The income of the charity for which Princes William and Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge are patrons increased by more than 700 per cent during the royal wedding year.
The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry's accounts for the year ending December 2011, released yesterday, show that donated income increased from £625,100 in 2010 to £4.5m in 2011.
The Foundation's chairman, Lord R B Janvrin, alluded to the reported 'Kate-effect' for the boost, as she joined the Foundation last year:
"From the moment of the announcement of the Royal Wedding in November 2010 the Foundation's first full year of operation turned out to be both busy and memorable. The trustees are delighted that HRH the Duchess of Cambridge has joined the Foundation as a patron following the wedding in April 2011," he said.
A major contributor of funds to the Foundation was the charitable gift fund set up as an alternative wedding gift list by the Prince and Duchess, and implemented through the Foundation. It alone boosted funds by over £1m, all of which was designated and distributed to 26 separate charities chosen by the happy couple. Proceeds of the sale of the official wedding programme were also donated to the Foundation and a tour of North America by Kate and William too proved lucrative for the charity, helping to secure an early capacity-building grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation.
But not all of the funds can be attributed to the royal wedding. Another significant boost was a restricted grant of £1m from the London Marathon Charitable Trust secured to help Fields in Trust protect outdoor recreational space in 33 London boroughs as part of the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge.
Lord Janvrin also advised that through a new partnership with with Absolute Return for Kids, the two charities have been able to boost financial support for two new educational projects, one in the UK and one in Uganda by utilising a private/public partnership system.
In total, the charity's income was £4,819,182 in 2011, £2,781,311 of which was restricted.
Having registered in October 2009, the Foundation is in its early life. 2011 is the first year of the charity's grant-making distribution, awarding grants totalling £1.179m. The charity says the past year has informed its future strategy, which will see it focus on its three key areas of support: children and young people, veterans and their families, and conservation and sustainability. The first of these received the greatest level of support from the Foundation in 2011, with £669,922 of grants given to support disadvantaged children and young people. Charities supporting military veterans and their families received £404,501 of support, while conservation and sustainable development charities benefitted from £57,048 of grants.
New brand will be launched
The coming years are set to see a great deal of change within the Foundation, which now employs five staff members. 2011 saw the addition of a development manager, Sian Williams, a director of grants and evaluation, Victoria Hornby, and an administrative assistant at the charity.
The Foundation is currently establishing a full communications and marketing strategy, including a new brand following the addition of the Duchess's name to the now somewhat long-winded title (The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry). This is expected to be unveiled later this year.
Another major change will be the implementation of a formal investment policy. Trustees have now approved the placement of £1,050,000 into the hands of Schroders Charities. The trustees have implemented a "cautious policy" with regards to these funds, the Foundation advises, with the majority held on term deposits, considered to be conservative and low-free investments.