Fundraising archive

Fundraising has been around ever since people started to help each other. So examples of inspirational, instructive and innovative fundraising inevitably go back many centuries. But our records and record-keeping have not been all they should be. In this section SOFII aspires to display and describe the history of fundraising.

  • Treasures from the twentieth century
  • Wonders from history
  • The second oldest profession: fundraising from the dawn of time

Deerfield Academy: Bruce Barton’s fundraising letters from 1957 and 1958, letters 20 and 21

by SOFII

Bruce Barton’s letters are all about the donors’ achievements, so are welcome news packed with flattery and tales of selflessness and fine motives.

Read more

Deerfield Academy: Bruce Barton’s fundraising letters from 1956 and 1957, letters 18 and 19

by SOFII

There’s no trickery in these letters, no artifice, no phoney PSs. Just direct, honest talking put in such an endearing and charming way as to become irresistible for those recipients who share the writer’s enthusiasm for Deerfield Academy and his passionate belief that it should give the best education possible to its students.

Read more

Deerfield Academy: Bruce Barton’s fundraising letters from 1955 and 1956, letters 16 and 17

The Bruce Barton Letters

by SOFII

A four-year gap between Bruce Barton's letters for Deerfield Academy in no way diminished his exceptional capacity for penning a powerful appeal. Read, reflect and recycle, for there is real treasure here.

Read more

Deerfield Academy: Bruce Barton’s fundraising letters from 1951, letter 15

by SOFII

With all the usual captivation and craftsmanship of a classic Bruce Barton letter, this provides a very valuable lesson in donor care from 60 years ago that is just as relevant today.

Read more

Deerfield Academy: Bruce Barton’s fundraising letters from the turn of the 1950s, letters 12, 13 and 14

by SOFII

It's a delight now to add letters 12, 13 and 14 to this growing SOFII series featuring legendary writer Bruce Barton's brilliantly conversational direct mail letters for Deerfield Academy.

Read more

Deerfield Academy: Bruce Barton’s fundraising letters for letters 9, 10 and 11, from 1948 and 1949

by SOFII

Reporting back, storytelling and irresistible offers – more fundraising gems from Bruce Barton.

Read more

Deerfield Academy: Bruce Barton’s fundraising letters from 1946/47, letters 6, 7 and 8

by SOFII

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.

Read more

Deerfield Academy: Bruce Barton’s fundraising letters from the 1940s, letters 1 and 2

The Bruce Barton Letters

by SOFII

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.

Read more

Deerfield Academy: the Bruce Barton classic long copy letter from 1925 that pulled a 100 per cent response

Left: Barton addresses an audience, perhaps at Deerfield Academy (we have no idea). And at home with a friend, right.

by Carolina Herrera

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.

Read more

The Salvation Army: the ‘for God’s sake care, give us a pound’ campaign

by SOFII

In this campaign the Salvation Army revealed the urgent need of people who had fallen off the edge of society. Their shocking photographic campaign sought to jolt people into action with the hope of raising £1 million.

Read more