3 Easy Ways to Super Size Your GiveBIG Success

TSF_GiveBig_logo_Theme_BLUGiveBIG is King County’s annual day of giving. Spearheaded by The Seattle Foundation, this is a stupendous opportunity for local nonprofits to get donors engaged and get in on some matching fund action.

HOWEVER, there are 1600+ nonprofits vying for people’s attention leading up to, and on the day of, this Give-a-Palooza. Standing out from the crowd is a must.

This is an online campaign, so eblasts are flying like crazy. You’ve got to nail your subject line. Not to sound alarmist, but it can make or break the success of your GiveBIG efforts.

Here are 3 tips for writing click-worthy subject lines:

  1. Make it a question: Subject lines written as questions have an open rate that is, on average, double that of other types of subject lines.
  2. Use ‘you and your’: These are called “self-referencing cues”. Using them makes it about the reader. And academic research tells us that’s a good thing.
  3. Use the word ‘why’: For example, ‘Why you should care about next Tuesday’. It suggests that by opening the email, the reader will find out why. Our brains feel out of sorts until we know the answer. And therefore your readers are motivated to find out.

Here’s how you could super size your success by putting these tips together (like combo meals for your subject lines):

Do you know why next Tuesday is such a big deal?

Why you’re our hero.

You and your awesomeness needed next Tuesday


Here’s the headline you should NOT write: “GiveBIG to [insert the name of your organization]”.

It’s not about you and your organization. It’s about the difference you’re making in the community, on behalf of the people you serve. Make it about them and how the donor can be part of that awesome work. They are the heroes.


Will you DTO for GiveBIG?

At this morning’s Claxon Forum we talked a lot about the Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG, which is coming up on May 2. GiveBig is a “one-day, online charitable giving event to inspire people to give generously to nonprofit organizations who make our region a healthier and more vital place to live.” There’s a pool of funds allocated to “stretch” gifts made that day.

As a result, it’s a flurry of donor outreach around here! Donors are getting emails, letters, tweets, postcards, and Facebook posts about this opportunity from organizations they know and love.

Problem is: most donors (myself included) know and love a lot of organizations. It’s one day. How will we decide which non profit(s) to support?!

Based on the organizations and donors I talked to last year, decisions were based on 1) a really good just-in-time final reminder and/or 2) an organization’s ability to stand out during the lead up to the big day.

This could be a really good time to DTO–Do The Opposite. Switch up your messaging. Try something new. Grab them by the proverbial lapels and get their attention! In a case like this, a little DTO could go a long way.

If you’re planning to participate in GiveBIG, how will you stand out? If you’re in another part of the world, is it time to DTO?

Although this won’t work for everyone, TeamRead’s unconventional approach with Mr. GiveBIG Chicken was a big success last year. We’ll see how he fares this year!



Do you communicate as effectively as you think?


Do you communicate as effectively as you think?