Donations to armed forces charities hit record £350 million

24 June 2017

Record amounts are being donated to armed forces charities, with ever-growing sums being left in wills, new analysis by the Charities Aid Foundation has found.

Released to coincide with Armed Forces Day, the research shows that £353.1 million was donated to charities supporting veterans and servicemen and women in 2015 – the most recent year for which figures are available.

This includes a record £79.2 million left in legacies.

It means that voluntary income for such charities has more than doubled since 2009.

The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) is one of Europe’s largest charitable foundations which helps hundreds of thousands of people give to good causes, and provides financial services to support charities. It has its roots in a charitable legacy left by a World War I soldier who lost his life in the Battle of the Somme.

Today’s analysis, based on Charity Commission data, shows that in 2015:

- The total voluntary income of 67 charities classed as armed forces charities was £353.1 million - up 36% on the previous year. That includes legacy income of £79.2 million – up almost 7%.

- The three charities in receipt of the most voluntary income were the Royal British Legion (£95.9 million), the DNRC Charity (£53.8 million) and Help for Heroes (£29.4 million)

- The top three charities by legacy income were the Royal British Legion (£18 million), Blind Veterans UK (£11.7 million) and the Royal Star and Garter Homes (£10.6 million).

Susan Pinkney, Head of Research at CAF said:

“On Armed Forces Day we rightly pause to recognise and reflect on the tremendous sacrifices our troops make in the service of the country.

“Charities offer incredible support to serving troops, veterans and their families every day of the year and it is fantastic to see the extent to which that work is held dear by the generous British public.

“As our analysis shows, people donated more than £350 million to military charities last year, and the amount people are leaving in wills continues to grow.

“Many of us will be marking Armed Forces Day today by making a contribution to a good cause as we reflect on the contributions made by our servicemen and women from veterans of World War I, a hundred years ago, to those who served in more recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Britain is one of the most generous countries in the world and these figures shows how people give to causes they care about and believe in what charities can achieve. Armed forces charities are great ambassadors for the important role that civil society plays in all aspects of life in the UK.”

Armed Forces Day, formerly Veteran’s Day, was introduced in 2006, to provide the British public with a chance to show their support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community.

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