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Regional Youth Funding in Europe



Since commencing work in 2005, the ERSTE Foundation has been developing projects independently and in collaboration with partners within three program areas: social affairs, culture, and Europe in Austria and Central and Southeastern Europe. The ERSTE Foundation works on an operational level to create new perspectives, engaging in dialogue to enable increased participation of individuals in partnerships and with an attitude of respect for the people whose experiences, knowledge, and initiatives it promotes and encourages, across borders. Focusing on the European unification process, it aims to strengthen the region of Central and Southeastern Europe. Several of the medium-term operational projects funded by ERSTE Foundation in these areas are youth-led or youth-targeted, especially their actions supporting cooperation and partnership between schools in different countries. In addition, the ERSTE Foundation has a general funding structure for practical actions that can meet the challenges facing Central and Southeastern Europe. The program supports NGOs or nonprofit organizations in the countries where the foundation is active, but does not accept applications from individuals, political parties, or their affiliates. Project proposals, in the form of “project ideas” are received and assessed on an ongoing basis.

GEOGRAPHIC SCOPE: Austria and Central and Southeastern Europe

SOURCES OF FUNDS: Dividends from the Erste Bank Group

FINANCIALS: The latest financial information can be accessed in the Annual report, at http://www.erstestiftung.org/publications/annual-report-2009.



ECF is an independent not-for-profit organization that promotes cultural cooperation in Europe and funds projects that have a strong cultural component, including those run by young people and youth organizations.

GEOGRAPHIC SCOPE: Europe, the Balkans

SOURCES OF FUNDS: De BankGiroLoterij, De Lotto (the Dutch Lottery)

FINANCIALS: The latest financial information and the list of granted projects can be accessed at http://www.eurocult.org/news/108.



The GMF of the U.S. is a nonpartisan American public policy and grant-making institution dedicated to promoting greater cooperation and understanding between North America and Europe. GMF does this by supporting individuals and institutions working on transatlantic issues, by convening leaders to discuss the most pressing transatlantic themes, and by examining ways in which transatlantic cooperation can address a variety of global policy challenges. In addition, GMF supports a number of initiatives to strengthen democracies. Founded in 1972 through a gift from Germany as a permanent memorial to Marshall Plan assistance, GMF maintains a strong presence on both sides of the Atlantic. In addition to its headquarters in Washington, D.C., GMF has seven offices in Europe: Berlin, Bratislava, Paris, Brussels, Belgrade, Ankara, and Bucharest.

The GMF of the U.S. manages and runs two regional Trusts for Democracy in Europe, one for the Balkans and one for the Black Sea region. Although youth activities are not the focus of these trusts, the trusts regularly fund youth activities promoting democratic development and the civic engagement of young people and in general.

GEOGRAPHIC SCOPE: U.S. and Europe, including Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and the Black Sea region

SOURCES OF FUNDS: Interest on endowment, government funding, donations.

FINANCIALS: The latest financial information can be accessed at http://www.gmfus.org/cs/about_gmf/annual_reports.

GMF Grant-Making through the Balkan Trust for Democracy


From 2003 to 2009, the Balkan Trust for Democracy made 661 grants totaling US$18,204,047. In 2009, the Balkan Trust approved 124 projects for a total of US$3,343,232, of which approximately 20 were proposed by youth organizations, were youth-led, or had young people as their main target group. Average grants in 2009 were US$26,500.

GMF Grant-Making through the Black Sea Trust for Democracy


Between 2007 and July 2009, 226 grants disbursed US$2,813,681. Approximately one-fifth of applications that are pre-selected for review and granting are from youth organizations or for youth projects in the Black Sea region.


Each of the German political parties runs a foundation. These foundations are inspired by the political ideals of the party but do not promote political partisanship. All the German party foundations consider young people important stakeholders in their work and important actors of social change with whom partnership is necessary to achieve their goals. Each has youth-related programming and some opportunities exist for young people to receive funding for their activities. This work can have a considerable international dimension (within and beyond Europe). The German political party foundations all receive the majority of their funding from public funds in Germany.

Friedrich Ebert Foundation (Social Democrats)


The FES runs several scholarship grant-making programs and operational programs to increase the civic and political participation of young people in Germany and internationally.

The latest financial information can be accessed at http://www.fes.de/sets/s_stif.htm.

Friedrich Naumann Foundation (Liberal Democrats)


The Friedrich Naumann Foundation has several operational programs aiming at increasing the civic and political participation of young people around the world.

The latest financial information can be accessed at http://www.freiheit.org/webcom/show_download.php/_c-64/i.html

Hanns Seidel Foundation (Christian Democrats—CSU)


The Hanns Seidel Foundation conducts political education with a Christian ethos, and occasionally organizes activities in the development of youth policy in Germany.

The latest financial information can be accessed at http://www.hss.de/stiftung.html.

Heinrich Boell Foundation (Greens)


The Boell Foundation has several grant-making and operational programs for young people including support for talented individual young people, training for young journalists, support for young artists and writers, and activities and financing for volunteering. These programs are active in Germany and globally.

The latest financial information can be accessed at http://www.boell.de/stiftung/jahresbericht/jahresberichte.html.

Konrad Adenauer Foundation (Christian Democrats—CDU)


The Konrad Adenauer Foundation conducts political and civic education with a Christian democratic ethos in Germany, but many of its youth activities are based on the principles of international exchange and involve young people from other countries. It also offers scholarships to German students to study abroad and foreign students to study in Germany. Journalism and post-graduate students can also access scholarship funding.

The latest financial information can be accessed at http://www.kas.de/wf/en/33.19115/.

Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (Democratic Socialists—Left Party)


The Rosa Luxembourg Foundation conducts political education with the aim of engaging young people in democratic politics.

The latest financial information can be accessed at http://www.rosalux.de/stiftung.html.

Continue to the second page of non-youth specific funders and foundations here.