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Donations to Armed Forces charities surge, while giving to other charities dips

2 July 2012

Donations to charities established to support Britain’s Armed Forces have leapt by more than 25% since 2008, according to new figures published to coincide with Armed Forces Day on Saturday (30 June).

Analysis by the Charities Aid Foundation shows that giving to Armed Forces charities was up by 26.2% in real terms between 2008-2010, while donations to all other large charities dropped by an aggregate of 4.3% over the same period.

The Charities Aid Foundation, which promotes charitable giving and provides financial services and social finance to not-for-profit organisations, analysed the published financial returns of 32 charities that support servicemen and women for the period between 2008-2010 – the latest years for which figures are available.

It found that the average donations to the major Armed Forces charities has increased substantially – while giving to other big charities has dipped.

The increase in giving to charities, such as Help for Heroes, reflects increased concern for military personnel serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, and for those returning home.

The marked trend comes against the backdrop of the latest UK Giving report, published last December by the Charities Aid Foundation and National Council for Voluntary Organisations. This long-running survey of the UK public showed that while 1.1m more people gave to charity in 2010/11 – almost 30m in all – the total amount donated remained static in real terms at £11bn.

Among those Armed Forces charities experiencing a surge in donations is Help for Heroes, founded in 2007, to help wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women returning from current conflicts. Its donations have risen by 181% from 2008-2010.

ABF The Soldier’s Charity, which offers lifetime support to serving soldiers and veterans, has seen donations increase by 58%.

Meanwhile, a smaller Armed Forces charity, Support Our Soldiers, which sends care parcels to those on the frontline, has seen its income increase by 87%.

Richard Harrison, Director of Research, at the Charities Aid Foundation, said: “Armed Forces charities do amazing work for serving soldiers and veterans, and for their families. They have touched the hearts of the many people who want to do something to support those who have fought in the long-running conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“People across the country have been moved by the work of the armed forces, and by the harrowing stories of military personnel who do a very difficult job, in incredibly difficult circumstances.

“The surge in donations to Armed Forces charities shows that – even in these tough economic times – people will rally round to support a cause they really care about.”

The analysis by the Charities Aid Foundation on giving to Armed Forces charities is based on the published annual returns of charitable organisations registered in England and Wales.

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