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How a fundraising goal tracker can help you hit your target

A physical or virtual fundraising goal tracker lets you and your supporters tune in to your campaign progress. Find out its advantages and which one to choose.

Kylie Davis
March 15, 2022
Nerd Mr Butter

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As a nonprofit, fundraising will always be one of your top concerns. According to surveys by the National Association of Nonprofit Organizations and Executives, nonprofit leaders listed fundraising as their number one priority.

But no matter how steep your goal, know this: In 2021, nonprofits across the United States raised over $46 billion, nearly a 9% increase over the year before.

No matter how much you need to raise, with a little creativity—and a lot of hustle from your team—you can scrape together the funds to accomplish your mission.

Reaching your fundraising goal increases your ability to make a serious impact in your community. To help rally your community around your fundraising efforts, consider implementing a fundraising goal tracker. Not only does a fundraising tracker offer a visual representation of your progress, but it helps garner excitement as you get one inch closer toward your goal. Below, we dive into how a fundraising goal tracker can help you hit your target and various trackers you can use within your campaign.

The psychology behind a fundraising goal tracker: How it rallies your supporters

That's Progress GIF

A fundraising goal tracker offers a number of benefits (besides being visually appealing, of course). A fundraising tracker can help:

  • Provide instant gratification: For better or for worse, people are hardwired to pursue things that provide instant satisfaction. Adding a goal-setting to your fundraising page helps supporters see how their contribution instantly moved your organization closer to your end goal.
  • Rally your supporter base: One reason people give to good causes is because of "goal proximity." As you get closer to your finish line, supporters are more inclined to give because they feel the impact of their contribution.
  • Create a deeper connection to your cause: Research shows that individuals who feel personally involved in the pursuit of goals have a higher sense of psychological well-being. Adding a goal tracker makes supporters feel as though they personally contributed to accomplishing your mission (which they did!), thereby deepening their connection to your cause.

Finally, adding a fundraising goal tracker to your campaign is fun 🎉 (there, we said it). It's fun to see your organization pass milestone after milestone, tip-toeing your way to your end target. It's fun to see a physical representation of your progress, and count down to your fundraising goal—so why wouldn’t you include it?

Physical or virtual goal trackers: Which is best suited for your campaign?

A fundraising goal tracker is a fun way to track progress within your campaign.

A goal tracker can be physical or virtual, offering a visual representation of your campaign progress. 

When deciding which tracker would be best suited for your campaign, consider the following: 

Physical fundraising goal trackers 👀

A physical goal tracker is a tangible, in-person representation of your fundraising goal. You can buy a physical tracker online (such as a goal thermometer or a dry erase board) or go the DIY route, building one from a fundraising thermometer template.

Physical goal trackers are appealing because they're fun, catch supporters’ eyes, and can provide an engaging photo opp for your supporters. They can also easily be designed to fit your brand colors and can be rather large, which will capture the attention of bystanders. However, they do come with their own set of drawbacks, including:

  • Geographical limitations: You must have a physical location where you can display your tracker (for example, if you're raising money for a new fire department, you could add a donation thermometer image to the side of your building). If your organization does not have a physical location, this will pose an issue.
  • Limited visibility: Your tracker will only be visible to those who actually walk by or visit your location, making it invisible to supporters who live in other cities or states. If you hang your fundraising thermometer chart indoors, it will be highly unlikely that your supporters see it unless they drop by your location.
  • Manual updates: As we pointed out, one of the primary appeals of a goal tracker is instant gratification. However, a physical fundraising goal thermometer requires you to manually update your campaign progress, which strips away this key benefit.
  • Potential for miscalculations: Since a physical goal tracker needs to be manually updated, you run the risk of human error. Your fundraising progress could be further or closer to your goal amount, depending on the margin of error.

Virtual fundraising goal trackers 👏👏

Givebutter fundraising goal tracker

A virtual fundraising tracker is a digital thermometer or other display that's embedded into your website or fundraising page. With a virtual fundraising tracker, there's really only one, key downfall: You need to choose a fundraising platform that includes goal tracking as a feature.

Fortunately, Givebutter's all-in-one online fundraising platform comes complete with a goal tracker. Your virtual goal chart offers a number of advantages, including: 

  • Use at various fundraising events: Since your campaign goal bar can be featured anywhere, you can use it at in-person, virtual, or hybrid fundraising campaigns. For example, at a hybrid event, you can project your goal bar on an in-person event screen to show your progress. 
  • Save funds: Your free fundraising thermometer is just one of 130+ fundraising tools on the Givebutter platform. Givebutter's platform is (and always will be) free thanks to donor tips.
  • Fire off campaign updates: Need a final fundraising push to cross the finish line? With Givebutter's campaign updates, you can post announcements in your supporter feed, send an eblast, or even text your most loyal supporters to get you closer to your goal. Plus, with Givebutter’s Canva integration, you can easily add any of your own designs, videos, or GIFs to your campaign update. 
  • Share milestones: Celebrate progress towards your goal with automatic milestone-reached messages in your supporter feed. Givebutter will share when you’ve reached 25, 50, 75, and 100 percent of your fundraising goal.
  • Erase your margin for error: Since Givebutter's goal bars are built-in to your fundraising platform, there are no miscalculations. You—and your supporters—know exactly how much money you've raised, and how much you have left to reach your end target.
  • Offer immediate feedback: Givebutter's fundraising thermometers work automatically, so donors see how their contribution pushed your organization closer to your goal, all in real-time.
  • Integrate with other tools: Givebutter's all-in-one platform integrates with a number of fundraising tools, allowing you to easily share (and celebrate!) your progress. You can easily rally support for your final campaign push by amplifying your message across social media or by sending an email blast.

Hit your campaign goal with Givebutter's all-in-one platform

A fundraising goal tracker is a fun way to offer a visual representation of your campaign progress.

A goal tracker helps rally supporters, offers immediate gratification, and deepens the connection between supporters and your cause.

A goal tracker can be physical or virtual, each with its own advantages. However, if you're looking for a goal tracker that can be automatically updated, posted anywhere, integrated with other tools, and has zero margin for error, you'll want to choose a virtual option. Fortunately, Givebutter offers a built-in goal bar as one of its many fundraising tools.

Givebutter is the modern, all-in-one fundraising platform built with donors in mind. With included CRM tools, marketing automation, and seemingly limitless fundraising ideas, its suite of services gets you closer to your target. Plus, thanks to donor tips, Givebutter offers the lowest platform fees in the industry, so you keep more of what you earn.

Ready to see how Givebutter can help you reach your campaign goal? Take a tour to get started.

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