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nonprofit organizations

Unique Ways to Show Your Nonprofit Fundraising Progress

Getting ready to launch your next fundraising campaign? If so, you may want to track your progress publicly. A clear goal shows your donors exactly what you need, and tracking the goal publicly keeps them engaged and excited.

Themed Thermometers

Thermometers are a classic icon for tracking fundraising progress. Typically, the top of a thermometer display shows the fundraising goal, while each line corresponds to a donation threshold. As people donate, a coloured bar rises past each threshold until it reaches your goal.

A themed thermometer is a popular variation on this icon; instead of an actual thermometer, the gauge is based on your fundraiser. If you’re raising money for a food bank, for example, you might use a food can icon. A bone works well if you’re collecting donations for an animal shelter, whereas a test tube might suit a research-based charity. All kinds of shapes lend themselves to themed thermometers, and putting the icon on your organization’s website or on a sign in front of your facility is easy.

Puzzle Pieces

You could also build a large puzzle to track your fundraising goal. Say you’re trying to raise money for playground equipment in a homeless shelter. You might print a large image of the playground equipment and cut it into puzzle pieces. For every donation over a certain amount, you place a piece of the puzzle on the board. As people donate, their donations gradually build the picture.

So people can see the goal they’re working toward, try putting a black-and-white image of the goal on your poster. As you overlay coloured puzzle pieces on the black-and-white image, it becomes more vibrant and exciting. If you’re fundraising at an event, you might let donors add puzzle pieces related to their donations. Use pieces in a variety of sizes so high-profile donors can purchase large ones, while modest donors have options as well.

Pie Graphs

Like thermometers, pie graphs have an easy-to-customize design. Holding a bake sale? Just make a pie graph shaped like an actual pie. Each time you pass a funding threshold, colour in a sliver of the pie. Similarly, if you’re selling pizzas for a fundraiser, you can add pizza slices to the graph as donations pile up.

Remember: The theme of the tracker doesn’t have to match your goal. It can just reflect how you’re raising money. Ultimately, all you want is a visual that gets donors excited about your cause while showing everyone how close you are to your goal.

Road Maps

Maps are another great tool for tracking fundraising progress, especially for travel-related goals. For instance, if you’re raising money to send a youth orchestra to Europe, you might print a map that includes a path running from Canada to Europe. As you collect funds, you fill in parts of the path until you finally reach your destination.

Filling the Stands

When fundraising for a sports team or league, a grandstand tracker is a good way to showcase your progress. You start with an image of a sports stadium with empty stands. Then, as people make donations, you overlay images of spectators in the stands. For a more interactive display, you can let your donors draw their own characters as spectators. At last, when you reach your goal, visitors to your page are greeted with a cheering crowd.

Hidden Doors

If you’re collecting money for multiple goals, you might enjoy tracking donations with a hidden door theme. This type of display involves putting a picture behind each of several doors and a funding threshold on the front, so that when donors pass each threshold they can open a door to see a new picture. Alternatively, you can hide a large picture behind the doors so that donors can only see the whole thing once they pass every threshold. As with other themes, hidden doors lend themselves to either print or digital displays. To make an in-person display more interactive, you can let donors buy keys to unlock physical doors. People enjoy surprises, and the thrill of unlocking each door is a reason to donate in itself.

Other Considerations

To grab even more attention, include concrete data on what your nonprofit has achieved, such as the number of pies sold or lives saved, beside the display. The more vividly donors can imagine their impact, the more tempting it is to donate. Also, make sure you include a visible end date so donors have a sense of closure.

Regardless of which theme you use, donation displays are a visceral way to show donors what they’ve accomplished and to encourage their continued support. For the biggest impact, share your progress in every way you can by using donation displays online, at your facility, and during fundraising events. You should also post fundraising updates on your social media account. When donors see how close they are to a goal, that can light a fire and convince them to give. Donors feel a sense of satisfaction when they see a display change after making a donation, so leverage that feeling for your cause.

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