Download your nonprofit fundraising thermometer today!
Download our free fundraising thermometer template.

What is a fundraising thermometer?

A fundraising thermometer is a visual representation of nonprofit campaign progress designed to motivate donors and increase giving to your cause. 

Your nonprofit is likely already familiar with fundraising thermometers. These helpful resources are a staple in the nonprofit fundraising community.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know to ensure you’re a fundraising thermometer expert. We’ll review the following topics:

  1. Benefits of Fundraising Thermometers
  2. How to Use a Fundraising Thermometer
  3. Download Your Free Fundraising Thermometer Template

However, we’ve discovered that many of the commonly sought-after graphic design assets for nonprofits, such as fundraising thermometers, are seriously lacking in quality.

For your nonprofit’s next fundraising campaign, don’t use a thermometer that looks like bad clip art from the 90s. Instead, check out our free template! It’s perfect for organizations who don’t have a graphic designer on staff.

Fundraising thermometers have all sorts of benefits for nonprofits.

1. Benefits of Fundraising Thermometers

Fundraising thermometers are an exceptionally effective addition to your nonprofit’s fundraising campaign because humans are naturally visual beings. We naturally respond well to a visual goal.

When donors see a fundraising thermometer, they’re provided with a visual goal to strive toward, further engaging them with the giving process.

This additional measurement for engagement is why fundraising thermometers are a part of the recipe for campaign success.

Some of the other benefits of using a fundraising thermometer include:

  • Helping show supporters the impact they can make as individuals. By analyzing the fundraising thermometer and the goal your nonprofit is trying to achieve, individual donors can easily see the significance of their contribution.
  • Encouraging people to give more. When people can see the impact their donation makes, they’ll be more motivated to make the biggest impression possible. This inspires donors to give larger donations.
  • Keeping up the fundraiser momentum. Many nonprofits find they kick off campaigns with energy and power, but this strength wears down as the campaign goes on. Fundraising thermometers excite donors to maintain momentum to help your nonprofit finish the campaign and hit your goal.
  • Emboldening your nonprofit staff. Not only will your supporters feel encouraged to make an impact for your nonprofit, but fundraising thermometers can also further motivate your staff members. This will encourage them to push harder to reach your fundraising goals.

With a tool that improves engagement for both your organization’s staff and supporters, your next fundraising campaign is sure to succeed.

2. How to Use a Fundraising Thermometer

You may be thinking to yourself, “This all sounds great, but how do I use my fundraising thermometer?”

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

Depending on the demographics of the audience you’re appealing to as donors, various methods of fundraising thermometer distribution will make the biggest impact on your supporters. Plus, certain methods of displaying the thermometer may be more impactful depending on the type of campaign your nonprofit is hosting. For instance, you can:

  • Print the fundraising thermometer and display it at an event. If your nonprofit is hosting an event to anchor your fundraiser, you can print out a large cut out of your fundraising thermometer to display at the event. As people donate you can fill in benchmark amounts on the display.
  • Include the thermometer on your regular newsletter. If your nonprofit is hosting a long-term campaign, you may choose to “fill” the fundraising thermometer as you receive donations and include an image of the updated thermometer in your nonprofit’s weekly or monthly newsletter for everyone to see.
  • Post images of the thermometer on social media. If you are hosting a shorter-term campaign that may not warrant including the thermometer appearing on your newsletter, explore the option of including images of it on social media. This is a much more immediate access point for many of your supporters, especially younger ones, to see the latest news from your nonprofit.
  • Hang the thermometer at your nonprofit’s headquarters. If supporters are regularly coming in and out of your nonprofit’s headquarters, it’s a great idea to display images of your thermometer there. This also encourages your employees to work harder to reach the ultimate goal.

When it comes to using your fundraising thermometer, analyze your campaign first. Consider who your target audience is and how they’re most likely to be motivated by its presence.

Download your fundraising thermometer template.

3. Download Your Fundraising Thermometer Template

At this point, you’ve already learned about the benefits of a fundraising thermometer and how you can use one effectively. The only thing left is figuring out where to get one.

Luckily, the answer is easy: right here!

Download this free fundraising thermometer from Bloomerang for your next fundraising campaign.

It’s a high-resolution image so you can blow it up to the size you need, or shrink it down to fit on smaller resources.

Print out this template or reproduce it on a flyer, poster, or sign to help your nonprofit visually display how much money you have raised. Get started with the best fundraiser for your organization today!

Download your free fundraising thermometer template today!
Kristen Hay

Kristen Hay

Marketing Manager at Bloomerang
Kristen Hay is the Marketing Manager at Bloomerang. She also serves as the Director of Communications for PRSA’s Hoosier chapter.
Kristen Hay