Cougar Changemakers

Program Overview

The Cougar Changemaker Program aims to empower the campus community to create innovative sustainability initiatives through an accessible and well-supported changemaking framework.

We're looking for projects that seek to make the College of Charleston campus more sustainable. Each semester, we can provide funding for up to $5,000! The money comes from the $10 Green Fee that is included in students’ tuition. We aim to give students a chance to make a positive local impact and boost their résumé. Even if your submitted project doesn't get funded, the application process is a great learning opportunity!

Please note that the implementation of funded projects will be managed by the Cougar Changemaker committee, who will work closely with the submitting student(s) and update them on the progression of the project. Funding is not directly supplied to applicants. 

While there are strict deadlines for submission each semester, students can feel free to submit a proposal at any time and it will be reviewed with the proposals for the following semester.

The Process

Aren’t interested in putting together a proposal but want to submit an idea? Need an idea? We have an IDEA BANK for that! Submit ideas here or check out the list for inspiration here.


1) INTEREST FORM - due October 6th, 2023 

Applicants will be assigned a Case Manager from the Changemaker Committee to review interest forms and communicate directly with teams to provide feedback and assist in the creation of the full proposal.

2) FULL PROPOSAL - due November 3rd, 2023

Download & complete proposal document.

-> If you have NOT submitted an interest form, submit your proposal document via email to

-> If you HAVE submitted an interest form, submit your proposal document via email to your case manager, with a CC to the committee chair and

3) Projects will be reviewed by the Cougar Changemaker Committee and assessed using a rubric.

4) You will be notified if your proposal has been chosen to be funded before the end of the semester the proposal was submitted in.

Both funded and unfunded proposal applicants will recieve an award certificate for participating in the Cougar Changemaker process!

5) Funded projects will be managed by the Center for Sustainable Development (CSD) and implemented by the Cougar Changemaker Implementation Intern.

Applicants will be updated about their project's progress as it occurs. Please keep in mind that some projects require collaboration between different departments on campus, so the timeline for implementation may lengthen or shorten as a result. 

**Before submitting anything, be sure to check out a list of existing programs at CofC here!

Project Requirements

  • Project must be student-led. Faculty and staff may serve only as mentors.
  • We cannot fund: travel expenses, off-campus projects, or revenue generating projects.
  • Must include a method for educating students about the existence of the project and its ties to sustainability.
  • Implementation must be feasible for our campus. All steps of the project should be described is as much detail as possible. 
  • Funds requested must be reasonable and equal to or less than $5,000.
  • The proposed project must be a novel idea and cannot be a continuation of an existing program. 
  • An individual can only have one funded project at a time. Once it has been implemented, another project of that student's will be eligible for funding. Students can submit unlimited proposals.
  • All funds must follow the South Carolina state procurement guidelines.

Cougar Changemaker Student Committee

The Cougar Changemaker Committee is a diverse group of five to nine students led by the Committee Chair, who is an intern at the Center for Sustainable Development. The Sustainability Director serves in an advisory capacity to the committee. The committee reviews the project proposals and collectively decides which will receive funding. Since the members have a wide range of academic and personal interests, the committee can utilize unique perspectives and expertise in assisting applicants during the formulation of their proposals. Members serve for at least one semester.

Benefits of serving on the committee include: free merch from the CSD, an amazing résumé boost, experience with collaborative team building and decision making, introduction to the CSD if you’re interested in becoming an intern.

Interested in joining? We would love to have you! Applications are available for the 22-23 academic year on a rolling basis and can be found on Handshake (Job#6669089).

Funded Project Highlights

 Check out this full list of projects funded since Spring 2020!

Mending Workshop

Funded Spring 2022

This event was held in collaboration with Cassie’s Shop to teach students how to repair their own clothing instead of buying new ones or sending them to the landfill.


Funded Spring 2022

In collaboration with CofC Grounds Department, CSD installed three hammocks at Rivers Green and the Multicultural Center outdoor seating to provide a relaxing environment to the campus community and encourage interaction with nature.



Vegan Nutrition Workshop

Funded Spring 2022

This event intended to raise awareness around different plant based diets and their importance in leading a healthy and sustainable life.


Funded Fall 2021

A series of nightcap scrunchie giveaways have been conducted during the Center for Sustainable Development events. Giveaways aim to educate the campus community about the importance of covering their drinks using the nightcap.

The Little Free Library box installed outside the CSD

Little Free Library

Funded Spring 2021

The Little Free Library was installed outside the Center for Sustainable Development (207 Calhoun Street) and is available for students to provide or take books as they please! It promotes the reuse of books and learning for students who may not otherwise have access to them.

Residential Composting Pilot Program

Funded Spring 2021

The College partnered with Compost Now to provide an optional composting program for the students in Warren Residence Hall. This company provides compost bins to monthly subscribers, collects the compost from the subscriber on a weekly basis, and returns a clean bin.

A picture of the winner of the first giveaway associated with the residential compost program

An image of one of the funded rain barrels and the project applicants

Rain Barrels

Funded Spring 2021

Two rain barrels were installed at 26 Coming Street and 45 Coming Street. A rain barrel is a system that collects and stores rainwater, then allows you to repurpose the rainwater and dispense it accordingly. These can reduce excess stormwater buildup that causes erosion and flooding, as well as save money on water bills. 

Nitrile Glove Recycling

Funded Fall 2019

Nitrile glove recycling stations were created in labs around the School of Sciences and Math Building to keep them out of the landfill.

An image of the nitrile glove recycling boxes funded by Cougar Changemaker

Important Documents





Updated: January 2023