I spy money – gimmie, gimmie, gimmie

It has no website, but according to the Charity Commission the Denise Coates Foundation received £85 million in donations up to March last year but spent only £9.9 million. It made 23 grants in the same year, including to a mentoring programme in Malawi, a water hygiene project in Eritrea and education and arts projects in Britain but is facing questions over why it is not spending more of its reserves of £385 million.

The foundation has most of the reserves, £374 million, in an endowment fund, which trustees hope to maintain at its real value and distribute income and gains. The policy means that the charity can operate without being dependent on donations, but critics questioned why this was necessary given the regular donations from Coates.

Kishan Patel, from the gambling harm group Talkgen, said that the money could be used to fund services to address gambling addiction. “Research, education and treatment into gambling harm has been chronically underfunded for several years now and the Denise Coates Foundation sits on £300 million and [has] never made any donation to reduce or prevent gambling harm,” he claimed.

Some people just can’t see a pot of money without demanding some of it, can they?

8 thoughts on “I spy money – gimmie, gimmie, gimmie”

  1. ’… is facing questions over why it is not spending more of its reserves of £385 million.’

    I hope the answer is ‘because we’ll support what we feel like, when we feel like it.’

  2. “Kishan Patel, from the gambling harm group Talkgen . . .”

    I’d bet that guy’s more a scammer than Denise Coates.

  3. It’s one of the few charities I have looked at that deserves charitable status. Yes it sits on a huge and increasing capital endowment but it spends roughly 80% of its investment income on real charitable stuff, such as building hospices and community centres, funding schools, helping distressed people, buying scientific equipment, funding medical research. None of this “raising awareness of inequality” stuff. No employees or at least no one paid more than £60k per annum. If you want their money, ask them for some. I suspect that bleating in the media might not be the best approach to take

  4. The Talkgen website shows several job vacancies at a maximum full time salary of £27k but more usually paying national minimum wage. Heaven only knows what they pay their “work placement” minions.

  5. Coates represents that rare breed. Well educated and hard working. And not one to seek celebrity status. An excellent role model for our disaffected youth!

    Even the model she has adopted for her foundation is one to admire.

  6. The Times article yesterday also stated she had paid HMRC over £500 million in taxes over the last couple of years, but for the likes of Kishan Patel it would never be enough.
    Coates started by re mortgaging her fathers one betting shop in 2001, not bad going from scratch.

  7. Coates started by re mortgaging her fathers one betting shop in 2001…

    [pendant] WKPD describes it as a ‘small chain’ in 1995[/pendant]

    I’m the Treasurer of a community foundation, and our target is to distribute 4% of our capital on an on-going basis, as we expect 4% real returns from the market over time (so far, we are managing it, thanks for asking). If the DC foundation is holding 374M of capital, a distribution of 9.9M is a 2.6% distribution rate, or 3.4% on the funds held prior to the 85M in contributions during the year. To me, they just look like they’re being pretty prudent.

    …but critics questioned why this was necessary given the regular donations from Coates.

    Naturally, it’s because those donations cannot continue forever, and I suppose Ms Coates has a preference for a permanent (or at least very long-lasting) philanthropic impact. That being said, the appropriate answer is “Piss off – it’s none of your concern, pal.”

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