3 youth working on graffitiwoman holding hands with young boy passing by a graffiti of a woman

The aim of pilot activity grants is to support actions which address young people’s needs or challenges at a local level. The actions have a clear link to the local context and address the focus themes for pilot activities, as set out by the Joint Council on Youth.

These activities should be based on innovation or on replication of good practice, have a clear youth work dimension and be based on non-formal education principles. The link between the action and the envisioned impact on the community should be clearly thought out.


 Format of a Pilot Activity

Pilot Activities are flexible in their format and may utilise a range of approaches, such as training sessions, meetings with experts, local workshops, local actions, visits, campaigns, workshops in schools, festivals etc. An essential feature of a pilot activity is the educational element - the EYF supports education projects, using a non-formal approach.

The pilot activity can be :

  • An awareness raising activity: participants are informed or educated about a topic or an issue, with the intention of influencing their attitudes, behaviours, solutions or responses in their local context. At the end of the activity they can say “I have learned this” or “I am aware of that”.
  • A Skills development activity: participants develop skills to address identified needs. At the end of the activity they can say: “I can do this” or “I have the ability to do that”.
  • Collaborative work: participants’ skills and knowledge serve as a basis to build and develop an outcome (for example a campaign, guidelines, recommendations etc.) and at the end they can say “I have contributed to the development of this or that”.

The maximum duration of a pilot activity project is 6 months.

If you are interested in reading some examples of EYF supported projects from the past years, you can visit the page “Supported Projects”.

Be creative!

 What criteria are used to evaluate applications?

Within the 2020-2021 priorities, the Joint Council on Youth has defined more specific focus themes for pilot activities to be supported by the European Youth Foundation in 2021.

When assessing applications for pilot activities, the EYF will concentrate on the following criteria:

  • Activities addressing challenges affecting young people at a local level. The EYF expects that you highlight a specific challenge or concern affecting young people at a local level based on evidenced needs. Applications will propose ways of tackling the issue, with a view to finding solutions and creating an impact in the community.
  • NGOs should be concrete and specific when introducing the local context, the situation of young people, and their challenges and needs. It should be clear how their proposed activity will help respond to these challenges at the local level.
  • The EYF expects that youth projects have an educational element and an approach based on non-formal education. Some resources on our website can give you some insight on how to integrate the non-formal education principles in your youth activities.
  • The EYF expects to clearly see a link to our focus themes and the CoE Youth Sector priorities. You project needs to contribute to one of the priorities of the Council of Europe’s youth sector, defined by the Joint Council on Youth (the central co-managed political body of the youth sector). Within the current priorities, the Joint Council on Youth has defined more specific focus themes for pilot activities to be supported by the European Youth Foundation.
  • Projects supported by the European Youth Foundation must be organised by, with and for young people (between 15-30 years old). We will expect to see how young people are involved in the decision making at all stages of the project.
  • The EYF will pay particular attention to activities developed with local authorities or social services/workers, and projects involving young people trained in the European Youth Centres or presented by local NGOs supported by an international/European youth NGO.

The EYF does not want to tell you what to do. You are in the best position to know what the needs of young people are in your local context and how to respond to them. We encourage you to develop your own project, addressing issues that are specific to your local context and that will have a local impact.

 Grant amount

The maximum grant available for a Pilot Activity in 2021 is €15 000. The EYF can cover the all real costs of the activity up to this amount.

The EYF will initiate the payment of the first instalment80% of the grant awarded – 10 weeks before the start of your activity. However, it can take up to 3 weeks until the money arrives into your bank account. The remaining 20% will be paid upon receipt and approval of the final report (check the Reporting page).

 Which costs cannot be covered by the EYF grant?

Here are a few examples of initiatives that cannot receive support from the EYF:

  • scholarships of any kind (school, university, research, programmes or exchanges vocational training)
  • commercial operations
  • construction, purchase or equipment of buildings
  • tourism
  • participation in international exchanges
  • projects in agriculture and water sanitation
  • additional funding to cover costs for disadvantaged participants to take part in projects and/or activities funded by other donors
  • micro-credit
  • financial support for collecting and sending pedagogical material and/or food and/or clothes and/or books anywhere in the world

For more detailed information, please consult the EYF instructions for financial reporting HERE.  


 Who can apply?

 Local actions may be carried out by international NGOs/networks as part of their work plan and in co-operation with local NGOs. However, only the NGOs mentioned above may submit a Pilot Activity application.


 When to apply?

Applications can be submitted at any time during the year. However, there are several cut-off dates to allow for assessment, communication and decision by the EYF secretariat and the Programming Committee on Youth. With that in mind, the project must start at least 3 months after the cut-off date. For more information and updates on the cut-off dates, please pay regular attention to our page on How to apply/Deadlines.


 How to apply?

Every NGO interested in applying to the European Youth Foundation has to be registered with us(see additional information on Registration) and go through the application process.

Grant beneficiaries must

  • use the Council of Europe logo* and the visual identity of the EYF on any publication, material, website
  • mention the support of the EYF
  • print the EYF posters and use them in the venue during their activities
Go to the EYF visual identity page
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