By Sophie Higby
This past week, Samford University held its 10th annual fundraising campaign called “The Big Give.” The Big Give is a 36-hour crowd fundraising event involving alumni, employees and students.
“We are encouraging people this year to give to the Big Give, to give to an area of campus that is most beloved to them and then to share that and encourage others to give,” said Rhonda White, Senior Director for Philanthropic Engagement. “It’s a great opportunity for gifts of all sizes. We ask all of our alums, employees, and students to be a part of it — to participate. It’s a great opportunity to see where small gifts really add up to make a big difference.”
Kim Cripps, the Director of Stewardship, first came up with the idea for the campaign when President Emeritus Andy Westmoreland was president at Samford. At that time, crowd-funding had not become popular yet, but the Big Give became a big success. Cripps wanted to find a way to reach young alumni and find a way for them to support projects they are passionate about. With this campaign, donors are able to give money to different parts of campus that they choose.
This year, the theme was “For the Love of Samford,” taking to heart President Beck Taylor’s mission for the school: to do everything rooted and grounded in love, which is derived from Ephesians 3.
The tradition has become beloved by all.
“We are thankful it has become a part of Samford in a philanthropic way. Our goal for donors is 1,841,” White said, explaining that 1841 is also the year Samford was founded.
Just like the alumni, students have become involved in the tradition as well, forming a subcampagin called Just Give Five. The Senior class raised funds to go toward Ben Brown for the future classes to enjoy.
Overall, the fundraiser was a major success, totaling $265,840. You can visit https://www.givecampus.com/schools/SamfordUniversity/for-the-love-of-samford#donors to see where each of the funds went to.