Archewell Foundation Faces Charity Operation Suspension in California

 May 13, 2024

According to Daily Mail, California's authorities have placed the couple's Archewell Foundation on a delinquent list, jeopardizing its capacity to handle charitable funds.

Launched in 2020, the Archewell Foundation was envisioned by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as a beacon of philanthropic outreach and compassion.

However, the organization has been marred by administrative setbacks and has not filed its required annual fiscal documentation since February 2023. This negligence has resulted in a delinquency notice, effectively halting the foundation's fundraising and spending activities concerning charitable donations as of January 2024.

Recent Announcement Amid Regulatory Troubles

Despite this troubling status, Archewell Foundation's intent to expand its global reach remains unchanged. Just last week, even amid their registered delinquency, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle extended their commitments with the GEANCO Foundation during a notable visit to Nigeria.

This bold move comes when Archewell's finances have notably diminished. In contrast to the $13 million gathered in donations during 2021, 2022 saw a steep decline to just over $2 million. This downturn was accompanied by a reported financial loss of more than $674,000, with operational costs totaling $2.67 million.

Scrutiny Over Foundation's Governance

Archewell has also been criticized by CharityWatch, a watchdog group that accuses the foundation of having inadequate governance. The small board, consisting solely of Meghan and Harry, does not align with best practices that recommend boards of nonprofit entities comprise five to seven members.

CharityWatch spokesperson said:

Small boards run the risk of not representing a sufficiently broad public interest and of lacking the required skills and other resources required to effectively govern the organization.

Response to Financial Mismanagement Allegations

The executive director of Archewell, James Holt, who received a salary of $277,405 in 2022, an increase from the previous year, is at the center of these operational troubles. His growing compensation and the foundation's increasing costs have sparked discussions about financial mismanagement.

In a recent statement, Archewell admitted to a failure in administrative processes but expressed intent to rectify the issue: "[Archewell Foundation] claims its check was unintentionally not included when the filings were made and have mailed a new one in hopes of swiftly resolving the problem."

This statement signifies a commitment to resolving the ongoing issues, yet the shadow of the delinquent status hovers until definitive actions are evident with California's Registry of Charities and Fundraisers.

Implications of the Delinquency Status

The status as delinquent disallows Archewell Foundation from carrying out any fundraising activities, which are crucial for its mission-driven endeavors. Also, the organization faces potential penalties, including the possibility of having its registration suspended or revoked.

The registry further noted:

An organization that is listed as delinquent is not in good standing and is prohibited from engaging in conduct for which registration is required, including soliciting or disbursing charitable funds. The organization may also be subject to penalties and its registration may be suspended or revoked by the Registry.


The Archewell Foundation stands at a critical juncture. Its ability to support charitable causes depends not only on public generosity but also on its competence in adhering to regulatory requirements and achieving administrative excellence. It can reestablish credibility and reclaim its envisioned philanthropic path with pivotal corrections.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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