Big Dreams at CSM Start with Small Gifts, Nov. 14

Big Give Online Event 1st-Ever for Maryland's Community College Students

Responding to the student loan debt crisis and the need to raise funds for accessibility and degree completion, the College of Southern Maryland is uniting with Maryland’s community colleges in an unprecedented 24-hour online fundraising effort, The Big Give, on Nov. 14. All 16 community colleges collaborated to raise funds and support, using social media tools such as FaceBook, Twitter, Smart Phone apps, and more, for the more than half-million students they collectively educate each year.

“All 16 community college presidents want to send a loud message locally and across the state to our funders, partners and community that we need your help. We have seen enrollments grow over the past four years, but public funding has not kept pace. Some colleges have seen as much as a 24 percent reduction per student. This not only hurts the students and their families but also our state and national economy when we are not able to adequately invest in education. We want everyone to advocate for CSM and all community colleges by going online and giving because it is an investment in the future,” said CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried.

 “Community colleges are very important to Maryland. …over 500,000 students attend Maryland’s community colleges; over half of students matriculating into higher education rely on the great value that our community colleges provide,” said SMECO President/CEO and CSM’s Board Chair Austin Joe Slater.

For CSM, online donors can select from a variety of projects, including Student Life and Athletics, Workforce Development, STEM, Scholarships for Academic Degree Completion, CSM Adjunct Faculty Scholarships, Men’s Soccer, Softball, Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball, Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse, National Society for Minorities in Hospitality, Theater Club, Black Student Union, CyberSecurity Club, Talons VEX Robotics, La Plata Student Association, Women’s Volleyball, College Leaders of Southern Maryland and BACCHUS.

Donations will be made online at which is set up through Razoo, a Washington, D.C.-based company that has helped thousands of nonprofits raise funds nationwide including CSM which participated with Washington, D.C. metropolitan non-profits as part of the Give to the Max challenge last fall.

“It is a real testament to all of our colleges and their respective foundations that we stand strong together to advocate for our students. And, it is reassuring that corporate and non-profit partners such as the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, Discovery Communications, SMECO, Blackbaud and others believe in our mission and our students and are willing to sponsor our efforts,” CSM’s Vice President of Advancement Michelle Goodwin said of the one-day event that is the first effort of its kind for community colleges nationwide. Goodwin, who has been coordinating the effort with Razoo and Maryland’s community colleges, said the statewide goal is to raise $160,000 and gain 1,600 new donors to community college foundations across Maryland, using the power of social media to expand the reach and support of students, alumni and new and current donors.

Incentives for giving on Nov. 14 are being provided by Big Give sponsors such as: Discovery Communications, Blackbaud, Maryland Chamber of Commerce, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO), Marrick Homes, University of Maryland Men's Lacrosse Team, Chesapeake Bayhawks Lacrosse Team, Maryland Association of Community Colleges, The Gazette Newspapers, Maryland Independent, Calvert Recorder and St. Mary’s Enterprise. The CSM Foundation has coordinated CSM’s contests and hourly prizes, which can be viewed at

CSM’s online giving page is at where supporters will be able to give to the program of their choice and use social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email and other platforms to share with their friends and family throughout the day, either from their keyboards or smartphones.

Any size donation is appreciated, but a minimum $10 donation is required to donate online. To learn about CSM’s projects and to donate beginning at 12 a.m., Nov. 14, visit