Sector Insight: UK Armed Forces Charities - Overview and Analysis

What is the purpose of the report? 

This report arose from a context of heightened levels of political, public and media interest in armed forces charities, with the intention of providing the first comprehensive insight into the sector and addressing some of the common myths and misconceptions surrounding it.

What does it cover?

As part of the Sector Insight series, this report provides a detailed overview of the armed forces charities sector as a whole.

The report provides the reader with:

  • An overview of armed forces charities’ objects and activities
  • In-depth analysis of finances
  • A detailed look at service provision and grant-making
  • Geographical comparison of specialist support needs and provision
  • Examination of the current health and future challenges for the sector

In addition, the report includes numerous detailed case studies to demonstrate specific aspects of the analysis in more detail.

Who is it for?

This report provides a body of evidence to inform policy, practice and research. This is a unique resource for charities, the government, policymakers and researchers to understand the topography and nature of the UK’s armed forces charity sector.

What did we find?

  • The UK’s armed forces charity sector comprises 1,818 registered charities in England and Wales, 419 registered charities in Scotland and 25 charities in Northern Ireland.
  • The armed forces charity sector can be categorised into five specific types of organisation.
  • The armed forces charity sector generated an income of £872 million in 2012.
  • Only welfare charities typically fundraise from the general public.
  • Grants to individuals in need are the most common charitable activity amongst armed forces welfare charities.
  • A greater concentration of charitable spending in England appears to pool around London and the South East, at the potential expense of other English regions.

What did people say?

Sir Andrew Ridgway, Former Chair of Cobseo – The Confederation of Service Charities: ‘Together, DSC’s work, originally inspired by and conducted in partnership with Cobseo, will inform the debate on such topics as how many charities is enough, how well they cooperate and collaborate, what the benchmark is for an effective charity, and, crucially, what else needs to be done to ensure that the best possible level of support is provided to the beneficiaries. Answering these questions is rightly the responsibility of the policy makers and service deliverers themselves.’

 

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