Joseph Abrams ‘23
For most, Valentine’s Day roars its way in through a flurry of smarties wrappers, expensive dinners, regrettable texts, and tears on the bathroom floor. This Valentine’s Day, however, a perfect opportunity presents itself to share and appreciate the kind of love that never lets you down– your love for Holy Cross. Giving Day falls on February 14th this year, and plenty of exciting opportunities have been planned to encourage students to get involved in any way that they can. Whether you’re donating yourself or spreading the word to your personal connections, this year’s Giving Day is a great way to support the school and your favorite parts about it.
A Little History Lesson: Most of us are privy to the school’s impressive reputation when it comes to alumni giving and participation, both of which are valuable for keeping Holy Cross an inclusive environment for students of all backgrounds. Last year, a whopping 5,361 donors showed out for the Power of Purple, smashing expectations and donating a whopping $2,096,3770 in just a matter of 24 hours.
Like last year, this year’s Power of Purple will have a number of specific Holy Cross organizations and causes to donate directly to, like the Holy Cross Fund (which includes designations such as Financial Aid, Academic Excellence, Faith and Service, DEI and
Sustainability) and the Crusader Athletics Fund, just to name a few. New this year is that a number of student groups and clubs will be fundraising for their specific causes as well! Matthew Anderson ‘21, a Fellow in the Holy Cross Fund who works with alumni donors from class years ‘40 to ‘67, discussed how various generations of alumni donate differently: “The older guys will donate to the Holy Cross Fund or Financial Aid, but the younger classes are more inclined to donate to specific causes.” Last year, the Class of ‘93 donated more than any other class with a sum of $152,640, but more recent classes, like the classes of ‘20, ‘21, and ‘22, donated significantly less. Siobhan Kiernan, an Assistant Director of the Holy Cross Fund and the representative that works most closely with more recent graduates, explained that some recent grads are initially reluctant to give back: “They have pride: there’s a little bit of a skepticism as to why they’re giving. My job is primarily educating them on why that’s not true. There’s also this idea that you pay to go to a place for four years, but the experience doesn’t end there. Holy Cross is forever.”
That’s why this year, there’s more opportunities than ever to get involved, whether you’re on-campus or not. If you’re on the hill that day, you’ll likely see a variety of tables and booths where you can donate and learn more. Whether it’s a photo booth in Hogan or a bouncy house in Kimball– yes, you read that right– student donors can socialize, send valentine messages, and score special Power of Purple goodies at these locations. Donations can be made in cash, card, or even venmo at these physical locations, so there’s no need to rush to the ATM or transfer over your one-year-old venmo balance. The Class of 2023 will also be able to knock out two birds with one stone this year, as seniors who decide to donate will have their donations automatically counted to this year’s Senior Class Gift.
Even small donations can make a big difference, as a lot of donations end up as part of a larger challenge or match. The challenges can be found on the Power of Purple website on February 14th, where donors will pledge more money if a certain class year or number of donations are met. Donors can even create their own challenges, and a lot of donations end up piggy-backing off of one another.
Those donating on February 14th can also use their donation to join the prestigious President’s Council, an exclusive group of Holy Cross donors with a number of different perks. Members get invited to exclusive events with alumni and administration, early access to communications from the President’s Office, and . Donations for the President’s Council start at $100 per year for current seniors, and increase by $100 each year for ten years. The money generated from President’s Council donations accounts for a significant amount of Holy Cross’s expenses, so seniors should be sure to look into it.
Outside of traditional donations, this year’s Power of Purple day is offering a number of exciting rewards for simply spreading the word. Students and alumni can share their specific donation link with their personal networks and, if donations are made through that link, have access to a number of gifts. Lonely hearts that generate one gift through their link automatically receive a valentine card from a Holy Cross student, and five generated gifts will result in a Holy Cross Luggage tag and entry into a raffle to win a purple Yeti. Generating 14 gifts can score you entry into that raffle and a Holy Cross Winter hat. If a whopping 101 donations are generated through your link, however, you truly get the full treatment: a 45 gallon Yeti Cooler packed with treats and tickets (plus a tailgate spot) at a Holy Cross game next Fall. Booting up Instagram or dropping the link in a group chat is free, and could score you some shiny prizes, so get out there on the 14th and do what college kids do best! You can find all the social tools you may need for sharing at holycross.edu/sharethelove.
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