The Directory of Social Change’s (DSC) latest development in its award-winning Armed Forces charities research, funded by Forces in Mind Trust, goes live today. The new Armed Forces charities interactive database lets users access a wealth of data on UK-registered Armed Forces charities.

From findings such as 58% of the sector’s expenditure arising from just 42 large charities, to welfare charities’ substantial reliance on donations and legacy income, the interactive database puts the latest key data at your fingertips.

Users can delve into the data by applying custom filters to view graphs and even build their own charts to explore and present the information. With just a few clicks, users can explore everything from types of charities in the sector, to visualising flows of income and expenditure.

In a rapidly changing environment, the Armed Forces charities interactive database enables users to uncover the characteristics of new and closing charities: so far this year, 39 Armed Forces charities have closed, over half of which (21) are association branches; meanwhile, only 25 charities have opened.

These and other findings derive from DSC’s unique database – including around 1,800 Armed Forces charities – which is updated every month, making this resource the most up-to-date source of information on the sector.

Commenting on the launch today, DSC Researcher and lead developer Chester Howarth said: ‘The interactive database is an entirely new way of accessing information on the Armed Forces charity sector. We know that charities, policymakers and the general public have their own questions on a range of topics – and we wanted to develop an accessible way for people to find answers. It’s simple and intuitive to use, and a powerful tool for disseminating knowledge and evidence to those who need it.’

Mike Ellicock, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust said: ‘This new database makes vital information available and accessible for everyone. Our ongoing work with DSC building an accurate understanding of Armed Forces charities and dispelling some common misconceptions has so far been a huge help to many in the sector. With this interactive database, it’s now easy to navigate and find quick answers to any questions you may have without reading through a full report. For me, recently coming into the sector, this kind of tool is a great help; I would urge everyone who is interested in the work of Armed Forces charities to explore the data, and to use this tool to better understand their work.’

This new database follows the Cobseo Covid-19 Impact Database, launched in partnership with Forces in Mind Trust, DSC and Cobseo in July, which uses data from Cobseo members to demonstrate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the sector.


Access the interactive database here.

For more information about the project, please contact

About the project

Since 2014, Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) has funded DSC to gather data and provide illuminating analysis of the Armed Forces charity sector. The interactive dashboard is designed to accompany the analysis provided in the Sector Insight reports on the sector as a whole, and the Focus On reports on key topics of support. All DSC’s written reports can be found here.

About Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT):

FiMT was founded in November 2011 by a £35 million endowment from the Big Lottery Fund (now The National Lottery Community Fund). As a member of Cobseo – the Confederation of Service Charities and a permanent member of its Executive Committee, the Trust works within the Armed Forces charities sector, and much more widely, to support the UK’s Armed Forces Community.

The mission of FiMT is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families to make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life. FiMT delivers this mission by generating an evidence base that influences and underpins policy making and service delivery, and by strengthening the Armed Forces charities sector through collaboration and leadership, and by building its capacity.

FiMT’s grants and commissions are designed to generate sustained change that improves the lives of ex-Service personnel and their families. FiMT awards grants to support its Change Model based on six outcomes: Housing; Employment; Health; Finance; Criminal Justice System and Relationships.

What we fund:
Twitter: @FiMTrust

About the Directory of Social Change (DSC):

DSC has a vision of an independent voluntary sector at the heart of social change. DSC believes the activities of independent charities, voluntary organisations and community groups are fundamental to achieve social change, and DSC exists to help these organisations and the people who support them to achieve their goals. It does this by:

  • providing practical tools that organisations and activists need, including online and printed publications, training courses, and conferences on a huge range of topics
  • acting as a ‘concerned citizen’ in public policy debates, often on behalf of smaller charities, voluntary organisations and community groups
  • leading campaigns and stimulating debate on key policy issues that affect those groups
  • carrying out research to inform policymakers and practitioners.

DSC is the leading provider of information and training for the voluntary sector and publishes an extensive range of guides and handbooks covering subjects such as fundraising, management, communication, finance and law. Since 2014, DSC has worked with the Forces in Mind Trust to research and analyse the Armed Forces charities sector in the UK and has become the foremost expert in this field.

Twitter: @DSC_Charity