The Financial Times raised a record £3.3m for the international development charity Sightsavers with its Seasonal Appeal.
The money, which will help tackle avoidable blindness in developing nations, comprised: £2.5m worth of donations with match finding; a photography auction and auction of dinners with FT writers (£165,408) and Standard Chartered staff donating their last hour’s pay of 2011 (£406,599).
Appeal donations were matched by Standard Chartered though its community investment programme and the UK Government also matched donations from individuals in the UK.
Sightsavers chief executive, Caroline Harper, said: ‘Eye care treatments are some of the most cost effective health interventions in the world. The generosity of the Financial Times readers, our supporters and match funders, the UK Government and Standard Chartered, has exceeded all our expectations, especially in the current economic climate. We are very grateful. Also thank you so much to the Financial Times team for supporting our work in this way. This money will enable us to change the futures of those in the world’s poorest countries who are blind, or at risk of blindness for the lack of access to the right treatments.”
FT editor Lionel Barber said: ‘I am delighted that the FT and our generous readers and match funders have helped Sightsavers raise such a large sum – £634,000 more than in any of our previous appeals. This brings to over £9.4m the amount our charity appeals have raised over the past six years while highlighting the work of some wonderful organisations.”