People love fundraising thermometers! That’s why a FREE fundraising thermometer is included on all of our fundraising website templates and can be easily added to any nonprofit fundraising campaign.
So what exactly is a fundraising thermometer, and what does it do? A fundraising thermometer is used to monitor the progress of funds raised for your online fundraising campaign. The thermometer progress is based on the goals set forth by your organization. By setting clear financial goals for your fundraiser in the planning stage, your organization provides supporters with an understanding of what you wish to accomplish. Showcasing a fundraising thermometer on your website demonstrates visually the progress that has been made and how close your group is to reaching the established goal. Thermometers can be powerful motivators for your supporters since they are visual and easy to understand at a glance.
How Do Fundraising Thermometers Work?
A fundraising thermometer is a great way to chart a fundraising campaign’s progress. First and foremost a thermometer is a universal symbol that everyone can understand. As you raise money, the temperature of your fundraising campaign increases and the level of the thermometer rises. Pretty simple. You track progress based on a financial goal and the thermometer rises and shows the money raised and the percentage of the goal attainment reached. So if your organization’s walkathon fundraising goal is $50,000 and you have raised $25,000, your thermometer will show 50% of the goal has been reached.
Establishing a Fundraising Goal
So how do you determine your fundraising goal? Each organization and event is different, but keep the following in mind:
- You will want to determine a realistic, but optimistic goal. Nothing dampens the spirit more than seeing a fundraising goal that is completely out of reach.
- For this reason, you can set a goal at the beginning of the campaign and later increase that goal. Don’t do this too many times, but goals can be adjusted, as needed.
- If you have hosted the event previously, you’ll have a good idea of what you might raise. Add 10% to last year’s revenues – and much more for peer-to-peer events that are moving online for the first time.
- If you are hosting an event for the first time, it’s best to set a modest fundraising goal. Look at other similar events in your community and your supporter base for ideas.
- How many participants do you expect and how much can they raise for your organization? Will you charge registration fees?
- How strong is your online and social media presence? Fundraising thermometers and leaderboards are strong motivators when shared socially.
- Be sure that you start the fundraising campaign well in advance, to give supporters and donors time to get involved. The more time you have, the more realistic it is that you can reach your fundraising goals.
Utilizing Thermometers with Peer to Peer Fundraising Websites
Fundraising thermometers are an essential part of nonprofit peer-to-peer and crowdfunding campaigns. With a customizable platform like our crowdfunding websites, event administrators are able to establish overall, team, and individual fundraising goals and track ongoing goal progress. Implement our fundraising software for your fundraising campaign to help participants easily register and collect donations and pledges for your organization. As each participant registers, a personal fundraising page is generated where supporters direct potential donors to make online donations. As these donations are made, they are automatically calculated into the software system and will be tabulated as a portion of the total funds raised. If participants receive cash or check donations, they can easily enter these amounts into the system so they also count towards the total goal and fundraising thermometer. A fundraising thermometer on the campaign website will automatically go up as online donations are received from all participants. This system also allows organizers to track participants’ progress against one another. They may choose to highlight top performers, giving others incentives to step up their efforts in order to gain recognition or prizes.
Where Should Organizations Use Fundraising Thermometers?
Placing a fundraising thermometer on the home page of your fundraising or crowdfunding website allows your organization to easily share event progress with supporters.
Our peer-to-peer fundraising websites include an overall fundraising thermometer for the campaign, a team goal thermometer on team fundraising pages, and an individual goal thermometer on personal fundraising pages. Each of these thermometers can motivate your participants and donors when used the right way. You don’t need to create a thermometer image on your own, simply confirm the thermometer settings and your thermometer widget appears where you want it.
We also offer leaderboards for top fundraisers and teams on all of our peer-to-peer templates and many organizations like to utilize a participant center to include all of these items in one place for easy sharing to social media channels.
What Types of Events Can Use Fundraising Thermometers?
Fundraising thermometers are used on all types of crowdfunding and fundraising events where you want to motivate your participants or supporters. All of our virtual fundraising websites include the option for a fundraising thermometer. Some examples of the most popular nonprofit events to use fundraising thermometers include:
- School Fun Runs
- Fundraising auctions
- Color Run fundraisers
- Bike-a-thons or spin-a-thons
- Read-a-thons for schools
- Hit-a-thons and baseball fundraisers
- Online raffle fundraisers
Fundraising Thermometers Are Powerful Motivators
A fundraising thermometer is a great tool to implement on your crowdfunding website to motivate your participants and donors. Once you’ve established the fundraising goals you want to achieve, you must continue to monitor the goals and chart your progress, and remind your supporters to do the same. By tracking your progress, participants can see how close they are to reaching the goals set forth and they may increase their fundraising efforts and try to raise more funds. Associating fundraising goals to planned projects or outcomes encourages your supporters to help your organization reach its goal.
Offering rewards and incentives for accomplishing and exceeding goals can also help motivate participants and donors. Say you wish to raise $10,000 and you are at $9,500. Offer a free pizza party for all participants if goals are reached, and communicate “We are almost there!” Sure you’ll spend a little money, but you’ll create excitement and be sure to exceed your goal. Then, to ensure motivation doesn’t top-off at the goal you set, offer additional awards for exceeding goals. For example, for every $1,000 raised above & beyond, raffle off a $50 gift card or free merchandise donated by local businesses, sponsors, and partners. The fundraising thermometer can also help motivate donors to contribute more to help bridge the gap between the current progress and the established goal. You may also want to consider offering incentives for donors such as providing them with recognition, thank-you plaques, or other incentive items for donating at certain levels.