By Lisa Alvezi • March 26, 2021

    GRAVYTY FUNDRAISING ACADEMY: Confidently Pass the 2.7-Second Test

    GRAVYTY FUNDRAISING ACADEMYThis post comes from the Gravyty Fundraising Academy, a series that examines how fundraisers adapt and strategize to evolve what's possible through philanthropy.

    Gravyty Fundraising Academy: Lisa AlveziYour guide for the Gravyty Fundraising Academy is Director of Customer Success, Lisa Alvezi. Lisa has worked with countless fundraisers across Higher Education, Health Care, and Nonprofit organizations to transform fundraising. As a former frontline fundraiser herself, her goal is to help you see better results from your fundraising efforts.


    Confidently Pass the 2.7-Second Test Every Time

    How do you get your donor’s attention when their busier lives are even more active with childcare, teaching, cooking, and other at-home duties? The answer: pass the 2.7-Second Test.

    What’s the 2.7-Second Test? That’s the amount of time you have to capture someone’s attention via email in a subject line. That means that regardless of how well you know a donor, burying the lede of a subject line could be detrimental to your overall message. Yikes!


    Here’s how I like to keep it brief, convey my message, and pass the 2.7-second test.

    First, I always consider how I can use the subject line as the main body of my message. (I realize that I just said I keep things brief, but hear me out). I want to tell them the subject of my message and give them an idea of the ask or value associated with it. Here are some examples:

      • Subj: Want to set up a time to chat?
        This example is a straight-up ask and tells the donor precisely the outcome you seek. While name recognition with donors certainly helps, this subject line often passes the 2.7-second test if the recipient of your outreach has name recognition with your organization, as well.
      • Subj: Will be in Boston, Would Love to Meet
        With this example, we give the donor a place and an action. This is another case that helps build new and deepen existing relationships—indicating that the donor’s time is valuable to you. It also conveys an urgency which triggers a simple yes or no decision –  the donor has to click-in to consider if they can accommodate your availability.
      • Subj: Your Endowment Report for 2021
        Here is an example of value for the donor. The promised endowment report, which will likely be shared as an attachment, is something they want to get their hands on. Who doesn’t want a conclusive look at performance? The 2.7-second test is an easy pass in scenarios like this!
      • Subj: In Springfield w/ Dr. Jane Doe Next Month – Meeting?
        Finally, here’s an example where being specific in a subject line finds harmony with brevity. When you have a well-known advocate or brand – don’t risk burying the lede! If Jane Doe is a known entity to your donors, you’ll most certainly pass the 2.7-second test and get them to double-click. BONUS: With emails like this, you barely have to write much in the body.

        So, do you think you can pass the 2.7-second test with your donors? I can’t wait until next week’s post when we talk about the next passing grade you need to achieve, the 8-second test!

    If you’d like to learn more about how artificial intelligence can empower your organization to have a culture of philanthropy, personally reach new donors, and inspire giving at scale, click the button below and let's connect.


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