Start grants for youth activities

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

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. 

Launching grants are awarded to early youth and youth organisations or youth activity groups, two thirds of whose members and active participants are Helsinki residents between the ages of 7–28. 

We award grants to cover the costs of starting operations. 

You can apply for a launching grant year-round. However, applicants should note that the schedule for preparation and decision-making is tied to the Youth Sub-committee’s meeting times.

You apply for a start-up grant on the e-service using the project grant application. Please indicate that this is an application for a launching grant in the ‘Additional information’ section of the application form. The registered association must identify itself through its authentication.

You can contact the experts in the Partnership Unit before submitting your application. They often meet with representatives of new associations. Any meetings will involve discussions about the association and guidance on applying for grants and other grant matters.

Attachments are submitted via the City of Helsinki e-services.

The attachments for launching grant applications are the following:

  • The association’s current rules 
  • A copy of a bank statement or the bank’s confirmation of the account holder
  • An action plan for the year that the application concerns
  • The budget for the year that the application concerns

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 request other attachments or reports, depending on the situation.

If the association’s registration process is still pending with the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH), the association must submit a certificate of pending registration with the PRH. Please note that launching grants can only be paid into a Finnish bank account in the association’s name.

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 Culture and Leisure Committee’s Youth Sub-committee decides on launching grants.

Please note that the dates of the Youth Sub-committee’s meetings determine when a decision can be made. 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.(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 both the agendas and minutes 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.

Eligible expenses for the launching grant are:

Training expenses

  • Travel expenses, teaching fees, rent and material costs for courses, training and consultation meetings held by the organisation.
  • Travel expenses and participation fees for association members when attending courses, training and consultation events and meetings at district or national levels. Daily allowances are not eligible expenses.

Camping and outing activity expenses

  • Transport, material, food, communication, insurance and rental costs for camps and trips arranged by the organisation.
  • Participation and travel expenses when an association member or members participate in camps organised by the district or central organisation.

Hobby and recreational activity expenses

  • Material costs of operations and minor equipment purchases.
  • Transport costs

Expenses from international activities

  • Material costs, expert fees and organisational and hospitality costs from twinned city visits, or other similar visits.
  • Travel and participation expenses when the organisation attends an event, seminar, conference or camp organised by its international umbrella organisation, a sister organisation, or a fraternal organisation
  • Travel and participation costs for any other major international youth event that promotes international youth education.

Payroll expenses

  • Personnel costs

Communication and administrative expenses

  • Rent and other office expenses.
  • Expenses from communication and publication activities.

The following expenses are not eligible: brokerage, fundraising or business expenses, advertising costs, debt repayments, meeting fees, membership fees and depreciation. The grant may also not be used to finance the purchase of fixed assets.

Reporting on use

The use of the start-up grant must be reported when applying for the next year’s operating grant. You must submit a report on how the received grant was used, even if you are not applying for a grant for the following year. The report requires the association’s annual report, income statement, balance sheet, and auditor or inspector’s statement for the year that the start-up grant is awarded. 

If the association applies for an operating grant for the year after the start-up grant, the association will report the use of the start-up grant when applying for the operating grant.

If you do not provide an adequate report on how the grant was used within the deadline, the operating 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.

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. 

Hae avustusta


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