The wave of shock and public sympathy that swept
Britain after her suspected abduction led
supporters to donate money at a rate of almost
£260 an hour.
Accounts lodged with Companies House show the
fund received £1.4million in bank donations,
another £391,000 over the internet and £64,000
from the sale of T-shirts and wristbands.
total, it received £1.85million in its first ten
months and earned £33,424 in interest. It spent
£815,113 on the search for Madeleine in that
This included £26,000 to fund the purchase of
merchandise and £250,000 on the fees for private
But the accounts – which have been made public
for the first time – have been published with a
warning that donations had gone on to fall
dramatically and were now ‘significantly lower’
than in the immediate aftermath of the three-yearold’s
disappearance in Portugal in 2007.
Support for her parents – Kate and Gerry – was rocked when Portuguese police named them as suspects, and when it emerged they had used public donations to pay two £2,000 instalments on their mortgage.
Madeleine vanished from a holiday flat in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007, while her parents ate dinner at a nearby restaurant with friends.
The accounts provide a fascinating insight into the surge of support the family received, but also the costs of their worldwide campaign to find their child.
The fund’s biggest expense in the first ten months was £250,000 spent on private investigators hired to try to find her, including the Spanish agency Metodo 3.
Agency boss Francisco Marco boasted he would
find Madeleine within three months, but his
‘leads’ seemingly came to nothing and the firm
is no longer involved with the hunt.
The fund spent £123,573 on campaign management,
which is believed to include the salary of the
McCanns’ temporary spokesman Justine McGuinness
and the fees of a PR agency.
A later spokesman, former BBC journalist Clarence Mitchell, had his salary paid by one of the couple’s wealthy benefactors.