Culture of Philanthropy

Goal: Reimagine our approach to philanthropy and engagement to support Holy Cross’ sustained vibrancy and strength, today and tomorrow.

Student volunteering on move-in day


  • Double the size of the College’s endowment through a combination of philanthropy and investment management.
  • Develop philanthropic capacity and maximize sustainable annual and longer-term philanthropic achievement.
  • Collaborate strategically with the Board of Trustees, the Institutional Advancement Committee and other volunteer leaders to strengthen the College’s culture of philanthropy and grow alumni engagement.
  • Charge the next Vice President for Advancement with structuring and leading the Advancement team to maximize strategic relationship-building.
  • In collaboration with the Vice Provost and Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, position Alumni Relations to embrace, best engage and sustain relationships with the full diversity of Holy Cross constituencies.
  • Ensure that a comprehensive marketing and communications strategy aligns key messaging and coordinates communications to aid in instilling a culture of philanthropy and inspiring unprecedented levels of support.
Sean Scanlon
Meet Our Leadership Team
Sean Scanlon, Vice President for Advancement

Sean leads the strategy and implementation behind our Culture of Philanthropy initiatives. He joined Holy Cross in 2023 and is an innovative and entrepreneurial fundraising leader with over 20 years of experience in advancement and development. 

Highlighting Progress

Since announcing our Aspire plan, we've made significant progress towards our philanthropy goals. Here's some of what we've accomplished so far:

Fundraising Efforts

Fundraised $40 million in new gifts and commitments in fiscal year 2023. The goal for 2024 is $50 million. 


Expanded Resources

Completed an assessment of the college’s Office of Advancement, and began a reorganization to address areas of need and reinforce team strengths. Created a new position to develop and manage alumni engagement and programs. Added additional staff to support fundraising efforts.

Campaign Planning

Launching exploratory work to set goals and priorities for a new college-wide fundraising campaign that strengthens the culture of philanthropy across the Holy Cross community. 

Donor Engagement

Working with Information Technology Systems and campus partners to select a new Customer Relationship Management system, which will help create a more dynamic approach to donor engagement and record-keeping.

Alumni Events

Hosted 17 Aspire Events around the country with President Rougeau to discuss College priorities and solicit feedback.

Power of Purple

Celebrated a record-breaking Power of Purple Giving Day, which resulted in 8,100 donors and fundraised over $3.5 million.

Town Hall Updates

On October 4, 2023, a Town Hall was held to provide updates from our leadership team on each of the six pillars of our Aspire strategic plan.

Get Involved

If you have a question about Aspire or a suggestion or idea related to one of its aims, we invite you to review the plan and share your thoughts.