 2016
  • Outreach in city schools, Fall 2016
  • Concert marking city’s 50th anniversary by Schulich School of Music, Fall 2016

Work on website begun in Fall 2016 with completion anticipated in Fall 2017.

Event to announce major research funding at Gault held on site, with participation of Mont Saint-Hilaire mayor in November 2017.

Spring 2016

Increase the impact of the McGill High School Science awards by 50%, as measured by both the number of schools that take up the award and the number of high school graduation ceremonies where McGill is represented.

Ongoing.

Working with Enrolment Services to ensure effective planning and outreach with Quebec high schools.

Also working with University Advancement to encourage alumni to represent McGill at graduation ceremonies.

McGill is also planning to offer High School Arts Awards.

 

Winter 2016

Launch collaborative initiative (a coalition of Montreal universities, social economic leaders and the City of Montreal) to enhance public perception of universities and their contribution to the Greater Montreal community.

Initiative successfully undertaken began in Winter 2016.

Promotion of results from October 2016.

Beginning spring 2016

Act as a key partner in a three-year initiative led by Montréal International (MI) to increase the retention of international students in Quebec by improving services and providing better information about permanent residency and immigration.

Collaborated with MI on reports recommending increased targets for international graduates settling in Montreal.  Following announcement in October 2016 of Quebec government investment in MI’s three-year initiative, McGill and MI have been meeting to discuss best practices and strategies.

Beginning summer 2016

Relaunch the In the Community website, providing information on campus activities available to the public and McGill community engagement. 

Completed December 2016.

Roll out and ongoing enhancements will continue through January 2017.

Expansion and promotion of the site will continue as resources allow.

December 2016 - December 2017

Develop, support and promote events and projects marking Canada’s 150th anniversary and Montreal’s 375th, to engage the internal and external communities and build, reinforce and highlight partnerships.

A call for proposals was launched in spring 2016, and McGill faculty, staff and students responded in large numbers.

Activities included: Black History Month, Francofête, Le Délit 40th anniversary, While No One Was Looking: art exhibit and magazine, Acfas 2017 congress, book event with Governor General, launch of public art exhibit, lacrosse anniversary event, submission of report of Task Force on Indigenous Studies and Education, launch of Promenade Fleuve-Montagne, Montréal Symphonique, Solar Eclipse Watch, Les midis Ville-Marie outdoor talks, Conference of the Americas on International Education, a display in the James Building, concerts, public lectures, courses, exhibits and publications.

Complete information here

Beginning 2017

Creation of new Principal’s prize for public engagement through media

Annual prize: one each for 1) a professor and 2) a graduate student/postdoc/research associate was awarded for the first time at Bravo research Gala in March 2017. Complete information here.

Beginning Spring 2017

“Stratégie de valorisation des universités montréalaises”

In collaboration with the other Montreal-based universities and the Montreal Board of Trade, a strategy is being developed to increase the public awareness and appreciation of the positive impacts that higher education institutions have on the Montreal and Quebec society, economically, socially and culturally. Marketing Communications and PR firms have been selected, with an aim to develop and roll out the first phase of the strategy in 2018.

Beginning winter 2018

Review and consolidation of programs to support and promote French at McGill

With a view to further enhance our connections to Montreal and Quebec, the University will: look at the various French-language teaching and service offerings at McGill, evaluate any overlaps and gaps, complete the offer if necessary, integrate these efforts into a cohesive strategy, and ensure their promotion.