Fund FAQs

This page was taken directly from the official Find Madeleine Fund website on December 9th, 2008. It would appear that this information has been unchanged since at least August 2007 as this date is referred to in the text. The official site page is (here).

  1. What are the objects of Madeleine’s Fund?
  2. Madeleine’s fund is a non-charitable not-for-profit company, which has been established to help find Madeleine McCann, to support her family, and to bring her abductors to justice. Any surplus funds will be used to help families and missing children in the United Kingdom, Portugal and elsewhere in similar circumstances.

    The full objects of the Fund are:

    • To secure the safe return to her family of Madeleine McCann who was abducted in Praia da Luz, Portugal on Thursday 3rd May 2007;
    • To procure that Madeleine’s abduction is thoroughly investigated and that her abductors, as well as those who played or play any part in assisting them, are identified and brought to justice;
    • To provide support, including financial assistance, to Madeleine’s family.

    If the above objects are fulfilled then the objects of the Foundation shall be to pursue such purposes in similar cases arising in the United Kingdom, Portugal or elsewhere.

  3. Is Madeleine’s Fund a registered charity?
  4. No, Madeleine’s Fund is registered as a company limited by guarantee. Its company registration number is 6248215.

  5. What are the registered details of the Madeleine’s Fund?
  6. Madeleine’s Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned Limited is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales, CRN 6248215. Registered office: 2-6 Cannon Street, London EC4M 6YH.

  7. Why is Madeleine’s Fund not registered as a charity?
  8. In England & Wales, registered charities are required to demonstrate public benefit. Because Madeleine’s Fund is currently focussed on searching for one child, Madeleine McCann, it cannot register as a charity. However, it may be able to register as a charity in the future.

    At the point the Fund starts to focus on abductions generally, public benefit may be demonstrable and the Fund may be able to register as a charity.

  9. Can you claim Gift Aid on my donation to Madeleine’s Fund?
  10. No, Gift Aid is only available to registered charities.

  11. Can I claim tax relief on my donation to Madeleine’s Fund?
  12. No. In the UK, tax relief is only available for charitable donations. Because Madeleine’s Fund is not a registered charity, tax relief is not applicable to donations made to the Fund.

  13. I have a charity account with Charities Aid Foundation from which I make regular donations with my vouchers. Can I use this to donate to Madeleine’s Fund?
  14. No. These accounts are used to obtain tax relief for charitable donations. As Madeleine’s Fund is not a registered charity, it is inadmissible for this.

  15. If Madeleine’s Fund isn’t a charity who is regulating it?
  16. The Fund is subject to Company Law applicable in England and Wales and will be filing required returns with both Companies House and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

    Internally, in so far as is relevant and taking into account differences in structure, the Fund is aspiring to follow best practice policies and processes used by charities. The directors have reviewed its operation against “Good Governance: A Code for the Voluntary and Community Sector”. This sets out best practice requirements for charities.

    The Fund also has:

    • a Financial Procedures Manual
    • job descriptions for directors, chair and treasurer
    • clearly laid out policies and processes for:
      • payments
      • expense claims
      • risk management
      • whistle blowing
      • registering conflicts of interest
  17. Who are the directors of Madeleine’s Fund?
  18. There are seven directors of the Fund. They are:

    • Peter Hubner; a retired consultant;
    • Brian Kennedy, a retired head teacher;
    • John McCann, a medical representative;
    • Edward Smethurst – A Commercial lawyer;
    • Doug Skehan, clinical director in cardiology at Glenfield Hospital;
    • Jon Corner – Director of a media company;
    • Michael Linnett, a retired accountant
  19. Are the directors paid?
  20. The directors are not paid as directors of the company. However, they may, if family members, be beneficiaries of the Fund and they may, as is the case with some registered charities, be paid for providing services to the Fund. The Fund has established conflict of interest policies to deal with these situations.

    Currently, as at the end of August 2007, none of the directors are being paid for providing services to the Fund.

  21. I’ve heard the directors are members of Madeleine’s family. Is this true?
  22. Two of the directors, Brian Kennedy and John McCann, are members of Madeleine’s family. The other five directors are independent appointments. They were appointed to ensure the Board of Directors had independence and the range of skills required to manage the Fund.

  23. But surely family members shouldn’t be directors because the Fund is set up to support the family?
  24. It is true that family members, including those on the Board, can benefit from the Fund. However, the Fund has a conflict of interest policy to manage this situation. Those directors who are members of Madeleine’s family cannot vote in discussions relating to payments to family members. They also cannot sign cheques payable to themselves or other members of the family. The only exception to this was some small initial payments to family members made before the independent directors had signed the bank mandate.

  25. I’ve heard that Kate and Gerry McCann might benefit from the Fund. Is this true?
  26. Yes – the fund has provided support to Kate and Gerry. One of the reasons the fund was established was to support Madeleine’s family and such financial assistance is one of its specific objectives. This assistance to Kate and Gerry was a subsistence allowance, provided whilst they were on unpaid leave from work and enabled them to push forward the campaign to find Madeleine. The directors approve all payments to Kate and Gerry, with family members not having a vote. Financial support given to Kate and Gerry since Gerry returned to work is negligible.

  27. What is the money being spent on?
  28. The Fund is supporting the McCann family during their search for Madeleine and in ensuring a high profile of Madeleine’s abduction is maintained. Money spent to date has been on:

    • supporting the private investigation to find Madeleine;
    • ongoing public awareness raising ;
    • establishing and updating the website ;
    • family expenses; and,
    • professional fee, including concerning international law on child abduction and the costs of setting up the Fund

    The directors continue to review the future strategy of the Fund to ensure effective use of the funds

  29. Who are the professional advisors to the Fund?
    • The Fund’s lawyers are Bates Wells Braithwaite, 2-6 Cannon Street, London, EC4M 6YH.
    • Auditors are Haysmacintyre, Fairfax House, 15 Fulwood Place, London,WC1V 6AY.
    • Bankers are National Westminster Bank plc., 3rd Floor, Cavell House, 2A Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0NN