Project grants for youth activities for associations

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.

When considering applying for youth activity grants, please carefully review both the general grant allocation guidelines and conditions and the specific award criteria and application guidelines for each grant type.

A project grant is a one-off grant for a youth activity project that aims to involve and socially empower young people. You can receive the grant to carry out or participate in projects, programmes or events.

We do not award project grants for projects that are part of an organisation’s activity plan and its core activities.

Grants are awarded to early youth and youth organisations, two thirds of whose members and active participants are Helsinki residents between the ages of 7 and 28.

We can award grants for the same project and its follow-up projects for a maximum of three calendar years. For projects that are intended to run for several years, we require a clear timetable and evaluation criteria at the initial grant application stage. Project results should be evaluated annually and included in the following year’s application. For projects that are intended to last for one year, an extension will only be granted in exceptional cases.

As a general rule, we will not award grants for an applicant’s administrative costs or other similar costs. Project grants also exclude personal travel grants and stipends. You also may not use the grant to finance the purchase of fixed assets, and it is not awarded to projects that aim to generate a profit.

We cannot award a grant if you have not adequately reported the use of the previous project grant.

You must submit your project grant application before the project or event. You can apply for a project grant year-round. You can apply for a grant by submitting a project grant application via e-services.

The application is completed electronically through the city’s grant application e-service. The registered association must identify itself through its authentication.

You can submit the project’s action plan and budget as separate attachments to the application or enter them in the appropriate sections of the application form. If the project spans three years, the application must also include an evaluation plan for the project activities Attachments are submitted via the City of Helsinki e-services.

The applicant must also submit the following attachments if they have not done so with any previous application to the City of Helsinki:

  • The current rules of the association 
  • A copy of a bank statement or the bank’s confirmation of the account holder

For a copy of a bank statement, it is sufficient to provide the page that shows the account number and the account holder. You may redact any other information on the statement, if you prefer.

We may also ask a new applicant for the following:

  • An action plan for the year that the application concerns
  • The budget for the year that the application concerns
  • Financial statements from the previous fiscal year
  • The annual report from the previous fiscal year
  • An auditor or operations inspector's statement regarding the previous fiscal year
  • Minutes of the annual meeting

You can also submit the attachments electronically after submitting the actual application by the specified deadline. However, please note that delays in submitting attachments may also delay the processing of your application and the decision-making process.

The Youth Sub-committee decides on applications for grants exceeding €3,000. The Partnership Manager of Youth Services decides on applications of up to €3,000.  

The Youth Sub-committee’s meeting times determine when it is possible to get a decision on applications over €3,000. If an applicant would like the decision to be made at a specific meeting, they should contact the experts at the Youth Services Partnership Unit. They will tell you the deadline for submitting your application to ensure that the decision proposal can be prepared for the meeting in question. 

Generally, you must submit your application at least one month before the meeting. See the dates for Youth Sub-committee meetings 2024.(Link leads to external service)

The decision will be sent to the applicant by post. The Youth Sub-committee’s meeting minutes (which include the decision) or the Partnership Manager’s decision will also be available on the City of Helsinki’s website. The Youth Sub-committee’s meeting agendas are published approximately one week before the meeting, and the agendas, minutes and official decisions can also be found on the city’s website(Link leads to external service)

You cannot view the decisions on the city’s grant application e-service.

You should read the decision carefully. The decision always begins with the decision section, which also includes obligations and instructions for the applicant, e.g., on how to report on using the grant. The decision section also tells you the period and purpose for which the grant has been awarded. The grant must be used for the purpose and during the period for which it was awarded. 

The grant provider decides the eligible expenses. This means that the project grant can only be used for the expenses specified in the decision. If the decision only states that the grant is for the costs of the project in question, it only applies to the costs stated in the application and/or its attachments as the purpose of the grant.

We can only approve project expenses for the period for which the grant has been awarded in the decision. The decision always specifies how and when you must report the use of the project grant. For example, if there is a delay in the grant project schedule, and you require a longer period to use the grant, the grant applicant must contact the partnership unit before the deadline for reporting. However, we can only grant an extension in exceptional cases for projects intended to last one year.

If you have any questions or need to make changes regarding the use of the grant in the middle of a project, you should always contact the experts in the Youth Services Partnership Unit.

Reporting on the use of project grants

You must report the project grant using the project grant reporting form (in finnish) by the deadline specified in the decision. In addition to the reporting form, you must submit copies of receipts and other supporting documents showing the project’s costs unless the decision provides for another method of reporting. Depending on the project, instead of receipts, you may be asked to provide a financial statement with a separate cost centre for the funded project. 

If you do not provide an adequate report on how the grant was used within the deadline, the project grant may be recovered. Please bear in mind that, per the City of Helsinki’s general grant allocation guidelines, the grant provider has the right to request all the information, documents and reports required to verify the use of the grant. If specifically requested, the grant recipient is thus obligated to provide information beyond what is specified in the decision. 

In addition, some youth activity grant recipients are selected for an annual audit of their accounts. Each grant recipient is obligated to participate in the financial audit and provide the required documents and information if the applicant is selected for the audit.

Read more general guidance on grants for youth activities. 

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

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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