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Gary Shearin from YMCA England has discovered a couple of great examples of YMCA fundraising materials in their archives.

I was particularly impressed with this feedback piece produced in 1916.

Before the days of computers and spreadsheets, the clerks at the YMCA were able to put together a financial report that accounted for all wartime income and expenditure right down to the last 5 shillings and 11 pence.

As Gary pointed out to me…

“There was apparently some fuss at the time about the YMCA charging a set fee for refreshments to service men and women.

This was actually a requirement of the military who were also charging for their own services and presumably didn’t want to be undercut (though I’d like to think the YMCA would slip in an extra spoon of cocoa / sugar).

In today’s money it equalled £113.3 Million gross – £23.4 Million surplus. Though the Statement shows how this goes back into the objectives. Though, none of these vintage YMCA materials use oblique words like ‘objectives’ – as we do today!

He also highlighted an interesting aspect of the design. Expenditure is spread over two columns and is sensibly headed “How money is used”. Compare this to the single column for income and you have a great two-to-one technique to show readers the value for money the YMCA is offering.

They are not frightened of sharing fundraising and admin costs either. Everything is included.

I’d suggest taking a look at some of the fundraising materials the YMCA used in the same year. The amounts they asked for – and received – were astonishing. You’ll find one of their press advertisements here.

I wish the people who developed this work had written their own version ofHow to Fundraise. It would be worth a fortune today.