Fundraising Thermometer (Donation Progress Bar) Now in Beta

Fundraising Thermometer (Donation Progress Bar) Now in Beta

Gnosis Media Group

Some of you have asked us for a fundraising thermometer or donation progress bar to spice up your text to donate service. We've heard your requests, and we've been working over the break to provide this functionality to you. We're pleased to present this new feature to you:

Bay Area Wildfire Relief Fund
Goal: $250,000


The feature is in public beta, and it is only available on request. There is a $35 set up fee + $10/mo service fee for this service. To get more details, contact us.

When and How to Use a Fundraising Thermometer

Fundraising thermometers (sometimes called "goal meters") help you keep track of how many donations you're receiving. But they can also serve a powerful psychological function for your donors. Some donors like to see progress towards a fundraising goal (as opposed to just "We're trying to raise as much as we can"). The donation progress meter gives your donors a quick visual telling them how your campaign is doing.

The Psychology of Giving

Whether we like it or not, emotions and irrational elements are at work in giving. Subconscious motivations are often at work. People respond powerfully to need and urgency. Fundraising thermometers can create a sense of both.

By showing your donors just how far you've come -- as well as how far you have yet to go -- you show them that you're truly in need of their funds. For example, one study showed that, when nonprofits were 66% or more toward their goal, they had a significantly higher likelihood of achieving the goal.

Social Proof

A fundraising progress meter shows prospective donors something else of value: It shows them that there are other people giving, not just them. This helps donors overcome the "I don't want to be the only one" and the "I don't want to be first" syndromes. People want to know they are giving to a credible, reputable organization. A fundraising meter helps build that trust by showing donors that others are giving, too.

The Excitement Factor

Fundraising goal meters also help create a sense of excitement. It's like your favorite football team marching down into the red zone during the playoffs. The closer the team gets to the end zone (the goal) the more excited the crowd gets. 

The same is true for fundraising thermometers. When your donors can see you getting closer and closer to your goal, they will get more excited about your cause. Others who have not yet donated will feed off this excitement and want to be a part of it.

Must you use a fundraising thermometer? Of course not. We've helped many customers run effective campaigns without a progress meter. But the truth of the matter is: some people are visual learners. They need to see something visually in action in order to build their trust. Others like the feeling of being part of a team of donors that helped you achieve your goal. For these reasons, a donation thermometer can be a useful tool.

Eric Bryant, May 18, 2019