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Income of Armed Forces charities soars over five-year period, CAF research finds

Income of Armed Forces charities soars over five-year period, CAF research finds

Figures from Charities Aid Foundation have revealed a significant increase in the income of Armed Forces charities over the past five years.

Armed Forces charities in England and Wales brought in £5.2 billion in income between 2013 and 2017 with legacy income also growing significantly: by 45% to £98 million over the same time.

According to CAF‘s figures, the charities benefitted from a boost in donations as well as investments and earned incomes. The income for 2017, the last year for which details are available, was £1.1 billion – up 16% compared to 2013.

CAF analysed the data ahead of Armed Forces Day this Saturday, 29 June by examining annual returns submitted to the Charity Commission from more than 1,100 charities.

Susan Pinkney, Head of Research at CAF, said the increasing popularity of Armed Forces charities may be linked to the moving and widespread commemorations of the Great War.

She said:

“Armed Forces charities do vital work supporting troops, veterans and their loved ones. It’s quite possible that with the four-year-long centenary commemorations of the First World War, the work of these charities received more well-deserved attention and resulted in an increase in donations. This level of giving once again demonstrates the positive impact of charitable giving across the UK.”

However, the figures show that the surge in incomes for these charities was confined to a select few high profile organisations, such as Blind Veterans UK and the Royal British Legion. The median income for an armed forces charity fell by 4% between 2013 and 2017, whilst the largest 10 charities saw their combined income grow by 27%, equivalent to a boost of £70m.


Image: Armed Forces Day, Colchester.

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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