King Charles III Charitable Fund

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King Charles III Charitable Fund (KCCF; formerly known as The Prince's Charities Foundation and later as The Prince of Wales's Charitable Fund or PWCF) is a charity that seeks to improve communities in the UK and throughout the world through grant giving and occasionally launches activities.[1] It awards approximately £5 million to a range of charitable causes annually. It was founded by King Charles III, then Prince of Wales, in 1979.

Overview

KCCF operates as a grant-making organization that supports a wide range of causes across six key themes:

The Fund operates a small grants program, which is open all year round and awards grants of up to £5,000 to not-for-profit organisations across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. In addition, the Fund supports its strategic partners through a major grants programme, furthering the charitable objectives of King Charles.[2]

Mission

Inspired by King Charles's values of harmony and sustainability, KCCF aims through its grant-making and other charitable activities to transform lives and build sustainable communities, thereby maximizing charitable impact. This is achieved locally through supporting causes such as community projects, nationally through grants to charities such as The Prince's Trust, Soil Association and the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and globally through awards to charities operating across the Commonwealth.

By early 2023, the charity had donated £73 million to different causes since its establishment in 1979.[3] In January 2023, it was announced that seven charities would receive £1.95 million from KCCF over three years.[3]

Trustees

Subsidiaries

Accounting for Sustainability (A4S)

Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) encourages the responsible business community to recognise the benefits of considering the environment and wider society as part of their day-to-day business decisions; and establish a global framework for integrated corporate reporting. It has three main aims; to inspire finance leaders, transform financial decision-making and scale up action in order to transition into a sustainable economy. A4S gained charitable status in 2021.[4]

The Royal Countryside Fund (RCF)

The Royal Countryside Fund (formerly the Prince's Countryside Fund) supports family farmers and rural communities through grant-making and training programmes, such as the Farm Resilience Programme, which provides free business skills training to family farmers. Over the past decade, the PCF has invested more than £10 million in over 400 projects in rural communities across the UK.[5]

Duchy Originals Ltd.

Duchy Originals Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Foundation. It was set up as a company by the Prince of Wales in 1990 and is one of the largest organic food brands in the UK. Duchy Originals focuses on good food, good farming and good causes in a ‘virtuous circle’. The Duchy Organics range is sold exclusively through Waitrose.[6] Each year, the royalties from the range are donated to PWCF and distributed to not-for-profit organisations through grants programmes. In 2019, Duchy Originals donated £3.4 million to PWCF.[7]

The Prince of Wales's Foundation Romania

The Prince of Wales's Foundation Romania continues to work with partners to deliver architectural, heritage preservation, farming and sustainable development projects across Romania.[8]

Donations

Vardanyan donations

In 2007, Prince Charles personally intervened to stop the sale of Dumfries House, which was about to be sold for £45 million.[9] While he raised some of the money required through other charities, a major element of the financial package was a £20 million loan backed by The Prince's Charities Foundation. A plan was developed to have the estate become a self-sufficient enterprise.[9] The project was to be achieved through donation and sponsorship of various renovation projects around the estate, as well as through revenues from the construction of an 'eco-village' in the grounds, a planned community called Knockroon.[9] In 2008, the advent of the global financial crisis had a major impact on the project, affecting the prospects for the Knockroon development and thus the recouping of the £20 million loan.[9]

To get out of the financial hole, the foundation managed to raise £5 million from private donors, including Ruben Vardanyan, a Russian banker from Armenia.[9] Vardanyan's charities stated that both he and his wife were approached in 2013 to gather a group of sponsors that could help with funding the renovation of a run-down farm building near the estate's west entrance and turning it into an upmarket guest house.[9] One wing of the guest house would have 16 luxury guest rooms and the project was funded by donors, some of whom were wealthy associates of Vardanyan.[9] He also led the investment bank Troika Dialog that managed a network of 70 offshore companies moving billions out of Russia, details of which were exposed through the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.[10] In 2009, 2010, and 2011 the Prince's Charities Foundation received $100,000, $41,000, and $61,000 respectively via the now-defunct bank Ūkio bankas in Lithuania to help restore Dumfries House.[10] The payments were from a company called Quantus Division Ltd, which was itself part of the network of aforementioned offshore companies.[10]

Vardanyan responded to the incident by stating that while he served as chief executive, he was also a private client of Troika Dialog and any donations to the Prince's Charities Foundation were from his personal funds.[10] Clarence House insisted that Prince Charles was not directly involved in the foundation's operations around fundraising.[10] A spokesman for The Prince of Wales's Charitable Foundation and The Dumfries House Trust stated the charities had applied robust due diligence processes and no red flags arose at the time.[10]

Qatari donations

In June 2022, The Times reported that between 2011 and 2015 King Charles accepted €3 million in cash from the Prime Minister of Qatar, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani.[11] The funds were said to be in the form of €500 notes, handed over in person in three tranches, in a suitcase, holdall and Fortnum & Mason carrier bags.[11][12] Charles' meetings with Al Thani did not appear in the Court Circular.[11] Coutts collected the cash and each payment was deposited into the accounts of The Prince of Wales's Charitable Fund. Fawcett's salary in this fund was 95,000 GBP per annum.[12] A Clarence House spokesperson stated that the appropriate covenants were carried out, and it was the "donor's choice" to make the donations in cash, after which the trustees "discussed the governance and donor relationship" and the auditors "signed off on the donation after a specific enquiry during the audit".[12] There is no evidence that the payments were illegal or that it was not intended for the money to go to the charity.[12] The Charity Commission announced they would review the information and determine if "there is any role for the Commission in this matter".[13] In July 2022, the Charity Commission announced that they would not be launching an investigation into the donations as the information submitted had provided "sufficient assurance" that due diligence had taken place.[14]

Bin Laden family donations

In July 2022, The Times reported that in 2013 The Prince of Wales's Charitable Fund had received a donation of £1 million from Bakr bin Laden and Shafiq bin Laden, both half-brothers of Osama bin Laden, the founder of militant organization al-Qaeda that was responsible for the September 11 attacks who had been disowned by his family.[15][16] Charles was reportedly introduced to Bakr bin Laden in June 2000 at an exhibition in London, and he was present at a banquet during Charles's visit to Riyadh.[16] The two met about two weeks after the September 11 attacks at a dinner organised months earlier by the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, one of Charles's patronages that has links to the Bin Laden family, to discuss the Islamic faith.[16] Charles is said to have held a private meeting with Bakr bin Laden at Clarence House on 30 October 2013.[17] The Prince of Wales's Charitable Fund responded by stating that "the decision to accept the donation was taken wholly by the trustees", and "due diligence was conducted, with information sought from a wide range of sources, including government".[18] The Charity Commission described the decision to accept donations as a "matter for trustees" and added that based on the available information no investigation was required.[18]

See also

References

  1. ^ "THE PRINCE OF WALES'S CHARITABLE FOUNDATION - Charity 1127255". register-of-charities.charitycommission.gov.uk. Retrieved 2023-08-03.
  2. ^ "Funding themes". The Prince of Wales's Charitable Fund. Retrieved 2021-10-04.
  3. ^ a b "King's Charity to donate £1.95M to good causes". The Wildlife Trust. Retrieved 31 January 2023.
  4. ^ "A4S aims". Accounting for Sustainability accountingforsustainability.org. Retrieved 2021-10-04.
  5. ^ "Our impact". The Prince's Countryside Fund. Retrieved 2021-10-04.
  6. ^ "Waitrose & Partners". Waitrose.com. Retrieved 2021-10-04.
  7. ^ The Prince of Wales's Charitable Foundation Trustees' Report and Consolidated Statutory Accounts for the Year Ended 31st March 2020, p. 14.[1]
  8. ^ "Our subsidiaries". The Prince of Wales's Charitable Fund. Retrieved 2021-10-04.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Verity, Andy; Oliver, James; Melley, James (4 March 2019). "The Prince of Wales, the oligarch and the stately home". BBC News. Retrieved 6 February 2023.
  10. ^ a b c d e f Verity, Andy; Oliver, James; Melley, James (4 March 2019). "Prince Charles charity link to Russian offshore network". BBC News. Retrieved 6 February 2023.
  11. ^ a b c "Prince Charles accepted €1m cash in a suitcase from sheikh". The Times. Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  12. ^ a b c d "Prince Charles is said to have been given €3m in Qatari cash". The Guardian. 25 June 2022. Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  13. ^ "Prince Charles: Charity watchdog reviewing information over reports royal accepted carrier bag full of cash as a charity donation from Qatar ex-PM". Sky News. 27 June 2022. Retrieved 27 June 2022.
  14. ^ Coughlan, Sean (20 July 2022). "Prince Charles: No inquiry into £2.5m cash donation to his charity". BBC. Retrieved 21 July 2022.
  15. ^ Pogrund, Gabriel; Keidan, Charles (30 July 2022). "Prince Charles accepted £1m from family of Osama bin Laden". The Times. Retrieved 30 July 2022.
  16. ^ a b c "Prince Charles dined with Bin Laden's brother". The Guardian. 13 October 2001. Retrieved 30 July 2022.
  17. ^ "Prince Charles accepted £1m from family of Osama bin Laden, report claims". The Guardian. 30 July 2022. Retrieved 30 July 2022.
  18. ^ a b Furness, Hannah (1 August 2022). "Prince Charles's charity won't be investigated for accepting bin Laden family £1m donation". The Telegraph. Retrieved 1 August 2022.

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