Fundraising Thermometre Ideas and Tips

Fundraising thermometres are a great way to get people excited about fundraising! They are a visual representation of your progress that keeps track of your campaign's progress. It's a terrific way to gamify your campaigns, and we came up with ideas to get you started. 

Why You Should Use A Fundraiser Thermometre In Your Next Campaign

People are visual, and respond better to graphics than text. A visual motivator can give donors the nudge they need to donate, as they can see how their contribution adds to your progress in real-time. 

So why are they such a great asset to your campaign? 

They’re visual:  Easily communicate to potential donors what you’ve raised, how fast you’re getting there and how significant their contribution has been.
They help build momentum: Regularly updating your fundraising thermometre can also encourage the team to keep track of when donations are coming in, keeping the momentum going during the middle weeks of a campaign when things tend to get sluggish.
They’re simple: Whether you decide to embed it into your website or print it out, creating a fundraising thermometre is so easy, there’s no reason why you can't make it a part of your next funraiser!

Main Benefits of a Fundraiser Thermometre

  • Keep teams motivated
  • Point towards a specific achievable goal
  • Show progress and change
  • The fundraising goals can be organized into a fun team-building activity
  • It might prompt donors to give twice or make a larger contribution if they notice you’re close to your goal!

How to Use a Fundraising Thermometre

You can leverage your fundraising thermometre in many different ways depending on the nature of your nonprofit and the campaign.

Depending on your audiences, cause and fundraising channels you can get creative with your visuals. Certain methods of display may be more impactful depending on the type of campaign your organization is hosting.
For instance, you can:
  • Include one in your regular newsletter. If you're hosting a long-term campaign, you may choose to "fill” the fundraising thermometre as donations come in.  then you can update the amounts in your nonprofit’s weekly or monthly newsletter for everyone to see.
  • Make frequent updates on social media! If you are hosting a shorter-term campaign it may not make sense to include the thermometre in your newsletter. Instead explore the option of including images of it on social media, posting whenever you reach a milestone (for example every $100). This is a much more immediate access point for many of your supporters, especially younger ones, to get excited about your progress.
  • Display the thermometre at your headquarters. If supporters are regularly coming in and out of your offices, it’s a great idea to display updates on your fundraising goal there. This also inspires your team to reach the ultimate goal and they can even take part in updating the graph.

Don't be afraid to get creative! 

It may be called a thermometer but there are so many ways you can customize your graph to fit your organization. Try different shapes, visuals and descriptors for your progress bar.

For example, if you are an animal shelter you can use a fire hydrant or a bone as your outline and include what each milestone will fund along with eh number amount. So $100 can buy food for a week, and $200 can afford 3 new kennels. It's a great way to bring a tangible example to your campaign.

Fundraising Thermometre Best Practices 

Plan your Campaign

Before even thinking about using gamification, make sure you plan your campaign. Understand what exactly you’re fundraising for, what your goal is, and then incorporate a thermometer into your campaign plan.

Creating compelling content and crafting your marketing strategy should always come first. Using gamification tactics can be effective inspiring and encouraging your supporters and should be incorporated after you have a solid foundation in place.

Recruit Core Supporters

Work on recruiting supporters for your campaign in advance. Send emails and call your current and previous volunteers, friends, and supporters of the organization, staff, past fundraisers, etc).  Secure sponsorship, which can be used to "seed” your thermometer and help get things going.  

The idea is to generate momentum and create a sense of progress before launching the campaign to a wider audience.  Include those sponsorship dollars in your thermometre (they count towards the goal!).  As mentioned before, people are attracted to success so starting off with a little bit of progress can be a huge help.

Feature It On Your Website

Make sure your widget is featured prominently on your website and any other pages that have to do with your fundraiser. If you’re organizing an event, project a large version of your fundraising thermometre on a big screen the night of to encourage giving and give real-time progress to guests.

Make it Visually Appealing

To get the most out of your fundraising thermometre, especially if you feature it prominently (as advised above), make it easy on the eye. Don’t use harsh or bright colours and use sans serif fonts. Be sure to include relevant information about how supporters can donate and other ways they can support you like following you on social media.

Remind Your Supporters

Send out occasional reminders to your donors and supporters. Make sure to include a link to your thermometre in the email. As you reach different milestones (you’re $500 away, $100, etc.), make the announcements on your social media channels and via emails to point out the rising funds raised. This will help build momentum and may give a supporter the last "push" they need to donate. 

Showcase the Impact Each Donation Brings

Show where each donation amount will go to (e.g. "this will provide 6 children with school supplies”). Donors appreciate knowing how their contribution will make an impact, so be as specific as possible! 

Make it Shareable

Make sure to feature links to all social media channels you are present on making it easy for donors to share yout thermometre.

Move Your Charity Goalpost

Since seeing your fundraising totals rise in live time is very motivating, it can happen that you not only hit your fundraising goals but exceed them.

In that case, feel free to move your fundraising goal post and announce that you now have a stretch goal due to the generosity of your donors. Don’t do this more than once or twice during one fundraising campaign.  If you want a stretch goal and you have great momentum, be bold with it!

Create a Donor Roll

A great way to increase donations and make the most out of your fundraising thermometre is to create a donor roll. A donor roll is a list of donors, visible on your landing page. The donor roll can also be "live”, showcasing donations as they happen. This makes donors feel good and inspires potential donors to give as well.


Consider using gamification in your next campaign to build urgency and get people excited about giving.  If you need a donation page to go along with your campaign, look no further than Driven.

As an all-in-one software management platform, we are experts in helping you master your peer-to-peer campaigns. So reach out to us to discuss your next campaign and how we can help you reach your fundraising goals. 

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By Sabrina Sciscente (RA) on May 14, 2021, 12:00 AM


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