When a Coin in the Coffer Rings When a Coin in the Coffer Rings
When a Coin in the Coffer Rings
© Museum für Sepulkralkultur, Kassel, Bildarchiv
Photo: Wolfgang Neumann


12. November 2005 – 5. March 2006

From the offertory box to online donation

An Exhibition in Conjunction With the Evangelische Kreditgenossenschaft Kassel

Despite the sluggish economy, the Germans' willingness to donate is not diminishing; nearly all the aid organizations register new record results yearly. In Western Christian society it is tradition to let the needy have a share of our own prosperity. Offertory boxes and collection bags are therefore an indispensable part of the church and church services. Preachers entice with the promise that the benefits for others also serve the salvation of one's own soul.

Domonican monk Tetzel’s slogan Wenn das Geld im Kasten klingt, die Seele in den Himmel springt (When a coin in the coffer rings, the soul from the purgatory springs) became famous and triggered the Reformation. The context of do, ut des – I give, so that you may give, which was already known in Rome, was thus shaken, but not lost. And we probably too wish that doing good will pay off.

Nowadays, advertising is needed to obtain donations. Even if cashless payment transactions have made the offertory box practically superfluous, poster campaigns and charity events must still awaken the willingness of the public to donate.

The exhibition tells the story of fundraising using the equipment used to collect money. These are both massive containers, which were supposed to protect the deposited money from unauthorized access, and narrative collecting devices: These include collecting boxes with the image of poor souls in purgatory who could be redeemed thanks to the donated penny or the so-called "Nickneger", a figure that nodded its head gratefully after a donation for missionary work was received.

The exhibition uniquely portrays the variety and the wealth of ideas of collecting and advertising donation devices in a special show. The basis is a unique collection from private ownership in Cologne, which is being presented to the public for the first time.

The exhibition is a cooperation with the Evangelische Kreditgenossenschaft Kassel, on whose premises a cross-section of selected exhibits from the exhibition can be seen from November 12 to December 21, 2005.


facebook youtube instagram

Arbeitsgemeinschaft Friedhof und Denkmal e.V.

Zentralinstitut für Sepulkralkultur

Museum für Sepulkralkultur

Weinbergstraße 25–27
D-34117 Kassel | Germany
Tel. +49 (0)561 918 93-0

Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien
Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst
Kassel Documenta Stadt
Deutsche Bischofskonferenz