I had the opportunity recently to read Ben Franklin's autobiography, and was pleasantly surprised by what I found.
Spurred by the Saturday morning "history lessons" of my youth, my thoughts regarding Ben Franklin have been based on visions of an old man running in the rain with a kite and a key in New England by night, engaging in debate and helping to write the founding documents of this nation by day. As romantic as this vision may be, it is actually merely a small part of all that Franklin accomplished.
While it is true that Mr. Franklin was a statesman, author and inventor nearly without peer, he was also a dedicated fundraiser. In his autobiography, particularly chapters 10 and 11, can be found the evidence that he was not merely satisfied with helping to shape the new nation through debate and politics, but through industrious action and monetary support.
http://www.earlyamerica.com/lives/franklin/chapt11/ contains his own description of his efforts to fundraise for and build a church, a library and a school, among other things.
Also of note is the fact that he, himself, was a donor. (True of all excellent fundraisers) In chapter 10, he describes the circumstance of listening to an appeal of a preacher for donations to build a new orphanage, the exact plan for which he disagreed: