The results of Prince William and Catherine's charitable acts on their California tour were tangible -- a grateful smile from the inner city children with whom they volunteered in Skid Row; a standing ovation at the veterans job fair. But what about the results of the royal couple's big-time fundraisers -- who might be the smiling, applauding recipients of the millions of dollars rasied? Nick Booth, CEO of The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry, shares the details with HuffPost.
Obviously the Santa Barbara polo match was the big crowd pleaser of the weekend, raising millions. Where will all that money go?
The polo event is a much more straightforward fundraiser and will go toward The American Friends of The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry. It has the same areas of focus as the prince's foundation itself -- vets, children and sustainable conservation.
Any idea which of those three areas of giving might receive the funds?
We haven't decided yet. The money that's raised will go to the U.S. foundation. What they will then decide is which of the three areas we're going to spend it on. If it's an American project they choose to invest in, it will go through them. If it's something in Africa or the UK or somewhere else, then they will do it through us. Or we might choose to invest in something together -- something like reemployment of veterans -- that both the UK and the U.S. foundation can give to together.
Since military families are important to the Duke and Duchess, were there any funds raised at the military job fair that will help veterans?
That money was sponsorships, individual philanthropy. The vast amount of that money comes through corporate support, and fundraising is a by-product. There will be some profit, which will be reinvested in vets programs in the U.S. or UK.
Besides direct funds, how did the royal tour also raise awareness for certain causes?
Both Prince William and Prince Harry are still serving personnel in the military. Obviously, the Duchess has now joined the military community as a military spouse. We were very keen on planning the trip to make sure we highlighted the issue of military families. They wanted to draw attention to the employment of vets and military families and raise consciousness of the statistics around vet unemployment. How do vets reintegrate back into life, and how do we help wounded warriors? They have skills and talents that are huge assets to corporate America.
How does the couple see charity as part of their identity?
Well, actually sitting down and taking part in service project -- it's about what they are as a couple. When the royal wedding happened, they asked people to make donations which supported 26 charities, none of whom had any royal relationship. That never happened at a royal wedding before. Even the choices on causes -- mental health, young offenders -- those tough subjects for a philanthropy list are unusual. My understanding is that they understand that they can use the position they have and opportunity in life to raise awareness and attention to causes.
Will the couple use William's foundation as their primary charity vehicle?
They'll use the foundation very specifically to be a catalyst to find partners and invest in those causes. And for them, it's not just about having a foundation, but rather they're leveraging it so they can make things happen on behalf of important issues that matter to them.