Sector Insight: Armed Forces Charities in Scotland report

Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) and the Directory of Social Change (DSC) have released the Sector Insight: Armed Forces Charities in Scotland report, to help to inform Scotland’s policy direction and those working within the charity sector. The report follows on from the Sector Insight, UK Armed Forces Charities report, published in November 2014. The publication looks in depth into the finances, purposes and functions of more than 300 Armed Forces charities, including those that operate on both sides of the border.

The report calls for more transparency about the finances and functions of Armed Forces charities in Scotland and also dispels some public misconceptions. The evidence in the report will be a “catalyst to encourage further partnership working, collaboration and effective communication between both Armed Forces charities and other third sector stakeholders”, said Colonel (Retired) Martin Gibson, OBE, DL, Chair of Veterans Scotland and member of the Confederation of Service Charities Executive Committee.  


Key Findings

  • The report challenges commonly held public misconceptions that there are too many Armed Forces charities, as did the 2014 report that covered England and Wales.  The total number of Armed Forces charities registered in Scotland is 320, accounting for just 1.3% of the 23,971 charities registered and operating in Scotland.
  • The report also identifies the difficulties of assessing cross-border charities, of which 32 are registered in Scotland, as they do not provide income and expenditure figures reliably attributed to Scotland, skewing the financial size of the sector. The report suggests that for cross-border charities, 3% of expenditure is spent on activities in Scotland, whereas 2.2% of income is generated.  Whilst it could be argued that this percentage is reflective of the Scottish population size, these figures must be treated with extreme caution, states the report. To address this evidence gap, the report recommends cross-border charities should be required to produce separate annual reports that includes accounts detailing activities and expenditure in Scotland to signpost the investment and effect of charities’ programmes.
  • Provision by charities that support ex-Service personnel and their families is primarily focused on relief in need (82.7% of all charities), with the number of charities providing support for health (16%), education and employment (13%), advice and advocacy (12.3%), and housing (6%) all providing a much needed and highly regarded service to ex-Service personnel in Scotland.

You can read the report on FiMT’s website: