Research, Armed forces charities research

Cobseo Members’ Survey Report: Impact of Covid-19

DSC’s bi-annual reports investigating the ongoing impact of Covid-19 on Cobseo Members.

What is the purpose of the reports? 

The Covid-19 pandemic has had an undeniable impact on the charity sector. Data on the extent of this impact from organisations ‘on the ground’ is crucial to understanding how Covid-19 is affecting Cobseo Members.  

To this end, funded by Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), the Directory of Social Change (DSC) has been undertaking survey-based research with members of Cobseo (The Confederation of Service Charities) to enable members to give voice to the reality of their situation as the Covid-19 crisis unfolds. 

Every six months, Cobseo members are invited to respond to a new wave of the survey. Reports for May 2020, October 2020 and May 2021 can be downloaded below. The next wave of data collection is due to commence in November 2021. 

What do they cover? 

The survey is continually updated to reflect the changing environment, but respondents typically provide information on the following key areas: 

  • Beneficiary needs and demand for services 
  • Impacts on service delivery
  • Changes in sources of income 
  • Changes in types of expenditure 
  • Overall financial changes 
  • Risks facing members 
  • Government support accessed by members 

The written reports provide a comprehensive overview and analysis of the qualitative and quantitative data, including attention to trends over time. For a quantitative ‘snapshot’ of each wave – and to explore the data yourself – visit our interactive Cobseo Covid-19 Impact Database.

What did we find?

Some of the key findings from most recent survey (May 2021) include:

  • Beneficiary demand remains heightened with 44% of respondents reporting an increase in beneficiaries in the past six months.
  • Over half of respondents reported coping with difficulty or with very significant difficulty, or that they could not meet the demand from beneficiaries.
  • Mental and physical health was the critical service area to report the highest levels of ‘significant impact’ from the pandemic.
  • Overall, 60% of respondents reported a decrease in income, and only 18% reported an increase.
  • Overall, 53% of respondents reported a decrease in expenditure, whilst 33% reported an increase.

Download the May 2021 report here

Download the October 2020 report here

Download the May 2020 report here