Just Google “fundraising ideas” and you’ll begin to understand that there are an ever-increasing number of fundraisers out there today. From traditional magazine sales and candy bars to basket raffles and office perks auctions, there are numerous fundraising ideas out there that are sure to meet your organization’s unique fundraising needs. As important as it is to select the right fundraiser for your group, tracking your fundraising efforts is equally important, which is where a fundraising thermometer or online donation web page comes into play.

A fundraising thermometer is a visual representation of an organization’s progress toward its fundraising campaign’s goal. This graphic depiction offers benefits to all of the stakeholders in the fundraising campaign. From the organization itself, to the fundraising volunteers, to the general public, every fundraising campaign needs a fundraising thermometer.

For the charitable organization, a fundraising thermometer lets the organization know they are on track to meet their fundraising goals. Although numbers – dollars and cents and percentages – can relay the same information, for people in the organization who are more visual, a graphical representation of the organization’s progress can really emphasize where the campaign is currently and how much farther volunteers need to go to meet their goal.

For those hard-working volunteers actually doing the fundraising, a fundraising thermometer can keep them motivated. As they see the thermometer fill up, they’ll know their efforts are paying off. If this is tied to a reward, it can be even more motivational.

Lastly, for the general public, a publicly displayed fundraising thermometer, either online or in the real world, serves two purposes: (1) Even if a member of the general public has not supported your cause in the past, seeing a visual representation of your goals can encourage him or her to contribute. (2) For past supporters of your charity, it can alert them to the new campaign, as well as encourage those who have already donated to donate a little more, especially as you near the top of your thermometer.

There are several online fundraising thermometers available for free. Below are five sites to choose from:

  1. GoFundMe (this also allows people to donate right through your site)
  2. EntropyFarm.org
  3. Fundraising Ideas Center
  4. Fundraiser Insight
  5. School-Fundraisers.com
You've read this article, now take the next step. Call 1-866-781-4988 for free advice and fundraising product samples or fill out this quick form to receive your free fundraising guide. The key to fundraising is taking action and always making an effort to move forward. Don't forget: You can also submit your own fundraising ideas here.

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