Award winning expertise

We've been researching specific sub-sectors and parts of the voluntary sector since our first publication looked at grant-making trusts in the 1970s.

Stuart Cole – 2021 FiMT Research Award winner

Stuart’s work during the pandemic helped secure £6 million in support to armed forces charities.

The award also recognised the insightful survey analysis of Cobseo charities, and DSC’s Sector Insight analysis of UK armed forces charities.


‘Thousands of copies of the reports on which Stuart led have been downloaded or handed out, reaching the most senior policy makers and service providers in the country. The impact of his work was already widely felt and, when the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic hit the sector, his team stepped up to provide important evidence which led directly to vital support being provided.’

Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive, Forces in Mind Trust

As a result of the research led by Stuart, DSC was able to provide credible evidence of how the sector needed state assistance during the Covid-19 pandemic. The second edition of Sector Insight was complete in Spring 2020, but the national lockdown in response to the Covid-19 pandemic delayed its publication. The research team at DSC, led by Stuart, quickly responded to requests for evidence from Cobseo – the Confederation of Service Charities. They provided an accurate and independent read out of the sector pre-Covid, followed by a series of rapid surveys of Cobseo’s member charities. The evidence they provided led to tangible financial and other support, delivered by Government across the UK to the sector.

See how DSC’s research can help your charity



Whether it’s a funded project, an established programme of work or a grant programme, we can help you to see where and how well is working, what impact you are having, and how you might be able to achieve more with what you are putting in. We have worked successfully with grant-making trusts, corporate funders, membership bodies, and a wide range of charities and other not-for-profit organisations. Our experience and assessment framework means we can evaluate the impact you are having quickly and effectively.


We’ve been researching specific sub-sectors and parts of the voluntary sector since our first publication looked at grant-making trusts in the 1970s. More recently our Sector Insight reports have looked in detail at grant-makers, company giving, and armed forces charities in particular. Whether it’s a sub-sector based on who or what you support or your geographical remit, we can map where you operate, who you reach, who else is out there doing similar or overlapping work, and give you a better understanding of the environment you are working in.

Independent perspective

Sometimes, all you need is an independent perspective on what you may already know. We have huge experience in designing research and survey questions that will ensure you get valid and clean responses you can trust, and that will hold up to scrutiny from trustees, funders and other stakeholders. We can work with you to ensure the methodology of your own research is sound, or carry out work specifically to give an independent and expert view.

Contact us

Contact our friendly research team today to find out how we can help you

Tel: 020 4526 5995