Fundraising Progress Bar (Thermometer) ReleasedBy Eric Bryant,
In November 2017 we released a fundraising progress bar into beta. It took a while to iron out the kinks and get the product ready for prime time. We wanted a good number of use cases before releasing the fundraising thermometer out of beta. Today, we’re pleased to announce that our fundraising progress bar implementation is now a regular staple in our text to give platform.
Customers who have used the thermometer have created excitement during their fundraising events. Though not all have reached their goal, they’ve all raised more funds than they expected using the tool. Here are a few case studies from successful customers.
Bay Area Fire Relief Fund
Perhaps our most successful use of the fundraising progress bar to date was when we worked with Cumulus Radio and the Bay Area Fire Relief Fund to help them raise funds for all the displaced survivors of the 2018 San Francisco wild fires. Using our technology, BAFRF exceeded their goal of $250,000.
Women of Law
Women of Law is a not-for-profit charity administered by the Derouen Law Firm of Houston, TX. One of its goals is to encourage young women to enter into the law profession. WOL used our thermometer to raise funds for its scholarship fund during a recent event. Although their stated goal was to raise $4,000, they raised over $1,000 for the fund.
Women Lead Change
Women Lead Change is Iowa’s premier leadership organization for women, offering comprehensive leadership resources including events featuring prominent speakers, frequent networking opportunities, and other important services to advance women’s leadership in all aspects of their lives.
They used our fundraising progress bar during a recent event and raised over $2,000 in just a few hours.
Why 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.
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.