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Financial Times seasonal charity appeal raises a record £3.3m for Sightsavers

Newspaper has supported a development charity each year since 2005

Erina celebrating after having her sight restored [Charlie Bibby/Financial Times]
Erina celebrating after having her sight restored [Charlie Bibby/Financial Times]

The Financial Times raised more than £3.3m for the charity Sightsavers, the highest amount since the newspaper launched its first annual charity appeal in 2005.

The paper chooses a different development charity every year for its seasonal appeal. During this year’s, which lasted from November until January, the newspaper’s readers and other supporters of the charity donated £900,000, which rose to £2.5m with donations from Standard Chartered bank and from the Department for International Development’s UK Aid Match scheme.

The appeal also raised £406,000 by asking Standard Chartered staff to donate their last hour’s pay for 2011 to the charity. Funds were also raised through a photography auction and an auction of dinners with the newspaper’s writers.

A spokeswoman for the Financial Times said the previous fundraising record for the newspaper’s appeal was £2.6m, which it raised for the charity Room to Read in 2009/10.

Caroline Harper, chief executive of Sightsavers, said: "The generosity of Financial Times readers, our supporters and match funders has exceeded all our expectations, especially in the current economic climate."

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