Grants for youth activities

General information about grants for youth activities

Every year, the city provides grants to Helsinki’s early youth and youth associations, early youth and youth sections of associations, and youth groups. The total budget for youth activity grants in 2024 is around €2.8 million. Youth activity grants promote civic engagement, participation, and active citizenship among young people. They also promote diverse and equal opportunities for safe growth, leisure activities and recreation in Helsinki.

The types of grants awarded each year include operating grants, hiring grants and holiday camp grants. We also award project grants. Project grants include grants for individual projects, start-up grants for new youth associations and grants for housing association clubs. 

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Have you already visited our partnership site launched in the autumn?  

The website is shared by the Culture and Leisure Division and can be found at (in finnish and swedish)

General guidelines for youth activity grants 

When considering applying for a youth grant, it is important to read all the instructions and conditions for grants. These are the City’s general grant allocation guidelines, the general guidelines and conditions for youth activity grants, and the instructions and conditions for the type of grant for which you are applying.  In other words, you have to learn about more than one type of grant.

Read more about the general guidelines for youth activity grants

Grant types for youth activities

We award operating grants to support the general activities of Helsinki-based early youth and youth associations that have started their activities in at least the previous calendar year.

Read more about operating grants.

Hiring grants may be awarded to registered Helsinki-based youth organisations or similar registered associations whose youth activities require significant organisational effort due to the nature and/or scale of their activities. The eligible organisations for the hiring grant are determined every three years. This determination is based on the criteria used to award the hiring grant and the evaluation of the organisations carried out every three years. We decide on hiring grants separately each year, so you must also apply for a hiring grant separately for each year.

Read more about hiring grants.

Project grants are intended for one-off youth projects that are not part of the association’s normal annual activities. The annual activities of youth associations are supported with operating grants. Project grants can be awarded for both shorter and longer projects, but only up to a maximum of three years.

Read more about project grants.

The Sponssi project grant for youth activity groups is intended to support the voluntary civic activities of young people. It cannot be granted for activities that take place under an association or as part of the city’s activities, for example. For more information about Sponssi and its eligibility conditions, please visit the Sponssi pages on the website (Link leads to external service)

Read more about the Sponssi project grant for youth activity groups.

Housing association clubs are usually organised by one or more adult volunteers for the children and youth in the same housing company or neighbourhood. We award grants to housing association clubs for organising early youth and youth activities. These grants are awarded to clubs that provide activities for local youth on a voluntary basis. A housing association club is usually run by residents.

If you are unsure whether your housing association club is eligible to apply for a grant, please get in touch with the experts at the Youth Services Partnership Unit

Read more about housing association club grants.

A newly established or restarting early youth or youth organization can apply for a start-up grant for the expenses related to starting or restarting its operations. However, an association cannot receive both start-up and operating grants in the same year.

Read more about start-up grants.

Holiday camp grants are awarded for organising camp activities during the school holidays for children and youth aged 7–16 who are Helsinki residents. There are specific eligibility criteria for the number and duration of camps, participants, and dates, which you should read carefully.

The holiday camp grant is awarded for the camp season, which is from 1 November to 31 October. In other words, the grant is not awarded for a calendar year. We will pay up to 80 procent of the awarded grant based on your plans, and the remainder based on the number of actual camp days at the end of the season. You apply for the grant in advance for camps in the upcoming season.

Read more about holiday camp grants.

Guidance and support

This page provides guidance and support for grants, the administration and financial management of associations, and using the e-service. 

Read more about guidance and support for grants for youth activities.

Contact information

Please contact the planners in the Youth Services Partnership Unit if you have any questions or concerns about youth activity grants.

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You can receive agendas for the meetings of the City of Helsinki Culture and Leisure Division Youth Sub-committee and decision information directly to your email by subscribing to the newsletter in STT Info.  Go to the STT Info website to subscribe to the newsletter. (Link leads to external service)