The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have updated their website to contain the three facets of their working life: the Archewell Foundation, Archewell Audio, and Archewell Productions.
They have described the Archewell Foundation as an “impact-driven non-profit” and that its core goal is to “uplift and unite communities ‒ local and global, online and offline ‒ one act of compassion at a time”.
They listed partnerships with other organizations such as the Centre for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford Medicine, the Centre for Human Technology, the Loveland Foundation, the UCLA Centre for Critical Internet Inquiry, and the World Central Kitchen.
This has come as a shock to those who remember what Meghan and Harry said last year: that they would not start a foundation, but a different sort of non-profit.
In February 2020, their website stated:
“The creation of this non-profit entity will be in addition to [Harry and Meghan’s] cause-driven work that they remain deeply committed to. While The Duke and Duchess are focused on plans to establish a new non-profit organization, given the specific UK government rules surrounding the use of the word ‘Royal,’ it has been therefore agreed that their non-profit organization will not utilize the name ‘Sussex Royal’ or any other iteration of ‘Royal.'”
It has been nearly a year since the Sussexes announced their decision to step down as senior royals.
In their initial statement, the couple hinted at their plans for their “new charitable entity”, but later clarified that it would not be a foundation.
On their website, Sussex Royal explained that, instead of a foundation, they intended to develop “a new way” to make a change.
The website read: “As shared in early January on this website, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex do not plan to start a ‘foundation’, but rather intend to develop a new way to effect change and complement the efforts made by so many excellent foundations globally.”
They added: “After carefully considering a number of foundation models, and having researched the incredible work of many well known and lesser-known foundations, the Duke and Duchess are actively working to create something different – a charitable entity that will not only help complement these efforts but also advance the solutions the world needs most.”
The reason for this was not specified.
According to the IRS, the main differences between a non-profit and a foundation have to do with the sourcing of funding, at least in the US.
The IRS’ distinction is: “Public charities generally receive a greater portion of their financial support from the general public or governmental units, and have greater interaction with the public.
“A private foundation, on the other hand, is typically controlled by members of a family or by a small group of individuals and derives much of its support from a small number of sources and from investment income.
“Because they are less open to public scrutiny, private foundations are subject to various operating restrictions and to excise taxes for failure to comply with those restrictions.”
Both of these are 501(c)(3) organizations, however, meaning public charities and private foundations are classed as non-profit in the US.
It is unclear why Meghan and Harry have now decided to launch the Archewell Foundation, instead of a different type of non-profit.
At the time that Meghan and Harry’s Sussex Royal website claimed they would not start a foundation, they were fighting to use this name for their personal brand.
However, the Queen told them they should not use it, as it could be viewed as trading on their royal status.
In the end, the couple wound down their Sussex Royal entity and made preparations to launch Archewell.
A statement on this read: “The creation of this non-profit entity will be in addition to [Harry and Meghan’s] cause-driven work that they remain deeply committed to.
“While the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are focused on plans to establish a new non-profit organization, given the specific UK Government rules surrounding the use of the word ‘Royal’, it has been therefore agreed that their non-profit organization will not utilize the name ‘Sussex Royal’ or any other iteration of ‘Royal’.”
The focus of the Sussexes’ non-profit appears to have shifted slightly too.
This time last year, the Duke and Duchess were focusing on specific issues such as the welfare of veterans, conservation, sustainability, and the empowerment of women.
Now, the couple seems to be taking a more overarching approach to all these issues, focusing on “compassion” in all areas of life.
This ties into what they have been speaking about in videos throughout the year, including those pertaining to the US election, and to creating a better digital space.