Fundraising Thermometer / Totaliser

Fundraising Thermometer / Totaliser

At Givergy, we believe that your fundraising thermometer/totaliser is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal. Whether you’re hosting a single event or continually raising money online it’s important to have one. Why? Well, we’ve done plenty of tests through a number of events throughout the years and we’ve always found this one to be the most successful in boosting donations. But before we get into it, let us break it down for you.

What is a fundraising thermometer/totaliser?

A fundraising thermometer/totaliser simply publishes your fundraising target and your progress towards it so that anyone involved in your fundraising events can see in real-time what their impact is. Normally, someone has a spreadsheet to track every donation and keeps a running total, but Givergy automates this process so you don’t have to.

Types of fundraising thermometers/totalisers

At Givergy, we value digital solutions and we have a variety of totalisers that can be used on screen at any fundraising event like a gala, live auction, or silent auction. Our totalisers allow for an interactive way for guests to know how much has been raised, and when coupled with a great host, these totalisers can make a great impact. All of our fundraising websites feature a totaliser too. 

With any way you decide to use our totalisers, our system automatically tracks the amount and number of donations so your event is sure to keep people updated and engaged. 

Make the most of your fundraising thermometer/totaliser

Of course, it is encouraging to show your audience your running total, but simply having the fundraising tool is just a minimum in our opinion. It’s like having a table to fix and having a tool kit, but not using the right tools to fix the problem. You need to raise funds, you know this thermometer/totaliser will work to raise funds, but you’re not getting it out of the toolbox.

Promote your thermometer/totaliser

So how do you make the most of it? The most important thing to do is promote it. If you’re at a live event you might do this by having an MC announce the running total at every milestone or every hour. This will draw people’s attention to it, reminding them that it’s there and encouraging a donation. If you’re sharing this online, you could simply post an update or you could make an entertaining video revealing the amount in a creative way. If you don’t continually draw people’s attention to it they’ll quickly forget it’s there. 

Announce your number of donations not just value

Another way to make the most of your thermometer/totaliser is to announce how many people have donated overall. This will encourage the amount of money people donate also. Seeing four donations and a total of $200 sets a precedent that you should be donating around $50 where possible, however, if they see 20 donations and $200 then it shows a donation of $10 is acceptable. It’s not a strict rule – so don’t think you’ll put anybody off – but for a few people, it will help give them some guidance on how much they should donate which means you could pull in more bucks than if you’d left the total off your thermometer.

Create social validation and urgency

Another way to use your fundraising thermometer/totaliser is to create social validation. There are a few ways to do this that Givergy can support. Announcing each person who donates but not how much they donated is a powerful tool. You can do this live or virtually so it works well both ways. It gives that person validation that they have been seen, appreciated and recognised as someone who has done something good. This will encourage more donations.

You can also do this at events, such as a gala by having tables compete against one another for raising the most money. Let the audience know each hour how much each table has raised and do random announcements when one table takes the lead over another. This is great if you’re at a naturally competitive event such as a gala for sports fans. Watch as tables compete with one another all evening for the coveted top spot.

Emily Clare

Emily Clare

Senior Fundraising and Events Consultant

Emily is an experienced and passionate fundraising and events consultant, working with and supporting clients on their special events and fundraising campaigns all over the world.