Mail Force, a charity set up by the Daily Mail, “surpassed all expectations” when it came to fundraising, and is now considering its future.
The charity launched in April 2020 and recently published its first annual report, which say it has achieved its first two objectives and is “taking time to reflect on the future”.
At first, Mail Force was set up to buy and distribute PPE to key workers. Then, in January 2021, it launched a second appeal to provide new and refurbished computers to schools.
Andrew Lane, chair, wrote in the foreword: “Mail Force Charity has surpassed all expectations by raising a total of £25m in cash and equipment for PPE and Computers for Kids. I am proud to say that Mail Force Charity is now one of the UK’s top fundraisers.”
At the beginning of the pandemic there were shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) in healthcare settings, which prompted the Daily Mail and Salesforce to start the campaign.
This appeal raised £11m in total. Some 55,000 readers contributed a combined sum of £2.5m, with the rest coming from philanthropists, foundations and corporates.
The annual report says that Mail Force has provided approximately 40 million pieces of PPE to the NHS and charity partners.
Mail Force also funded £1m of Covid-19 testing equipment, including resources for Great Ormond Street Hospital and Alder Hey hospital.
The second appeal, Computers for Kids, has raised “over £13m in cash and equipment”.
‘Accomplished what it set out to achieve’
At the end of the year, the charity held £1.8m in its reserves.
Under the heading “future plans” Mail Force’s annual report said: “On both the PPE and Computers for Kids Campaign, the charity has accomplished what it set out to achieve.
“Due to the immediate Covid crisis being averted, the trustees are taking time to reflect on the future of the charity without making any immediate decisions. As there are no running costs to the charity, there will be no impact on donating ability.”
In another part of the annual report, the charity speculates that DMGT, the Mail’s parent company, may wish to wind this charity up and set up a new one with broader objectives, but: “There is no indication of this at present.”