“To accuse Armed Forces charities of ‘hoarding’ cash is to ignore the context within which these (and many other) charities are operating, and the challenges of ensuring they successfully meet the needs of their 6 million potential beneficiaries, whilst also being sustainable both now and in the future.
“Charities’ free reserves represent just a few months of future running costs. Forces in Mind Trust’s research carried out in partnership with DSC (Directory of Social Change) shows that between 2012 and 2017, large Armed Forces charities typically held less than a year and a half’s expenditure in reserves and that small charities are less able to build reserves (Armed Forces Charities – Sector Trends 2019 Report). This picture is further complicated by the balance between restricted and unrestricted funds.
“With an ever-increasing cost of meeting the needs of the changing demographic, reductions in public services, and pressures on fund raising across the sector, our research suggests that reserves in the Armed Forces charities sector are at an appropriate level for the current circumstances. We also know that individual charity boards look regularly and closely at their position.
“We expect to report again at the beginning of 2020 with an updated version of our independent and ground-breaking 2014 ‘Sector Insight’ report.”
About the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT):
FiMT came about from a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund (‘the Fund’), Cobseo (The Confederation of Service Charities) and other charities and organisations. FiMT continues the Fund’s long-standing legacy of support for veterans across the UK with an endowment of £35 million awarded in 2012. http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/.
The mission of FiMT is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life, and it delivers this mission by generating an evidence base that influences and underpins policy making and service delivery.
FiMT awards grants (for both responsive and commissioned work) to support its change model around 6 outcomes in the following areas: Housing; Employment; Health and wellbeing; Finance; Criminal Justice System; and Relationships. All work is published in open access and hosted on the Forces in Mind Trust Research Centre’s Veterans and Families Research Hub. A high standard of reportage is demanded of all grant holders so as to provide a credible evidence base from which better informed decisions can be made.