Raising $35 million in 96 hours

Online giving campaign for The Seattle Foundation


This is the short story of how The Seattle Foundation and Pyramid Communications joined forces to make the GiveBIG campaign a success. Or four of them, to be precise.

A high bar

In 2011, after years of collaborating with The Seattle Foundation, Pyramid helped TSF launch the first GiveBIG 24-hour fundraising campaign.

Over the course of a single day, 18,978 people gave $3.6 million to 904 nonprofit organizations. Seattle Magazine saluted the project as the city’s “Best Use of Social Media.”

In year two, we doubled the amount raised with new creative strategies and partnerships. #GiveBIG trended #1 on Twitter on the big day.

Year three: More thinking and new partners. 54,500 people gave $11.1 million to 1,300 nonprofits.

Icons from the GiveBIG toolkit.
From the campaign.
Campaign poster.

The 2014 challenge  

Success breeds success. But it also brings new challenges. How do we keep GiveBIG fresh and exciting for local givers after three years of growth?

Our approach: empower the community to bring GiveBIG to life by themselves.

The campaign theme spotlighted the everyday heroes of our community, from donors and volunteers to nonprofits and the people they serve. How did we keep 1,474 nonprofits on brand when messaging and promoting the campaign? By creating simple online tools that helped nonprofits portray members of their communities as superheroes.

Newsfeeds and inboxes across King County were flooded with masked puppies, caped executive directors, and volunteers in spandex—King County’s everyday heroes.

The Seattle Foundation's giveBig 2014

Their stories hit the web, social media, mobile, and print, creating a highly integrated campaign for new and returning donors. Celebs like Portlandia’s Carrie Brownstein and The Soup’s Joel McHale joined in, unsolicited. And the community rallied in full force, generating 8,898 unique posts and over 20,000,000 impressions.

The results: GiveBIG 2014 raised $12.8 million in 24 hours.

Big indeed.


growth from 2011 to 2014


#GiveBIG Twitter impressions


value in mobile advertising


Who was involved

See more of our clients in Arts & Culture

Anchorage Museum
Cornish College of the Arts
EMP Museum
Explore Washington Park
Friends of Waterfront Seattle
Frye Art Museum
Icicle Creek Center for the Arts
On the Boards
Oregon Zoo Foundation
Pacific Science Center
Seattle Aquarium
Seattle Art Museum
Seattle Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture
Seattle Theatre Group
Washington State Arts Commission
Woodland Park Zoo

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View all our work