Following are just a few of the timeless and inspirational campaigns in the SOFII Best of the Best Showcase. (All commentary provided by the SOFII website.)
— Margaret Battistelli
"The most successful fundraising appeal ever." A mighty claim indeed but one that SOFII feels is most deserved. By pioneering fundraising methods such as house-to-house collections, penny-a-week appeals and the popularisation of charity shops, the Duke of Gloucester's Red Cross and St. John Appeal Fund raised the equivalent of £5.5 billion. As well as raising this extraordinary amount, they also paved the way for many of the fundraising techniques that are relied upon today.
Target audience: Planned gift
Origin: U.K. September 1939
Background: The Duke of Gloucester's Red Cross and St. John Appeal Fund was launched in September 1939 to raise funds for those affected by the Second World War. By 1946 the appeal had raised £54,324,408, which is the equivalent of £5,490,000,000 today, making it the largest charitable fund ever raised in the U.K. The proceeds of the fund went to the Red Cross and St. John War Organisation.
Special characteristics: The fund committee decided to run appeals targeted to particular sections of the community.
The penny-a-week fund was [intended] to collect 1 [cent] a week from workers, which was deducted from their wages. The fund raised £17,663,225 (£1.79 billion today) — all in pennies. Its success was credited to the idea of collecting a small amount of money from a large number of people. The amount did not make a significant difference to the donor's weekly budget, but the pennies added up to raise more than one third of the entire Duke of Gloucester's appeal. This was the precursor to payroll giving as we know it today. Each year, £106 million is donated through payroll giving in the U.K. currently, a mere 35 percent of what the penny-a-week fund collected annually during the war years.