Gathering Donations

The Finnish Relief Fund was created to collect money from the United States and use that money to aid Finland with the purchase of non-military materials. The Fund used different methods to raise a total of $3,546,526. These methods included the recruitment of newspapers across the nation and money donated from events put on by the Relief Fund or other privately organized events.

Below is a map showing how much money came from each state. Move your cursor over a state to see how much money was donated by the people in that state.

Herbert Hoover realized that it would be difficult for the Fund to set up a committee in every town and collect money from the people in this traditional way. On December seventh, 1939 he wrote a letter to all the editors and publishers in the United States asking for them to take over the appeal to the American people.  He also asked the newspapers to receive the cash contributions of the people and to acknowledge these people in their columns. This acknowledgment helped to attract more people to donate to the cause. With the newspapers acting as the local committees the Finnish Relief fund did not need to hire very many people across the nation allowing them to lower overhead costs with the result of sending more money over to Finland.


The Finnish Relief Fund had a number of gatherings and luncheons to generate donations for the people of Finland. A large portion of these were gatherings of 900-1200 people. On a couple occasions, large gatherings and speeches were given to encourage donations. On January twenty-eighth, 1940 Herbert Hoover gave the Manhattan Speech which televised Hoover asking for people to donate to the cause. This speech, in particular, had a large impact with the state of New York to be the largest giver of all the states.

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