The ear­ly Chris­t­ian Church: St Paul’s let­ter to the Corinthians

Exhibited by
September 06, 2009
Medium of Communication
Door drops and household deliveries
Target Audience
Individuals, single gift
Type of Charity
Religion related
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance

SOFII’s view

St Paul’s letter to his followers in Corinth predates Eihei Dogen’s early fundraising letter by nearly 1,200 years. But to be honest this isn’t so much a fundraising letter as a letter that mentions fund collection. It may be the earliest example of a director of fundraising writing to his fundraisers in the field complaining about their failures and exhorting them to try harder to reach their targets.

So, we think it deserves a place on SOFII. But...can you find some even earlier examples? Or anything else from fundraising’s colourful past?

St Paul (Saul of Tarsus as was).

To make sure fundraising targets would be met by St Paul’s field fundraising force.


The New Testament.

Special characteristics

Direct appeal.


Probably considerable.


Historically this exhibit is important because it is really early, one of the first ever documented references to fundraising. There are earlier exhibits on SOFII, see here and here. St Paul though was perhaps the first ever career fundraiser. He has (so far) two exhibits on SOFII, the second can be found here.

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Is St Paul really just keeping his field fundraisers on their toes? Or is there more to it than that? Readers with a historical perspective to add should contact SOFII.