A new style of royal philanthropy

Jakob Thomsen

The Mary Foundation set up by the crown princess is adopting a catalytic approach to difficult social issues, writes Jakob Thomsen

When the Danish Crown Prince Frederik married Australian Mary Elizabeth Donaldson in 2004, the wedding presents included a 1.1 million kroner (£129,000) cheque from the people of Denmark and Greenland. This ‘people’s gift’ laid the cornerstone for a new type of royal philanthropy in Denmark, the Mary Foundation.

With the people’s donations and substantial grants from co-founders, including global companies such as Carlsberg and Lego, the Mary Foundation now has capital of 180 million Danish kroner (£21 million). Crown Princess Mary’s approach, public profile and popularity play an important part in the strategy and the tools available.

How it works

 
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