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."