Funding the DofE

Licence fees

Some funding comes from Licence fees paid by those who offer the DofE. The pace of change for our Charity shows in the growth in the number of Licensed Organisations (LOs) that make up our network.

Other funding comes from donations and, of course, payments from young people for their DofE Participation Places.


The Diamond year has further strengthened our underlying financial position, allowing us to plan for future growth with a high degree of confidence. The success of the year has also created funds for immediate investment in support of those whose backgrounds put them at a disadvantage.

Our income this year increased by just over £4m, driven mainly by some one-off Diamond Anniversary fundraising. We continued to invest in our staff team and this contributed to our total expenditure increasing by £1.3m.

Commercial partnerships

In addition to the more traditional fundraising income and publicly available grants, we continue to develop a profitable commercial offering to the DofE network of participants and adults/volunteers.

A high proportion of commercial income comes from the 12 expedition brand licensees who offer kit advice and a range of field-tested Recommended Kit to participants and Leaders.

In addition to the approved Recommended Kit list, the DofE  Card is available free to the DofE network providing a discount at the outdoor retailers listed here.

An interactive Expedition Kit List was also introduced in 2017 to help participants work out what they have, what they need and where to get it.

The DofE’s standalone shopping website,, has been updated during the year and brings together a range of discounts, special offers and prize draws for those involved with the DofE.

The official DofE clothing range is also being extended and developed to provide a greater selection and price points.  With all commercial income invoiced through ASL, the DofE’s trading arm, we maximise the contribution back to the DofE Charity, which supports the Charity in meeting its core strategic objectives.

Future funding

Keeping the momentum alive, we were thrilled to announce that The National Lottery and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s #iwill fund, set up with social action charity Step Up To Serve (responsible for the #iwill campaign), will fund match £1 million raised in England to support young people in accessing high quality social action opportunities. Through other funding sources the DofE has also doubled the Challenge funds raised in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

From autumn 2017 the DofE will work with established DofE centres in schools, clubs and other organisations across the UK to agree how the collective Diamond fund of around £3 million can best support more disadvantaged young people in starting and doing their DofE over the next four years and in the long-term.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is grateful for the generosity and dedication of thousands of DofE supporters which will enable more disadvantaged young people to access the DofE and experience its life-changing benefits; developing vital skills for both work and life.

Without the money raised by our 15,000 Diamond Challengers this opportunity wouldn’t be possible.

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