Foundations of Fundraising

What can 6,000 fundraising appeals from 1912 teach you about asking for money?

by Marina Jones

In part one of this series on William Harvey Allen’s review of 6,000 fundraising appeals, Marina Jones noted that the challenges fundraisers face hasn’t really changed much in 100+ years. But today, Marina looks at what these historical appeals can teach us about how we ask for money from donors. Dive in to discover ten key lessons.  

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What can 6,000 appeal letters show you about fundraising 100 years ago?

by Marina Jones

In 1912, researcher William Harvey Allen studied an incredible 6,000 fundraising appeals – and then wrote a book about it. In some ways, it’s a bit like an early SOFII, a place where Allen documented the fundraising tips (and mistakes) of his time. Marina Jones takes you through Allen’s findings and shares some of the ways in which fundraising hasn’t changed.

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Ten fundraising truths inspired by Booker T. Washington

by Marina Jones

Booker T. Washington was the first president of the Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University). But did you know he was also a skilled fundraiser? In this article, Marina Jones shares ten fundraising truths based on Washington’s success and insight. Dive in and be inspired!

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How do you say thank you for 41 million eggs?

by Marina Jones

Fundraising history, donor recognition, supporter experience and thanking. This one has it all! Dive in and explore the many virtues of this World War One (WWI) National Egg Collection campaign. There’s plenty to inspire you and your fundraising, today.

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Celebrating donor recognition through history and exploring why it works

by Marina Jones

Join Marina Jones as she shares a selection of her favourite examples of donor recognition. Dating back to mediaeval times, this is a wonderful (and sometimes weird) collection of ways that donors have been recognised for their gifts. 

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The wit and wisdom of George Smith - Introduction and contents

by Joe Burnett

Joe Burnett introduces a new series on SOFII featuring the wit and wisdom of legendary fundraising guru and master wordsmith, George Smith.

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Five insights for fundraisers from the British Red Cross Museum of Kindness

by Mark Phillips

We’ve been meaning to get this gem on SOFII for a while, and we hope you love this bit of fundraising history as much as we do. In this article Mark Phillips shares what he saw on his visit to the British Red Cross Museum of Kindness and shares what fundraisers can learn from their exhibition of wonderful things. 

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International Committee of the Red Cross: Helping victims of the Turkish-Greek conflict

by ICRC

Discover how efforts by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) proved decisive in helping the victims of a brutal conflict.

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Decolonised fundraising that works: myth or reality?

by Lizi Zipser

How can we go about decolonising fundraising communications? This article delves into the complexities of addressing the issue and shares a report with valuable case studies that you can learn from if you decide to make similar changes to your fundraising.

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The wit and wisdom of George Smith - Seriously, let’s be silly

by George Smith

When writing his regular article back in 1993, George Smith mused on how we use language, the dangers of taking opinions as gospel, and why it’s good to be silly.

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The wit and wisdom of George Smith - Où est le chat?

by George Smith

Are you a chatty bleeder? The great George Smith certainly was and in this funny article he tells the truth about what the chattiest direct marketers have on the brain.

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Fundraising at the intersection of Blackness and Womanhood

by Kia Croom

We are delighted to bring you this podcast and article by Washington, DC based fundraiser Kia Croom. Kia brings you closer to the experiences of Black female fundraisers and reflects on a sector that isn’t practicing what it preaches.

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