The Spitfire Fund

The Spitfire Fund was a very successful crowdfunding project in the Second World War. Picture this. It was Britain, 1940 and the Nazis were threatening to invade. The British had a wonderful plane called the Spitfire but they didn’t have enough of them. Lord Beaverbrook was the Minister of Aircraft Construction. He had the idea of crowdfunding to get the money to make more Spitfires. People were asked to send any money they could spare and the Spitfire Fund was started. The population were happy to help. Some people sent large amounts but every little sum was welcome. Children sent their pocket money or had table top sales. In Southampton, a brother and sister sold pears from their garden and two eleven-year-olds sold their chocolate bars. A farmer charged six pennies (6d about £1 today) for people to see where a German plane had crashed in his field. The fund grew and grew and raised at least £13 million (about £744 million today). The fund didn’t pay for all the new Spitfires but it did something much more important. People had been feeling hopeless and scared but now they felt they were helping to fight the Nazis. A boy in Guildford, Surrey, sent his money to the fund. He received a letter from King George VI congratulating him and telling him he’d bought a tyre for a Spitfire. Every time a Spitfire flew over, the boy thought – that could be my tyre. You can find out more about the Spitfire Fund using this link –