Harry and Meghan see donations to charitable foundation drop by $11M in 2022

 December 17, 2023

Despite their grand plans to take the philanthropic world by storm following their departure from royal duties, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's ambitions seem to have hit a snag, with their charitable enterprise suffering a massive drop in donations over the past year, as Fox Business reports.

According to recently released tax filings for the year 2022, contributions to the Archewelll Foundation declined by a startling $11 million over the relevant time period.

Revenue drop makes headlines

The figures included in the Archewell filing indicated contributions of a little more than $2 million.

That represents a notable drop from the $13 million in donations received in 2021.

In 2021, the foundation reported two large donations, one of $10 million from an unidentified benefactor, and another of $3 million.

An additional $4,470 from public contributors also came in during that year, as Fox Business further noted, though Archewell has never directly solicited donations from small-dollar individuals.

Bleeding cash?

Also raising eyebrows among royal observers was the tax filing's revelation that Archewell's expenses far outstripped its revenue, with a delta of $674,000 over the course of the year.

One employee of the entity, James Holt, who serves as executive director, received a sizable $170,000 pay bump, bringing his total earnings to $227,405, according to the New York Post.

In 2022, Archewell garnered two $1 million donations, both from unnamed donors, a substantial change from the prior year.

Even so, the foundation was quick to note, that the enterprise still has approximately $8 million in assets in total, with representatives claiming that the apparent decline in revenue is in no way a sign of trouble.

Failing brand?

Though Archewell was billed as an “impact-driven” nonprofit and has made contributions to the Halo Trust – a mine-clearing organization championed by the late Princess Diana – and the NAACP Empowerment Programs, the enterprise does not seem to have made quite the splash many expected.

Royal commentator Shannon Felton Spence observed, “Archewell is a long way from being a global philanthropic powerhouse. It all speaks to a lack of focus. What are they building? A production house or a foundation,” in what was a reference to the organization's media-focused efforts. “So far, both have fallen short of expectations.”

“It's been four years. … Honestly, I think they are toast,” Spence added. "They made huge sums of money and failed to deliver. Are they a bad investment? Ask Spotify," a clear dig at Meghan's podcast for the streaming service, which has not been renewed for a second season.

Kinsey Schofield, a fellow royal reporter and frequent critic of the couple also known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex opined, “Harry and Meghan continue to drop the ball, and the entire world is watching and taking notes,” a stance seemingly echoed by the Hollywood Reporter, which recently declared them “two of the biggest losers in Hollywood.”

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