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Lord Ashcroft digs deep for Prince Harry's charity

Lord Ashcroft digs deep for Prince Harry's charity
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Lord Ashcroft digs deep for Prince Harry's charity

Fundraising | Celina Ribeiro | 25 Mar 2009

Prince Harry’s African children’s charity has received a major boost from the deputy chairman of the Conservative Party.

The controversial entrepreneur and Tory politician (pictured) made a donation worth £250,000 to Sentebale, the organisation set up by Prince Harry in 2006 in memory of his mother Princess Diana and which supports projects for vulnerable and orphaned children in Lesotho.

Lord Ashcroft’s donation is a significant one for the charity, which, according to most recent reports on the Charity Commission register had an annual income of £1.15m.

A national newspaper on the weekend reported that the charity trustees had gone pleading to rich businesspeople for donations after the cancellation of two major fundraising events in 2008 left the charity’s coffers in trouble. Sentebale, however, denied that any events had been cancelled and told Charity News Alert that an increase in fundraising activity was solely the result of the expansion of its projects in Lesotho.

A Sentebale spokesperson said: “Following the appointment of new trustees towards the end of last year fundraising began in earnest. We were successful in securing funds from donors known to be supportive of charities in Africa, including a donation from Lord Ashcroft.

“We’re doubling our activities in Lesotho and will be supporting 28 projects this year. Accordingly we need to increase the amount of funds raised.”

Lord Ashcroft, who is currently being investigated by the Electoral Commission for suspected non-compliance with the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act resulting from a £5m donation made to the Tories by his company Bearwood Corporate Services, is also a major philanthropist. His website highlights the numerous charities he supports and has founded, including the NSPCC, Crimestoppers and his own trust, the Michael A Ashcroft Foundation.

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