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?