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Counting Down & Measuring Up: The Marketing Power of Fundraising Timers & Thermometers

For most nonprofits, fundraising efforts really gear up in Spring.

We’ve gotten through the end of the year, done our planning for the year to come, and are ready to shake off the winter doldrums like seedlings emerging from the soil. It’s spring and fundraisers are in full bloom everywhere.

And that’s part of the problem. There’s a LOT of flowers in the spring fundraising garden and it can be difficult to make sure that your particular blossom isn’t overlooked.

So how, with limited time and resources, can you make sure your nonprofits fundraiser stands out from the crowd? 

One way is to add a little visual spark to your fundraiser with digital countdown timers and fundraising thermometers. They are fundraising classics, but remember, there’s a very good reason why the classics never go out of style:

They work. 

So let’s consider why these little measuring gizmos are so powerful.

The countdown clock is easy. Think of it this way: have you ever seen a rocket launch, the ball drop on Times Square on New Year’s Eve, or an advent calendar marking the days until Christmas?

They have one thing in common, they are marking time until something really exciting happens. In and of themselves, they generate a sense of anticipation and urgency.

With fundraisers, they imply that you need to hurry up and act, because this opportunity isn’t going to be around forever. If you want to make an impact, now’s the time to give. 

And they can be used in lots of ways: you have this much time to donate for a matching grant… or to register for the annual golf outing…or until the big day of our spring gala. 

Countdown clocks and timers are also powerful because they not only have imagery, they have motion, which naturally attracts attention.

Thermometers are a little more static, but can be equally powerful. 

Again, they are by their very nature, a call to action. They show a void between what’s been raised and what needs to be raised, and for supporters of your cause, there’s a need to fill that void. 

Once your donor contributes to your fundraiser, they can look at an updated thermometer, showing your organization close to its goal and think, “I’m part of that.” It not only fosters a feeling of accomplishment, but of community.

You can use either tool or both in your digital outreach. They add visual flair to your donation page, blog or e-communication. But regardless of how you use these tools, you still need to do the basics of every good fundraising campaign:

  1. Make sure your online donation platform is secure and easy to use.
  2. Make sure it is easy to navigate to your donation page and that you have a nice big “donate” button on your home page.
  3. Make sure that you clearly outline how the funds raised through this event or campaign will be used.
  4. Share the stories of clients who benefit from this fundraiser.

Want to find some great online, easy-to-use countdown timers and fundraising thermometers that you can plug into your email messages and website without a lot of muss or fuss? I’ve got a list for you right here.

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Checklist + Samples to make sure your donation page has all the essential elements needed to convert and collect donations!