All our yesterdays: the fundraising archive showcase
Help the Aged ‘You have this gift’ direct mail acquisition pack
Breakthrough discovery! New material is unearthed, adding new insight to one of SOFII’s ‘Best of the Best’ campaigns ‘The idea for the pack came when he was taking the opaque plastic lid off a takeaway cup of coffee on the train.’View this exhibit.
RCSB Bhopal emergency appeal
Created in less than two hours, this ad went on to raise more than 20 times its total costs in just a few days, to become a classic example of disaster appeal advertising. More than £420,000 was raised and most of it directly attributable to the press advertisements.View this exhibit.
The ActionAid inserts with built-in reply mechanism
This promotion raised £millions and won almost every direct marketing award going. It also helped propel a new and little known organisation called ActionAid into the list of Britain's top 20 charities. Action Aid created a new format, which was then copied by dozens, perhaps hundreds of other organisations.View this exhibit.
UNICEF: the card that launched UNICEF’s fundraising
UNICEF’s very first ever Christmas card would lead to the multi-million dollar international business that is UNICEF’s cards today.View this exhibit.
RSPCA’s pile of dead dogs advertisement
This high impact poster from Britain’s leading animal welfare charity stopped a nation of dog lovers in their tracks. It changed the way many British people felt about one of their most respected, most ‘establishment’ charities.View this exhibit.
Oxfam’s press ads from the 1950s and 60s
These press advertisements really did change the course of fundraising in Britain. They helped Oxfam to grow into a substantial international charity. Though they might seem crude and simplistic now, these ads very effectively alerted the post-war British public to considerable humanitarian needs abroad.View this exhibit.
Bruce Barton’s fundraising letters for Deerfield Academy continue with letters nine, 10 and 11, from 1948 and 1949.
Reporting back, storytelling and irresistible offers – more fundraising gems from Bruce Barton.View this exhibit.
Bruce Barton’s fundraising letters for Deerfield Academy: from 1946/47, letters six, seven and eight.
Featured here are letters six, seven and eight from the 21 letters in this SOFII series, three more fine examples of the fundraising letter-writer’s art from an age gone by.View this exhibit.
Bruce Barton’s fundraising letters for Deerfield Academy: From 1945, letters three, four and five.
These letters are masterful examples of wrapping up serious information in easy conversational style. Find letters three, four and five here.View this exhibit.
Bruce Barton’s fundraising letters for Deerfield Academy, from the 1940s.
Written between 1944 and 1960, the 22 letters in this series reputedly raised over US$2 million. Serious direct mail copywriters will study these letters carefully and will profit accordingly.View this exhibit.
Great Ormond Street Hospital Christmas mailing in 1941
What an achievement for Great Ormond Street Hospital’s fundraisers during the Second World War, someone kept their mailing for 70 years.View this exhibit.
British Red Cross: the £7.7 billion appeal that changed British fundraising forever
The Duke of Gloucester’s Red Cross and St John Appeal Fund is the largest charitable fund in the history of British fundraising, raising the equivalent of £7.7 billion. This monumental exhibit should be read by all.View this exhibit.
The RNLI ‘stand behind these men’ press ad
The message is simple and direct – it tells who the RNLI is, what it does, and gets straight to the point by asking what the reader will contribute. It also uses a photograph of a crew member at the top of the page – a tradition that continues today.View this exhibit.
Albert Street Methodist Sunday School: the foot of pennies from the 1930s
A small yet colourful part of England’s fundraising heritage had been discovered in a Methodist chapel about to be demolished. As their finder explains, these fun feet of pennies are engagement devices designed to make collecting for charity easy and so to hook neophytes into the habit of giving.View this exhibit.
The Bruce Barton letter: the classic long copy letter from 1925 that pulled a 100 per cent response
He sounds like the racy detective hero from a 1930s crime thriller. But Bruce Barton is something else, for sure – a great copywriter and communicator.View this exhibit.
RNLI: Britain’s first-ever street collection, 1891
An appalling loss of life in 1886 leads to the invention of a fundraising classic that's still raising millions today. A horrific double tragedy brought about Britain’s first-ever street collection for a charitable cause. It was a significant milestone in the history of voluntary action in the UK and elsewhere.View this exhibit.
Dr Barnardo’s Homes: four fundraising greats from the distant past
Dr Thomas Barnardo was one of the Victorian era’s great philanthropists. These archive examples of his personal fundraising style and efforts are a unique treasure for the body of fundraising knowledge and best practice.View this exhibit.
The elephant man: a fundraising success story from 1886.
The extraordinary story of how a successful fundraising appeal transformed the final years of one of the most tragic and moving figures of the Victorian age.View this exhibit.
Founding of the British Red Cross: a spectacular result from a letter to a national newspaper, 1870.
This is an important piece of fundraising history. It explains how one of the world’s most significant international humanitarian organisations took root in the UK. Also, it records the moment when a brief correspondence in a leading national newspaper of the day showed the British public’s extraordinary capacity to react with inspirational generosity at a time of evident need.View this exhibit.
A Dismal Swamp: an extract from Our Mutual Friend showing Charles Dickens’ view of fundraising in Victorian England
Charles Dickens’ perceptive view of fundraising from Our Mutual Friend, 1864. Download this entertaining and instructive insight into fundraising from 150 years ago.View this exhibit.
Great Ormond Street Hospital: legacy marketing 1856
Why is it that the giving and receipt of legacies figured strongly in Victorian literature, yet is largely absent today? The announcement in the annual report of The Hospital for Sick Children (later Great Ormond Street Hospital) appeared just four years after the hospital was founded, but it was already obvious that gifts of legacies would be very important to the health and development of the hospital.View this exhibit.
The Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade: minute regarding the need for fundraising: from 1788
This piece offers a unique insight into how, 220 years ago, funds were raised to help fight one of the greatest social evils of all time.
In its formality, the 114-word single sentence of this solicitation has a distinctly quaint character.View this exhibit.
How Harvard University got its name - major gift fundraising in the seventeenth century.
The examples in this exhibit are almost 400 years old, yet it would seem that we are still making the same mistakes today when it comes to major gift fundraising.View this exhibit.
Eihei Dogen fundraising letter: from 1235
Sent in the year 1235, this may be the oldest fundraising letter on record. It is also an extraordinarily competent appeal that identifies the different types of people that the writer wishes to address.View this exhibit.
Pliny the Younger and the first appeal for matching funds, c. 100 AD.
About 20 years after famously witnessing the eruption of Vesuvius that engulfed Pompeii, Pliny the Younger, perhaps the most generous benefactor of the Roman era, created a matching fund to help the parents in his home town to fund their school.View this exhibit.
Paul the apostle motivates his church’s donors – c. 56 AD
This could be the first ever appeal for regular, committed donors. In the early days of the Christian church the missionary Paul asked his supporters in the city of Corinth to set aside a small portion of their income regularly, to sustain victims of a famine and then later to support good works generally.View this exhibit.
St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians
This may not be the world’s earliest ever recorded mention of fundraising but it could well be the first ever example of a fundraising director exhorting his troops to achieve their targets. Or, do you know different?View this exhibit.
The first ever major donor dinner – c. 970 BC
With a clear target, a list of major prospects, an inspirational lead gift and a fantastic end result, the only thing that’s not ‘state of the art’ about this event is that it happened 3,000 years ago.View this exhibit.
Moses raises funds for the tabernacle – c. 1,500 BC
This is now the oldest exhibit on SOFII (and will be, until you tell us different). It’s also a surprisingly instructive fundraising case history. If you look at the detailed notes it becomes quite clear that the prophet Moses was an accomplished fundraiser who both understood his audience and appreciated the nuances of his fundraising proposition and how it would be received.View this exhibit.