Take a trip in SOFII’s time machine: the SOFII history project - introduction and contents

Step into SOFII’s answer to Doctor Who’s TARDIS (if you haven’t seen the BBC’s flagship TV sci-fi epic you’re missing out) and travel back in time to the best fundraising content from years, decades and centuries past. Welcome to SOFII’s history project.

Written by
SOFII
Added
May 23, 2019

A message from Mark Phillips, founder of Bluefrog.

History really matters, for fundraisers. If you don’t know where you’ve come from you’ll only have a partial picture of where you are and, probably, little clear idea of where you’re going. 

‘When I was setting up my agency, Bluefrog, I knew that I had a major challenge ahead of me. Fortunately, I had the wisdom and examples of great fundraisers to draw from. The history of fundraising is a resource I’ve relied upon my entire career, guiding me towards great ideas and inspiring me with what’s gone before. And we fundraisers are very lucky because much of the best learning from our glorious history is only a click or two away. Since its creation, SOFII has been diligently collecting the best case histories and thought pieces from fundraising’s illustrious past. Whether you’re new to the profession or a veteran looking for new inspiration, there’s so much content to drive your creative impulses in SOFII’s history project. I’ve supported it since it started and it’s been a continuous source of revelations for me, as both a contributor and a beneficiary of inspiration, digging up treasures from antiquity or sharing ground-breaking examples of superb campaigns from the Middle Ages to the recent past, via our Victorian forebears. And I’ve only scratched the surface! So please join me in supporting SOFII as it continues to add to this treasure trove. I hope it will inspire you as it inspires me.’

The magic of fundraising’s past is on SOFII!

Being a brilliant fundraiser means knowing your history. From before the time of Jesus, via the great Islamic scholars and East-Asian philosophers to the golden era of Victorian philanthropy, there are countless examples from the past for the modern fundraiser to take inspiration from. 

You can walk in the footsteps of giants or stand on their shoulders, take solace and inspiration from the past and, as you do so, know that rather than reinvent the fundraising wheel you are building on the legacy of great campaigns and fundraising experts from times past. Below you will find links to all the great case studies, articles and thought pieces exploring the history of fundraising. Enjoy!

Explore these sections to follow in some mighty footsteps

Treasures from history: a collection of the best fundraising campaigns from throughout the centuries.

Click here for this section in full.

All-time fundraising greats: the very best of the best. Ever!

Click here for this section in full.

The fundraising legends: meet the stars of our profession who changed the way fundraisers operate.

Click here for this section in full.

About the author: SOFII

The SOFII collection aims to be the most comprehensive, best organised, and most inspiring collection of fundraising related content from around the world.

Recent Articles

The A to Z of writing fundraising appeals: T to Z

Words of wisdom, notions of tone and urgency and the central importance of YOU - all are covered in this last entry in Steve Lynch’s A to Z of writing fundraising appeals.

Read more

The A to Z of writing fundraising appeals: M to S

We bring you part three of copywriter Steve Lynch’s superb A to Z, exploring everything from the value of a good slogan to lessons taken from his mother and George Orwell. Stay tuned for T to Z, coming soon.

Read more

SOFII’s July must-reads

Do you know how to properly thank your donors? Does your copywriting need a boost? Do you want to tap into the potential of gaming? Would you like to read an inspirational and emotional piece of storytelling? All these questions and many, many more are addressed in this month’s collection of SOFII must-reads from Pamela Grow and Craig Linton.

Read more

The A to Z of writing fundraising appeals: G to L

From grammar to the length of fundraising copy via important takes on jargon, headlines and even Rudyard Kipling, Bluefrog’s Steve Lynch continues to take a fun and informative linguistic foray through fundraising essentials.

Read more

The A to Z of writing fundraising appeals: A to F

Writing a good appeal is a big undertaking and isn’t as easy as some may think. In this handy guide Blue Frog London’s Steve Lynch gives a handy alphabetical guide to the dos and don’ts of writing a fundraising appeal.

Read more

Also in Categories