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 sci-fi tele­vi­sion pro­gramme 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
May 28, 2020

A message from Mark Phillips, founder of Bluefrog Fundraising:

‘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 you to learn from. 

Walk in the footsteps of giants or stand on their shoulders, as you take inspiration from the past. As you do so, you’ll know that rather than reinventing the fundraising wheel, you are building on the legacy of campaigns and fundraisers from times past. Below you will find links to case studies, articles and thought pieces exploring the history of fundraising. 

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.

Related case studies or articles

The SOFII history project part one: treasures from fundraising’s history

Welcome to part one of SOFII’s history project. Dive in to explore the best campaigns from antiquity to the 20th century.

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The SOFII history project part three: the legends of fundraising

Meet the women and men who transformed, improved and revolutionised fundraising.

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The SOFII history project part two: the all-time fundraising greats

Do you want to learn from the very best in the fundraising business? This is the section for you as we explore the greatest ever campaigns, events and pioneering thinkers.

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